Tag Archives: kids

When is the Right Age to Get Married? Have Kids?

For whatever reason, my biological clock started ticking loudly. I’m now 26 and I’m not getting any younger. While part of me wonders if I’ll ever be mature enough to have children, I’d like 3 of them, and a house and stability and all of those adult things. I feel terribly young — way too young to have a husband or kids — and yet I know so many people who are my age or younger who are already packing in a full house. (This article argues that you should get married in your early 20s.)

I started Google searching things like “when is the right age to have a baby?” and “how old should i be when I get married.” More often then not, I find people recommending marriage in the 20s, and popping out kids by 35 (and later and there’s a higher chance for defects).

My boyfriend and I have been together over 3 years. We both know we’re going to get married — one day — but he’s convinced that he needs to finish grad school (well he needs to start it first) and obtain a career in order to get married. If he starts grad school next fall, I’ll be 29 before he’s finished with his MA. Then there’s the PhD he may want to obtain… I’m not getting married until I’m 35 at the rate things are going.

I’m not marriage obsessed, I just wonder now that I’m 26 why I’m not getting married. I guess the way I see it is either my boyfriend and I will get married OR we won’t and I’m wasting my time with him now when I could be out dating while I still look somewhat attractive. What if I get to 30 and he decides he isn’t ready, or worse, wants to break up?

Given my health, having children is going to be extremely difficult and expensive anyway, and I don’t want to put it off too long. At the moment I’m somewhat stable in my career — somewhat as in I’ll probably need to switch jobs this year — but I’ve learned how to save and I’m starting to feel financially mature. I honestly could give two shits about being married, it’s having children that is what’s on my mind right now. I don’t want kids now, but I do want them fairly soon, in the next 5 years. Maybe I should break up with my boyfriend and date a guy in his late 30s to make sure this will happen.

The Rich Get Hit Hardest

My aunt and uncle are in the upper class. They have a really nice house in a really nice town in a really nice part of the Bay Area. They have two kids. They have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the stock market. My uncle, who is self-employed with a once-thriving web marketing business, is struggling to retain clients. My aunt, who is in charge of a profitable department at an otherwise struggling company, just got a 10% paycut. With an expensive mortgage, even six figure and then some income isn’t enough to pay for their lifestyle. So they’re watching their spending. They are worried about just how bad this all is going to get.

While I’ve “lost” over $9000 so far in stocks, I feel lucky. I have a job. I make $60k a year, plus any freelance income I can bring in here and there. While I’m still not the best at managing my money (I just spent $100 at Sephora on a few eyeshadows and lipstick… I like to think of it as “stimulating the economy”) my cost of living is not that high. I don’t have any kids, my rent is cheap (well, at least compared to what I was spending living on my own before I moved in with two roommates, and I don’t buy much other than the occasional overpriced pair of jeans or high-pigmented and pricey eyeshadow. So my life is pretty cheap. And I like it that way.

For everyone who has a family to take care of… a mortgage to pay… this recession is really, really bad. It makes me want to never have kids or up my desire to purchase a house. Sure my room is tiny, I have to put up with my roommates for better or worse, and I don’t get to cook naked (which is seriously the biggest downfall of living with roommates), but… my life is affordable. Even as I lose thousands in the stock market. If I had kids… a house… I’d be screwed right now.

Having Kids… a 24 Year Old Gal Ponders the Cost and The Timeline

I’m only 24 years old. My body is slowly deprecating into womanhood. In fact, once upon a time I’d be in middle age right now. Except in modern society, 24 isn’t quite “that old” yet.

Still, my babymaking clock is ticking. (Do you hear it — “tick, tock. tick, tock.”) A few years ago if you asked me about the possibility of my having a family, I’d say yea, one day. Like a zillion million light years down the road.

But how long can one really wait to have kids and a family? Is it even really that important to have kids?

Speaking in simple terms of evolution, it’s quite normal to want to have kids. Heck, I should be wanting to pop out babies every change I can get from now through menopause.

The truth is, with my undoubted infertility problems (thanks PCOS!) the cost of simply getting pregnant/ having a kid is going to be very high for me. I’ll either need expensive fertility treatments that may or may not work, or I’ll have to adopt. Both of these options are expensive. It’s just like, great, take something that should be free (semen in, baby out) and make it cost a fortune before I even can so much can justify purchasing a pregnancy test.

Without all of that extra expense, having kids, well, is quite the expense. How much does one kid cost? You’ve got to feed them, clothe them, house them, bathe them, pay for school supplies, parties, hobbies, potentially college, etc etc. That sounds very expensive. Of course, lots of people just accept that having a kid is a worthwhile investment. Not to get money in return, but to get years of “awws” and “ooohs” and “that’s my son/daughter!” But how much is all that really worth?

You can have kids at any income level or age (if you can pop them out without needing expensive treatments to get pregnant in the first place.) Plenty of people have kids who live on welfare. Plenty of people have kids who are in the upper class, who can give their kids tons of money and not think twice about it. Plenty of people who have kids are in the middle class, and they get by with minimal luxuries and mostly just what they need.

I grew up with such a bizarre concept of family and money. My dad made a good salary, my mom stayed at home. We lived an upper middle class life. My parents had two kids, me and my younger sister. We never bought expensive things, but we did buy lots of things. There was never a concern about not having money to put food on the table, or to buy new clothes for the season. I was lucky. I didn’t realize just how lucky I was.

Would I want to have kids if I couldn’t give them that? Could I be selfless enough to bring another person into this world knowing just how much they’d cost me? I’d have to get better health insurance for my kids, or would I? I couldn’t have catastrophic health insurance with a child… though that’s better than no health insurance at all that many people deal with. How much money would I really need to make, over the long term, to feel comfortable popping out a baby or two?

I have friends who had kids years ago, or who are just starting families. One friend from high school just got his girlfriend pregnant accidentally, and they’re moving out of the city to the burbs and are planning on having her parents help them support the family.

Another friend of mine is in her mid 30s. She kind of wants to have kids, she makes a pretty good income, upper middle classish, but hasn’t found the right guy yet. Or at least she hasn’t found the right guy who wants to date her back, sadly. She knows that at this point in her life, she’s either going to have kids soon or not have them at all. She tries to laugh it off, but deep down I think she’s sad about it.

I know some people in their 30s who just don’t want kids. Some are in stable relationships, some are married and have just decided – no children. What does it feel like to make that decision and make it so finally?

I’ve mentioned before how my ex boyfriend is a well-to-do attorney and how sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have stayed in that relationship and lived… that life. What it would be like to know that unless something terrible happened to the country and the overall economy, I’d be financially secure until I die, and I could have kids and they’d have a good life, regardless of how much money I made personally.

Back before my time, that’s all a girl could even ask for. But now we have choice. We have freedom. And that’s great. I’m glad. I’d rather be with a guy I love than one making good money. But it’s tough when the choice is actually there. When the guy making the money still likes you. When you like him back too, but only as a friend.

It’s not like my current boyfriend isn’t working. That was the case for a while and after a year of dating an unemployed guy it started to get to me. It wasn’t even the money that was an issue, it was the sheer depression keeping him out of getting a job. While my previous boyfriend worked all the time and wanted to make a lot of money, and save it, my current boyfriend just wanted to live at home, somewhat frugally, until his savings ran out. Both lifestyles kind of drove me nuts.

But now my boyfriend has a job. He’s doing a good job with working and I’m sure he’ll do fine. He’s likely going to return to grad school for education and end up teaching at a high school. I’m confident if he is “the one” (and I think he might be) that without kids, we’d both live a very comfortable life given our expected middle class income. When I start thinking about having kids, well, that’s when I get worried.

I always wanted to have three kids. I thought that would be a good amount. My dad grew up in a large family (6 siblings including him) and I loved how that later on created such a tight-knit extended family. I don’t want six kids (oy!) but 3 would do. I don’t want a kid to grow up alone, and one sibling is nice but often not enough. Three is perfect. Except, oh my god, how much would three kids cost me?