Planning Parenthood

in All Posts, Oh, Controversy!

First comes love

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Then comes marriage

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Then comes a career

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Then comes a house (oh, wait – nevermind)…

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Then comes baby?

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Please note that’s NOT my stomach (it’s Jen’s).

 

I wanted to step away from the normal food-fitness-life posts and talk about something that’s been on my (and the Husband’s) mind for a while.   I’m basically putting a call out there for life advice.  You see, I know that many of you have the knowledge and experience about parenting that I simply don’t, and I really value your thoughts. 

 

So… let’s go.  I’m going to unload.

 

With nearly eight years of togetherness and three years of marriage under our belts, the Husband and I have been following a pretty traditional path (minus that whole ‘living together before marriage’ thing – obviously, I don’t think it’s wrong to do things ‘out of order;’ we’ve just been pretty traditional so far).  Love, marriage, work, financial stability.  It seems that the next step in our lives is to have children.  My mother was older when she had me (39), and I’ve always said that I’d like to be a younger mom.  At 27, it feels like a wise time to start seriously considering parenthood – maybe not this month or next month, but sooner rather than later. 

 

I love the idea of having and raising children (lots of them).  My baby fever is probably the worst-kept secret in the entire world.  I stare at babies in public.  I cry at diaper commercials.  I read pregnancy blogs. I dream about our future kids.  I pepper pregnant friends with questions. 

 

Despite my desires to procreate (and the Husband’s desire to do so, too), something holds me back from 100% going for it.  I guess I’m nervous that everything will change.  Of course it will!  But I’m afraid it will all change in a negative way.  I hear so many parents talking about their children in negative ways, “I haven’t slept well since 1999,” “I miss having a clean house so much,” or even “Sometimes I regret having kids at all.”  Seriously.  I know that having kids is hard work and it’s not all cuteness and love, but this negative talk from other parents TERRIFIES me.

 

This issue is compounded by my friends’ outlooks.  I have some friends who already have kids or are pregnant, but this is the exception, not the rule, in my social group.  I told a few close friends we were considering kids, and they stared at me like I had suddenly sprouted another head.  It’s not that I need my friends’ approval to do something, it’s just that their reactions make me doubt our decision.  Are we too young?  What will we miss out on? 

 

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had a few close friends struggle with fertility and know that nothing is guaranteed.  I can plan and plan all I want, but it might take years – if ever – to get pregnant.  At the same time a voice inside me whispers, “What if you’re too young?” another voice says, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch…”

 

Does feeling conflicted mean that we’re not ready – or just realistic about the ebbs and flows of parenthood? 

 

If you’re a parent, how did you know you were ‘ready’?  Would you do things differently in retrospect?  Were you the first one of your friends to have a baby?  Why do parents talk so negatively about their children?  Are kids actually terrifying but no one wants to say anything for fear of destroying the human race?

{ 578 comments }

 

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat September 13, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I think it’s crucial to have that time together first; I love my husband so much but want to have a few years together before children. The important thing is that you’re putting thought into it and thinking about it together – I think the people who aren’t happy and speak negatively about children are the ones who didn’t think it through.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 13, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Oooh wow, good topic! I’m only 23, but right now I can’t say I have baby fever at all. I know exactly what you mean about current parents talking negatively about having children. These stories are all the birth control I need!! However, having said that, I don’t see myself being childless and I really do love the idea of raising children and having tight bonds with them. I can’t wait to see what other commenters say!

  • Laura @ My Reason to Tri September 13, 2011, 2:16 pm

    i dont think youre ever entirely ready for kids. i knew i was ready when i bought a baby shower gift and my body just ached to have a little one to fill little onsies like i had just bought. a couple of my friends had had babies before me, and that did contribute to my baby fever. i think we (parents) talk negatively about our children because its not all glamorous and we need to vent or let out our frustrations to innocent bystanders so that we dont take it out on the kids. parenthood is terrifying, people are lying if they say its not. but its also the most rewarding, fulfilling experience i can imagine. i dont think i would do anything different in retrospect, timing is NEVER perfect for starting a family, there will always be something you feel like you need to do or accomplish. if you wait for the perfect time….it will pass you by. you will know in your gut when you are ready……

    • Sarah September 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

      I completely agree! There is no “perfect time” to have children… there will always be something in the way. My husband and I accidentally (even though I was on the Nuvaring!) got pregnant a little after our first anniversary, so now I have a little 3 month old girl. It wasn’t ideal timing, but of course I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You’ll know when to “pull the goalie”.

    • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf September 13, 2011, 7:35 pm

      I also totally agree! I mean, I’m not a parent yet, but “you are never going to be ready for kids” is probably the best pregnancy planning advice I’ve heard to date. That and, “if God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.”

      That said, I’m not against birth control at all, but my husband and I decided to throw out the birth control a few months ago. We’re not itching to have kids RIGHT NOW, but we’d definitely welcome it! For us, using birth control of any kind was more of a hindrance to our closeness than not using it.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 13, 2011, 2:16 pm

    I find it really impressive that people are willing to give up everything they love about their life to become parents.
    …sure, you hear all the great things about having children and how no love is like the love you have for a child, and all that stuff, but I dwell on all the negative stuff. The stuff that you say terrifies you.

    And it makes me seriously, seriously wonder: Can it really be worth it?

    • Danielle September 13, 2011, 3:52 pm

      When people say that the love you have for your child is indescribable, its really true. I didn’t believe it until I felt it. While kids aren’t for everyone, “giving up everything you love about your life to become parents” is a little bit of a misnomer. As much as I loved my life before kids, and as different as it is now, every day I say to myself that I love my life. And its really true.

      • Jenny September 13, 2011, 4:14 pm

        Ditto. There’s life before kids and life after kids and for most people, life changes quite a bit when kids come.

        All the cliches about you’ve never felt love like this, it’s true.

    • Carla @ Will Run for Health September 13, 2011, 9:41 pm

      Smantha…MY.THOUGHTS.EXACTLY!

  • michelle September 13, 2011, 2:16 pm

    i’m so not ready to have kids, but have discussed this with an older male coworker a couple times. my hesitance is money. his advice: there’s never going to be a ‘perfect’ time to have kids. not sure if that eases your anxiety about the timing or not, but basically if you feel like you’re just waiting for some unknown ready-ness, there will probably always be something holding you back. have your parents talked negatively about having kids (you)?

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 13, 2011, 2:28 pm

      That’s true that there’s never a perfect time to have a baby, but if you planning to have one then being financially prepared is a big part of that planning.
      The first year of a baby’s life is very expensive (even more so if you have to pay medical bills, like in the US) so it’s important to budget out what you will need for the baby and how much that will cost.

      You can also calculate how much money you’ll be getting while you’re on maternity leave and maybe even practice living on the maternity leave income before the baby comes so that you can get a feel of the impact of a reduced income.

      And if you’re practicing with that maternity leave budget why not stow away the extra money to pay off some consumer debt before the baby comes along. If you don’t have any consumer debt, then use it to build an emergency fund for when the baby arrives or contribute to life insurance (which you’ll want to set up once you have a child, if you don’t have it already)

      There are lots of ways that you can prepare financially for a baby and there is lots of time to prepare once you decide to try for children. It shouldn’t be something to worry about.

      • Colleen September 13, 2011, 3:07 pm

        Agreed!! Everyone tells me “you’ll never be ready” but that doesn’t mean I’m going to throw all caution to the wind and just have a child. My husband and I just turned 30, we’ve been together 10 years, married 6 and we are just really cautious about everything, so we will definitely be asking others questions just like you are Caitlin. In fact, the longer we wait the less we want to have children. 🙁 I think the thing I’ve noticed most is that (way) more than half the parents I know had unplanned pregnancies, so that’s where a lot of the ambiguity (and complaining) comes from. The few that I know who planned their pregnancies had to go through fertility treatments, so it’s hard to get a good response from them either because they are so grateful for their children. I will say that you shouldn’t have children yet if you are just craving the thought of being pregnant…a few people I “kind of” know were all about being pregnant, but they quickly dropped their newborns on the grandparents. None of these situations is ideal, but as long as you and your husband are on the same page, and you feel that you have a good support system going (with each other and the family you have living close), you will be just fine!

        • Verna September 13, 2011, 4:02 pm

          I think it’s more of a “never a perfect time” than a “never be ready” type of thing.

        • Therese September 13, 2011, 5:52 pm

          This is a great point, Colleen. When you said, “you shouldn’t have children yet if you are just craving the thought of being pregnant,” I thought that’s exactly what I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to put into words! My husband and I have been married 3 years but aren’t quite ready to have kids yet. We LOVE kids and definitely talk about “ours” more than we used to, but the fear outweighs the benefits right now.

          I have an overwhelming 8 co-workers who are pregnant right now and several family members. I’ve really started to long for the physical challenge of pregnancy, but the thought of a toddler makes me step back and know I’m not ready for that yet. BUT I do keep in mind what a co-worker told me when I was a newlywed: “If you wait until you’re ready/until everything is perfect, you’ll never be ready.”

  • Sunny September 13, 2011, 2:16 pm

    I cannot wait to see the responses on this post because while my husband is still a year or two out, some days I’m ready now and other days I think about how different things will be and wonder if I will ever be ready.

  • genki September 13, 2011, 2:16 pm

    I’m not a parent yet but am hoping to start trying sometime soon. I completely understand where you are coming from. My friends don’t get it either and think it’s strange to want them still. And I’m older than you. But being nervous of change is natural. And so is change. Of course things will change. But who wants to stand still forever. I don’t think you’ll regret something you want this much and have put this much thought into either. Good luck!

  • Stefanie-Anne September 13, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Do you have the travel bug? If so, I would make sure to fit in a huge around-the-world type trip before ‘trying’ 🙂

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:19 pm

      Naw, I’m over traveling I think. We’ve traveled a lot. It is fun but $$$.

      • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 2:58 pm

        Ha ha. Having kids is $$$ too!

        • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 3:00 pm

          LOL good point. But at least you get a return on investment. you know, when you’re old and haggard and they take care of you? right?

        • Bizzle September 13, 2011, 5:15 pm

          I’m 33 and still don’t have the desire for children. I mean, sometimes I think it would be great, but then the stress and worry just overcomes me. A shame because I’m so close to my Mom. And getting older I’m wondering “who will take care of me?” (I know, horrible reason to have kids)

          But you can’t even count on that. Life happens, kids move away, grow apart…it is all just so uncertain.

          P.S. I can’t imagine ever getting over the travel bug. I live for it.

      • Pam September 14, 2011, 4:02 am

        I just wanted to throw out there that having a kid does not equal no more traveling! We went to China with our son when he was 5 months old and we’ll be going to Australia when he’s just over a year. Sure it’s a bit more work and money, but it’s worth it to continue to see new places and expose our son to them, too!

  • Kamaile September 13, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I don’t have kids and don’t plan on any (I’m 40 and have an IUD so I’m really not planning on it!!) but some of my friends in their late 30’s are pregnant and or trying. I think you are at a very good place in your life and career and if you have doubts I say wait another year or two.

  • Jenn September 13, 2011, 2:17 pm

    You really can’t worry about what other people think. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for 3 and people look at us like were nuts when we tell them we DON’T want kids! It’s weird that your experience has been negative talk about parenting because I feel opposite. I feel like people only talk about how amazing it is and act like you’re nuts or the worst person on earth if you don’t want your own! In the end it is a very personal decision! I don’t doubt that kids are wonderful but aren’t for everyone. There are definitely pros and cons and only you know if/when you’re ready! 🙂

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:18 pm

      Hahah we should switch friends, then everyone would be happy!!!

      • Beth @ 990 Square September 13, 2011, 2:26 pm

        I’m very on the fence about having kids. Sometimes I feel like my ovaries hurt at babies and I want one soooo badly. Other times I think about what I really love in my life, and know it would be gone with a baby. But mostly, as I sit here six months from my 30th birthday with a husband in his early 40s, I obsess about what we should do. And the answer is, I just don’t know.

        I totally agree with Jenn, when I tell people I’m uncertain about having kids most of them act like I’m crazy and the most selfish person on the planet. And that hurts.

        • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:29 pm

          I’m sorry… I would never judge someone for not wanting kids. I have many aunts and uncles who chose to remain childless and they seem pretty darn happy to me 🙂 To each their own!!

        • Verna September 13, 2011, 4:03 pm

          I don’t think it’s selfish at all for not wanting to have kids. Good for you for making the choice best for you!

        • Mandy September 13, 2011, 5:27 pm

          You’re not selfish. And it’s more ecologically responsible.

        • Elaine September 13, 2011, 5:45 pm

          It’s better to regret not having kids than to regret having them!

        • Rachel @ suburbanyogini September 21, 2011, 4:45 am

          I’m 37 and we made the decision a long time ago not to have kids. There are a lot of reasons for this that I’m not going into here but I have had so much shit for this decision, especially people thinking I’m selfish. And I’ll say this, it was a really hard decision, the right one but hard. Just because my brain doesn’t want kids doesn’t mean my ovaries have switched off. Sometimes I get so broody it hurts!!!
          But my reasons for my decision are strong + nobody’s business + noone has the right to judge you, me or anyone else for those decisions x

    • Susan September 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

      I’ve always known that I didn’t want to have children. People would always tell me I’d change my mind and I’d look at them like they were crazy. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me for not wanting them. But I love being able to go out with friends without worrying about a sitter and I love being able to buy things without worrying about paying for someone’s college tuition. I’m selfish and I admit it. I just don’t feel like my life would be enhanced by having a child.

      • TC September 13, 2011, 3:07 pm

        I don’t think it’s selfish at all. I think it’s just knowing yourself. There are plenty of people out there procreating without thinking, and they are miserable and their kids lives are miserable because of it.

        I go back and forth on having children. The last thing I want is to have children because I feel like I should, then be bitter because my life is not what I really want it to be. My kids would feel that and probably end up resenting me for it. I kind of like the idea of not having any of my own, and just being the “rich” aunt to my neice. 🙂

      • Corrie September 13, 2011, 3:25 pm

        I’m right there with you Susan! My husband was on the fence initially, but if you ask him now he says “the longer we go without, the more I realize what I would have given up.” Kids are great! I love kids! I spend lots of time with my neice and I love that I have a special relationship with her. But I do not, and never have wanted, to give birth to my own children. I even wrote a paper about it in college! Caitlin, it is an exceptionally personal decision. Your life will change. There are things you can do to prepare, but some things…well…there is no preparation for! If you TRULY WANT kids..then you will be a good parent and your life will adjust to having them. If you have kids because you think you “SHOULD”, then you are likely setting yourself up for unhappiness. Wait until you know…then decide and you will have no regrets. 🙂

        • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 13, 2011, 3:51 pm

          I think to have kids vs. not having kids is such a personal decision & no one should be judged.

          My husband and I flip-flop about whether we want them or not.

          The funny thing is, sometimes when we talk about the reasons *why* we want kids… they aren’t the greatest reasons… example: because our parents would be wonderful grandparents and would love that, because everyone else does it & it’s almost expected of us, and so forth.

          We both love kids and love being around them.. but we arent’ sure if we want to have our own yet. The only thing we know for sure is that at this present moment, kids aren’t for us.

      • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 7:10 pm

        I have never wanted kids either, and at first I thought it was selfish, too, but it’s no more “selfish” than wanting them! Most people’s reasons for kids include: having fun with them, having someone to carry on after me, having someone to instruct/teach, or having someone with whom they have a close bond. Those are all self-serving too!

        I’m not calling anyone selfish here, to be clear. I just think whatever choice we make, we’re making it for ourselves. If you don’t have the urge (like me, never have), then it’s A-OK!

        • Stacy September 13, 2011, 7:55 pm

          I completely agree. Most of the people I know my age (32) are already parents or having babies. I’ve never felt an urge to have kids and my husband and I know that we don’t want any. Everyone we know thinks its strange because we’ve been married 10 years and together 13, but we are perfectly content with our life.

        • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:48 pm

          I agree – I don’t think its fair to say ‘you’re selfish’ either way with kids.

    • kat September 13, 2011, 8:06 pm

      with you on that….me and my partner aren’t even married – people can’t get it around their head that we are HAPPY! We don’t want kids or to get married. Do what works for you. Personally, I can’t imagine having kids at 27 (but then I was living in Asia and I continue to live abroad)….I’ve just never had that urge, you know? It may happen one day, but not yet.

      PLUS! The thought of moving to the US and paying to have a child (where my partner is from) drives me nuts, when I know we can move back to England (my country) and get it all for freeeeeeeee…!

      Big life decisions. They ain’t easy girl.

    • Mia September 14, 2011, 7:03 am

      I’m in the same boat as you. My husband and I are in our mid 30’s and don’t plan on having kids, and we get some weird looks from people. I think when in you’re in 20’s people still give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to parenthood, but when you are in your 30s and married people start asking questions. Let’s not even discuss the amount of grief I get from my mother because of our decision, but that’s a whole different thing all together.

      I will say though, that in some ways not having children as you get older is difficult, because you are somewhat excluded from activities that your other friends participate in. Not that my friends don’t invite me to do stuff, but most of them have children and totally different concerns at this point in their lives…it’s just very different from the way things used to be.

    • MelanieF September 15, 2011, 1:01 pm

      My boyfriend and I don’t want children either. It’s a very personnal choice, and yes we had a lot of weird looks and comments about our choice. And yes, my mom was very sad to learn that she wouldn’t have a grand-child, but she got over that. And, we also are not married and don’t plan too either. We’ve been together for 7 years, we love our life and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We travel, we have a wonderful family and wonderful friends, and for us, that’s all we need.

      From what I read, you really want to have kids and I think you and your husband would make great parents. Just remember, there’s never a good time to have kids. 🙂

  • Lindsey @ SoundEats September 13, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I definitely don’t have any suggestions in regards to the actual parenting – not there yet! But the only thing I would say, is do whatever feels right to you, without regards to your peers. I have a friend…25 or 26, I don’t remember, but she’s pregnant with her second child and she is loving it – seriously can’t wait for this second baby to arrive and is thinking of more after that! I can go from a conversation with her in the morning, to going into work and talking to someone else our age who says they themselves feel like THEY are too dependent on their parents, and they don’t want kids for at least ten years…maybe. Anyway, my point is, everyone is different and everyone has different paths. Just do you. 🙂

    (Also, having PCOS and all, I worry that when I’m finally “ready” to have kids – basically for us, me done with my additional degrees – it still may take my body years to have a baby. But I’ve recently decided that it’s utterly fruitless to worry about it. When I feel ready to try for kids, we will, and if it takes a while, then so be it.) 🙂

  • Stephanie September 13, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I really think no one is ever “ready” and there is no “perfect time” to have a child – I mean, you have no idea what the kid will be like until he/she gets here, and even then it’s just a wild guess. I also think it might be that you (me too!) only remember the negative things people say, kind of like it takes, what, 10 good comments to cancel out one bad?

    I mean, take what I say with a grain of salt. I don’t have kids, and I’m still not sure I want them (I’m a little paranoid about the world right now). I do have 2 adorable nieces, and both sets of parents will say you’re never completely prepared and each day is different.

    I think you and The Husband just need to sit down and have a serious, full-out conversation about it. You’re the ones that will be raising the child.

    And for the record, my SIL was your age when she got pregnant, and my sister is also your age and has a 1 mo. old. I don’t think it’s an age thing…it’s a mentality thing – I’m 3 years older than you and SO not there yet. =)

  • Heather September 13, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I don’t want kids so I’m biased, but all I ever hear is how awful it is. This doesn’t surprise me, but what does surprise me s how many people say they regret having kids. I guess it’s one of those things that you don’t realize until it’s too late? If you want kids, have them and to hell with what everyone else says. It’s your life. Do what you want. I made my decision to not have any, and while I do get people who look at me as if I’m nuts, I also get the people who tell me how smart I am. Also, I’m married, and my husband doesn’t want kids either. I would not have even considered dating him if he did want them.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:21 pm

      I read once that 40% of couples would say, if anonymity was ensured, that they regretted their kids. Scary.

      • Em September 13, 2011, 2:54 pm

        Hmm. I’d take that with a BIG grain of salt. I think what parents feel – just like what EVERYONE feels – will vary from day to day, year to year, or even second to second!

        Statistics are always abused… I want to know: What is the average age of the children of the people polled? Did these people feel happy before kids? Maybe 40% of our population always feels “the grass is always greener…” 😉

        I love this post though! Very thought provoking.

      • Sara P September 13, 2011, 3:02 pm

        I think you have to factor in how many kids now-a-days are accidents.

      • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) September 13, 2011, 5:27 pm

        Wow, that is a scary statistic. I think someone else mentioned it but I think unplanned pregnancies might account for a lot of that. Or perhaps people in unhappy marriages. A lot of people put blame on someone else, even their own kids, if they are suffering depression. Having kids does change a lot, but when you think of the grand scheme… they’re the most important thing in the world. Not only are they are part of you, but they are the future of this world!

      • Shelley September 13, 2011, 7:28 pm

        Thats is so awful! I can’t believe people would REGRET having their kids, wtf?? They are your kids, you made them and carried them inside for 9 months. I agree with what the majority have said as in that you never feel 100% ready, there is always that small cloud of doubt looming over you. But this is (well at least for me) only temporary. Once you hold that baby after all the pregnancy stuff, good and bad, planning etc actually holding them in you arms is the most AMAZING high in the world. Seriously nothing will ever top that feeling. Sorry to be all mushy 🙂 It’s just i really can not put in to words just how special that moment is, and sure you will encounter hard times but it is all !00% worth it! But i’m sure that you will find that out for yourself one day xxx

      • Emma September 13, 2011, 8:28 pm

        I think that there are ALWAYS going to be times when parents feel that way. Just a few months ago my mom said “I HATE having kids!” because my sister, who is 23, was stressing her out (she didn’t say it to me, she just told me later), but I know that we bring her way way more joy than pain because she tells me how happy I maker her all the time! Just like everything, sometimes it gets hard or frustrating, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it!

      • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:47 pm

        I think it was Ann Landers or Dear Abby.

      • Heather September 13, 2011, 9:41 pm

        That number doesn’t surprise me at all. I’d actually wager the amount ro be higher.

      • Amy H. September 13, 2011, 10:54 pm

        Daniel Gilbert has a fascinating discussion of the connection (or lack thereof) between happiness and having children at pp. 220-22 of his book “Stumbling on Happiness.” The whole book is well worth reading, but to sum up his main point on children: “When people are asked to identify their sources of joy, they do just what I do: They point to their kids. Yet if we measure the *actual* satisfaction of people who have children, a very different story emerges. . . . [C]ouples generally start out quite happy in their marriages and then become progressively less satisfied over the course of their lives together, getting close to their original levels of satisfaction only when their children leave home.” His main point is that when people think about parenthood in the abstract (or as a memory), they think of the happy stuff, even though they know intellectually that parenting and childcare are hard work. When parents are in the middle of the day-to-day nitty-gritty work of parenting, it’s difficult and sometimes very irritating, and the rewards aren’t necessarily visible — so people noting their happiness levels during daily activities say they’re less happy spending time with their kids than when eating, exercising, shopping, napping, etc.

    • Susan September 13, 2011, 2:47 pm

      On first dates, if I knew I liked the guy and wanted to see him again, I’d ask if one of his life goals was to get married and have kids. If it was, there was no second date.

      • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 13, 2011, 3:52 pm

        That statistic is scary!

      • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 7:13 pm

        Wow, Susan, you do not eff around! Ha ha.

      • Heather September 13, 2011, 9:47 pm

        Heh, awesome.

  • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs September 13, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I totally know how you feel! My husband and I kind of came up with a list of things that we want to do before we have babies, but honestly there’s an aspect that you have no control over, you know?

    If it makes you feel any better, one of my main hesitations is similar to yours, that kids will be too much. And it doesn’t help that my mom used to say to me “I hope you have a daughter that’s just like you” Let’s just say we had troublng teen years. I also have a friend who is a marriage and family therapist, and she is always saying “Did you know that it;s proven that marital satisfaction declines for 18 years (at least) when you have kids?”

    But at the end of the day your babies will love you and it will be worth it… at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 13, 2011, 3:53 pm

      18 years? That’s crazy! I think its because people focus on the kids more & leave their relationship in the dust… :S

      • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs September 13, 2011, 4:11 pm

        I totally agree! I think that you can tell when couples put the kids first in their relationship or eachother. I think it affects that a lot.

  • Jennifer September 13, 2011, 2:21 pm

    Not to be morbid, but I knew I was ready when I attended my husband’s brother’s funeral and realized that if there is no afterlife (which I’m pretty convinced there isn’t), the only way you really “live on” is through your children. Also, I had my first child at 35 and my second at 39. Although this was way later than I planned on having children, I think there are plusses and minuses to having children older versus younger. As an older parent, I am much more patient than I would have been at age 23. We are also much more financially stable than we were years ago and are able to have our children in a better school and we have a great babysitter, etc. Parents are often overworked and underslept, if that’s a word, and that is why they complain about their kids. We try so hard to be “super parents” and enroll our kids in every sport and activity imaginable, then feel burned out. However, if you try to keep things in balance – a skill which you, my lovely friend Caitlin, are very good at – children bring you more love and joy to your life than you could every have imagined. I do not regret for one day the fact that I am mom to two wonderful sons.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:22 pm

      Aw I like this comment. And I agree with many of your sentiments!

    • DadHTP September 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

      +10

      • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

        I was hoping you weren’t going to come on here and say you regret having kids 🙂

    • Danielle September 13, 2011, 4:22 pm

      “We try so hard to be “super parents” and enroll our kids in every sport and activity imaginable, then feel burned out. ”

      This is such a great insight! Its impossible to do everything 100%. Frankly, the balancing act is tough, but not impossible. There are some days where I feel like I have succeeded professionally but failed parentally (my son is only 6 months so ‘failure might be too strong a word)…but with every experience I learn balance a little better. Its not easy, but i don’t believe its impossible to balance.

    • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) September 13, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Ooh, I totally agree with “super-parents”. It’s tough when you’re reading parenting blogs and magazines that make it seem like there’s so much we’re not doing enough of. However, just like with food and fitness, you have to be true to yourself and find balance.

    • Carin September 21, 2011, 7:13 pm

      I agree with what you’re saying, Jennifer. I was older too – my kids were born when I was 37 and 39 and they are 4 and 2 now. I think I’m more patient than I would have been earlier and more sensible! You’re right, it’s all about “balance” and making sure that you have your own life, rather than just living through the kids and rushing around to “their” activities. Really, they just want balance too – time with their friends, things to do and lots of love and fun with the family.

      Caitlin, I don’t think there’s a “right time” but I would say leave it later rather than earlier. You’re in a great position and having lots of fun and whilst that wouldn’t stop with a baby, it would fundamentaly alter the family dynamic and change your perspective.

      You have to be prepared not to have ANY time alone while you’re not thinking about the child’s activities or welfare – or make special arrangements to give yourself “me” time. You feel guilty if you’re not with them – even though you know it’s healthy and necessary! You can’t really have spontaneous late nights out, you’re constantly tired and they give you kid germs and make you sick!

      Look back across your blog and think about how different your day-to-day activities would be with a child – making arrangements for every night out, ensuring that you’ve got a sitter when you do your runs, having limited time on shopping trips, trying to work around speaking engagement trips and expressing etc…. life is never as free and easy after kids as before.

      I’m certainly not trying to put you off at all and my views are just my views. I don’t regret having my kids at all but always try to point out to people that it’s a profound and monumental change in your life – emotionally, physically and logistically!

    • Misty January 30, 2013, 9:29 pm

      I am entering this super late haha. Just browsing archived blog entries for advice/viewpoints on pregnancy/parenting/family and came across this interesting reply to a wonderful blog entry. I LOVE this viewpoint and agree completely. As someone who is totally unsure of what happens when we die (my view of life is the definition of agnosticism haha), I have come to feel that all that really REALLY matters in this short life we have on earth is our relationships with those that we love. Not clothes, partying, sex, careers, or anything for that matter. I’m not saying that these aren’t all important and enjoyable things in life but that when you really consider how short our time here is, that people are what really matters. Just my opinion of course and I still agree that having kids isn’t the right choice for everyone but for ME, I want to share life with my future children. Decision made! 🙂 Great comment Jennifer!

  • AshleyP September 13, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I’m 27, too, and going through the same thing- probaby 80% of my thoughts are “babybabybaby.” The difference is, a lot of my friends are having children right now. I’m just not sure if we are ready financially. We have worked hard for our savings, and seeing it deplete scares me a lot. (We have about 6 months expenses saved, but this is our only savings…emergency fund, house down payment, baby fund, etc. We have student loan debt and car payments, so we are not debt free…and I’m an urban planner, so you know how that job market is, if I do lose my job). Also, not sure if I’m ready for it emotionally- children bring out a lot of judgement form people. I will have to work outside the home if we have one now, and I will get a lot of criticism from family for using daycare (Family is all far away).

    So many people tell me that you’re never really READY though…but it sure seems like they were ready from the outside looking in!

    It’s a tough call, but everyone’s situation is unique. I guess you can’t really get it wrong? But it’s still a big, scary decision. All the best to you, I look forward to following along!

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul September 13, 2011, 2:22 pm

    ahhh Caitlin! This is such a great talk!! I’m not married yet, nor have children, but I understand how you feel b/c all we ever hear is the negative things! And one in a greeeeatttt while I’ll hear something amazing, like “they are such a gift from the Lord” and I think I would agree! 😀 I’m sure it’s the most challenging thing in the world, but I heard that having great communication with the spouse helps a great deal when it comes time for kids. After all, kids do put a strain on marriage. However, I think that they still are a blessing and are to be treated as a blessing. 🙂 It’s so cool you stare at babies too! haha I do the same. (But I’m not a creeper)

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt September 13, 2011, 2:22 pm

    You have my full blessing to procreate, Caitlin! Haha. As you know, I am in the trying boat right there with you. Hopefully, it will happen for both of us very soon. I am sure that you’ll be a great mama. 🙂

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg September 13, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Oh lord Caitlin — I could have written this post, except for the part where you’re seriously considering having kids. Jason and I are just not at a point where that makes sense right now (Jason is unemployed and has been for 5 months) and I so wish it was a good time. I love having it just be me and him at home, but I look forward to when there are kids too. I’m just not sure if/when that will happen.

    So I know that isn’t advice really, but I know you’ll do what is best for you and your hubby — and I’m sure others will have really good advice for you here as well.

  • Therese September 13, 2011, 2:22 pm

    If you wait for the “perfect” time to have kids, you never will. The timing will never be perfect. I am 25, my husband is 33, we’ve been together 7 years, married for 2.5 and when I found out I was pregnant it was seriously scary!!! We knew we wanted kids soon but weren’t necessarily actively trying. But we both had good jobs (I got laid off while pregnant, heh), loving families for support, and you know what? I’m glad it happened when it did. My daughter is so amazing and brings so much joy to my life every day! Plus we haven’t had to sacrifice ALL that much. Just Sunday we had about 15 friends over for beer, food, and Sunday football (go Bears!).

    I say go for it 🙂

  • Emily Malone September 13, 2011, 2:22 pm

    I am due in 4 weeks and still not sure I’m ready for kids. 🙂 I don’t think you will ever feel ready. It’s terrifying to take that leap and decide that you want things to change. I am excited about so much, but I am also very scared of things changing. I love my life the way it is, and while I know kids will only add to that, I can’t help but feel sad that these are the last few weeks of “just us two.” But every time I go into the nursery and stare at all the little clothes, I know that life is about to get so much better!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:24 pm

      Awwwwwwww!

    • Maureen September 13, 2011, 3:11 pm

      I completely agree with this! I think it’s absolutely ok to be both excited to have a child as well as scared at how things will change. Because there is no denying that your life DOES change once you have a baby. But just because it changes it doesn’t mean it needs to be a bad thing. So instead of just you and a running buddy, it becomes you a running buddy and a jogging stroller. I say this as the mom of a three year old whose life is drastically different than it was three years ago, but also vastly richer both emotionally and with love than I ever knew before.

      It makes complete sense to fear the unknown. Heck, right now I fear how and when to bring baby #2 into this world. After three years my husband, daughter and I are in a really good routine and once again I have a lot of the same thoughts I had before she was born. But really I try to remind myself to look at how good it is with her here.

      • Bernadette September 13, 2011, 4:59 pm

        I completely agree with Emily also!!

        I was very young when I married and had kids and in looking back I would probably say that it wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done but wasn’t that uncommon at that time. I remember my grandmother telling me shortly after I got married that if I waited to be able to “afford them” I’d never have them… So I took a leap of faith and it all turned out, I have 3 amazing children who I love with all my being. Sure there are days I’d like to put them on the curb with a “free to good home” sign but I always joke that whoever got them would bring them back!! (I may have this thought for a split moment but wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world).

        I think it was a line in Eat, Pray, Love that said it best: “having kids is like getting a tatoo on your face, you BETTER be sure it’s what you want.”

        Like anything else in life, it’s got it’s ups and downs but is worth the effort you put into it.

        xoxo

    • Carin September 21, 2011, 7:19 pm

      Aw, Emily – I know what you mean – even when it’s just the two of you (for a night out, say), it’s never really just the two of you ever again!

      I think it’s like the line in the song “Closing Time” – “Every new beginning is some other beginning’s end”. That always helps me to accept change and appreciate the opportunity to move on.

  • Marcy S. September 13, 2011, 2:23 pm

    I love this post!! For the past year my husband and I had been trying but not trying for kids (we both want them, but I had my moments where I freaked and thought no I can’t do this yet! I don’t want to miss out.) As the year went on I realized you know what I’m not going to miss out on anything.. Instead I will have new things to look forward to and be excited about. A little over a month a go we found out we were finally pregnant (after giving in with our trying and deciding that this month we would take an ovulation test to help us out)!! I am (and the Hubs!) are so excited that we finally are going to be parents.. yeah right now I feel like I’m missing out bc its football season and I can’t have a beer at the game… but in the long run I think it will be very worth it!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:24 pm

      Congrats 🙂

  • Lara September 13, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Can’t wait to read the comments on this post, Caitlin. Matt and I are in a similar situation, after being married for 3 years and together for nearly 10. We don’t own a house yet either (about a year away from that), but I’m starting to get the baby itch and wondering if there is some magical mommy checklist out there that I don’t know about 😉

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:24 pm

      Seriously, why doesn’t life come with instructions?

      • Caitlin @ Cake with Love September 13, 2011, 2:28 pm

        ha ha great idea!

      • Colleen September 13, 2011, 3:19 pm

        Haha, one thing I would do is make up your own set of instructions…like my hubby and I have agreed that he has to clean up barf any time that happens (spit up is fine, I just can’t handle regurgitated food), and I have no problem with snot. It may not be the life instructions you hoped for, but talking about the nitty gritty in addition to the fun stuff does make you feel a little more prepared.

  • Krista September 13, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I just got married, and we both admit we are not ready for kids. However, I am 31 so I have to think about it at some point. Our main reason for wanting to wait is because we want the freedom to travel when we want to. We both want to explore the world, and I just can’t see myself doing that w/a stroller, car seat & diaper changes. A great way to know if you’re ready is to spend some real quality time w/a family that has kids. I have a 2 year old niece that I often babysit. I love her to pieces & she is a pretty tame child. However, when I am done from babysitting her, I am ready to be done. It is an exhausting job! I care too much about me & hubby to give someone else my life right now. I don’t know when the time will be right, I really hope I can identify it when it comes & that I will feel with my whole soul that I am ready.

    • Mari September 13, 2011, 4:31 pm

      I just wanted to post a quick note about travelling with kids. My husband and I desperately want to travel the world, and we’re inspired by some older friends of ours (mentors, really) who traveled with 1-3 young children every year without fail. Even with young babies, they all schlepped to Europe (Italy, usually) annually for their adventures. I worry that it’s much harder than they make it seem, but I refuse to let ‘having kids’ equate to ‘no more adventures,’ and it’s so helpful to know that it is (apparently) totally do-able (with lots of patience and good communication).

      • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:48 pm

        AGREE. Maybe this is me being a dumb clueless person but i don’t see why children impede travel. Especially when they are young. Can’t you just strap them to your chest and go??? 🙂

        • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) September 13, 2011, 5:32 pm

          My daughter is 2 and I personally think it gets easier as she gets older because I have less to bring. Even when I breastfed, I still had diapers, wipes, extra outfits, TOYS!, etc…

        • Shelley September 13, 2011, 7:36 pm

          Totally!!! I have 2 kids, one is 5 and the other is 20 months. I have travelled from Australia to Los Angeles and then to Orlando 3 times. First time i only had my daughter and she was 2, second time i had both and they were 3 years and baby was 7 months and lastly when they were 4 and baby was 15 months. SO i have travelled when they were a variety of ages and they were fine!! You just make sure your prepared. Also did i mention i took them myself and it is about 23 hours travel just from where i live to LA not counting the flight to Orlando, not to mention time in between flights and delays etc. SO don’t listen to anyone when they say that your travelling days are over cuz it’s not true!!

  • Tabitha September 13, 2011, 2:25 pm

    You’ll never be 100% ready until you have them.. And even with my beautiful 18mth old I don’t always feel ready.. And now I don’t have as much time for myself, my husband and I juggle our full time Air Force careers, full course loads of college classes, and spending time with Layla while ensuring we get time for ourselves too. Sometimes that means a floor that needs mopping or staying up to get that last load of laundry folded and put up, but OMG motherhood is THE BEST thing that has ever happened to me! And I was one if those girls that wrinkled up their face at the thought of it!! Now I can barely make it all day and practically run in daycare to get her!! You will love it!!!! Love your blog!! You inspire me to be healthy and involved 🙂

  • Cely September 13, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I feel the SAME way. I’m so interested to see what people post. I don’t see how you could ever be 100% ready because it is such a serious and life-changing decision and of course you can only control so much!

  • Caitlin @ Cake with Love September 13, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I think both of you will be great parents, and I believe i is normal to be afraid and have internal conflicts, don’t we have these doubts even when making small life decisions?! I am 24 and I really when to get pregnant when I am 25 with God’s blessing, so it just depends, I guess the only wrong question you are asking yourself is “What would we miss by having the baby?” you can have everything and enjoy your life, and all the things you love just as before, it will just require more planning and to everything in moderation I guess is key. It all resumes to attitude, and how you educate your children, so they are not little monsters 🙂 but funny small creatures 🙂 anyway, I dont have babies,but I believe i is a great experience and is a personal decision, to have them or not, but if you feel ready embrace this feeling and live it!

  • Emily S. September 13, 2011, 2:27 pm

    My husband and I did things the very un-traditional way- Moved in together very quickly, had a baby, got married, had another baby, went to college and still don’t have a house. I don’t know if anyone can tell you when you will be ready, I knew from a very young age that I wanted kids young (I had mine at 22 and 25) but others are different.
    I think that maybe writing a list of things you might miss out on if you DO have kids might be helpful. Things like traveling (babies can fly too) or a clean house (they don’t get real messy till they are older), can seem like a big deal to other people but maybe not to you. What are you afraid of losing with having a child? Time, Money, Partner-time?
    I also think that asking other moms is helpful, but none of them are going to experience being a mother exactly like you will. There is no predictor for how your life will be with or without a kid.

  • Adriana September 13, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I don’t ever think you’re every entirely ready for children. I think that if you and your husband are ready to have a family, you should start trying. With how compassionate you are, I can’t ever imagine you saying that you regret your children.

    As for me, My husband and I have talked about having children for a long time before we started trying. We have been struggling with infertility for almost three years and very often, I wish that we started earlier. I can’t help but imagine that we might have had a baby already if we had.

  • Lindsey September 13, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I am at the exact same place in my life as you! Though only being married a year, we have been together nearly 9 years and we are 27 & 28, so sooner rather than later is my thought too. But like you I fear that “my life won’t be the same”, and it won’t it will be better. I think of having a baby as an addition to our lives, I have many friends that still do the exact same stuff as before just in a different way. The baby is just that – an addition, not the center of their lives or marriage – which too many people make it. I cannot wait to be a Mom and know my life will be different but a good different 🙂

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) September 13, 2011, 2:28 pm

    I think it means you’re being smart and checking out the situation from all angles. Like anything in life, I’m sure there are pros and cons. I felt the same way you did before we got pregnant. I was excited when I thought about holding a baby (and more so seeing Hubbs hold our baby!) and nervous it might take a long time since my cycle was nonexistent for months after getting of birth control.
    Then, we got pregnant on accident, which kind of made the decision for us and I was FREAKED out thinking WHAT DID WE DO?!, we’re not ready!
    Now, I’m so excited. Will it change things? Absolutely. But, I always knew I wanted kids, and I don’t think we would have ever found the right time where we looked at each other and said ‘100%, we’re ready’. So I’m so glad things worked out like they did.

    Can’t wait to to see what you decide 🙂

  • Joey September 13, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Can’t say what is best for you. I’m unable to have kids, but before we knew that, we were trying and I would still get nervous & think, wow, if this happens, are we ready? Truth is, if you wait until you KNOW you are ready, you may wait forever. We basically never used birth control and actively tried to be pregnant for some years. Then we stopped timing everything & just “let it happen” for quite some time before doing the testing that showed I was most likely unable to get pregnant. Ultimately, I believe that if you made the decision to try to increase your family tomorrow, when the time comes that you are pregnant, you will be ready because you won’t have the choice to be ready or not to be anymore. Also, you are not too young to have kids, and while you may “miss out” on some things in life due to increasing your family, you will also gain a lot that you would’ve missed by not having them.

    All in all, I think that you can’t go wrong either way that you choose. And while it is a huge decision, life will be what you make it either way! 🙂

  • Morgan September 13, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I think that you feel hesitant because you are thinking things through and realize what a huge responsibility parenting is. I had my first baby a year ago at 28 and I am very happy with the age I was when she was born, hubby and I had been together for 9 years, married for 4 and we were very ready. Most of my friends had children already when our daughter was born, but we were some of the first to start trying, it took a while.
    I do not know why people complain endlessly about their children. I absolutely love being a mom and I am happier now than ever before in my life. I cannot believe how content I feel now. I guess in a way I am fortunate to have the perspective of 2 years of infertility and miscarriages. Any time I feel frustrated I just think back to those days and I realize very quickly how wonderful this time is compared to life 3 years ago.
    I am also in the best shape of my life since having my daughter. She made me want to be healthier. I am 30lbs lighter than my prepregnancy weight, and I am running my first half marathon in a month.
    I obviously have nothing but good things to say about babies and parenthood:)

  • Krissy September 13, 2011, 2:29 pm

    There is no perfect time. My husband and I were married for about 9 months and I just decided I wanted a baby. I was 28, we were financially stable, and we had been together for over 4 years. However, we lived in a tiny condo that we owned and with the house market, knew we could not get out of. I didn’t care….baby fever is a very strong thing and will make you forget about all things rational. We got pregnant on the first try. Nicholas is almost 18 months, and I am so glad that I didn’t let some small details hold me back and wait a few more months, or I would not have him! Of course I love him more than anything in the world! BUT there are days where you want to pull your hair out. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Just know there is no perfect time, and it is a love and a joy that you cannot yet imagine!

  • becky September 13, 2011, 2:30 pm

    I just have to leave my 2 cents. I was 33 when I had my son. (35 now). Never wanted to be a young parent, even when that age hit I wasn’t sure I was ready. And let me give you total honestly…it was the biggest slap in the face, having him. Giving up that freedom, being unsure, having TERRIBLE post pardum depression. All that stuff is reality. Yes, I love him. But you can’t listen to people that may say, oh when you set your eyes on him it’s true love, or it was the best thing I’ve ever done…because that’s not true for all of us. Just go in honestly, knowing that maybe not being ready is a TRUE feeling! 27 is so young in this day and age, and you have admitted to having other stresses in your life right now. Wait until the desire truly hits you. And I’m sure others won’t agree with me or think I’m being “negative”, but honestly for me is always the best policy. I may have waited longer!!!

    • Susan September 13, 2011, 2:54 pm

      You’re honesty is great! In my opinion, having kids (if I were to have them) older would be worse than having them younger because you realize all of the things you are missing out on. When I was younger, I don’t think I really appreciated my freedom and probably wouldn’t have missed it. I would SO miss it now.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 13, 2011, 2:32 pm

    We are that couple in our group of friends that DOESN’T have kids. I’m 29, he’s 31. Honestly, the more time I spend with our friends and their kids, the less I want to have them myself. I know I sound selfish saying this, and it probably does stem from that but, kids seem like they just completely consume you. Your life becomes all about them and I’m not ready for that, nor sure I ever will be. I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night, worry constantly, deal with the financial obligations they require or have to limit my travels/vacations b/c of a newborn, toddler, etc. I was 26 when everyone else started having kids and kept saying “I’m young, I have time.” Now that I’m close to 30, that excuse is starting to wear off and I honestly just think that if I’m ever to have kids I will be an older mom. To me, there is too much living to be done without the constraints of children in your mid 20’s-30’s!

    • kat September 13, 2011, 8:40 pm

      It’s not selfish to say those things! Why bring a child into the world knowing you feel that way?! I call it being smart and having insight…:)

  • Christina September 13, 2011, 2:32 pm

    I think you and your husband are doing a terrific job of taking your time and thinking it completely through before jumping into a HUGE life changing event. Nothing will EVER be the same. There are countless stages of babyhood and childhood and even after your kids are old and move out, you will ALWAYS be a parent. That’s quite a decision to make!!
    But I also think it’s true that you don’t ever feel 100% ready. It’s a huge thing and even if you want something soooo bad, there are always going to be the “what if’s” that nag at you, and I think that’s completely normal.
    Being a mom of 3 (I am 28 years old) I totally know about all the negative sides of being a parent. Like any part of life, even your marriage to your husband who you love dearly, there are rough times and you have to work at it. It’s the same with parenting. You will get angry and frustrated and irritated, but that’s just how it goes. It’s like that for everyone, whether they were ready for a baby or were surprised with one. I don’t think looking at the negatives of the situation is a completely fair way of determining if you are ready for it. Nothing is ever perfect. But things in life, especially being a parent, are full of so much joy and happiness as well. I think some parents complain/vent/speak the truth about parenthood because they want people to be aware that it isn’t just one huge 24 hour a day “love fest” with your baby, that there are hardships in it too. They don’t want you to have a totally romantic view on something and have that be your basis for jumping into it. Or it could be that they were just having a really bad day 🙂
    So while it’s good to have a realistic view of how things will be different when you have a baby, you have to realize as well that there will be waaaay more happy and joyful times than not. Your whole way of thinking and feeling just shifts after you become a parent and things work out. Does that make sense?
    Good luck on your decision. I can’t wait to hear when you and the husband decide to make the leap into parenthood!! 🙂

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:33 pm

      This is an excellent comment!!

  • Katie September 13, 2011, 2:33 pm

    Just go for it…for all the negativity, not one of those parents would give it up for the world. Nothing is ever set in stone and you need to do what makes sense for your family.

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers September 13, 2011, 2:34 pm

    one of my former coworkers was turning 30 and she said ALL of her friends were getting pregnant. she had the opposite feeling you do – like she was SUPPOSED to get pregnant because everyone else was. she said something i’ll never forget… “i’m going to have a baby when i can’t stant NOT to.” i love that because i cannot WAIT to be a mom, but it’s not what i want in my life right now. when it’s all i can think about and all i dream about, i think that’s when i’ll feel ready. my husband is already on the baby train, so we’re just waiting for me to get in the zone. 🙂

    • Liz September 13, 2011, 5:27 pm

      I like that … have a baby when you can’t stand NOT to. I’m currently having trouble deciphering if I’m actually ready or just feel like I “should” be ready. How do you decide? Ugh.

      Good topic! It’s so interesting when you ask a group a question like this you get answers across the board.

  • Reshma September 13, 2011, 2:34 pm

    The one thing I would recommend to you is spending time around children a lot! I just got married recently, so I’m a few years away from kids, if at all. Before I met my partner, I wanted to have kids so badly, and very soon! He has a bunch of nieces and nephews and we started helping out with a lot of them more often (one evening per week, every week, we babysit). It’s made me realize how much work it really is, the types of things I’d like to do the same (the types of things I’d like to do differently), etc. Even one evening per week leaves us somewhat exhausted! Beyond that, I feel like I’m beginning to realize that being a parent means you have less time to be a good aunt/uncle/partner/friend/etc. It was really hard to come to that realization and I hope I’m not offending anyone! But being a parent means you have to spend a lot of time developing another person, and it means you have less time to devote to other things. I feel so connected and close to my nieces and nephews right now, and it’s hard to believe that this relationship wouldn’t change if I had kids of my own. It’s a tough decision.
    Good luck finding your way! Like I said, just spend more time around kids around you perhaps by offering to babysit for some of your friends. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it, and you’ll hopefully be a step closer to a decision.

  • Jen September 13, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I will “officially” become a parent on Dec. 15, 2011, yes baby buddies with Jen from This Runner’s Trials. I’m excited, nervous, ready, scared, calm, every other emotion you can ever imagine in your life. I had just run a half marathon in Arizona when I got my news. I was training to (hopefully) BQ at the San Diego RNR in June, when I got my news. I’m a runner. I’m a racer. Everything changed and got interesting. We weren’t “trying” but we weren’t “not trying” so we got a surprise. 7 months later, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m 33 and live in Los Angeles. It’s a very personal choice. You are awesome and you’ll figure out when it’s best for you.

    • Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 13, 2011, 2:45 pm

      Congrats! And hi from another LA runner! You’ll do great!

    • Stephanie C September 13, 2011, 4:04 pm

      I think living in a big city and deciding to be a parent is a whole other thing to consider! My husband always said he wanted a house, but now with the way things are in LA with the economy.. I don’t know if that’s even possible. Did you guys still do the trad. route?

  • Kathleen September 13, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I’m in a similar situation, in that most of my friends who are my age (26-27) are still in their bar-hopping, dating, part-time-jobbing, transitioning to adulthood stage. They thought I was kind of crazy when I was the first one to get married, and now that I’m talking about babies they REALLY think I’m nuts. But that’s okay. Someone in the group has to be the first. And I hope that, when I do have babies, they’ll be able to spend time with me and my kid/s and think, hey, this adulthood stuff doesn’t suck so bad after all 🙂

    The husband and I really want kids but were not considering it now due to some pretty impossible circumstances. He’s new to the country and only works part time, we barely make ends meet, I just started my MBA, we have no family/support group in the area. BUT, as I write this, I find myself days late and just waiting for confirmation that my life will be turned upside down soon. Gulp. Don’t be too afraid to take the plunge! I have a feeling you won’t regret it 🙂

  • katie September 13, 2011, 2:36 pm

    great topic! we have a 16 month old. your life does change, but in a great way. sure, i’m more stressed and my house is not as clean and the laundry is never ending but the pitter patter of his little feet running down the hall with a huge grin screaming “mama” is worth it 🙂 i had him at 28 and it was a great age. i’m feeling ready to start thinking of number 2 and i think having my second at 31 is also perfect. i also wanted to be a fairly young mom so i can enjoy the time with them when they are adults. i look back at life before him very fondly but i was ready to move past downtown living and happy hours.

    we didn’t get good sleep the first 10 months and there were periods when i was a walking zombie. but now he goes down at 8:30pm and sleeps til 7am. i get a good nights rest every night. no more sleeping in on the weekends though, i do miss that.

    im lucky to have family nearby. my husband go on date nights at least once a month and i love that my son gets to spend extra time with his grandparents or uncles when we go out. i’m also lucky that my husband is very hands on and i get to go out with the girls at least once a month as well.

    its great. you will never regret it.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers September 13, 2011, 2:36 pm

    Almost everything you just said could have come out of my mouth word for word, down to the same age. I’m pregnant, so obviously we decided to go for it, but 2 of the big things that got us there: 1. We just felt ready, even though logically it didn’t necessarily make sense (I’m self-employed, so finances are wishy washy, etc.) Even though most of our friends think it would be the worst thing in the world, we do have some friends with kids and they still have perfectly normal social lives. 2. I don’t want my kids super close in age- I want the luxury of spreading them out however I want, and I thought if I waited much longer, I may run out of time- you never know how long it’ll take to get pregnant, etc- esp. since it’s harder after 35.

    Basically, take everyone’s advice, but in the end, it just comes down to a gut feeling between you and your hubs. You always make the best of any situation you are in, and having children or not having children is no different. 😉

    • Stephanie C September 13, 2011, 4:06 pm

      Just curious your reasons for wanting to space out kids? My brother and I are 8 years a part and it was really hard for us to connect .. I always wished I had a sibling closer in age.

      • Megan September 13, 2011, 4:19 pm

        Agreed! My sister and I are 13 years apart.. and my brother and I are 8 years apart… I wish we were closer in age because we missed so much growing up together…

      • Heather @ Side of Sneakers September 13, 2011, 4:48 pm

        Not that far apart!! I meant not back to back to back. Maybe 3 years at most. ;)Or at least the luxury to consider that an option.

        And my husband and sis in law are 12 years apart and get along great- they were never close enough in age to get in lots of fights.

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine September 13, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Oh, Caitlin, what a good topic…I say go for it! When you feel a longing for a baby, then you want a baby. 🙂 And you will continue to. Period. All the same things you’re saying now–will it be hard, will there be challenges, will my kids require a lot of work–will still be true in five years, and then in ten! You are always going to work hard and train hard–that’s just you—but there is room in your life and heart for kids if you want them. And you’re financially ready and have the desire, so why wait?

    I have seen friends and family struggle for years to get pregnant. It’s prime time for you. Waiting even a few years could make it harder. I don’t think you’re ever completely “ready,” but you guys share the desire and commitment, and could financially support a child, so I’d say that makes it the right time!

  • Hayley September 13, 2011, 2:38 pm

    You can never be completely ready for kids! I am 30 with two boys, a 4 and 2 year old, and while my life is completely different than it was 4 years ago, i wouldn’t change it for the world.
    Also, i think hearing all of the negatives of parenting is kind of like the news. Good news isn’t generally on the news, bad news is. It’s more interesting to talk about the bad parts of parenting and share stories. Especially if you don’t have kids and are talking to a parent, it’s probably uncomfortable for them to brag about how great parenthood is all the time.
    Do it!! Your hesitation just means you are realistic that your life is going to change.

    • Mari September 13, 2011, 4:42 pm

      That’s a really good point about the news! That is so true!

      • krista September 13, 2011, 5:24 pm

        I agree about the news!
        My husband and I were together 9 years, married 6 when we had our daughter. I told him from the start I didn’t want kids until I was at least 30, which is the age I was when I had her actually. We enjoyed our 20’s and early marriage to the fullest and were finally ready at that time. Of course I was terrified of time management, money, etc, especially since I love sleep and work full time. But honestly in the 3.75 years she’s been on this earth I haven’t had a single moment of regret, not even close. Doesn’t even come to mind! We can’t imagine life without her now, and for us we got lucky and she was sleeping through the night within 3 months, we’re financially more stable now than before (due to smarter planning and spending), and we’re now to the point where we are ready for another. She has a brother expected in January!

        • Angela September 13, 2011, 10:33 pm

          Congrats Krista! What a beautiful comment. 🙂

  • Liz September 13, 2011, 2:39 pm

    For me, I can tell I’m getting closer to being ready because I used to never thinking about wanting them, but now I do wish for kids now and then. On the other hand, I want us to have a lot of savings (like one year of salary before taxes) because I know after kids it will be harder to save money. We also still have some adventures on our to-do list that we want to do before kids. I’m 28, and hope it works out that I can have kids when I’m 30-32. Like you said, it might not be so easy, but I know I’m not quite ready to give up my current lifestyle.

  • Michelle September 13, 2011, 2:40 pm

    You’re never REALLY ready. Even when you have them 🙂

    Nobody can tell you when you’re ready. If you’re financially stable (whatever that is to you!)and you have the desire – then you’re probably as ready as you’re going to be. Would it hurt to wait a few years? Probably not. You’re young enough. Do you feel like it’s a hole in your life? Do you feel like you will regret waiting in 5 years? If yes, than you’re probably ready.

    I think people speak negatively of their kids because it’s HARD! It’s almost maddening at times – these little people who look and act like you, they wear your heart. And you can’t control them (nor should you!). You want them to be a better version of you, but they don’t understand that. They do they want and they will NEVER ever love you, as much as you love them.

    That said – sometimes life is better when you plan it out, and sometimes it’s better when you throw caution to the wind. There’s not right or wrong here. What’s your heart telling you?

  • Andrea of Care to Breed September 13, 2011, 2:40 pm

    My husband and I didn’t know if we were “ready” to have kids, but we did know we were capable – emotionally, financially, physically, etc – I think once you know that, then it’s just a matter of pulling the trigger, so to speak 🙂 We probably would have waited a few more years if I wasn’t already 31 – I didn’t want to miss out on my window of opportunity. But in my circle of friends, nobody had a kid before 30 and some, now in their mid-30s, are having #2. As it turns out, I got pregnant on the first try, so hopefully my window will stay open if we decide to have another one. Our daughter turned 5 months old yesterday and being a Mom is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There were a few moments (mostly at 4 a.m. when she’s screaming and won’t fall asleep) that I wished I hadn’t had a kid. But, do I regret it? Of course not. I’m also not one of these blissed out moms that thinks my life is complete because I have a kid now. But is it better? Absouckinlutely.

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 13, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I’m a year younger than you, not married, and only a few of my friends have kids or are even married. Sadly, it seems like 26/27 is pretty young these days to have kids because you spend most of that time in school, without a job, etc. So that really puts a damper on doing stuff for yourself and your relationship.

    I’ve only been with my boyfriend for three and a half years, so maybe I’d feel differently after some more years, but I really treasure our time together and am terrified to throw a kid into that mix. I hate him seeing me at my worst, and I feel that a kid would increase the frequency of those moments by x10000.

    I guess I still haven’t had the chance to travel or experience fun and freedom, so until then, (and marriage), my intermittent baby fever can stuff it.

  • anon September 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I am a 49 year old mother to a 10 year old and a 17 year old and work in a professional career and regularly train for an run marathons. I am fulfilled and tired. I had children a bit older with the first at 32 and the second at 39. It is hard, hard, hard and great, great, great. Most things do change as they always do in life. Our timing was challenging because I had my first as an intern and we had neither money nor lots of time but….it was wonderful. I think it is important to plan to a point but also important not to over think things. As a parent, I would say there are moments I wish I didn’t have kids, just as there are moments that I wish I wasn’t married or wish I wasn’t in a stressful job. Then there moments like last night where I was sitting with my daughter at the dining table working and she is belting out a song from the radio and I feel that life is just perfect. Having momentary regrets is just part of being human. I think you and your husband will decide what works for you and if you are both committed to having children, you will try and hopefully be blessed with your wish.

  • Graze With Me September 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I don’t think any of your questions can be answered by any of us – you just have to go for it. I’m officially 40 weeks pregnant tomorrow with our first child, a girl. I’m 26 and my husband and I have been married for 2 years, have a business and are financially stable. I don’t know what it’s going to be like going from a full-time worker bee to a SAHM but I’m going to find out VERY SOON!

    As an only child I’ve always been scared to have kids (I don’t really like kids…) but I knew I wanted to and I wanted more than one so here we go!

  • Kelly September 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

    This is something I struggle with, too. I also had really big issues about committing to a marriage. Like REALLY big issues. I do not have any kids yet, but I imagine I would also really struggle with that commitment as well…at least if it were a CONSCIOUS choice. I know kids and cats have nothing to do with each other really, but here’s a little story: I am a dog person, I just prefer dogs to cats. I never hated cats, it’s just that I would never EVER have CHOSEN to have a cat. One October night, nearly two years ago, a little gray kitten sat outside our door meowing her little ass off. She was tiny, but her voice was BIG. We brought her in, fed her, ooohed and awed, and then *I* planned to take her to the no kill shelter the next morning. I just couldn’t imagine my life with a cat in it. My husband understood, and never pressured me to keep her. The next morning came, and went, and she was still with us. Finally, I got up the nerve to take her. A LOT OF TEARS were shed over this. We took her to the shelter, and our no-kill shelter has a two-week waiting period, so we then left with her again. A whole two weeks to care for this little creature and then give her up. (I think they do it on purpose, quite frankly!)

    Anyway, long story short (or not), when we walked out of that shelter with the kitten in the kennel, I knew she was mine to keep forever. I didn’t answer the call from the shelter two weeks later. I am head over heals in love with this cat. She has changed my life in ways that I did not know it could be changed. Sounds pretty dramatic, but she has taught me to LOVE, to ACCEPT, and that life is not always black and white and that sometimes what I think I don’t want is sometimes the best thing for me. Every day I think how grateful I am that she “came to us”. Just a little stray kitten, but so life-changing. I adore her, if you couldn’t tell. She’s amazing.

    All of that to say…I think babies are the same way. It seems scary and daunting at first, but I think there are a million and ten life lessons to be learned in having kids. Like I said, I am not a parent, but I helped raise my siblings, and I adore kids. They teach you how to be humble, how to love, how to laugh, how to grow. Yeah, you may not sleep, you may not spend a lot of time cleaning house, traveling or shopping for clothes. You most certainly will never PEE in private again, but you know what? Is that all really THAT important in the overall scheme of what life is about? You have to ask yourself what’s important in life? I notice on your Road I.D. you have “love comes first” and I think that is exactly how you have to look at planning for kids. What will YOU get out of having kids? Your friends’ stories shouldn’t put you off of children because there are horror stories involved with ALL aspects of life – marriage, business, career, etc. You’ve conquered those hurtles, and maybe you have horror stories, but overall, you’re a better person because of these events, right?

    Have kids when you are ready…if you’re having doubts now, wait another year. Or just go off the birth control methods and let nature take its course. Like you said, it may take a long time, or it may happen the first time. You don’t know, but isn’t that half the fun of life? Taking on the unknown, and letting Fate guide you? My boss always says, “There are no mistakes in life, just lessons.” It’s all there can be, but as long as there’s love involved, it makes it all a little easier.

    Is this long enough yet? 🙂

    • Jenny September 13, 2011, 4:24 pm

      I love this response!!!!

      • Reenie September 13, 2011, 10:36 pm

        So do I!!

  • Jess September 13, 2011, 2:43 pm

    My daughter is 10 weeks old and I can’t imagine life without her. Honestly, I wouldn’t give her back for a full nights sleep, my old body or oodles of free time. I had heard that you’ll fall in love instantly, but had no idea how true that was. I fall in love with her more and more every day.

    I don’t think you can ever be really ready to become a parent. We were as ready as we could be, good jobs, house, savings, solid marriage and the option for me to quit my job if I wanted to. That’s all you can do is get your ducks in a row.

    We were very lucky and got pregnant right away. Like seriously, my husband looked at me and I was pregnant. Now that she’s here our Friday nights may consist more of movies at home than a night out on the town, but that’s ok. We cherish the time because she won’t be a tiny cuddly baby forever. Plus, most of the time we can just take her along. Football game, sure, dinner out, definitely, hanging with friends, absolutely. It’s going to change your life, but not in a negative way.

  • Kara September 13, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I’m one of the first of my friends to spawn and I knew I was ready because I wanted a baby. It was that simple.

    Yeah it’s hard, yadda yadda, but it’s your kid and it just really isn’t that bad. I’m still training over 50 miles a week of running and my husband and I still have plenty of time to bump uglies whenever we want. It’s really not the end of life as you know it.

    I don’t have an easy kid either, it’s just your mindset going into it. Keep in mind, lots of people just really like complaining. 😛

    • Megan September 13, 2011, 4:25 pm

      HAHAH love use of the phrase “bump uglies”. Just LOL’d at my desk.. thank you for that! 🙂

      • krista September 13, 2011, 5:29 pm

        So true about the complaining! My SIL had kids fairly young and never left her hometown or went to college so she seems a tad resentful about having kids. Not that I think she regrets them, but she just likes to complain although I think it’s a combo of money issues, a deadbeat husband, and expecting her relatives to pay her bills. OK I need to stop now or I’ll go off. 😉

  • Susan September 13, 2011, 2:44 pm

    Kids before 30 means that those kids will be off on their own by the time you guys are in your early 50s, which is still YOUNG (enough) to enjoy so much in life. I have friends now in their early 40s who are sending their kids off to college, and they’re are having so much FUN again. On the other hand, I know people who are almost 60 sending their kids off to college and they are TIRED. Go for it Caitlin. Have no fear.

  • Lisa September 13, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I’m 27 and have a 10 week old.
    I worked in the childcare industry for years and can say that having your own baby is something you are NEVER prepared for. No matter how old you are how much experience you have, or how much you have.
    Babies are A LOT of work. Like it’s constant. You know you’re going to be at night with “it” but you have no idea what that is like…especially when you’re nearing the 3rd month of it.

    I can say that never once have I had a moment where doing the work bothered me.

    Just say ready or not here we come and have one!
    You’ll make it work…. And your baby will be a joy!

  • Kim T September 13, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Well it’s sort of like when you knew you wanted to marry your husband. How did you know? You just knew right? The reasons to do it were more than the reasons not to. The thing i might have done differently is to have been a bit better off financially. But even that – I mean how would you know. There’s always things that come up. It’s very easy to summarize the things that are hard about parenthood. That’s why you hear so much about it. But the great things are so intangible and so much better. How do you describe love? It completely changes you and not just in a “i can’t sleep in on Saturday” way. It changes how you look at the world and your life and your husband. In many ways for the better. For me it quickly allowed me to cut the things out of my life that were not important. You have so little extra time with kids (especially if you’re working), that you have to simplify and distill down to the essence. I think that’s a good thing – a real positive. The hard things for me are facing my own demons. Wanting to do everything right, being a perfectionist. The most shocking thing is you don’t really have a baby – you have a person, they surprisingly come with their own personalities. You are there to guide them and love them, but you don’t really get to shape them. That is both terrifying and exhilerating, confining and liberating. My girls are 11 and 9, my oldest was born when I was 27. There are a few things I’d change, but I wouldn’t change the timing at all. My husband and I could have been older and wiser, could have been more financially secure, but i’m not sure waiting would have changed that. We continue to grow up as the years go by. This way we won’t be so old when the kids are out of the house, not that i’m counting down to those days, i will miss them. Anyway, you will know – not with 100% certainty, but enough that you and your husband will know the feelings to have a baby are stronger than the feelings not to.

    The one piece of practical advice I will give. Is be realistic about childcare. Will you stay home? Will you work from home? Don’t expect to work in any way, part time, full time, in home, out of home without childcare. You cannot do your best at work or at mothering if you don’t have childcare sorted. If you end up being a full time mom, still have some childcare resources. Even the most devoted mom needs a break. Research all the childcare options in your area. Be real about costs – it’s a doozy. It’s also not an area you want to scrimp on. You don’t really “need” any other baby stuff – there’s tons out there. But babies really are pretty simple. Childcare though – it’s really important.

    Best to you.

  • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:46 pm

    I’m so glad that you posted about this, and I’m looking forward to reading the comments. My husband and I are 30, and we have decided not to have kids. We acknowledge that we’re still young and things could change, but this decision didn’t happen overnight, and is the culmination of many, many factors, so I don’t expect we will change our minds.

    I applaud you for being open and honest about this. I think it’s really important to think critically about the Life Milestones that people assume ‘must’ be followed. It’s your life, and you (and your husband) have to do what’s right for you. (it’s not the 50s any more! We have choices!)

    Regarding baby fever, I totally get it. I go through some of that at times too. But then I remind myself that loving babies is not the same thing as wanting to be a parent. Having a baby is, as a friend of mine who is a parent so nicely put it, just a brief blip on the parenting timeline. They’re hardly babies for a year, you know? Before you know it they’re 5, 10, 15.

    (And as this friend also said “parenting is ridiculously hard and it requires a lot of really tough stuff and it’s not all sepia photos and Pinterest quotes.”)

    Also, since you mentioned “Are kids actually terrifying but no one wants to say anything for fear of destroying the human race?”…I think there’s some truth to that. I think it’s is kind of taboo, but I’m saying it out loud here: even as a kid I wondered what the point of having kids is. I remember asking adults, and no one could explain it to me! One thing I hear people say in favor of reproducing is that the human race would stop (as you mention). And to that I say…so? I won’t be here to see it happen. And humans are a bit of a blight on the planet, aren’t we? Plenty of species have gone extinct in the last few million years — though people like to forget it, we’re animals just like the rest of them!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

      I’d also like to add that I’m kind of shocked at the number of people with kids who, when first learning that I didn’t want kids pressure me about it, and how I should have them(or even just when we got married, immediately started asking about kids) – and then when they finally realized it wasn’t happening, they admitted that there was something to that, and they were kind of envious. My old boss even told me it was smart not to have kids, and if she could do it over again she wouldn’t have had hers. That…was a surprising afternoon in the office!

      • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 13, 2011, 4:06 pm

        “Having a baby is, as a friend of mine who is a parent so nicely put it, just a brief blip on the parenting timeline.”

        …LOVE this. It’s very true. My hubby and I aren’t sure if we will have kids or not (I don’t have that burning desire in me to have kids!) but this quote really stuck out to me. I like the ages 1-5 for kids, but I remember how horrible I was as a teenager to my parents (I’ve appologized a million times since) and I don’t know if I could handle having my kid yell at me and scream that they “hate” me… or similar situations to that.

        I really loved your comment 🙂

        • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 11:55 am

          This is commenter Caitlin again (Not to be confused with HTPCaitlin!). Glad you liked the comment. It’s true — babies don’t keep. Before you know it they’re screaming 5 year olds, or screaming teenagers. I totally understand what you mean. I was a really terrible kid a lot of times, and I’m really uninterested in revisiting all those life stages.

          And you know, speaking of which, life is really hard. My husband and I have worked really hard to get where we are. Having kids would set us back quite a ways, and we wouldn’t be able to provide them with the life we’d like to. Why would we want to bring kids into the world which would a) cause us to struggle again and b) put these new lives we brought into the world through what we’ve gone through and worked hard to get out of? No thanks.

          …among other reasons!

  • Axel September 13, 2011, 2:46 pm

    You already have so many comments, and I don’t have time to read them all, so I’ll leave you with two POSITIVE comments about having kids (one from a former co-worker, one from me):

    “Having children changes every single facet of your life… and you don’t even mind.”

    “Being a parent is my favourite thing about myself.”

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:48 pm

      I like these quotes 🙂

      • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 7:21 pm

        Quotes can become too cliche, though. I know for a fact that my father minded very much. It’s just not true that parenting wins everyone over.

        • Axel October 3, 2011, 2:59 pm

          That first quote is from my co-worker, so I can’t take real ownership of it. It’s true, parenthood doesn’t ‘win’ everyone over, and it can’t ‘fix’ anything broken either. I actually feel he overstated things in a way…

          Some things don’t change… I’m still an active person, it’s just much more challenging to find the right time/circumstances to do it… I still like the same music I did before, but sometimes Rage Against the Machine is just not the appropriate artist to be playing.

          The stresses of parenthood can even tear couples apart… but with right attitude and communication, the teamwork involved can create an incomparable bond between husband and wife. Cliche-shmiche, this is fact.

  • Shrinking mommy of 2 September 13, 2011, 2:46 pm

    There is never a “right” time to have a baby. It is up to you and your hubby when you feel right. You will never have enough money, right careers, etc. We were 27 when we started trying to have a baby…well…come to find out we had fertility problems and I had 2 tubal pregnancies in the process. Life is so unpredictalbe. Finally at age 32 we were blessed with a daughter. Oh, and we were one of the last of our friends to have a baby. The good side of that is many of my friends would give me hand me down clothes for the kids (SCORE!!)

    Some parents talk negatively about their children because they are probably just frustrated with them at the time. I may be guilty of that. WE love them with all our hearts but it is just hard.

    Children are the most wonderful gifts you can have! They are blessings (at times you may not think so). They will love you unconditionally and some are the best cuddlers (I have 2 of the best!)

    Good luck. Remember only you and the hubs knows what is best for you and family!

  • Verna September 13, 2011, 2:46 pm

    I had baby fever BAD!! As soon as we got married it hit me hard! We had dated for 4 years, and spent the first year of marraige get our finances in order and then we started trying right away. I’m glad we got our finances in order before having kids but sometimes I wish I was a little bit younger when we started (I was 26 when I got pregnant and had my son), maybe it would have been easier physically. I had a very difficult first pregnancy.

    Having kids is a lot of work. I stay at home with my son and soon a daughter will be joining us, and it is hard sometimes. I don’t miss work at all. I don’t miss the drama and all that. I’m very shy anyway, so I don’t need to interact with other people everyday either. So I think that is to my benifit also. It’s a very demanding job though, taking care of a little person (who can’t communicate very well), trying to clean the house, and having some time for myself to perserve sanity. ; ) My husband is a HUGE help! I don’t know if I could be a stay at home mom without him. He plays with our son as soon as he gets home, so I can have some time to myself, and helps around the house anyway he can.

    Having kids definitely changes things, your whole life, your marraige for sure too. Your priorities change. It’s a big adjustment, and I’m not sure how to tell you if you’re ready or not. For us though, we had fun in college and some after, we paid off all of our debt, had a decent savings account, could afford the changes that were going to come (me staying home), and stuff like that. We don’t own a house though. Children don’t care about things like that, especially young ones. It would have been nice to have a house first but I didn’t want to wait. We’d like a larger family and I wanted to get started. ; )

    I’m not entirely sure why some people don’t like having kids. I think part of it has to do with being too young, or being pressured into having them. Like this is what comes next. Which to some extent it is, but I think you need to be ready to make sacrifices too. Does that make sense?

    Sometimes my son makes me crazy. Sometimes I’m hanging on by a thread by the time my husband gets home (being pregnant definitely isn’t making me more patient). But then he does something cute, or wraps his little arms around me and squeezes and it’s the best thing in the whole world. I love being a mom, I love staying at home with my son, I wouldn’t trade this for the perfect body, or the perfect house, or the perfect social life or anything else in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  • Crystal September 13, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I am childfree by chance, but I totally embrace my childfree life. I have always been on the fence about having children, and when DH and I decided to give it a whirl, because it’s “what you’re supposed to do”, we were infertile. Then we realized that we just didn’t want children enough to go through the whole fertility rigamarole. The thing is – my life is awesome. It’s full and complete and it rocks.

    That being said, it sounds like you do want to be a mother, and from what I hear from my friends with children is that you never feel like it’s the right time. They will change your life, but for all of the negatives that go along with parenting, there are many rewards.

    You mention being afraid of infertility – if you do encounter difficulties and it doesn’t turn out like what you planned, it’s not the end of the world. Life is what you make of it – you can have an awesome full life, with or without children!

  • Leah September 13, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Don’t have kids yet, BUT am having my first next Tuesday! SO…that being said. When my husband and I had the discussion last year if we were “ready” we both said no, but we also said we both know we want kids, so why not get started now while we are young(ish)? I mean, here’s the thing, I am a week out from having her and I am still freaking out….if we waited 4 more years I think I would still be freaking out. Am I ever going to be ready to completely “give up” my freedom and my current way of life? I really don’t think so, and I don’t think there is a true way to prepare for that SERIOUS life change…but to me personally, I think it is going to be worth it! 🙂

    I do keep having panic moments where I say to my husband (excuse my brutal honesty here, but I say this once a day)- “ARE WE EVEN GOING TO LOVE HER?! What if I hate being her mom?” and he just laughs at me and reminds me how OBSESSED I am with our dog (totally different, I know), but then when I really think about it, if I can love an animal as much as I do, how much more am I going to love something that I had a part in creating? I mean, that’s pretty cool.

    So, that’s my 2 cents…maybe check back with me in a few weeks! 🙂

    • Verna September 13, 2011, 3:10 pm

      I totally agree with Leah! Even though we planned my first pregnancy when I saw the two lines, I freaked out! It’s such a big step, bringing a child into the world, being responsible for them every second of every day. It’s scary.

      It really is wonderful though!

  • Cheryl September 13, 2011, 2:49 pm

    I have never commented on your blog but this is one question/issue I do have some experience in so I thought I would write a comment as well. I just had my 4th baby a couple of months ago and it took a while to decide to have the fourth! We have a 10 year girl, 8 year old boy, and 3 year old boy as well…plus the third boy I just had. It has taken some time to think about having each of them but I have no regrets about any. I started when I was 27 and I think it is a great age…not really that young but definitely not old either. My husband and I are the youngest parents at my kids’ school and I like that…many parents are 5-10 years older than us but I am just fine with that. Potentially it means you will have more energy for your kids while they are young, and you will still not be that old when they graduate out of the house as well.

    And I would say that people speak negatively about their kids when they are simply having a bad day. At least I hope that is why for the most part. They can be extremely frustrating and hard little creatures to deal with but the rewards are endless of course!!

    And I will also say that there is NEVER a good time to plan for kids…so if you are financially stable and in a healthy relationship then I say go for it. They will totally change your life and everything you feel and see in the world but it will all be worth it.

    Just my opinions of course…and since I can’t seem to stop having them obviously I love babies too!!

  • Erika September 13, 2011, 2:49 pm

    I think the fact that you are thoroughly outweighing the consequences puts you in a pretty good position. My son is 1 year old and I was 29 when I got pregnant and 30 when I had him. I am one of those parents that constantly talk about the negatives I think mainly because I feel like I’m bragging when I talk about the good things. For all those things that I wish I had time to do – they grow up fast enough and I will have plenty of time to do all that stuff when I retire.

    The first few months were really hard because I felt so unprepared and I doubted if I was cut out for this….but now that I’m able to tell what he wants it is so much easier and fun!

  • Mariel September 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I agree that there is never a perfect time for anything in life. Although it is hard to do so, try to block out others’ opinions and make a pros and cons list with the husband about having kids in the near future. Also keep in mind that life is a fragile thing. You never know what could happen, so if the timing is good for you and it seems right in your heart, go for it!

  • Lissa September 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

    We got pregnant a year before we’d intended to start trying … that’s just how the cookies baked 🙂 (note, I didn’t say “crumbled”). We’d been planning on waiting til my DH was done with his MBA and in May 2010 I got a BFP on a home pregnancy test, our daughter was born December 18, 2010 and we are the happiest we have ever been. At nearly nine months old, Maya is our pride and joy. Yes, our lives changed…but we had been together for 10 years prior to having her (and married four) and had done all the globe-trotting a young couple could want so we didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. My point is, there’s never a good time. We don’t go out to dinner at 8 anymore (bedtime is 7-730) but we bring her everywhere (respecting her nap schedule of course!) and have managed a few dates since she has been born–something we’re working on getting better out (carving out couple-time). A baby WILL change your life…and there’s no going back. But it is the single most amazing and gratifying experience I’ve ever had … and though she is here a year earlier than we’d have “planned” … we couldn’t feel more blessed or in love with our little peanut. I hope you know there are lots of us who adore our little ones, and though it isn’t always rosy — those first 6 weeks SUCK in many ways — I wouldn’t change a thing. We’re already thinking … when are we ready for #2? 🙂

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I don’t think anyone is ever totally ready to have kids! I just don’t think it’s possible to be. My mom was 24 when she had my brother and 26 when she had my sister and I, but she and my dad have been married since they were 20, so they had four years together before we came along. That being said- they never got to travel because my dad was finishing school and went straight into a career. I think they both really regret not being able to do a lot of things, although they were able to buy a house and keep stable jobs. I think some things have to be sacrificed. I don’t plan on having kids for a looooong time, but I know that when I do, I won’t feel 100% ready either!

    • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

      I’d also like to add that I really, really wanted kids until I started working at a daycare- I still want them, but when you spend so much time with them, it sort of makes you look past the ‘oh they’re so FUN!’ stage I was going through 🙂

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

    Kids are a huge blessing! However, I have not had yet kids yet. I got married about a year ago, so we shall see. But I truly believe kids make a marriage stronger, better, and that much more wonderful. They should come at the time when the parents feel ‘ready’ for them, not necessarily when money, homes, etc. are in place. –my two cents! Hopefully I will have a few kiddos in a few years too! 🙂

  • Lauren J September 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

    First of all Jen’s baby bump is uber freaking presh!

    Second, I’ve thought about this quite a bit as well. And to offer my two cents. I think many people look at the expense of children as a total big picture. Yes they are expensive and yes the cost to raise a child is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars these days. BUT that’s looking at a child’s total life, not necessarily the month to month cost. Just like everything else in life you make it work. You figure out how to manage with what you have.

    The other thought I had in regards to your situation and concern over missing out. I am only a year younger than you but my Husband will not be officially starting his career until next April. We have been living on one income and getting him through law school for the past four years. Until these past few weeks we have not gotten to “live” at all. And even though I know I’m getting to the age to start considering kids I just can’t because I feel like we are just now getting our chance to really live it up. On the other hand just from reading your blog it seems that you have gotten the opportunity to do quite a bit, granted that opinion is formed totally from your posts and I realize they don’t cover everything. But again it appears that you and your husband have been able to travel and go out to eat if you like, have a good group of friends and overall just kind of live. So to me I’m not sure what you would be missing out of by having a child unless you just need more late nights or crazy moments with your friends – which you could still have anyway.

    I think the concern and and inner conflict is completely normal but if you are both ready and committed to it then go for it!

  • Joyce September 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

    I am a single parent of a 31-year-old female. I will quote someone else who said, “parenting is not for cowards.” There will be tough times and joyous times. As far as allowing the opinions expressed by other parents to influence you…consider that I am equally concerned about marriage given so many negative comments I hear. If marriage doesn’t scare you, parenting shouldn’t either. As for your age, I was 30 when I became pregnant and it was a good time to be so. Only you can judge. But I think you will know.

  • Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life September 13, 2011, 2:51 pm

    You will never be ready to have kids 100%. There is never a right time. My husband and I went through this just a few months ago. We talked about starting a family and were both scared yet excited at the same time. Yes, your life will never be the same, but that’s okay. You will be having a new adventure! I was also worried about fertility problems, one of my biggest fears in life was not being able to get pregnant. Lo and behold we got pregnant right away and I am now 20 weeks along. We find out the gender on Thursday and both my husband and I are over the moon. Yes we probably wont do a lot of the stuff we used too, but new doors have opened and we are now doing new things we never thought we would be doing!

  • Hillary September 13, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Oy. I don’t have kids yet, but let me tell you—I have a LOT of the same fears as you. Obviously I know babies are a game-changer, but what if they’re a game-changer in a not-so-good way (for me, for my relationship, etc)?

    Then I realize that there is very little I have wanted in my life more than being a mom. And then I look at my boyfriend and I know that having children with him, and raising them together, will be one of the greatest things we ever do.

    Cheesy, but totally for real. You’ll never be “ready,” but you’ll know if it’s something you want.

  • Ashley September 13, 2011, 2:54 pm

    I’m 28 and I have a 9 year old who’s about to be 10 on Dec 31st. I’ll admit I’m one of those parents that loves to tell horror stories or gives that look when someone says they are going to have a baby but honestly..it’s the best thing that ever happened to me! Being a parent can have it’s ups and downs but it’s such a wonderful experience! It’s awesome to have created life and it’s great to feel the unconditional love that comes from your child. The love you get from them makes the hard work of parenting TOTALLY worth it! If you are as set in life as you say, I say go for it! I’m glad I had my son early, even though 19 was a little earlier than planned, I’m actually happy about it now, b/c I’m still young enough to enjoy stuff with him and when he goes off to college I’ll still be young enough to enjoy the rest of life!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com September 13, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Parent’s talk most negatively about their children to childless couples. I’ve observed this quite often, since I am without a child. I say, there never gonna be a perfect time to have. It should be a decision for couples to make, and not society. Hugs.

  • laura September 13, 2011, 2:55 pm

    #1- you need to do and make a decision based off what is best for you and your husband. Whether that is to start a family now or later. I have a 20 month old and I’m currently 39 weks pregnant with our second child. We waited until our late 20’s to start and really felt that that was best decision for US. I was 28 with our first and 30 with this one. Yes, after children, life will never be the same BUT it doesn’t mean it has to be worse, it’s just different. If you want a family, I say go for it! We were terrified and we made a conscious decision to have a family– it was s till scary. We opted for the “we’re just not preventing” method. That worked well because I wasn’t constatntly taking tests and worrying. We thought, well, it’s either going to happen or not. Sometimes it takes bit for your body to regulate out after the use of oral contraceptives anyways. I have never regretted our decision to have children. There are moments where I have missed my “life before kids” but then all I do is look at my daughter and I think “nah, I’m not missing a thing”. Good luck and have fun with it!

  • KatieTX September 13, 2011, 2:55 pm

    I can’t wait til I am not at work to read all these great comments. I am getting married in 7 weeks (who’s counting?) and have mad baby fever (all the healthy living bloggers who are producing adorable children are not helping). I am only 24.5 so I know I have plenty time. My plan is to go off the pill at 26 and just see what happens. I have a fear of not getting pregnant so I want to start young just to be safe. I do have to do list with my (soon to be) husband of things we want to do before babies: trip to Italy, buy a house, new car, etc. He isn’t quite ready so he uses these awesome items as reasons why I should calm down. If I were in your shoes, I would definitely go for it 🙂 Or at least go for within the next 6 months!

  • Natasha September 13, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Ahh…I’m 5yrs older than you, am about to celebrate 7yrs married with my hubby and I’m in the same boat as you! Something keeps making me wait…I think I’m just terrified!! I’m interested to read what others say!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me September 13, 2011, 2:56 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I think only you two will know when the time is right. I hear both pros and cons from parents. The cons are coming from people who weren’t ready for the life they decided to pursue. The pros are from parents who wanted children and were definitely ready. The “pro-parents” obviously have their hard days but ultimately love their children and wouldn’t trade it for the world. You can see it in every action. But I have watched their lives change drastically, but in mostly good ways. You experience the world through new eyes and new experiences.

    Growing up I said I never wanted children but now I definitely do. I’m only 23 years old and now is not the right time, but my fiance and I plan to talk about it in a few years. We have some debt (damn those school loans) we’d like to pay off first but then we want to jump right in. I know it’s not all puppies and candy-canes but I know we’ll be ready and we’ll be excited!

    Good luck! I know you and your hubs will make the right decision.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 13, 2011, 2:57 pm

    You’re going to get a million replies on this one!

    In the end, all you can do is trust your gut and also you have to relinquish lots of control when you have kids or decide you’re ready to start trying b/c you just never know how anything, how any single aspect of it, is going to turn out.

    Kids and parenting is the HARDEST JOB in the world. But also the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIFT in the world.

    You are smart to think it through, very well, but 27 is not uber young, by any means. If you got pregnant tomorrow, you’d be 28 when you gave birth which is by no means too young.

    There are young parents and older parents, who are both awesome…and who aren’t as awesome. It just depends on their mindset and them as people, more so than it does age.

    I was ready when I couldnt stop thinking about a baby…it was like a primal urge came over me and i HAD TO GET PREGNANT. It was all I thought about, read about, it WAS my whole life…yeah, that’s when I knew the time was right and it happened fast for us once those feelings came over me so I know I was blessed in that department 🙂

  • TC September 13, 2011, 2:57 pm

    I think if you really want children, you’ll figure out the rest. It’s good to start from a stable place (it sounds like you are) but you never know what will happen in the future.

    My brother had my neice when he was 19 and his now exwife was 17. He’s been a single parent (his exwife is not in the picture at all) for nearly seven years. Life is hard, but it sounds like you have a good support group, which I think is key for children.

    That said, I go back and forth between wanting children someday and not wanting them at all. I know having children is something I would never regret if I did, but I also wonder if maybe I’d never regret NOT having children, either.

    For now, I’m in a committed relationship but not married. My income and expenses would not support a child (living in SF without family, child-care would be CUH-RAZY) and I’m still more concerned with following opportunities in my life than growing a family, so I’m staying baby-free.

  • Natasha September 13, 2011, 2:57 pm

    Oh…I forgot to add that I was at the doctors last month and she told me I’d better get thinking about it ASAP incase I have trouble conceiving, my clock is ticking! No….that didn’t add any pressure at all!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 2:58 pm

      Oh god. No pressure!

  • Sara P September 13, 2011, 2:58 pm

    So…this will probably be a long one, but I think you are 100% normal to feel this way. I am also 27 and in a similar boat: the husband and I have been together for 11 years, 2.5 of which have been marriage. We waited until we graduated from college to get engaged (hence the looooonnnnng dating period), and then we got married, and then we bought a house. We did things the way that they are supposed to be done and I struggle with the same thoughts as you on a daily basis…well, let’s just say I struggled with those thoughts. I felt tooo young. I felt tooo old. I felt this, I felt that. There were a million reasons why not to have kids, and a million to have kids. I think ultimately it comes down to what you (and your husband) want. I knew deep down that I really wanted to start a family sooner rather than later because I want to be able to enjoy raising my kids while I am younger and not too old to go out and play with them. We have had pressure from family about everything (getting married, and now having kids) but ultimately, we know that it isn’t up to anyone else but us. No one is going to raise our kids….we will be doing that! 🙂 I also think that you hear a lot of people complain about being a parent because they didn’t go about it the wrong way. It sounds like you are in a loving marriage with a spouse who supports you with everything, and also that you guys are financially stable. I think those two factors are HUGE in life with kids. Like I said earlier, I used to have those same thoughts….but for a few months now I have been ready….so last month the husband and I took the plunge and started trying. My biggest thought is how hard it is to plan vs. having a pregnancy happen accidentally. No one will ever be 100% ready….but you just need to decide what it is that you want. Trust me, you will know when you know! Sorry about the length!! 🙂 Good luck!

  • Kari September 13, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I had these same questions about a year ago. At 26 (one year married and 8 years together), my husband and I had a list of items we felt we HAD to check off a list before having a child–good jobs, debt paid off, buy a house, travel to Europe…the list seemed to go on and on. I think it’s a list that is never really completed. Having a baby was a desire I had, but I felt like it might not be the right time and, to be honest, I was happy with the way things were, just the two of us. I think that there is always something that you feel you need to accomplish or do before having a child. As many have said, and I’ve been told, there’s never a “perfect” time. Thank goodness for those sentiments, because our time came in February when I found out that I’m pregnant. It wasn’t planned (big shocker!), but at 7 weeks out from having this baby, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I know that we have many challenges ahead of us that parenthood brings, but I’m ready for this new adventure in life with my husband.

  • Larissa Kennedy-Chan September 13, 2011, 2:59 pm

    This is a great topic, and one that more people need to consider! I spent most of my 20’s not wanting kids- I was very adamant about it! I have also spent 12 years with my husband who did want kids and was sure I would come around!
    I think maturity is key in choosing to become a parent, making the choice to become one, and the knowledge that it won’t be easy or fun some days, but the good waaay outweigh’s the bad.
    My husband and I have a 10 month old now, and had a miscarriage on our first try, and even with 2 positive pregnancy tests, I was still “holy crap what have we done!!”. I think considering parenthood makes you decide what kind of parent you will be, and it seems everyone has learned from their childhood as to how they want to be.
    I also think you have to decide for you if you are ready emotionally and in your marriage- if you wait for friends you may wait a long time! And you will make new friends- ones with kids! However, when babies are young, your lifestyle definitely changes! We travel a lot with our little guy, still go to restaurants, ect, but even so, we are a lot more home based! Even more than most because we have no family in our city, and family is a built in babysitter!
    We have had some bad days, it would be a lie if I said it’s been all sunshine and rainbows, but our son is amazing and wonderful, and he is a part of both myself and my husband. We are closer and stronger since Lucas(our son) was born, and our journey in becoming parents and a family has been one I am definitely glad we have taken! Look at the people who have been negative about their kids- are they negative in other areas of life? Good luck-only you can choose to become a parent! Babies are innocent and helpless so you fall in love with them, and then you learn together how to raise them and become the parent you want to be!!

  • Jeannette September 13, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I’m glad you mentioned and have considered the fact that a lot of women- including myself- struggle with inferility and that is a possibility. I’m 32 and have been married for 6 years and while I always wanted kids in theory, when the time came to actually try, I kept dragging my feet. I never even considered the fact that I might not be able to! In hindsight we were probably ready a year or two ago and if I had known the obstacles I would have to overcome to get pregnant I would have started trying sooner (maybe at 30). So you should ask yourself- if your doctor told you that it would take 2-3 years for you to get pregnant would you be upset? or relieved? That might be a good indicator as to whether or not you are ready now!

    On the flip side- I’ve had two friends who got pregnant the first month they went off birth control and were equally as shocked. So if anything I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have control over the timing of these things!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 3:01 pm

      Interesting question… Answer: I would be devastated.

      • Amy September 13, 2011, 4:18 pm

        There you go! Very telling. 🙂

    • Therese September 13, 2011, 6:47 pm

      That’s a really good question!

    • Carla @ Will Run for Health September 13, 2011, 9:59 pm

      Wow…that is a great question to ask yourself.

  • Kayla September 13, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I am 23 and I have serious baby fever. It’s such a hard thing to keep reminding yourself to really live your life and enjoy your current experiences when you want something so much. The thing about life is that you only get the one. When you have babies, then it will be right. You will make it right. And you won’t know any different, so you won’t have anything to compare to. Your life will change, but it will be so exciting. And life will change regardless. Just embrace it! Thanks for sharing this with us. I feel like it’s a real issue that’s on my horizon.

  • leeann September 13, 2011, 3:02 pm

    I will be 29 this December and am completely overwhelmed with baby-fever! My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years and have been together for about 8. Our only concern is that I am a chiropractor and working on building my own business, at the same time working a second job and training for a marathon. My husband also works full-time and rides professional mountain bike and cyclocross.
    There are weeks where I dont know if I will have time to do the laundry, let alone take care of a child. But financially…this is how it needs to be right now…
    Oh the challenges of life!
    On the other hand, my brother and his wife just had their first 5 months ago and are completely in love with her! That just makes me want one more 😉

  • Mel September 13, 2011, 3:02 pm

    I’m 22 and don’t have any kids, but I’ve worked with lots of kids before at childcare centers. Most of the kids I worked with come from low income, single parent families. Some of their parents are in jail and other’s abused alcohol and drugs- you get the picture. Going to work everyday and seeing the neglect that some of these parents inflicted on their children was absolutely heartbreaking, especially because I knew I was limited in trying to help. The best I could do for the kids was to love and support them while they were in my care. As much as I tried not to judge these parents, I couldn’t help but think that they were irresponsible, selfish, and not ready to have kids. It has definitely helped me realize the luxury and freedom that comes with being in my early 20’s. I can stay out all night, join the Peace Corps, and spend my hard earned money on whatever I want to! All of which I am doing.

    Although I don’t know you in “real life” you strike me as responsible and caring, and I bet you’d be a GREAT parent. And to be honest, I think the world could use some better parents. You should do whatever makes you the happiest!

  • Selena September 13, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Such a good topic. I remember being 22-23 years old and only hearing negative stuff about marriage and kids and thought “why the heck would anyone want to do those things?”. At that point I vowed that I would keep the negative talk to a minimum especially around younger folks in the work place. And I think I’ve held to that for the most part. One of the cute young 20 somethings in the office recently told me that she wants to be a mom like me and that she’s so happy to hear the positive things b/c the other moms/wives in the office often only talk about the bad stuff. Now, I’m not going to say that it is all hearts and rainbows or that I don’t talk about the negative stuff at all but I do my best to focus on the good stuff. And believe me the good stuff in being a mom FAAAARRRR outweighs the bad stuff. I’ll never understand why the bad stuff is talked about so much more…maybe because it is just impossible to put the good stuff into words that non-parents will understand? My 3 little girls are just the light of my life, the best things ever…and one wasn’t even planned/wanted and I look at her every day and am SO thankful that someone knew better than we did and put her into our lives. I’m all teary eyed now.

    As for when you’re ready….you never are. Really. Just do it and it will be the best decision you’ve ever made. Mine are now 7, 4 and 19 months and my first was born when I was 28. Perfect timing as far as I’m concerned.

    You and “the hus” will make excellent parents and you should make a baby sooner rather than later!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

      I want to be friends with you IRL.

      • Selena September 13, 2011, 3:11 pm

        That could totally be arranged if you keep making trips to Philly LOL! You would have to be up for princess dresses, hair salon and playing school though…

    • Leah September 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

      love this comment! 🙂 I have to say being 39 weeks pregnant everyone likes to tell me all things negative about: pregnancy, birth, parenting, kids…you know, just what you want to hear when you are a week away from having a baby, and I have vowed to NEVER, EVER do that to my friends!!

      • Selena September 13, 2011, 3:13 pm

        I know, it is so sad that people do that. I even tell people not to stress so much about the birth part. MOST of the time is isn’t so bad. I had 2 of mine at a birth center with a midwife and no drugs in sight. It hurts yes, but it is the best feeling of accomplishment I’ve ever had! Best of luck to you and enjoy every moment. They slip away TOO fast.

        I just read this yesterday and was a blubbering idiot b/c it is SOO true: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2010/08/22/bittersweet_song_of_september/?camp=misc:on:share:article

      • Verna September 13, 2011, 3:18 pm

        Leah~ I loved giving birth! I can’t wait to do it again! It’s such an amazing experience!!

        • Selena September 13, 2011, 3:58 pm

          People look at me like I’m nuts when I say that I loved being pregnant and giving birth. I would totally do that again…I just don’t want another baby! Giving birth is such an empowering thing…

  • katy {of} katy loves. September 13, 2011, 3:02 pm

    What friends are these that you speak of?! I can’t wait for you to have kids!! I’ll babysit. There, now have some…. 😉

  • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Kudos to you for actually THINKING about this. So many people just march down the path without ever even considering what they WANT. That’s how you end up with miserable parents and kids.

    As someone who doesn’t want kids (yes, we exist!), I think the main thing to remember is NO ONE else can/should make this decision for you. Not your friends, not the people in the comments section, not society. Just you. If you feel like there’s “something holding you back,” maybe that’s a sign. You have to do what will make you happy. That’s all that matters.

  • Lynna September 13, 2011, 3:04 pm

    I haven’t read any of the prior comments (I’ll read them when this posts). I am a 60yo mum of two flown away grown-ups (one of whom is Katy Widrick), an empty nester enjoying my quieter and less worrisome life. Hus and I were married for 5 years before we had our first…even thought we might not want to have kids. As long as one or the other of us was apprehensive about getting pregnant, we didn’t. Then, one day, we woke up and each knew that it was time. We were fortunate enough to get pregnant right away with both of our kids, so it really was like having a choice. There is NOTHING easy about raising kids. Your life DOES change drasstically and you WILL have to make sacrifices. I gave up my career as a radio newscaster because one of us needed to be available to pick up from daycare and hus had the better job and a career that was his passion. I became a legal assistant specializing in solo and small practices, something I was really good at and could do on a fixed number of hours a day. I was also active in community theater from childhood on, but had to take a break from that for 15 years…couldn’t juggle everything, something had to give. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    You will know when it is time. My personal opinion is that you shouldn’t do it until you know. Hugs to both of you wrestling with this issue.

  • Stephanie September 13, 2011, 3:05 pm

    My husband and I have also been married for three years and EVERYONE around us is having babies. EVERYONE. I am always getting asked about when we’re having kids. The thing is, I don’t think I want them.

    I think it’s important for you to do with your life what YOU want, despite what you hear from the mouths of others. I think it’s awesome when I hear someone wanting a baby as much as you, because I kind of feel sad that I don’t.

    And of course it’s scary, but so is quitting your job to write books, or opening a new practice, or even starting the process of buying a home 🙂

    Good luck!

  • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 3:06 pm

    One more thought. NO ONE CAN SAY “THE GOOD OUTWEIGHS THE BAD” or vice versa. It is completely individual. The good would NOT outweigh the bad for me. So, no blanket statements!

  • Alexandra September 13, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I feel like I need to throw in my opposite opinion to mix things up. My fiancé and I are 23 and getting married in less than 4 weeks! 🙂 We both know that we want to have a young family. We are so lucky that both of our grand parents are still alive and we have such great relationships with them. I want our kids to have that same relationship and I want to be a young mom. I`d rather raise our future kids young, focus on my career when they are in school and enjoy lots of time with my future husband in 20 or so years when they go off to school. 😉 It all depends on your lifestyle. We are active and want to be active parents. Not saying that you can`t do this in your late 30s but I feel like the late nights and lack of sleep will be easier now then later! Good luck and all the best!

  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch September 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Yes, parenting is very challenging, but it is also unbelievably filled witih joy. Seeing your child become her own person is the most wondrous journey, and distills life to its most essential level, every day. Basic needs met; play; love; wonder; learning. Looking at a leaf becomes magical, and one giggle can make the world stop… at least until the dryer buzzer goes off.
    Choosing to become a parent is one of those things you have to decide on an intellectual level, then cover your eyes and just leap. Nobody is ever totally ready, because learning to become a good parent is a lifelong journey, not a destination.
    Kids are a tremendous amount of work, but they’re worth every single, self-sacrificing, work-entrenched minute. You’ll know when you’re ready to take the leap. Don’t worry if you’re never absolutely, positively, beyond-all-doubt sure. That’s just good sense. Parenthood is a big, huge, forever commitment. You’ll know when it’s time to leap, despite those small doubts.

  • amy September 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I am 34 years old and my husband just turned 42. We got married in May and we knew that we wanted to have kids fairly quickly. We thought we would “try” but “not try” at the same time. We knew when my fertile time would be (those ovulation calendars online are no joke) and thought “if it happens in June okay, if not, okay too.” Needless to say it happened in June and I’m now 13 weeks pregnant. I won’t lie I had a ton of emotions running through me (and sometimes still do) — examples include oh s**t what did we just do, yeah baby clothes, back to the oh s**t, and back to the excitement. In reading lots of blogs and books, both are normal emotions. I’ve had an ultrasound and have seen the baby and am so excited and now I don’t want to wait the remaining 6 months to meet the little guy/gal.

    My husband is also super excited which I think makes for an all around better experience. From the things you have said in previous posts, your husband sounds like a great guy and will be just as excited as my husband (he was squirming in his chair watching the ultrasound and was almost just as entertaining as the baby).

    Also, we have an amazing family support system in place which helps tremendously as well. We have several family members who aren’t as supportive and we just don’t share information with them. I don’t need negative nellies in my world during this amazing time.

    Overall though, when to “try” is your personal decision and you shouldn’t be swayed by your friends. You will probably end up with a different group of friends once you have a child anyways — those who have children and hence, similar interests!

    Feel free to private message me if you want to chat more! Good luck with the decision!

  • erica September 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I feel ya!

    I have an 11 week old son. My husband was ready to have kids before I was. The truth is, I don’t think anyone feels “ready” to have children. It’s something that you don’t understand until you do it.

    I know I’m only 11 weeks into it and yes my life has changed, but not as dramatically as I had pictured. I saw myself walking around like a zombi with bed-head and unchanged clothes the rest of my life but it hasn’t been like that at all. I get up once or twice to feed him and then I go back to bed. I haven’t slept more than 7 hours at a time but you just do what you have to do whether it’s get up and go to work or run to the grocery store.

    Everyone goes about it differently and has different opinions on this. Yes, life changes, but in such an amazing way. I just want to smother my baby with kisses all day and take the best care of him I know how for the rest of my life. The first few weeks were HARD and I barely spoke to my husband but we’re slowly getting back to “normal”. There’s nothing in the WORLD I wouldn’t give up for my little family. And we can still do everything we always did, we now just have a third person to enjoy it with 🙂

  • Jen W September 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

    My hubby and I had our first baby (Grady) on 4/20/11. We had no idea if we were ready or not, but around Feb 2010, we took a babymoon to Hawaii and stopped preventing. Not really trying, but just not using any birth control. Nothing happened until August 2010 when 6 days after we graduated with our masters we found out I was pregnant. I think it happened on its own when the time was right. We kept finding reasons to do it as well as reasons not to do it. We decided to let nature do its thing and see what happens. We do not regret a single thing about our decision. There are pros and cons to everything including being a parent. Don’t let any of them scare you off. We were the first of our friends to have kids. It has made our social life a little different, but we honestly don’t mind being home together more. I think that sometimes people only talk about the bad in life which is why you hear so many horror stories about kids, but the same thing happens with the news. You always hear the bad and not so often the good, but you know it’s there. It’s definitely an amazing journey. You will feel crazy at times. You will see things out of the corner of your eyes because you haven’t slept. But when they look at you and smile or laugh, it’s so totally worth every sacrifice you may have made to get there. Good luck! 🙂

  • Lauri September 13, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I agree with everyone who says that you are never truly ready – That is definetley true!!! I will just say that we were one of the first of our close knit group of friends to have kids, and now a few years later they are all jumping in on the action. We were lucky in the sense that everyone embraced our son – he became sort of like the mascot of our group. Plenty of them have babysat for us, many others have offered, and he has been included in most social events we do – restaurants, happy hours, etc. Sure, life changed – and especially for the first 6 months we had to strive to find a balance and sort everything out, but the key for us was that we incorporated him into our lives, rather than seeing him as a separate part of life. Sure, there are tough times, times with little or no sleep, sick babies, temper tantrums, etc. But I can honestly say I don’t really complain about these things to people. Maybe we lucked out with a great kid – and I also am lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who does MORE than his share, allowing me to still have dinner with girlfriends, get my nails done if I want, exercise, etc but it really drives me crazy when I hear parents say things like they can’t eat a hot meal in peace or go to the bathroom alone. I just haven’t had that experience and I think it’s all about how your parent, setting boundaries, making sure you still have “me” time and “us” time and just finding a balance while still including the baby/child as much as possible…

  • Ryan @NoMoreBacon September 13, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I don’t think anyone is every *ready* to have kids. There are too many variables for anyone to ever be truly prepared.

    I don’t really agree with the tone of the last question at all, or even understand it really, but it’s what got me to click and read.

    Having kids is a huge sacrifice. HUGE. At the same time that sorrow and frustration is countered by a joy and happiness that I don’t believe you can experience otherwise. There are going to be low lows, but the high highs aren’t comparable to anything else this life has to offer.

    At a certain point it’s not about you as the parent anymore, it’s about the child.

    I think people talk about the negatives for the same reasons we complain about how bad the weather sucks. It’s a place to start conversation and it’s a common ground that can be built on in a hurry. I don’t know that anyone is complaining to say “I wish I had never had kids in the first place.” There may be a few, and that’s too bad. I think if you dwell on the negative that’s just a bad personality trait. The fun and hilarious things that my kids do constantly remind me to shed inhibitions that I have and enjoy all of the little things.

    When we found out my first son had autism I was terrified. I was angry. I had a constant thought of “this isn’t what I signed up for.” Even though raising him has been hard, it’s given me a perspective on life that I never would have had otherwise. I’ve learned so much from Collin. He’s blessed our lives and hopefully we’ve blessed his in some way.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 3:11 pm

      Dear Ryan, you are my hero. Love, Caitlin

  • JenP September 13, 2011, 3:10 pm

    Kids are a big responsibility, but I think it’s worth it. I had mine at 27 and 29. We were married, done with schools, settled in our jobs, living where we planned to stay, etc. It was still scary, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I think some of the complaining you hear is more of the misery loves company type of complaining. It’s not polite to brag, so we tend to share negative stories. It’s similar to how a bunch of girlfriends often end up complaining about their husbands. I can tell you how my kids whine about doing their chores and leave legos all over the house. We can laugh and bond over that. I can’t tell you that my elder son is the smartest kid I know and blows me away daily with how quickly he learns or how my younger son is the most enthusiastic kid I know, always willing to talk to anyone or try anything. Well, I can tell you that, but then I have to tell you about the legos. My point is, don’t let that stop you. If you want kids and feel like you’re settled in a good place in your life to start a family, then go for it.

  • Lauren September 13, 2011, 3:10 pm

    At 20 years old, the LAST thing I want right now is a baby, so I don’t have any advice, I just wanted to applaud you for the humility of this post, and when my time is right, I will definitely keep all this advice in mind! Thanks Caitlin and everyone.

  • Jogo5 September 13, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I had my first son at 25 and went on to have 4 more sons. I am engineer and have some how managed to work part time, raise my kids, and exercise. I say go for it, of course your scared, it’s a huge step. Life becomes busy and more complicated but also so much more fulfilling and rewarding. Don’t worry about the house and having all your ducks in a row, do what’s in your heart.

  • Cori September 13, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Hubby and I were ready before we got married…I just wanted to have the whole “let’s be married, first” thing in place first. Within 6 months of our wedding, we were pregnant. THEN came the shocker that we were having twins (we found out at 16 weeks – BIG BIG HUGE surprise). We’d decided to only have one kid and now we were having two. and identical ones, at that. Talk about shock to the system. It took a very long time for me to come to terms with it.

    I think you have kind of answered your own question on your readiness. You both want them. you’ve expressed a desire to be a younger mom. Keep in mind that if you wait until after 30, your chances of conceiving multiples flies WAAAAY up. Having had 2, right off the bat, I know how much easier it would have been to start with a singleton. But only you and the hubby can decide the ultimate time. I had friends who said it best “We’re not really trying to get pregnant, we’re just not trying not to” Maybe it’s just time to take it out of your hands and let it happen when it happens instead of stressing about when to start.

    Kids are amazing and, though I didn’t want to end up with 2, there’s no way I could choose now which one I wanted to get rid of (though talk to me again, the next time Doodle unwinds the entire toilet roll or Buggie hits that certain pitch in her scream). All kidding aside – parenthood is the most important job a couple can take on together and the rewards far outweigh the negatives.

    • Lauren S September 13, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Your story sounds like a friend of mind who was pregnant with twins about 3 months after getting married. She’s now pregnant with her second set of twins, lol. And no she didn’t use any fertility treatments.

      • Cori September 13, 2011, 3:50 pm

        Yikes! Well – they say the chances of conceiving multiples again in future pregnancies is increased…I am sooo not taking that chance. Two is quite enough LOL.

        • Lauren S September 13, 2011, 4:09 pm

          I think this is it for them, lol. Their first set is 3 right now so there is a nice gap in age. I told her that she’s already mastered two at once so at least they will know what to expect (to an extent).

  • Whitney September 13, 2011, 3:13 pm

    I’m 26. I have a job -not SUPER steady, a 4 year degree and loads of student loans. I have a fiancee who has a decent job (read: we get by). I am terrified at the thought of a child. Mostly my concerns stem from money though. My best friend has 3 kids already, a house, a husband. She is also a RN and makes very good money. I have talked to my mom and lots of other moms. The bottom line is if you wait to have children until you are “ready” you will never have children. My mom says once you have children you figure it out, you eat out less, you don’t go on expensive vacations, etc. etc. It’s still scary though. Good luck deciding 🙂

  • DadHTP September 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Raising kids is working at home (for both mom and dad)and lots of people complain about their work. The only problem is that kids hear just about everything – and it’s easy for kids listening to parents complain about how hard it is to raise a kid and internalize it.

    There’s no better vantage point to understanding your parents than to become one. Caitlin and I have discussed how so many people are still working through abusive, neglectful childhoods that it colors what they say and do. It’s a difficult challenge to overcome what may have happened to you, but the joy of seeing a child with none or even substantially fewer of the “bruises” you sustained is hard to beat.

    And the friends who think you just grew a third head? REALLY blow their minds and grow a whole separate body, hand it to them and go “NOW whaddya think? Huh?”

    love,

    dad

    • lauren September 13, 2011, 4:08 pm

      TWO THUMBS UP to this response :o)

    • Leanne September 13, 2011, 4:15 pm

      I love this comment from your Dad Caitlin! 😀 😀

      My sisters and I always talk about how different my Dad would have been if he had sons instead of daughters. He had a rough childhood and was treated badly by his father. Although he’s not perfect (no one is!), I can see how far he’s come and how great of a dad he’s been to us and it amazes me how many habbits he easily could have taken on from his father, but instead broke the chain & treated us differently then he was raised. There’s so many people who beat their kids (or whatever other vice) because that’s what they were taught, and it’s hard to break the cycle.

      Even this past weekend, we had a little disagreement at the cabin and the next day he called me and appologized for hurting my feelings. He’s such a great man and I almost think that having us girls really changed him for the better. I think through parenting he’s really healed himself & a lot of his past hurts.

  • Jennie @ While My Button Sleeps September 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I read that quote too, Caitlin (40-50% of couples regretting children). I have a theory about it. Approximately 40-50% of couples end in divorce (I’m not sure the exact stat there), and I wonder if many of those people who say they regret kids are in fact divorced or in an unhappy relationship. I’m not sure of course but it’s a guess. Raising a child is an incredibly difficult experience. It is not something you can ever give up on! Doing it alone is unimaginable to me (I know many divorced couples raise their children together and do a great job of it, so of course I don’t mean everyone!!!!). But, I know I need my husband and rely on him daily. But parenting is magical, even when it’s really really hard.

    Yesterday, I had a really tough mom day (it’s on my blog and sort of funny). Yet even on the most trying days, it is the best. It’s why I blog. I want to capture the good, the bad, the ugly, and most of all – the funny! I want to have my memories of these crazy early days forever. They are fleeting and special, the blog lets me hang on to them. I think all the negative talk is because sadly, that’s how people are. Think about how much negative self-talk there is out there about ourselves? That’s why we need Operation Beautiful! We need things like that! Maybe we need an Operation Parents are Beautiful???? I think we might! I would love to help you create that chapter if you are ever interested!!

    I don’t think anyone is ever 100% sure they can do it. But I believe being a mother gives you strength you never knew you had. I also think there is never a “perfect” time. May I make a suggestion? We started trying by “not trying” we just simply didn’t try to prevent “it” from happening. And it didn’t happen. We were both crushed the first time my period came when there was a chance it wasn’t going to arrive. I think that’s when we KNEW we had to try. And then God gave us this gift and I can tell you that it’s true what people say– you never know stress or worry until you have a child. But I also believe you never really know love like it either. They go hand and hand. I love my husband more, my family more, everything more. I get it now. That unbreakable bond my mom and I have always had together. I see it now with my daughter. It’s pretty damn amazing from the other side of the relationship, the mom side. The mom role is awesome. The fact that a PERSON 100% relies on me, is awesome. Scary, but awesome. The fact that I can stare at a baby for hours and dream about her in the precious few hours I get to sleep, is awesome. Maybe that’s the way you could try things when you are feeling closer to ready? Don’t try, but allow it to possibly happen. See how you feel if it doesn’t happen. See how you feel when your period comes. If it hurts to see it and you feel that yearning, you’ll know.

    After reading your blog for as long as I have, I know that when you do decide it’s time, you’ll be an amazing Mom to a very lucky baby. You have a great husband too, and as a team I know you’ll be wonderful parents.

    My final thoughts on being a mom: Being a mother is like watching your heart out there on its own in the world, vulnerable and unprotected. But it is protected. It has you. Your child is your whole entire heart and you are lucky to have each other.

    • Jennie September 13, 2011, 3:44 pm

      By the way I know it is possible to raise kids alone and many people do it happily. (Those people are my heroes). What I meant was I bet the people who regret their kids also regret most of their relationships. I don’t think I was clear before, but I was certainly long winded! Sheesh! Sorry! 🙂

    • Allison @ Happy Tales September 14, 2011, 5:17 pm

      Such a beautiful viewpoint!

  • Jessica September 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I’m 35 and have 9 kids. Yes, NINE KIDS. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to have a real heart-to-heart with your husband about expectations for parenting roles/responsibilities. So many moms are overwhelmed with kids because their husbands don’t do as much as they can to help out. If you really divide the responsibilities equally, parenting doesn’t have to be a super stressful experience all the time. Its not enough for guys to bring home $$ these days. They need to help out with cleaning, feeding, bathing, etc. just as much.

    Some things in life you just have to jump into. There are always reasons to wait to have kids. But after you have one, you look back and say “I was crazy to wait this long. I want another one!” Also, I have to say that baby-making sex is super hot. One of the reasons why I keep having kids!

    • Marissa C September 13, 2011, 9:26 pm

      ^^^I wholeheartedly agree with those last two sentences

    • kristin September 13, 2011, 10:42 pm

      I am the oldest of 7! So rare to hear of large families these days! my parents were 20 and 21 when they had me and I’ve always loved having young parents with tons of siblings! I feel so blessed to have such a big family. Yeah was it a zoo and did they struggle financially? Yes and yes but I admire and respect my parents for always “making it work”.

      To talk about caitlins questions: I love children and I always “knew” that I wanted to be a young parent because I love that my Dad has coached all of my brothers in sports and even ran the nyc marathon last year! And we’ve run half marathons together… Its awesome! I’m also so happy that my grandparents are younger, I have an awesome relationship with them also.

      Now that I’m pregnant with my first at 25 I can’t wait to be a mommy. Im the first of my friends to have children, my friends are all doing to single, drunk thing right now and although I feel a little bit sad that were on different paths I’m so excited! One of my friends actually said that she respected me because I knew what I wanted and I was following through with it. I do have doubts sometimes but we as humans wonder/doubt/debate everything and I know deep down inside that I’m ready.

  • Marie September 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

    The only reservations you’ve mentioned here all seem to have been shaped by other people’s perspectives…negative talk from other parents, negative feedback from your friends. It’s normal to have reservations, but make sure that you’re not letting yourself be influenced by other people. And on the other side of that, also don’t let yourself be influenced by those people who gush and drool and moan about how you just HAVE to have kids…because they’re not the ones who are going to raise them.

    Basically, screw what other people think, what do YOU want? =)

    • Meagan September 13, 2011, 4:45 pm

      Exactly what I was trying to say! It’s not about what your friends or social group think. It’s about what you and your husband want for your family.

  • Jenn September 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I have been reading your blog for about a year and rarely comment but sometimes I feel like I have something to contribute. LOL! I am 29 and have a 3 yr old. My husband and I have been together almost 10 yrs and married almost 4 yrs. We talked about it for a long time and never really had a hesitation about being young parents. We started trying when I was 25 (Hubby was 29) and it ended up taking 10 months to get pregnant. Going thru the struggle made me so appreciative of my little boy that even when the going gets tough I think about the pain of not getting that BFP month after month and I just hug him and let go of whatever it was that made me angry. It’s not a walk in the park (especially those times when he doesn’t quite make it to the potty) but for me it’s amazing to see him growing and giving me all the love I could ever ask for.

    And on the being prepared front…I had a great job working at a mortgage bank making a lot of $$$. When I had my son the economy tanked and the bank I worked for closed I lost my job and my income. My husband was also at a great company and got laid off when our son was 10 months. We ended up living off savings for 3 months until my husband got a job. I’m now a stay at home mom and love it. Sometimes no matter how financially prepared you are to have kids…a wrench gets thrown into the mix and you have to just push on and MAKE IT WORK!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 3:17 pm

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Holly September 13, 2011, 3:18 pm

    You will never reach the point where you are not doubting yourself and your timing. I tell you this as I’m currently a 34 year old, 26 week pregnant woman.

    I knew I didn’t want to have children in my 20’s – I just mentally wasn’t ready for that. But now, I just know that for us if we are going to have children, it’s time. I know this because I can honestly say that I have done most of the things in life that I want to do with the husband or by myself, and now all the other things I want to do, I won’t mind taking my kids with me and doing family things. But still, sometimes in the back of your mind, you think “maybe I could have waited another year?” While we were working in the nursery the other day, the husband asked me “Can you believe we are really doing this?”

    You will get to the point where you’ll be ready – you may question your decision, but you’ll know that you’re still ready.

  • Kat September 13, 2011, 3:18 pm

    I don’t think you ever really feel “ready” – my husband and I were together (including living together) for 4 years before we got married, and we both wanted kids – at some point. We didn’t really discuss a definitive time, but more a “in the next 5 years” sort of thing. He’s 7 years older than me (I just turned 28) and feeling a little ancy… and then, after 14 months of marriage – I got pregnant. Totally unexpected and definitely put me in a state of shock for awhile! But I’m finding that as this pregnancy progresses, it is a really good time for us. We bought our house a year ago, we both have good jobs (mine with opportunity for paid leave) and have been together for long enough that we have a strong bond. I still feel like there are so many things I didn’t do before I found out – such as traveling to Vietnam – but I’m learning that this isn’t “you can never do it”, just that it is different

  • Kerrie September 13, 2011, 3:19 pm

    I say do it now, rather than later. You want to be able to have energy to keep up! I am 34, have 3 children and can not imagine beginning my family now. While I realize that every circumstance is different, I appreciate having had my children young. I too, joke all of the time about the perils of parenthood, but I truly think parenthood changes you for the better. More tolerant, less selfish (at least I am), more fun. A good excuse to play! Can’t wait for updates 🙂

  • Anonymous September 13, 2011, 3:19 pm

    I am SO anxious to have kids. At 32, all of my friends have babies and/or toddlers already and I feel very behind. But more so that that, I just have very serious baby fever. I love babies and just want one of my own. I am engaged, but not yet married, so I am on my way to being ready to try, but I am just very afraid that we will have waited too long and that we will struggle to get pregnant. I know we still have time, but when I asked my doctor if there were things I should be doing now (and this was about a year ago) to prepare to get pregnant in the next year or so, she was like, do it now. That was her advice. She said women keep waiting longer and longer and then wonder why they struggle. This honestly just makes me so nervous, upset and anxious. But how do you rush your life forward? Having a baby isn’t something I can just do on my own – I kind of need to have an equally as ready partner. It just sucks to be a woman and have these types of biological clock concerns.

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy September 13, 2011, 3:22 pm

    “I love the idea of having and raising children (lots of them). My baby fever is probably the worst-kept secret in the entire world. I stare at babies in public. I cry at diaper commercials. I read pregnancy blogs. I dream about our future kids. I pepper pregnant friends with questions.”
    I feel the same way. My husband and I come up with baby names. Ah … but sadly we can’t have children until our debt situation clears up. And that won’t be for probably three years. But I have time. My mom had me when she was 35 and my dad was 38. My husband’s parents were a bit older than that when they had him and then his sister. I def. want to be younger with my children and then the fear of not being able to conceive or having trouble conceiving scares me (my mom had trouble, that’s part of the reason she had me later in her life). Oh babies … maybe one day someone will figure it out.

  • Dana September 13, 2011, 3:24 pm

    It sounds like you are just realistic and recognizing the drastic life change that you will be making should you decide to get pregnant! Being apprehensive is normal especially in the ‘planning’ stages. There is so much to think about! If you were to suddenly get pregnant, you’d figure it out. You’d make it work and you’re life would change accordingly. But, you are planning for pregnancy and with that comes lots of thoughts (both good and bad). I think that everyone’s experience with parenthood is different and there is no planning or predicting what your life will be like with children…you honestly have no idea. Now, I’m no planner when it comes to life, so that’s just my 2 cents 🙂 Good luck with your decisions!

  • CMD September 13, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Do it. Yes, everything changes but you find a new “normal.” And isn’t that what life is about anyway?

    I am a single mom with a 13 month old son. If anything, the past couple years have taught me that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” But I’ve always wanted to be a mom, so I’ve accepted the less-than-ideal circumstances and am doing my best at what I consider to be the most important responsibility of my life.

  • Sara September 13, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Totally feel you on this! Longer comment on its way via email. 🙂

  • B n B September 13, 2011, 3:26 pm

    My sister was in her mid thirties before she had a baby. Your only 27 – that is still really young. Do it if it’s what YOU guys want to do. Not according to some chronology…that’s not sensible! 🙂 I say plan and prepare (i.e finances, living, expectations) but be cautious in knowing what you want first.

  • claire! September 13, 2011, 3:30 pm

    This is such a great topic, Caitlin. My husband and I are in the exact same boat as you. I’m 26 (almost 27), he’s 34, and I think we’re “ready” – as ready as you can be, I guess. We’re taking this year and next summer to finish off traveling, put some money aside, and will probably start trying next fall. Of course, there’s no guarantees for how easy it will be to conceive (been on BC for 10+ years…), but we’re hoping for the best.

    I think Gina from Fitnessista had a great little post about this topic not long ago – about how when they plan on having the baby, it will fit into their lives, not take over their lives. Her thoughts really got me thinking, and I definitely like that way of thinking. A baby should be an addition to the family (albeit a positive and amazing addition!) – but it shouldn’t necessarily “take over” the family. Of course this means that your life is going to change – no more happy hours, frequent travel, or spontaneous get-togethers – but it’s also not to say that life can’t be fun with kids. We have many friends with kids who still make it priority to have date night, schedule time with friends (it just takes more effort to get a babysitter!), and host fun house-parties. I’m looking forward to it – even though I’m sure it will be a challenge – so, so much!

    Very exciting!!

  • Marissa September 13, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Honey, no one’s ever really READY to have kids because the fact is no one really knows what it’s like to be a mom (or dad) until you are one. What you’re going through is totally normal and actually healthy because if you were in some blissful state about how babies are all roses and cuddles then you would be in for a big awakening. But I have to say as a mom of two little ones I would never change a thing or want to go back- it’s what life is. Moving forward, changing, growing, and soaking up those moments you’ll remember forever. Children enrich lives becasue they are a blessing.

  • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Hi Caitlin

    I think about this all. the. time. and I am not married! I love children, and I have “always known” that I want them. I am 28 and I am already starting to hear the clock “tick” “tick.” That being said, having children is the biggest commitment that one can make. You never get a day off. You never have the option to get rid of the commitment if it doesn’t suit you. Therefore, it is so, so important to think the decision through, and I salute you for thinking so seriously about it. I have spent a lot of time in various child-care positions after college and during grad school. These were such valuable learning experiences for me, because I was able to witness a variety of childcare arrangement and different approaches to parenting. The parents that seemed the happiest were the ones that waited a while to have children, and who were ready financially, and more importantly, emotionally. I think it is so important to feel as though you have accomplished what you want for YOU first before you bring another life into this world. It sounds like you are taking the first step in the right direction by thoroughly thinking through your decision.

  • Tracy September 13, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I am not a parent yet, but I hope that I will be soon enough. I have had baby fever more over a year now, and I cannot wait to begin really trying in just a few short months. My husband and I have had the conversation a dozen times, on when the right time is to really thinking about children and really go for it. The reality is that there will never be a right time and we’re OK with that, finally. I have heard friends and co-workers voice their wisdom on children, and I don’t let it affect me. The truth is that being a parent isn’t just smiles and joy, it’s hard work, one of the hardest jobs out there. I have wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl, and no matter how hard it will be I know that it will be worth every minute and penny…

  • Jen September 13, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I bet you were scared to run a marathon or write a book the first time because it seemed so overwhelming and you heard how hard it was. Now I know you were so glad you took both of those leaps. The best things in life never come easy 🙂

    Yes, I realize raising a child takes more commitment, patience, and money. But, whatever, you’ll totally rock parenting, too!

  • Amy September 13, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I had my son Elliot almost 10 months ago (he is our 1st). I was 29 years old, married at 27. Parenting is by far the most difficult yet rewarding “job” ive ever had. I stay at home with my son and it is a financial sacrifice…but one I’ve never regretted. I doubt anyone gets to the end of thier lives and wishes they’d had more stuff and less time with thier kids. No, i don’t have as much time with my husband as I use to, but the time we have is precious to us. Beyond that- we’re a better team now and I see amazing qualities in him I’d never seen until we became parents. Our social life has suffered a little but so what? They’re only for a little bit. Like others have said- some if the complaining is more just venting. And, maybe some if those that complain constantly shouldnt have had kids. But all I know is as much as I’ve lost in freedom and finances I’ve gained a million times over in patience and gratitude and humility and love. I’d say it’s a journey worth taking!

  • Kim L. September 13, 2011, 3:34 pm

    There is never a ‘perfect’ time to have kids. My husband and I had been married for 3 years when we had our first baby (I was 25, he was 26). The 2nd one came along 3 years later. We were the first of all our friends to have babies but now we are three years away from an empty nest and most of our friends have a long way to go. Children are definitely a challenge in many ways, but I wouldn’t trade being a parent for anything in the world. I am so proud of my daughter and son- it’s been amazing to watch them grow up and I am finding great joy in seeing them become responsible young adults. Your life will definitely change with kids, but it will become richer, fuller- if that makes sense.

  • Faith @ For the Health of It September 13, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Parenting is seriously such a personal thing. After spending several years teaching and working with kids, I knew that mommyhood is probably not for me. I’m still young, so naturally there is time to decide otherwise, but I am not only terrified by my own experiences with little ones, but I just have no real maternal instinct as of yet. As long as a family is loving and stable, though, I don’t think there is a “wrong” time persay to have children, should the couple feel wholeheartedly that it’s something they both want to do.

  • Susan September 13, 2011, 3:34 pm

    It’s so hard to know when you are really “ready,” but I think you and the husband have all of the major points down (married, financial stability, etc). As the mother of a 3 year old and almost one year old, I can honestly say that parenting is really hard. I’m generally pretty laid back and just how hard it really is came as kind of a shock to me. Yes, you hear all about sleep deprivation, crying babies, challenging toddlers, but you don’t often hear parents (mothers especially) talk about how mentally and emotionally challenging it is. It truly is life-changing. I was 32 when I had #1 and 34 with #2. My husband and I were pretty much done with our going out and getting crazy late-night days. I didn’t realize (or think about, I guess) how much work it would take to maintain a sense of self-that I don’t exist soley to care for my children. I have to find time to do things that were easy to keep up with before kids like exercise, movies, dates, bathing (!). It’s not really something that you can prepare for ahead of time because it’s hard to really know what it will be like until you are in it.

    Now…having said all of that, being a parent is kick-ass. My boys are the cutest kids ever (of course) even though there are moments of exasperation. They really bring joy to me every single day. And, becoming a parent has brought my relationship with my husband to a whole new level. Knowing that we created these beings and figuring out together what to do with them has just brought us so much closer. Although it has been a huge adjustment, I am back to doing things just for ME like working, reading, running, etc. without feeling like I’m lacking in the parenting arena.

    It’s such a personal decision. There’s never a perfect time to have kids. Good luck!

  • Amanda September 13, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Good timing for this post since I just found out 3 days ago that I’m pregnant with my 2nd baby. Anyway, I think in anyone’s case its always “the grass is greener”. Yes, you will sleep less and your house won’t be as clean as you’d like it, but I never for one single second have regretted having my son. He makes me laugh and fills my life with so much joy. There are always going to be pro’s and con’s. I’ve actually been trying to conceive for a year and as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test my first though (both times) was, “Oh my god, what have I done?!” Its normal. You’ll take the plunge when you are ready. But don’t expect to ever be 100% ready, that is just not normal 😛

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:09 pm

      CONGRATSSSSSSS

  • Nadine September 13, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Sounds like you already know the answer to your own question. Fear of the unknown always tries to creep in and make us doubt ourselves. It’s scary to be a parent and although I am not one I have been a big part of my nieces’ and nephew’s life (who happens to autistic)…they are wonderful human beings and they are a blessing in my life even though I am not their parent. My brothers were both scared of becoming fathers…so many things that could go wrong, so many ways they could mess it up – at least that’s what they thought about…and yes, they’ve made mistakes, but guess what? their kids are wonderful and happy and they take each year of their childhoods in stride, with ups and downs. I don’t know you, but it seems that someone with your sense of caring and love as we’ve seen in Operation Beautiful has enough to share with a child (or two!) and will be a wonderful mother. In the end it’s your decision with your husband, and whatever it is, you will still have love to share with all the little ones in your life, whether they are yours, your friends, family’s, etc. Best of luck to you and by they way – nice story in Endurance magazine…I picked one up the other day!

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant September 13, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I think you’ll *know* when you are to the point where your life is just missing something and you’re *ready* to start trying. (I use the term “ready” loosely since there’s really no way to be “ready”.)

    My husband and I just celebrated our 6th anniversary – and we are just now starting to seriously consider “trying”.

    We’ve always known we want a family (even have names picked), but just never felt like it was the right time for us. Other things were a priority – traveling, getting to know each other more as a couple, training for events, getting our finances under control, etc. Our families – and many friends and coworkers – have been hounding us for years. It’s seriously just been in the last month or so that we’re really beginning to notice that we feel like our life is missing something since we don’t have a child. So to us, THAT’s our sign that we’re ready.

    (And, maybe talk to your doctor. I talked to mine a couple years ago about how we felt about a family & he said he wasn’t going to be concerned until I was 35. That at least made me feel better about waiting a little while longer.)

  • Sheilah September 13, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Caitlin, thanks so much for opening up this topic here! I’m in a similar position as you are minus the financial stability, so I have no plans for kids in the immediate future, but I’m certain that I’ll return to this post and these great comments when this becomes a more concrete issue for me.

    That said, whenever I contemplate major life changes I think back to Daniel Gilbert’s book “Stumbling on Happiness”, which (to simplify greatly), based on scientific and anecdotal info, basically surmises that people adjust to new circumstances. I would add (and it may be in the book also) that your attitude is crucial to these adjustments as well – a dedication to making the best of not-quite-expected
    situations truly can make a giant difference. Basically what I’m trying to say is that you will probably
    be a-OK either way, even if life happens when you’re busy making other plans in either a trying-for-a-baby or a not-trying-at-all scenario. If you do come to a solid decision either way I would love to hear the rationale! The only solid pro-baby reason on my mental list is that I think if I didn’t have one (really two is our preference) I would wonder forever what it would’ve been like. Whether that reason ends up being enough to lead us to have children I don’t yet know.

    • Therese September 13, 2011, 7:03 pm

      Agreed. When you do make the decision/announcement, I’d love to hear the rationale!

  • Colleen September 13, 2011, 3:37 pm

    Okay, I swear – last time! Flip a coin…for real…pick heads you try for a child and tails you don’t. When the coin is in mid-air you will know what side you want it to land on. And your friends can just shut their pie holes. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:10 pm

      haha good tip.

  • Caroline September 13, 2011, 3:37 pm

    I had my son at just 29 yrs old and my husband and I had only been together a year when I got pregnant (on purpose). I didn’t know I even wanted children until my biological clock suddenly went crazy!
    I have never complained about my child, I have never regretted having him and I have truly loved every minute of his three and a bit years. I embraced every time he woke during the night as an extra chance for a snuggle with him, knowing that this time during the night wouldn’t last for ever. It didn’t- he has slept through nearly every night since 6 weeks old. He is a sheer joy, even when he’s being naughty!
    The sheer fact you are putting so much thought into this tells me you would be a good, caring mother.

  • Amy September 13, 2011, 3:37 pm

    First, I think you’re really smart to be thinking about this now! I don’t have a lot of advice since I’m expecting my first right now, but I do want to say a few things …

    YOU ARE NOT TOO YOUNG. You’re 27! You might “feel” young, but trust me, fertility-wise you are NOT YOUNG. This is the perfect time to go for it. My husband and I got pregnant for the first time when we were 30. Unfortunately, our road turned out to be bumpier than we anticipated as I lost my first two pregnancies and was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. We’re in the clear now and expecting again – yay! – but I got pregnant for the FIRST time over a year ago. I’m now 31. And while one year doesn’t sound like a lot, when you want to have a lot of kids, it DOES matter.

    I’m not trying to freak you out or anything! But I shudder when I see couples in their 30s talking blithely about their fertility and how sure, of course they want kids, but just not yet because they’re comfortable. You just never know what could be coming your way, so if you feel ready, go for it. Jump in with both feet. You won’t regret it – or so I hear. 🙂

    Good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:11 pm

      Agree – I guess I meant emotionally young 🙂 There was an interesting article in the NYT about this very topic recently.

      • Amy September 13, 2011, 4:23 pm

        I see what you mean. I don’t know you personally, obviously, but you sure don’t seem too emotionally immature to have a baby! Give yourself some credit here. It’s scary (and obviously I don’t know just how scary it will be yet!) but it’ll never not be scary. I think you’re up for the challenge. Just like I hope I am! 🙂

      • Therese September 13, 2011, 7:03 pm

        Can you link to the article?

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair September 13, 2011, 3:40 pm

    OK, first, your mom looks AMAZING for her age!

    Second, I recently told friends that if I was given the choice of having kids within the year or NEVER having kids I would choose never having kids. That’s how much I don’t want children right now. Maybe that will change or maybe it won’t? I’m not really sure. I’m only 23 though. I am getting married next July but I want to be married for at least 4-5 years before we even start trying for a baby! Kids really do terrify me and I like animals much more 🙂

    Judging by this post and your answer to a couple comments above (especially the one about you being devastated if you were told you wouldn’t have kids for 2-3 years) it sounds like you guys are ready to take the plunge and start trying!

  • Cassie September 13, 2011, 3:40 pm

    I am firmly in the childfree camp, although I love spending time with kids and babies especially! Someone at work once told me, “Unless you are 100% sure, don’t have kids,” and I never have forgotten that. What gets me is the uncertainty (I am a control freak and perfectionist). Though my husband and I are continually told to have children to pass on our good qualities, it’s a total game of chance whether your child’s personality will mesh with yours or be completely different, and god forbid the child will require life-long medical care or the like… I just don’t think I could handle that, and if that makes me a bad person, at least I realize that, and thus do not want children (I <3 my Paragard). Not only that, but my husband and I are both the children of single mothers, after our fathers walked out on them when we were around 4 or 5 — so we both have within us the genes that just cannot handle parenthood, and no matter how strong our marriage is, we have both seen first hand how they can ravage a marriage. I really enjoy spending time with children, though, and can't wait to be an aunt!! This is a favorite blog of mine that shows the other side of the coin: http://www.childfreedom.blogspot.com/

  • Kat September 13, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Hi Caitlin (and anyone else who reads these comments),

    My thoughts are that only YOU know what you want to do. Push the fears aside and let your heart tell you whether you are ready for this step or not! Whether you try soon or wait until later…both lives will be happy lives, because you will continue to love your life just the way you do now.

    That’s all I have to say 🙂 Short and simple :).

    Hit the yoga mat 🙂

    xx
    Kat

  • Colette September 13, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Long-time lurker stepping out on this topic… I’m 34 yrs old, married for 11 yrs (together for 15) with 3 beautiful daughters ages 7, 5, and 3 – and I wouldn’t change a thing!

    Many have already said it, but there is no “perfect” time. As for the finances… if you want it, you’ll make it work. We really wanted someone to stay at home with our kids when they were little and I made more than my hubby – so he’s a stay-at-home dad and LOVES it. I don’t make a lot of money, but we make it work. We don’t have the latest gadgets, went without cable TV for awhile, BUT… we still take family vacations, just bought a new car, and have the kids in other activities.

    I think what most people are “afraid” of is not kids… but the unknown. Change can be scary to people. Yes – you’re life will change, but isn’t that why you’re having kids?

    As for the complaining… I think it’s because having kids is a lot of work. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. At least it’s rewarding work that I enjoy doing. Would I rather have an evening by myself without someone touching me at all times… sometimes. But then again, I have NEVER regretted having my kids. They, and my husband, are my life. Not my career. I want to walk out of my office at 5 PM sharp so I can be home for dinner and spend a couple hours with the kids before bedtime.

    Best advise I ever got: “You CAN have it all, just not all at the same time.”

    Good luck!

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 13, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I love this post!

    My husband and I just got married a month ago and are definitely years away from even considering babies (I’m 24 right now!) but I can appreciate how you feel.

    I would say, go with your gut.

    I see how excited you are about Girls on the run… and I know having a baby is a whole different ball game, but I can only imagine you will be nothing but fantastic as a mother.

    I think that no matter what, this is a decision you and your hubby have to make. Of course things will change — but that’s how life is… life is never stagnant.

    You’ll make the right choice 🙂

    • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 13, 2011, 3:44 pm

      Ps. Those parents who make negative comments to anyone who will listen are really annoying. I understand that babies/kids isn’t always easy, but tell your close friends/family, not just anyone!

  • Lauren S September 13, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I’m the complete opposite all of my friends have kids and keep badgering us as to when we are going to have them. They look at me as if I have two heads when I say I would like to be more financially stable before we have kids (the common response is that you will never have enough money). We will need to pay for daycare and don’t have an extra $1000 a month for that at the moment. Plus they keep telling me that I’m not getting any younger (I’m 29). My husband is adopted and we are 100% on board with adopting if we can’t get pregnant, most likely skipping the very invasive fertility treatments all together. I think already knowing what we will do in the event we cannot have children helps take away some of the anxiety of waiting. You need to figure out what plan is going to work for the two of you and stick with it. You two are the ones that will have to get up with the baby at 2 a.m. not your friends, so if you feel ready do it, if you are hesitant maybe wait another year and reasses.

  • Rhonda September 13, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Hi, I read a lot but never posted but I just have to say that being a mom is something you really can’t describe. I was 27 when I got pregnant with my first. I wanted kids (someday) but we were not really trying, but obviously not careful enough, LOL! I didn’t feel ready then and not when I brought her home, but I cannot imagine life without my two daughters. All of those things we did alone don’t really seem all that “fun” looking back! Sure, you can spend time with others kids, but honestly that made me not want any! It is so different when it is your own. There are hard times, yes but the good totally trumps those times. My girls are now 6 and 9. If you like running races, wait until you get to see your kids run or you get to see them learn something new. It does completely change your life that is for sure but I’d be willing to bet you would never want to change it back!!

  • KitKat @ Pursuit of Happiness September 13, 2011, 3:44 pm

    For a number of years I told everyone I didn’t want kids. I truly felt like I didn’t want them.

    I don’t know if that was my younger age, the person I was with at the time, or what but suddenly I’m a few months before 27 and now with the guy I want to marry…I am having MAJOR baby fever.

    But looking back I can sort of understand why I was so anti-baby. I feared giving up independence, adventure, being selfish, money, time, my career, etc.

    But somehow, that all sorta works itself out.

    I try to keep in mind what my parents have told me many times– make sure to have a few years to have fun with your spouse because things do change when you have kids. It’s not necessarily all for the negative but is a huge change and strain. Once you have kids you won’t full go back to those last second romantic getaways with little planning, or late nights with friends at bars, or horizontal fun time on the kitchen table.

    Truthfully, one of the biggest reasons I wouldn’t have kids now is because of my social group. None have kids yet and most, many of whom are married, still plan on waiting until 30 (for financial, career, [healthy] selfish reasons). Sadly, I think I would feel really alone if I chose to have kids now and I do want to be able to related with friends or my siblings.

    To me there is like a secret club when you have kids. Sure, a lot of parents will complain, but if you don’t have kids you can’t understand what it’s like to love another human being in *that* way. It’s the same way I feel about falling in love, getting married, or having a pet. In those cases it’s definitely not always rainbows and butterflies, but deep down I just know it’s 100% worth it…but deep down (for me) I also know it makes sense to wait just a couple more years.

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life September 13, 2011, 3:45 pm

    I’m pregnant now with my first baby and I can tell you that when it happens, you’ll be ready. As long as you and your husband are both in agreement about starting a family, you are in a good place. I’m 30 but we were married less than 2 years before we got pregnant- so I think if you’ve had that nice time together where you were married and not yet parents then you may be more ready than you think. Will things be more challenging, sure! May you have to give up running races or a spontaneous vacation every now and then–yeah! But what comes of it will be worth it. Plus you get 9 months to marinate on all of that stuff.

    I always expected to get pregnant quickly. (Not sure why), but it took me about 5 months, and I also did some things to prepare before hand (stopped the pill, all medications, etc). I would start trying, you would be a great mom and you are already the queen of balancing life, so go for it! Plus I would LOVE to read about your journey. There aren’t enough pregnancy blogs out there!

  • Whitney September 13, 2011, 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the post! I have been married for three months and get grilled ALREADY about kids!! Goodness..can I enjoy my marriage a little? I have a friend who is due in the winter and and made the statement that her and her husband were bored in their marriage so they got pregnant! What in the world!! I think you are smart REALLY analyzing this big decision. It is very easy to get caught up in babies because everyone is doing it but in my opinion you will know when you are ready. Can’t wait to follow your journey! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:19 pm

      Happy marriage 🙂

  • sandy September 13, 2011, 3:47 pm

    I had a baby at, 25, after being married 1 year, while a 2nd year law student. People at school looked at me like I was an alien, “did you do that on purpose?” I think if you ask yourself this one question, “Am I ready for my life not to be just about ME anymore.” If the answer is “yes” then you are ready for children. I thought I would never have children before I graduated from law school, and then I told my husband, I want a baby, I want our lives to not just be about US anymore. Having a child is the most selfless thing one can do, because daily you die to that child’s needs. It is the best sacrafice one can make. I see the birth of every baby as proof that God is not yet weary with mankind. Go for it girl, once you have a child, you will never regret doing so, but you may regret not trying for it now. And no, you will never be more tired, exhausted, emotional and stressed than when you have a baby. And you know what? Its wonderful.

  • Danielle September 13, 2011, 3:48 pm

    I just have to share the best advice I ever received regarding being “ready” to have kids. I was always the holdout– the one saying that I’m just not ready and I cant imagine how in the world we will manage our lives with a kid, we are already so busy. A wise friend said “Rarely are people READY. You just get to a point where you are less NOT READY” It couldnt be more true.

    Does life change, you bet. Sleep, alone time, yadda yadda yadda. But you know what? You don’t care. I said to my husband a few weeks after our son was born this year, that if I had known how truly wonderful it felt to be a mom that I would’ve had kids years ago. Never in my life did I think I’d utter those words, but they couldn’t be more true. I never felt like I was “ready” to have kids, but I did get to a point where, when I pictured my life 10 years from now I couldnt pictur eit without kids. And that’s how I knew.

    Good luck <3

  • kelly September 13, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I’m 33 weeks pregnant and it still hasn’t completely hit me that I am going to have a child. My husband and I have been married for 3 and a half years, and we thought we’d start ‘trying’ around the 2 year mark, but neither of us were ready. I needed another year of freedom, of going out drinking, of just being the two of us. Later that year, all of our friends (and I mean ALL) started getting pregnant, which made us think about it more and get more and more ready for the idea of kids. You just kind of know when you are ready. It made it easier for us that everyone we hung out with had kids or were pregnant. Good luck w/your decision 🙂

  • Jodi September 13, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I was married for three years before I had my first child (I have two teenagers now). It took me a year to get pregnant, had awful post partum depression, which I won’t lie, seemed to last forever, but I recovered. When I was ready for another baby, I suffered two miscarriages and nearly lost my son as well. Being a parent is so wonderful, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Cuddles with a freshly bathed infant in the evening, being woken up in the morning by a sweet little voice, to having your 6 foot tall teenage son squeeze into the recliner with you. There are frustrating times as well, as there are with anything in life and you just deal with it. As far as being financially ready, I don’t think the average family is ever ready, you just make cuts where you can.

    What does your heart tell you to do Caitlin?

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:21 pm

      Aw I am so sorry about your miscarriages… I am glad you have your children to squeeze and hold!

  • Marisa E September 13, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Hey- remember we spoke a little about this at the HLS cocktail party?? This is something you can go back and forth on until you are blue in the face. I personally believe that there is no ‘right’ time…When I was married and 27 I thought the time was ‘right’ but apparently my body wasn’t getting the message and it took me over 2 yrs to get preggers with my first son. Pregnancy and parenting is such a personal experience as are many other things…you just don’t know. Being a parent has completely rocked my world in a way that I’ve never known….but it’s all good.

  • kwithme September 13, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I am a parent of 2 girls (almost 10 and 6), married 18 years.
    My husband and I viewed our life as having two paths. One with kids and one without. When we got to the point of making other major decisions (where to live for work) we made a decision to have kids. We felt we were as ready as we would ever be it took 2 years to concieve.

    Why do parents talk so negatively about their children? Because even though they can be your heart and soul, they can be frustrating. A previous poster said it was to blow off steam, which I agree with. Also, they are individuals, and you may not like everything about them. I love my husband but not every little detail. The same goes for my kids. When they are under school age, you are often with them 100% of the time. Are you never frustrated or needing a break from your husband, job, or other aspects of your life that you chose? It is the same with kids. I think if you expect to be full of hearts and flowers all the time, you will be surprised and disappointed. Also, not every phase of parenting works for everyone. I am a much better parent of school age children than of babies and toddlers. And much more content.

    BTW, my husband has been chuckling because he has an employee that is very similar to him 10 years ago. This man has an 18 month old son and is often stunned at what does not happen anymore (programming all night, house staying clean, scads of time to hang out).

  • Lee September 13, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I am totally in the same boat except that I am 33. Also, my husband works weekend days and overnights during the week so I’m sort of nervous that I’d sort of be at it alone for the majority of the time.

  • Mary Wheeler September 13, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I think that people who don’t want kids shouldn’t have them. Will your life change? Absolutely. There will be another person living in your house. My son is 20 and I have never regretted having him for a second (OK, maybe when he was about 14….) It’s work to have a family; they’re messy and noisy and expensive. You’ll know the greatest joy and the greatest pain. To me it was all worth it. Good luck!

  • Emily September 13, 2011, 3:57 pm

    I’ve always known that I wanted kids (although I’ve downscaled my expectations from when I was eight years old and wanted 100 kids). I just feel as though it is one of my purposes in life. That being said, people are entitled to believing that they have other purposes… But that’s getting away from the point.

    As for your decision, I consider you VERY brave to open it up to the internet and being willing to take comments. Many, many people are willing to rattle off horror stories, which can only make your decision more stressful. I just suggest that you find some balance between being rational and being emotional about it. Hope that makes sense!

  • Tricia September 13, 2011, 3:58 pm

    I am not a parent but I will say this, I know losts of parents who say negative things about being a parent, but they also say it was the greatest thing to ever happen to them. Hello we have all seen a kid throwing a temper-tantrum or a rebellious teenager. Some people are just not cut out for being a parent or do not like kids. But if you love them and want them, life is short…

  • Alison September 13, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I think the reason people “talk negatively” about their kids is the same reason that they speak ill of anything in life – to get a response or to find empathy. When I say, “oh man, Rowan was a beast today when she woke up from her nap!” I’m just looking for someone to say “gosh I’m sorry!” or “Jimmy is like that every time he wakes up early!” Parenting is hard work and I think most of the time we’re just looking for a pat on the back or someone to tell us we’re normal.

    I’m 28 and my daughter Rowan just turned 1. I can honestly that there are days when I think, “I had NO CLUE that life would change this much!” People/moms will try to warn you and you might think you’re prepared (I thought I was the shit because my sister had 2 kids and I “knew” what it was like…hell no, I didn’t!) but most likely you’ll be just as wide-eyed and surprised every single day:-)

    There is no person, book, or mommy blog that can prepare you for what your life will be like. BUT HERE’S THE KICKER: I would do everything over and over again for my girl. She is worth the life changes, body changes, schedule changes, missed sleep and changes in friendship. I don’t think, “woe is me, life is so different!” Instead I really do thank God that somehow he found me a worthy recipient of such an awesome gift as my little daughter.

    (OK, now, after waxing eloquent on that…who gives a rat’s ass what your friends think? It sounds cliche but if they are really your friends they will stick around kids or no kids. Social life for us is much different now but different isn’t always bad. I have new friends that have kids but I still have my best girlfriends that aren’t moms and what’s amazing is those circles mesh now!)

  • Jamie September 13, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I was not prepared to have a child when I found out I was pregnant at 23. I freaked out in fact. It has been the hardest thing that I have EVER done (especially before we moved in with my fiancee a year ago). BUT, it was also one of the most rewarding and changed my life in lots of positive ways. I do not think that 27 is too young and you guys have a lot of things going for you. I think it is normal and healthy to have some fear and apprehension but no time is ever “perfect”. I think that you will be a wonderful mom and if you are both ready- go for it!! Who cares what some naysayers think, it will be an adventure.

  • Vicky S. September 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

    I agree with what so many have said… there is no right time. My husband and I weren’t trying to get pregnant, but we weren’t trying NOT to get pregnant. So… I am now 20 weeks along. I struggle multiple times a day with happiness and then complete fear that my life is never going to be the same. It is cool to feel it’s little kicks (especially right after I eat)… those are the moments I think “it will all be ok.”

  • Dukebdc September 13, 2011, 4:06 pm

    The fact that you and your husband are asking yourselves the hard questions and really thinking it through tells me that you are ready to be parents. 🙂 The parents I know who went into pregnancy with nothing but rainbows and onsies on the brain (or worse, the ones who went into it giddy about all the attention they would get with a baby–ugh!) are the ones who have struggled the most with their new identity, and resented the constant demands on their time.

    Have you and your hubby talked about child raising? You mention being fairly traditional–does that mean you plan to carry the majority of the child-rearing load, or do you expect your husband to divide and conquer with you? If the child has special needs will one of you stop working? Will you take turns getting time out alone or with your friends (baby-free)? I would say that the relationship between the parents may be even more important than the relationship with the child for the first year–your little one needs a lot of care, but can’t give you back rubs, or fix dinner without asking, or tell you that you’re doing a good job when the baby is screaming at 3:00am. Know what you’re getting into, expect that like many things in life it will be messy and exhausting, but rewarding at times too.

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:38 pm

      I think we’re in an unusual and unique position because of my ‘job.’ I can blog and be a mom, so I don’t have to technically ‘stop working’ and can still care for the kid at home. So I think that means that I’ll do most of the rearing on a day to day basis. But he’s good at helping out and stuff. He better give me back rubs!!!

  • JT September 13, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Parenthood, like everything else, is what you make of it. It is a steep learning curve. Parenthood is like a pair of running shoes; just when it starts getting comfortable, a hole develops somewhere inconvenient. It is the most challenging, most rewarding, easiest and hardest thing I have ever done. I had my babies starting at 25 and have three beautiful souls, that are each two years apart, to teach me every.single.day. No regrets, I am so blessed to have them 🙂 I think most people know whether they are in the category of “I will have kids” or “I will not have kids” and they are both to be respected. You will know when you are ready but if you are waiting until you are completely “prepared” (for the ups and downs of “trying” to get pregnant, for pregnancy and for raising children) you will wait a LONG time LOL!! It all comes together the way it is supposed to 🙂 🙂 Best wishes!!!

  • Marci September 13, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I bet everyone is saying the same thing, but I don’t have time to read all that above! I am 14 weeks pregnant, and we are pretty traditional with our path too. We do feel ready, financially stable, etc. so it was natural. Been married three years, when else to move along? What I kind of didn’t realize, is it takes a while to get pregnant sometimes, so you have that time to grow up too. Then you have the 9 months, and by the end, you’ll be more ready. I don’t know anything about infant care yet, but I will. You will too. Just remember it’s not like it happens tomorrow, you still have time to adjust. Email anytime!

  • Heather September 13, 2011, 4:11 pm

    I totally feel the same way. I have been married almost 5 years, am 26, and hubby is 28. we feel like its the next logical thing, but i have these fears of being tied down, never sleeping, enver vacationing, and having no adult life except for play groups and diapers. i have seen how friends have turend from hanging out with me to talking about the consistency of their child’s poop, and I dont know if I am ready to cross over “to the other side” just yet. Not sure if that means Im not ready or I am just realizing that things will change, and trying to be realistic. So,basically, all my rambling to say, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! But, sorry i have no advice for you. good luck!

  • Tami September 13, 2011, 4:11 pm

    i feel like i should read all the other comments before replying. i say just do it. it is NEVER the right time, you NEVER have enough money you never have enough time there are always things you will want to do or you will feel you will miss out on. it changes your life but its worth it. you can still run and race and the husband can still golf but it’s just different.

    my husband and i acquired some debt when we realized i would stay home with our kids (they are 8 and 6 now) but i just went back to work and its all been worth it.

    so, not to sound cheesy…just do it

  • Jenny September 13, 2011, 4:12 pm

    I was not “ready” for a baby and I remember being so worried when I realized I was pregnant. My boyfriend and I were not married but had been together for almost 2 years and we hoped for the best.

    Now I’m a single mom and despite the negativity others ascribe to single parenthood, I could never be happier.

    Are there days my child is less than perfect and makes me want to pull my hair out? Of course but I realize it’s just frustration with having to do something like vacuum the rug because he spilled on it not because I hate being a parent. You have to be able to separate the issue from the child and those who can’t are the ones who complain.

    Are there days I’m so bone-tired from work, parenting, managing the home, etc that I wish I had a partner, maid, etc? Of course – being a parent period is exhausting and you have to be ready to give up some “luxuries” like staying up, sleeping in, etc.

    Do I ever wish I didn’t have my son? Not for a single second. Never ever ever.

    I’m “that” mom – I tell my son I love him like 3801843873098 times a day and answer every “why” question even if it means extending the conversation beyond my point of exasperation. I don’t enjoy discussing the details of trains for 30 minutes but I do it for his benefit.

    When my little guy tells me he loves me and gives me the snugly hugs, there’s no better feeling and when I gaze at his sweet face asleep and at peace it instantly calms me.

    You really do need to be ready to be 100% devoted to putting your child first and juggling all the other parts of your life. It does take trial and error to make it balance with marriage, work, family, social life etc but those parents who are both “ready” and accept the need to prioritize children are the ones who best manage this phase of their lives.

    All of my friends who have happy/healthy relationships with their parents say without a doubt it’s because their parents were 100% there for them all the time with love and support. It’s not enough to be just physically present, you have to care and be involved.

    Whatever your choice, I’m sure it’ll be the right one for now for the both of you.

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:41 pm

      You sound like a wonderful mommy to me!

  • Tiffinie September 13, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I feel the same way! My husband and I have been together for 14 years (married for 9) I’m about to turn 32 and even though EVERYONE I KNOW is pregnant, just had a baby or already have 2 or 3 kids – it still freaks me out! We love to just be able to get up and go where ever and when ever we want! There are weeks that my husband and I rarely see eachother – with work, travels, races etc……that thinking about a kid is just unreal to me! But then I think “is this really all there is?!” Maybe I want a kid to have something else to do with my life, for it to have purpose! I know that having kids doesn’t necessarily mean that your life will have purpose, or that not having them doesn’t meant it won’t!

    As you can see I’m just as conflicted……some days I would just like it to “happen” so I don’t have to decide when is the right time! We have not been preventing for almost 2 years…..so who knows what is in the cards for us – but I kind of think if it’s ment to be it will happen!

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place September 13, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I’m 7 months pregnant right now, and wasn’t sure when the “right time” would be, either. Pregnancy is a LONG ROAD though. After conception you have almost a year to prepare yourself for the major life change that is about to come.

    I’m not suggesting that you get pregnant and not have all your ducks in a row first as far as insurance coverage, finances, etc.. However, adjusting to the idea of having a baby and changing your entire life can be done one step at a time during those nine months. At least that has been my experience!

  • Juli D. September 13, 2011, 4:15 pm

    My H and I are very similar to you as far as the tract you are on and struggle with some of the same questions as to “when are we ready for kids?” We are so happy right now, I question, do I need kids? Life is damn near perfect, do I want to risk upsetting that by throwing an uknown into the equation? I do believe we have decided we really want kids. I have heard from others that you are NEVER 100% ready. I don’t know about the negative things though, yes you hear complaints of messes and lack of sleep, but usually I hear bundled with that how amazing it is to be a parent. My best friend since kindergarten gave birth to her first daughter in March – and she was born with a genetic defect. The average baby with her condition doesn’t make it past 8 months. These past 6 months have been extremely challenging, heart-breaking and emotional. But I know this much – they wouldn’t trade it for anything. I believe children are truly amazing gifts and parenthood is a challenge (what in life isn’t?) but ultimately rewarding beyond belief. Good Luck in figuring out things!

  • e September 13, 2011, 4:17 pm

    You will never be ready.
    You will never have enough money.
    You will question everything you do in raising the child.
    You will be terified, however you will be filled with such love.
    Parenting is the most challenging job, but the most rewarding.
    Children are wonderful!!!

  • Bree September 13, 2011, 4:18 pm

    As I sit here 39 weeks pregnant with my little guy nudging and squirming away inside, I know deciding to have children was the right decision for my husband and I. I always thought I would start “trying” in my late twenties, but life had some curveballs and when I got there I wasn’t ready. I doubted if I wanted kids, I was trying to finish my PhD, worrying about my career and my biological clock. I realized that I would regret not having children (or at least trying) if I was 50 (even if I had the best career and most perfect marriage). I was 32 when we started trying and it took 10 months. I just turned 34. I think it’s great that you are having this conversation, it sounds like you are ready, just worrying too much about others negativity. Everyone I have spoken to, tells me, yes it is life changing, has its challenges, but is also the best thing they have ever done, NO REGRETS! Good luck in this journey…

  • colleen September 13, 2011, 4:18 pm

    Caitlin, this may be long so I apologize.

    I am a 35 year old mom of three beautiful children – two creative energetic boys (7.5 & 5.5) and one smart dramatic girl (2.5). The hubby and I have been married 11 years, been together 14. Our (okay my) original 5-year plan was to wait until I was 30 before having kids. I thought that age allowed us to establish our careers, buy our first house, travel, get our dog we both wanted, enjoy each others company, and get financially, emotionally and physically ready for parenthood – like that is even possible.

    Now by just looking at my children’s ages you know ‘my plan’ didn’t happen. Somewhere in between my hubby being laid off for 6 months before finding a new job (during the first year of marriage no less), moving to a new location/state for said job, attending a few college sporting events, traveling a little, enjoying our lives with our dog and cat, being 7hrs apart on Sept. 11 2001, and realizing the important things in life the 5-year plan changed.

    So in October of 2001 I went in for my annual exam and asked a ton of questions: Will the 6yrs of being on the pill affect our chances of getting pregnant? Will it take longer to get pregnant once I come off of the pill? My doctor assured me everyone was different and the only way to see if there are any problems is to come off the pill and try. So after talking we decided I would stop taking the pill at the end of October 2001. None of our friends were pregnant at this time or were even thinking of it – actually we were the third couple to be married by this time. Our philosophy was ‘we weren’t trying to get pregnant but if it happened than great, if not we’ll continue to have fun’. Apparently we had a little too much ‘fun’ and in March 2012 we became pregnant. On December 9th our family of four – we count our pets as part of our family – grew to a family of five. It is the first time I saw my hubby cry and the first time I knew we made the right decision on ‘not trying’.

    Yes, there will be nights of little sleep – only in the beginning months and on nights when someone is sick. Yes, you will have to change how and when you leave the house to eat, watch a movie, etc. – as we joke with family and friends, you can’t leave them in the dog kennel/crate. Yes, children are a handful. Yes, children will get on your last nerve. Yes, there will be more clothes to wash and toys and books to put away. Yes, there will be moments you question yourself as a parent. Yes, they will inherit yours or your hubby’s stubbornness, emotions, and other traits. Yes, they will make a huge mess while eating any meal or snack. Yes, they may color on the walls, doors, windows, books, bed, and the dog. Yes, they may play in the dog’s water bowl and may even combine the food and water together to watch it puff up. Yes, there will be times you are cleaning poop off the walls, out of toys, and off the floor while potty training – unless this is just us. Yes, there will be times when you wake up at night to find puke on the carpet and bed or a trail of it to the bathroom. Yes, there will be times when you wish you could just collapse on the couch with your favorite book or TV show, but instead you have to help with homework, read to the little one, wash clothes, give baths, etc. Yes, there will be times when you look at your hubby and wonder what you got yourself into. Yes, you will have to adjust your outside physical activity.

    However, what you get back is: limitless love; daily hugs and kisses; many thanks; a closer bond between you and your hubby; sweet tender moments at night when you tuck them into their beds – my oldest still wants me to do this; endless laughter; silly knock knock jokes and phrases – “I am stuffed like a hot dog” is one of my favorites; experiencing everything again through your child’s eyes; family walks/bike rides/jogs/basketball games (PIG or HORSE anyone?)/trampoline competitions ; family adventures/vacations that enrich their minds; and the knowledge they are becoming amazing thoughtful kids with their own interests and goals in life and you had something to do with it.

    Becoming parents is yours and your hubby’s decision alone. Do not let your friends, family, and worries deter you from what you want. Go for it! It is an adventure like no other.

    • Jenny September 13, 2011, 4:38 pm

      That reminds me of a joke with my son. He said something and I laughed so hard I told him “I was cracking up”. He looked perplexed and said “but mommy, you’re still all together”. In his mind he’s thinking humpty dumpty. I just hugged him and kept laughing.

      • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:44 pm

        This is so cute. Both comments!

  • Janelle September 13, 2011, 4:20 pm

    We talk about the negatives because it is easy to explain – everyone can understands and sympathize with the sleepless nights, toddler temper tantrums, and loss of freedom that comes with having kids. The positives are harder to explain – the pride you feel when your child shares a toy, the joy when they sprint into your arms yelling “momma!,” the toothy grin that makes you melt. Parenthood is a crazy thing. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have the “what if I had waited” thoughts on a regular basis – but the “when do I get to have another?” thoughts are louder and more frequent! I was 27 when I got pregnant – and it wasn’t completely planned (we were married and wanted kids…eventually…). Reflecting on it now, I don’t think we would have ever gotten to “ready,” so I’m thrilled for the happy accident!

  • Rachel September 13, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I’m 6.5 months pregnant with twins. We struggled with infertility and had a long journey to get here. That doesn’t mean I’m not TERRIFIED out of my mind. I have no doubt it will be life-changing. I also have no doubt it there be nothing else as rewarding and amazing.

    Bottom line – GO FOR IT!

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 4:47 pm

      Congrats on your twin miracles 🙂

  • Chelsea September 13, 2011, 4:23 pm

    The baby flu is getting around the blogger world!

  • gina (fitnessista) September 13, 2011, 4:23 pm

    my aunt gave me fantastic advice a few years ago. she said “don’t ever wait until you’re *ready*, or you’ll never have kids. do it when your heart tells you it’s right”
    you know what my vote is 😉
    sprinkling baby dust all over you, friend

  • Debbie September 13, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I now I’m going to sound a bit negative here, but after reading several comments, I have never experienced so many narcissistic people in all my life! Wow! Yes, people, it IS hard work to raise children because you have to give of yourself–your time, your heart, your money, your love, etc. I think I’m starting to realize what is wrong with America…selfishness. I believe the reason a man and woman commit to a marriage is to procreate (if able). I look at having children as a gift from God, although I could only have one child. If your marriage is strong, and you are able (it seems you are willing), you should let it happen naturally. Are there days that are overwhelming? Yes! Days that don’t seem to have enough hours in them? Yes! Don’t we have those kinds of days prior to children? I know I did.

    Make sure that what you do, you do based upon principle, and upon faith. We live in a selfish generation, in which people put off marriage and child-bearing for self-serving reasons. These are matters of personal conviction, and so others, including myself, ought not dictate your decisions in these matters. And, having said that, I wish you the best in whatever you choose.

    • Debbie September 13, 2011, 4:25 pm

      *know (darn auto-spell)

    • Peter September 13, 2011, 4:58 pm

      I am not sure why I respond so strongly to this, but I will stand up right here:

      Calling people who choose selfish and narcissistic isn’t negative, it’s rude; then giving backhanded “permission” to choose is insulting.

      Throwing in a paragraph about how really others shouldn’t dictate private decisions after you’ve explained why any decision other than yours is wrong is nothing more than love the sinner, hate the sin.

      • Rebecca September 13, 2011, 7:28 pm

        This is really disappointing. I posted about this above, but reasons for having children are just as “selfish” as reasons for not. It’s everyone’s individual choice and no one should face your judgment or anyone else’s.

        If we’re talking “gifts,” I’m sure many people who choose not to have children have many other talents and gifts that are better used and served because they do not have children to distract them. Others might be gifted parents. It’s all individual.

    • Kelly September 13, 2011, 8:12 pm

      Plus, let’s keep in mind that not all human adults are FIT to have children. The way some children live and are treated, it makes you wish that their parents had been “selfish and narcissistic” (your words). How many parents have children that just shouldn’t have. Some people just aren’t responsible enough, aren’t loving enough, etc., yet somehow they do have children. I say, if you know now that children are not for you, then by all means, don’t have them. It saves a lot of sadness and heartache for those kiddos who aren’t fortunate enough to be brought into the world in a good environment.

    • Heather September 13, 2011, 9:56 pm

      Really? Having kids is the most selfish thing you can do. You’re making the decision to bring a new life intonthe world because why, it’s your godly duty? Huh? Your eggs aren’t scratching at your ovaries begging to be unleashed into the world.your reply does not compute.

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 9:59 pm

      Okay guys – Not everyone agrees. It’s okay. Let’s keep it friendly though.

    • Maggie September 14, 2011, 1:30 am

      “I believe the reason a man and woman commit to a marriage is to procreate”
      Sorry- I must have just stepped into the 50s.
      I thought I married my husband because I loved who he was and the partnership we commited to together, whether children were in our future or not….

    • Mia September 14, 2011, 7:19 am

      While I think it’s important to respect every perspective, the logic here is just flawed.
      According to your argument people should have kids whether they want to or not, which by all acounts will only lead to more BAD parenting. Do you think having a child when you didn’t want one in the first place will suddenly change your mind? There is enough research out there showing that people who are unhappy about having children provide less than adequate parenting to their offspring. I don’t think this world needs any more neglectful or abusive parents.
      Second, in terms of calling the current generation “selfish”, this is just plain wrong and short sighted. Look back in history to previous centuries and the reason that people had children. It wasn’t because they wanted to provide life and love to another human being, it was a means of survival. Children were treated as miniature adults throughout the medieval and renaissance years. Families had kids so that they could help them with their tasks and chores. If that’s not a “selfish” reason to have kids, I don’t know what is. Sure, culture changes, but human nature stays the same.
      Finally, the notion that marriage is for procreation completely overlooks the fact that unfortunately we live in a society in which marriage offers more tangible benefits such as health care. To be honest, my husband and I never had any intention of marrying each other, but I lost my health insurance and the only way for me to join his plan was by marrying him. If marriage was truly only for procreation then the state should extend these benefits to people in committed relationships. My husband had been together for 8 years before getting married and yet I didn’t qualify for his health insurance plan until I held a stupid piece of paper in my hand. So, in the eyes of the state, marriage is not only for procreation. But then again, I’m guessing by your position that you also think homosexual couples shouldn’t be parents…

  • Jill September 13, 2011, 4:26 pm

    What great questions you have. I think your fears are so normal. I had Molly when I was 30. That was 11 years ago. There have been ups and downs. Highs and lows. Sleepless nights. Parenting is hard. It is the hardest job I have had. With that said… I would NEVER change my mind. I have NOT ONE regret. The love and pride I feel for Molly outweighs each and every stress, sleepless night and low. I take my job as a mother very seriously. Do I need breaks? Time away? Occasional wine? Yes!!! How did we know we were ready? My story sounds similar to yours. I had known my husband for 3 years. Then we dated for 3 years. Then we got married when I was 27. We bought our first house. The next “logical” step was deciding if it was time to start our family. We both felt the same way. We would have a very happy life if we decided not to have children, but we had a “gnawing” feeling that we wanted a baby. It was not an overwhelming feeling like we must have a baby right now. I know it is hard not to listen to others around you, but you really have to tune out when people try to tell you what you should do or how you should feel. Those decisions are for you and your husband. I think it is great that you are getting lots of opinions to see different points of view on how people feel. I was surprised to read that so many people regretted having children. I just can’t wrap my mind about that. At any rate- I am excited for you and your husband as you approach this time in your life. I look forward to hearing how things go for you!!!

  • Melissa September 13, 2011, 4:29 pm

    Yeah, having kids IS terrifying. But isn’t the unknown always terrifying? I have a 2 and 4 year old – and we had been married a few years, but still weren’t expecting to get pregnant. whoops! Even if we had planned it though, it would still be terrifying. Marriage was terrifying too – “as long as we both shall live…” whaaaa? Yeah – that was scary, but it was a jump I took in faith that it would be amazing. And, guess what? It is. I mean, it has it’s sucky moments – but I don’t regret it for a minute. Becoming a parent is scary, bc well, geez, you’ve never BEEN a parent until you ARE a parent. And then, as years go by, there’s scary moments…kid’s get sick…they go to school for the first time…”geez, I wonder if I’m doing the right thing…” thoughts. But, just like marriage, I don’t regret it for a minute. Yeah, it’s hard. But anything worth doing is hard. (How’s that for cliche? lol!) I’m not saying to run out and get pregnant tonight…but when you do want to, just do it. If you think about it too hard, it’ll never happen. We just have to learn as we go!

  • Jessica @ Fit Chick Wannabe September 13, 2011, 4:30 pm

    I have actually been struggling with the same thing. Especially lately. I have baby fever – bad! I am only a year older than you. My husband and I have been together for almost 7 years, married for about 1 and a half. I always wanted to be pregnant by 27….but that didn’t happen. And I think I def want to be pregnant or trying by 30 – no older. But we still have to get our finances in check, and I think the same thing – are we too young? Will we miss out on stuff? Especially because my best friend had a child and it seems to be such a terrible thing – they had marriage problems, were separated for a while, they can’t seem to do anything because of the kid…etc. I don’t know anyone in my life that has a positive kid experience yet (my other friends/cousins are not mommies yet), so it makes me so nervous that everything will turn to crap when we have a baby. I could use some help too! lol Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • Marissa C September 13, 2011, 4:31 pm

    I’m 23 and so is my husband. I’ve been in a full time job for just 1.25 years. My husband is in his 2nd year of med school. He wont have a “real” job until he is probably 30.

    Baby Noelle is due Dec.5th 🙂

    A lot of people openly think we are crazy. I’m sure many more do privately. And so many wonder if it was planned (YES!). We have known since the beginning (high school sweethearts) that we wanted to have kids, and probably a lot. We are from large families and right now we want to have 4-6.

    Career and education are not mutually exclusive to parenthood, and while it will be hard on our marriage, it will also bring us together. We already love our little girl so much and we cannot even see her.

    We will have to struggle on shoestring budgets, losing sleep, and driving crappy cars while our friends “live it up” and buy houses, etc. However, when I’m 45, I wont be wrangling toddlers like many of them will be! I’ll have kids in college & high school (maybe middle school) and independence will be in sight! And my husband will have a good income by that point. I’d rather struggle now and spend my 40s and 50s enjoying increased free time with my husband, grown children, and stable income.

  • Aimee September 13, 2011, 4:34 pm

    If you’re a parent, how did you know you were ‘ready’?
    -My husband and I waited about 4.5 years before we started trying for a baby. The readiness factor was a feeling. We had accomplished some pre-pregnancy goals that were important to us like owning a home and feeling settled in a career. We had talked about having children before getting married obviously to make sure we had similar family plans. If something had happened and I got pregnant when we weren’t conscientiously trying we would have welcomed the baby with just as much love.

    Would you do things differently in retrospect?
    -Absolutely not!

    Were you the first one of your friends to have a baby?
    -No many of our friends already had children. In my husband’s country I was considered too old to have children at the time of our marriage… I was 28! Imagine everyone’s surprise when I got pregnant at 32.

    Why do parents talk so negatively about their children?
    -Aww Caitlin I only wish I knew the answer to this. So sad isn’t it. When I got married people said, “Oh just wait until you’ve been married for a while.” We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this month. I adore my husband and I look forward to the next 10.

    Then I had my beautiful baby boy almost 5 years ago and people said, “Oh he’s cute now, but just wait.” Hmmm wait for what? I am not naive. I realize that this is my child through the good, the bad, the terrible twos, the teen years, and beyond. I have never ever loved anyone more than I love my son.

    Are kids actually terrifying but no one wants to say anything for fear of destroying the human race?
    -LOL! Honestly I find some of the parents to be quite terrifying. I have never in my life felt more judged, scrutinized and critiqued than I have since becoming a mother.

    Having never been a parent I am learning what works and what doesn’t for my family. If asked I may share an experience but never parenting or pregnancy advice. My motto is “to each their own.” What works for one child or family may not for another. I am certainly not in a competition with anyone, yet I often feel that others are.

    I love your candor and how willing you are to hear others feedback. This topic has certainly made for an interesting discussion. I have enjoyed reading many of the comments as well. It is clear that you and your husband have lots of love to offer. You will make wonderful parents one day.

  • Stephanie September 13, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Okay, here is my two cents: Nothing has to change!!!! My husband and I were married for 5 years before we had our first baby (now we have two sons – 2 and 4 years old) and, let me say this, it ROCKED OUR WORLD….at first. Now, we bike together (with the bike trailer), we run together (with the running stroller), we go out on dates (often with a stroller full of sleeping boys pulled up to the table), we travel (although with more luggage), and we still sleep AND have sex!!!! If you are an active couple with a happy life and a flexible attitude then there is no reason why you cannot keep on truckin’ on a life full of fun and adventure! There were plenty of people who had the pooh pah attitude about having kids before we had kids (including me) but if you WANT to do it then you can make it happen! Do our boys have meltdowns in the middle of a restaurant? Well, sometimes…. that is part of the deal. Do I sleep less? Probably…. Have I dramatically decreased my consumption of reality television… uh, yes…. But it is not the end of the world that some people make it out to be. Buy a good stroller, a good kiddie backpack and adopt the attitude that the things in life that are worth it are….. hard….

    • Jennifer Cook September 13, 2011, 4:44 pm

      Agree with this 10000%!

    • Maureen September 13, 2011, 7:53 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with this! Do things change? Yes, of course. But that doesn’t have to mean it’s a bad change or that you can’t do the things you used to do. You may just need to plan a bit more (and bring a long a heck of a lot of baby stuff).

    • Staci September 13, 2011, 9:57 pm

      This was put so much better than I could have said it. Stephanie is absolutely right. It didn’t work out quite the same way in my case but its perfect advice.

  • Jill September 13, 2011, 4:38 pm

    I used to want children SO SO bad, but have sense become a full-time nanny and see first hand what it’s like to have children, without having my own. It’s way different than I thought it would be and I have changed my mind about having kids. I respect people and their decisions to have children, but for me, I don’t see it in my future. I adore my time with my husband and the freedom we have. There are many things I want to do in life and I think having children would hold me back.

    If you have the desire to have them and see them in your future, by all means, go for it!! I wish you all the luck. If you guys do decide to have them, I am sure you will be excellent parents 🙂

  • Jennifer Cook September 13, 2011, 4:38 pm

    I have an 8 year old. I have slept well for the past 7 years, my house (not including his room!) stays relatively clean 95% of the time, and I have never regretted having him. Seriously, who are you hearing these things from? You will never have a time when you are completely ready. It’s like running a marathon, you just have to hope that you’ve prepared the best you can and jump in

  • Meagan September 13, 2011, 4:39 pm

    I have tried to make this comment so many times! I just can’t seem to find the right words.

    You have written about this many times. It seems like it’s in your heart that you want to have children, and soon.

    I can’t tell you what you should do, but from your blog posts: do it.

    Your friends will come along with you and support you (or they won’t). Your plans to do x, y and z may change (or they won’t). You just don’t know. But if you want a child and to add to your family, and you are secure in your love and enough so in your finances: start trying. Nothing in life is guaranteed.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 4:51 pm

      <3 thank you!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales September 13, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Best post everrrrrrr, Caitlin!!! My mom was 39 when she had me, too! She adopted 3 others before me in her 1st marriage. I’m her only biological kid, though. (I’m from her second marriage… and she’s she’s actually in a third marriage now, whew!). Anywho, she says I keep her young 🙂

  • Jenny O. September 13, 2011, 4:45 pm

    300+comments for you to get through, so I’ll try to keep it brief. You are not too young to be considering having children, and you would not be normal if you weren’t scared out of your flipping mind.
    I’ve often thought that the overwhelmingly negative comments coming from moms these days are an attempt to counteract the “old” way of thinking, when moms didn’t talk about how hard things were. Now, we can’t shut up about it.
    Yes, it’s hard. But let’s be honest- for the first few months it’s pretty similar to having a puppy, and you’ve done that. 🙂 (My street cred: I have two daughters, age 4 and 7. I had the first when I was 27 and had been married for, exactly, 10 months.)
    Best of luck to you. I think it’s wonderful that you’re putting this all out there.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 4:53 pm

      This comment made me feel more normal for being scared!

      • Jenny O. September 13, 2011, 4:55 pm

        The ones who aren’t scared, probably aren’t prepared. 😉

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) September 13, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Well, you know I am not a parent, but I will say that I’ve read your blog for a long time now, and I wanted to say that I know you have wanted to be a mommy for a really long time! You can’t live life on any other timeline but your own, and if you want a baby and want to be a young mom, follow your heart.

  • Rose September 13, 2011, 4:49 pm

    I’m not a mother, but like you – I am 27. I’m not even close to getting married. While I feel this is the right path for my life (beginning a new relationship, focusing on career), I can’t help but wonder if this path is going to make things harder for me to have a child down the road. Compared to some of my friends, I’m late in the game. Compared to others, I am right on time. I guess it’s whatever is best for me, and that’s the advice I’d give to you. But I won’t lie: I worry often that I will be infertile and hopelessly trying in my 30s to conceive and not being able to.

    You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders (along with your hubby). You’ve both set things up for a positive future for a family. I see nothing wrong with your questioning. I don’t think it’s a sign that you’re not ready. Is anyone really ready for a baby?

    My friend, who just had a baby, said “No one is ever financially or emotionally ready for a baby. They get there when the baby is out there in the world.” So, I’d say – you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. Go for it!

  • Carrie September 13, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Caitlin,
    I stumbled upon your blog as you were training for your Disney marathon and I have followed along ever since. You inspired me to run my own marathon last year 🙂 Like the comment above, I was surprised to read that so many people regretted having children. While it is definitely hard, I can’t say I have ever for a moment regretted having my two boys. My boys are five and three years old now, and we are thinking about having a third baby. It’s SUCH a difficult decision. I feel like I have to decide whether or not someday I will regret NOT having had a third one.

    Having children is a full time job and as with any job, sometimes you will complain about it. There are good days and rough days. But I think all of them make you a better parent and a better person in the end. Like so many people say, there is never going to be a perfect time to have a baby. But if you and your husband are feeling like you’re ready, then do it! Your friends who were horrified are just not ready. No biggie. They will, of course, support you and love that little baby and maybe even offer to babysit 🙂 Good luck, I’m excited to read about your future adventures!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 4:55 pm

      Thanks for reading for so long 🙂 Tis appreciated!

  • Katheryn September 13, 2011, 4:51 pm

    I don’t think I was ever totally ‘ready’ to have kids. I knew I didn’t want to be an older mom though. I wanted to be a younger mom, and then when they’re older focus more on my career. Hubby is 7 years older than me too, so that makes a difference. So that’s what we have done. I’m 30 and pregnant with my 3rd (and probably last) child. Yes, having children is hard. Going without sleep for months on end is difficult, less money is sometimes hard, being the only one in our group of friends at the beginning made it hard at times – but I wouldn’t change a thing. Having children is the single best thing I’ve done with my life. They are the most incredible human beings and I feel blessed every day that I have them. Yes, everything changed, but most things for the better. Yes, I have given up many things, but I’ve gained much more than I could have ever imagined.

  • brandalyn September 13, 2011, 4:51 pm

    Like most people said, your never going to be fully prepared for a child. I think that if your in a good relationship, financially stable and you both want a baby, go for it! Of course things are going to change i mean it’s a baby how could they not! My daughter was not planned but she is the best thing in my life. Everyday I am so greatful to have her. She has challenged me to be a better person so i can teach her to be the best her….ha and she is only 14 months! The only advice i would give is if there are any places you have been dying to travel to or things you just want so badly to do, than i suggest doing it!

  • Grace September 13, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Caitlin, your blog never fails to blow me away! I rarely leave a comment because I’m too engrossed with reading everyone else’s responses. But I think you create such fascinating and moving posts!
    Regarding this topic I personally have no advice to give in parenting. (I’m 19, still in education etc) However, I can say this: my cousin is a teenage mum to a 10 month old baby. When she fell pregnant our family were quite concerned about her and what sort of life she would lead as a teenage mum. And yes 10 months down the line I’m sure her life is incredibly daunting. But seeing her bring a beautiful little boy into this world has changed our perception on things: sometimes a baby happens accidently or on purpose for whatever reasons, but no matter what a baby is a life – and what is more precious than giving life?
    Life is what you make it.. And I think you would make incredible parents!

  • Carly September 13, 2011, 4:53 pm

    I am *almost* 29 and have been married for 3 years. I found out about 2 years ago that I don’t ovulate and will most definitely need medical help to get pregnant. I kept wanting to wait and wanting to wait…. but then the more I thought about it I realized that I will NEVER be “ready”, and with my problems it could take a long time to even GET pregnant! So, I went off of birth control at the end of April and have been trying ever since. Unfortunately, because I don’t ovulate OR get a period on my own I’m working with a 2 month cycle = only six POSSIBLE chances to MAYBE get pregnant per year – if the meds work to make me ovulate 🙁 So, I’m really happy that I just bit the bullet and started trying because who knows how long it will even take.
    Take what other mothers say with a grain of salt. Although kids are super hard and challenging and life changing, there is no love like a mother has for her children. My mom doesn’t even like other people’s babies, but wouldn’t trade the world for her 3 children and 2 grandchildren (so far). YOU do challenging things all the time, this is just a different, never ending challenge 😉

  • Katie September 13, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Caitlin, I have two little boys (three and a half, and seven months) and I love it! Being a mom is not easy all the time, but the joy, learning experiances, and growth I have experianced in being a mom is incalcuable. Nothing can truly prepare you for being a mom – no amount of reading, being with kids, or day dreaming. My husband is the third oldest of eight kids, and I am the third oldest of seven kids. Besides babysitting a lot, I was a nanny for two separate families as a teenager. I went to university, had a career, then put it all on hold to stay at home when our oldest sone was born. I thought we knew everything we needed to know to raise children – and yet we’re learning new things everyday! So don’t wait until you have all the answers, just wait until you’re sure you’re ready – shaky knees and all!

  • Tina September 13, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Go for it! It is the most rewarding thing ever. Be prepared to watch your heart walk around on the outside of your skin and be prepared for all of the work that comes with it because it is work but it is the MOST rewarding job you will ever have. I think your hesitation is ok…its just the unknown. You are right your life will change and you will have to be willing to put your child/children before yourself….but it is the BEST. Good luck with your decision!

  • Sarah September 13, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Y’know what, i haven’t read the comments yet but i’m just gonna let my thoughts flow.

    My husband and I (or just me) have been having the same dilemma and I have pretty much the same concerns as you, and it sounds like we’re in a very similar position (life and friends-wise, if you know what I mean). I think you’re being realistic about what to expect, which is good. I honestly think that one day you’ll just think, “it’s going to be tough etc but let’s just go for it”. As each day passes I’m sure you’ll get closer to that point. That’s certainly what’s happening for me 🙂 and it’s exciting.

    Ok, so I could probably say more but I’ve just finished my late shift at the hospital and my brain is dead xxx Thanks for sharing, it’s great to know that I’m not the only having such thoughts! xxxx

  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 13, 2011, 5:00 pm

    I think your questions and concerns are totally valid and the fact that you’re thinking so much about it is great since it is such a life changing decision.
    I’ve never had a baby, but I am a stepmother to a four year old and have mothered him since he was 17 months old. He (and his daddy) are the best things to ever have happened to me. Yes, it can be exhausting and it tests your patience, but the rewards outweigh the negative parts of it. Hearing your child say he loves you and hug you like he’ll never see you again is the best feeling in the whole world.
    I also think that parents who seriously complain about their children may take them for granted. We only get to see my stepson every other week and it’s very hard to be away from him. He makes our lives better in every way and I can’t wait to have our second child. Even though I know now how to be a mom and know that I’ll be good at it, I’m still scared of having a baby. But I can’t wait to be a mommy and look forward to meeting my future baby. You’ll know when it’s the right time for you.

  • Mari September 13, 2011, 5:01 pm

    Like many of the commenters, I say that you should just go for it when you feel as ready as you think you can be. I am a super over-planner, and despite the fact that my husband’s job (a research fellowship) is only a two-year position, we basically decided that a) we’re emotionally ready for kids, and b) we simply have faith in ourselves and each other that with every challenge that comes up (financial or otherwise), we’ll combat it head-on and we’ll succeed. We’d rather face slight uncertainty as a growing family with lots of potential, then wait and wait and wait until we both have totally permanent jobs to try to conceive. Because, really, no one knows what the future holds. Maybe we’d wait 4 years till he was well-established in a research faculty position at a new university, only to discover that his federal funding will be cut… or something else disastrous. We never know, so while we feel ready and excited to have kids, we’re just going for it. We feel “ready enough,” and since we have no idea if we’ll ever feel 100% ready (doubtful!), we’re ready to take the plunge.

  • Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing September 13, 2011, 5:03 pm

    My husband and I are only weeks away from starting the babymaking process and we’re both really nervous. The biggest problem for us is childcare. My husband is a cop and works rotating shifts and I travel for work fairly frequently. What are we supposed to do when he’s on night shift and I have to go out of town? We don’t have any family nearby to be reliable babysitters, even if we paid them.

    Right now we’re thinking a nanny is our best best, but as with all the options it’s hard to pin down details such as cost when you’re not even pregnant, yet. I SO wish my in-laws would move here.

    But, what are we supposed to do? Not have a family? Surely other families have gone through this and figured it out.

  • Christina September 13, 2011, 5:04 pm

    My friend told me, “you’ll never be 100% ready”. on that note, if you want kids and you know you want to have them sooner rather than later I say go for it! It doesn’t happen over night so starting to “try” is not a bad thing. If it happens you won’t regret it.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 13, 2011, 5:08 pm

    I got chills when I read this. I love that you ask us for advice when you are such an inspiring force for me. My husband and I got married at 20 and had our first son at 23. I was ready before him, but one day, he hear the song “Isn’t she lovely” by Stevie Wonder and it snapped for him that he was ready. I can’t say that happens for everyone, but that’s how it happened for us. As for negative parent talk, it’s probably how the parents talk about each other too. I love being young enough to get what my kids are going through. I am now 36 with a 13 year old and a 10 1/2 year old. Our family is so in tune with each other. We are best friends and I LOVE it. It cuts down on the embarrassment of conversations too. We just talk to each other. No stress, no worries…just lay it out there. I think it has more to do with how you are with your children. If you are stressed and out of sorts then they will be too! Treating them as a part of you and bonding will help you get through the hard stuff. Trust me, they aren’t easy, but really, you have to laugh at the hard stuff and just realize, the infant stage is such a short time. I miss it, but dang, I love how they are now.

    You will never feel completely ready. Kids do change your life, but you have to realize that at some point, you move to a new stage in life and a new adventure! You two will make such amazing parents!

  • Mary September 13, 2011, 5:08 pm

    There is no “perfect time” to have children. I was 27 when I had my first baby (he is now 14 and taller than me!!!). I was in med school, but we had been married 3 years and were ready for the next step. I don’t regret it at all. My mom was also older when she had me and my sister (31 and 36 at the time) and I wanted to be a younger mom. My next one was born during my residency, and my third just after I finished. They each are truly the joy of my life, but of course not at every single moment. Overall, though, family life is great! Good luck with your decision.

  • Rachel September 13, 2011, 5:12 pm

    Here’s my 2 cents: I’m a fur mom and I know raising a dog is nothing compared to what it’s like to raise a child. However, even if it even mildly or remotely resembles the types of joy and pleasure of what it would be like to raise an actual human baby, you can count me on board.

    My parents had me at 30 and I can’t even imagine waiting that long. My fiance and I are 24 and 25 and while we aren’t married (yet, 11 days to go!) or going to be trying for a baby until after the wedding, we both already feel totally ready. Of course we could always have a little more money saved up or whatever. But, we both have college degrees, steady, stable jobs and good income, a growing savings account, have traveled a bunch, and just bought a house.

    There’s nothing regarding my career or education that I still want to accomplish before kids (same for my fiance). Not much more on my “check list” to take care of. Bring on the babies!! (Probably start to seriously consider trying in 2012.

  • Jocelyn September 13, 2011, 5:14 pm

    It’s obvious that you want kids. If you go ahead, I think you’ll just love them and never look back. However I don’t think it’s a big deal if you wait a year or 2 until you feel less conflicted.

    We are struggling to get pregnant and are just starting to go through treatment. When we were faced with numerous doctors appointments and now potentially thousands of dollars of treatment and accepted it without hesitation, we knew we are as ready as we are going to be.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 5:17 pm

      I hope you get pregnant ASAPPPPPPPP!!!

      • Jocelyn September 13, 2011, 5:49 pm

        Thanks!!! It’s a frustrating process but I know it’ll be worth it in the end.

  • Justine September 13, 2011, 5:15 pm

    If couples/singles don’t want kids, I’m totally okay with that. Why would someone force another person to have a kid anyway? The world is overpopulated enough and we don’t need more depressed parents/neglected children (many do rise to the occasion, of course, but this isn’t always the case).

    Been married for just over a year, hubby and I are 25, and I’ve got baby fever sooooooooo badly. But my wonderful job is to take care of sick babies (NICU nurse), so I think I’ve always been destined to love and want kids. We want to finish paying off our student loan/car debt first and he’s always wanted to go to the Himalayas and New Zealand, so we’re looking at kids in 3-4 years, take a sabbatical from work to do that and then having some adventures.

    Absolutely you can travel with kids and we plan to do so! Hiking in the Himalayas and sailing in New Zealand seem like a big kid kind of activity though, so we’d like to get that out of the way so we don’t wait until we’re late 30s, early 40s. We also hope to move to the UK (DH is a British citizen) for a few years so that we can travel around Europe easily as well, not to mention show the kids their culture and their grandparents.

    I just get scared by the fertility thing because I want to be a mom so badly and don’t want to lose out by waiting too long. Actually, I had both of us checked out and both of us look fine, but unless it was really bad, of course a 25 year old woman would be an ideal candidate. I try to keep my peace with it and try not to let it rule my mind, but it’s hard sometimes. Cuddling the stable babies at work helps : )

    I wish you and Kristien all the luck in deciding when you want to have children and equally all the luck in conceiving and giving birth to a healthy child : )

    • Therese September 13, 2011, 7:16 pm

      I’m a NICU nurse too, and my husband always says it’s the perfect job for me! However, now that I’ve been in the NICU 4 years and kids are a realistic possibility in my life, it’s terrifying. When I get pregnant I will literally be counting the days until viability and if we have twins or triplets, forget about my sanity for the rest of pregnancy!

      • Justine September 13, 2011, 10:19 pm

        haha. Well, I’m going to try to forget about it, but yep. And people are always like, “Well you made it past 24 weeks! Life’s okay!” except for PPHN, sepsis, leading to scary ECMO, not to mention stuff that can’t be pre-natally diagnosed. Yep. DH asked if we wanted to go to the UK for baby but I was like no way. I would be way too controlling and I don’t know what technology they use that we use that is experimental (like omegavan)

        • Therese September 13, 2011, 10:30 pm

          Ironically, I kind of want to have a baby at a birth center away from all the technology, but we’ll see how I feel about that when the time comes lol. I won’t be in any state to perform NRP but I want someone who is darn competent in it if we need anything!

  • Michelle September 13, 2011, 5:16 pm

    1. I freaked out in the delivery room and starting crying about whether or not my husband and I had enough time to be “us”. In our case, the best “us” has turned out to be husband, wife, and 2 kids.
    2. We wanted to wait until we were completely ready too, but soon realized that we would never be. To us, that meant closing the chapters on so many things that we still wanted to accomplish, that were key to who we are as individuals. So, we decided to let God decide when the best time was.
    3. 2 years later, God decided the best timing for us to get pregnant was 3 weeks before my husband deployed to Afghanistan for a year long tour. My honest reaction? WTF?! The reality? We now have 2 funny, tempermental, loving, smart children that I can’t IMAGINE life without. Even when I am tired and grumpy.

    Whether you plan it or believe that Nature/God will take it’s course, as long as you want it together, with each other, and work to continue to love each other and adjust, it will be the right time.

  • Sarah @ w30 September 13, 2011, 5:18 pm

    Awesome post and awesome comments! I’m only halfway through them, but can’t wait to read the rest. I don’t know what the right answer is, and I definitely struggle with this topic (seriously, life instructions would be great right about now), but basically, I think that life is complicated and it’s all about balance – marriage is hard work but worth it if you are in a good relationship, following your dreams and developing a career takes long hours and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but the challenge is half of the reward, etc. I imagine it’s the same with parenthood. There may be some (very few) who actually regret being parents, but most likely the people we hear complain one day are just as likely to gush the next.
    The other thing, the reaction you are getting from your friends is based on THEM not being ready, not what is right or wrong for YOU. The way we interact with people is colored by our own desires, fears, and needs. Maybe they can’t imagine being a parent themselves, or maybe they are scared your friendship will change because you won’t be in the same life-stage anymore. It’s natural for their reaction to freak you out a little, but don’t take it to heart. 🙂

  • Hannah September 13, 2011, 5:18 pm

    I respect you so much for putting this out there. More people should think through their decision to have children just like this. Although most people wouldn’t put it on the internet 😉 But bravo to you!

    • Hannah September 13, 2011, 5:20 pm

      Oh and – as the saying goes: If you don’t know whether you want to have children, take a pregnancy test. In that moment, you’ll know what sign you’re hoping for! Kind of cheesy but it wouldn’t hurt, right? 😉

      • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 5:23 pm

        🙂 Thanks Hannah.

      • Ali September 13, 2011, 8:40 pm

        TRUE! 🙂

  • Heidi September 13, 2011, 5:19 pm

    Aw, I love this post. I already have two and thinking about having another is still a terrifying thought sometimes. Even when you get pregnant you’ll have days where you ask yourself if you’re really ready. Heck, even after you have a baby you’ll second guess yourself all the time – we all do it. But it is really the most precious thing you’ll ever experience, and totally worth it. I had my first young(and by accident, but what a happy accident he was :D) so deciding to have kids wasn’t the same for you and I, but a year and a half later we decided to have another. And it was a super hard choice and there was never a moment where we knew we wanted one now, we just decided we wanted another one eventually and just let things happen. My doctor jokingly says that the answer is yes when it isn’t a for sure no. I hate how other parents talk bad about having kids. Yes it’s hard(duh?) but it is honestly the best job ever. It is so incredibly rewarding, even though it’s difficult. No one says it’s easy – but honestly, it drives me crazy to hear other parents saying such things. Kids may take some things away from your life but they add so much more. I mentioned my first was an accident, and yes I was young, but I would NOT change a single thing. In fact we keep adding more, haha. Kids are the best thing that will ever happen to you 🙂

  • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) September 13, 2011, 5:19 pm

    I had my daughter the same month I turned 22. Many people make assumptions about this and I was definitely the first of my friends but I have never had a regret. I had been married three years to my high school sweetheart and while we weren’t at our best financially, we’ve always been able to give our daughter everything she needs. I knew I wanted to be a young mom and all the time I think how glad I am to have made that decision. I honestly can’t imagine chasing a toddler in my thirties! Not that I wouldn’t, I just know there’s a certain amount of slowing down our bodies do naturally, haha. My husband was in Iraq nearly the whole first year of my daughter’s life and she had colic so there were many nights I was alone crying right along with her. There have been many experiences I never could have dreamed of before I had kids but in the same manner, I never could have imagined the immense love I would have for my child. I’ve always felt like there are things women don’t talk about (men too) but I think people who aren’t parents can’t possibly understand. I mean it in the best way… it’s just our biology to become attached to our kids, the same way they are to us. So even though blowout diapers and 2 year molars might seem like a nightmare, the moments when your kid says “Mommy, I love you” make it all worth it. As for parents who talk bad about their kids, I feel like those are people who either seriously have their priorities messed up or have mental issues they aren’t aware of. When parents take time to parent their children, rather than acting like they are some burden, the children thrive and are healthy and happy.

    • HTPDad September 13, 2011, 9:26 pm

      re: the “I love you”
      I was having a hard day, and was sitting on the edge of the bed, obviously looking beat. Caitlin (5)came over, put her hands on my knees, looked into my eyes and said “daddy, it’s just a stage”. How could I stay down after that?

      • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) September 14, 2011, 1:11 am

        Awww. That’s exactly what I mean! My little girl is only two but when my husband leaves and she can tell I’m sad, she’ll tell me what we tell her, “Daddy home soon.”

  • Kelly September 13, 2011, 5:25 pm

    Ah, you are such an awesome blogger for putting something like this out there that so many other people struggle with! I’m with you, same age, same order of events etc. None of my friends have kids, no one in my family has kids (siblings are younger or don’t want kids) and I am a kindergarten teacher so I know a little too much about what it will entail! But I really can’t imagine not having them, and I agree with others that there may be no exact right time. I also think a lot of comments have hit the nail on the head about people just complaining because it’s an easy way to relate to people. I’ve also heard a LOT of people complain about marriage and so far it hasn’t been terrible at all including the “hard first year” I’ve heard a lot about. I know kids will definitely have their moments, but overall they will be worth it. Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She talks about something called “fog happiness” that a parent feels about their child. “In many ways, the happiness of having children falls into the kind of happiness that could be called fog happiness. Fog is elusive. Fog surrounds you and transforms the atmosphere, but when you try to examine it, it vanishes. Fog happiness is the kind of happiness you get from activities that, closely examined, don’t really seem to bring much happiness at all- yet somehow they do.” Other examples of fog happiness include planning a dinner party and running a race, both things I think you enjoy 🙂

    So I guess what I’m saying is, I hear you, I hear you loud and clear. But I think you’ll be a fantastic mom!

  • Z September 13, 2011, 5:25 pm

    Most of our friends have had unplanned pregnancies and their children range from 2 weeks to teenagers, however most of our friends’ are awesome as well. You know my husband was just joking last night that in my brain there’s a never ending ticker that says “babybabybabybabybabybaby”. LOL ALL of our friends say that you’re never ready for kids. While I really want a baby soooooooooo bad, there are Sundays that I realize how awesome it is to sleep in.
    Basically I don’t think you should by what others say because it’s your and your hubby’s life and you guys know better than anyone what you want or what you don’t want out of life. One of the things I look forward to (what I want the kids for the most) is to see what kind of people my hubby and I make, what kind of a legacy we will leave in this world. While it’s not happening this year (need house!!!) I am so excited to be pregnant, have a baby (or 3), raise them and shape better versions of us.
    Meanwhile I’ll just keep crying at the damn Pampers commercial (can it get any more adorable!) and watch everything with a baby in it and hope that sooner (than later) we are blessed with such a gift. Do what you guys feel is best for you, everything else will fall in place.

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes September 13, 2011, 5:28 pm

    I am 26 years old my husband is almost 28. We have 2 boys – 10 months and 2.5 years. they are the best things in our entire lives. They bring sooooo much laughter and joy and happiness to our life, I don’t know how I ever lived without them. There is never a “perfect” time to have children. Trust me, once you have your son or daughter in your arms, you will wonder, how did I wait this long to have him/her?! They are your WORLD!

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes September 13, 2011, 5:34 pm

    OH, and I was really undecisive – which it sounds like you are too 😉 so we did the whole “if/when it’s suppose to happen, it will happen” and, well, what do you know, next month we were pregnant! ha!

  • Kate September 13, 2011, 5:40 pm

    I was in a similar place at 27, but more newly married 🙂 I found that I got cluckier and cluckier, and more and more worried about fertility, and at 28 finally said “let’s just bite the bullet next year.” By the time next year rolled around, we were feeling unsettled, and I was dealing with some difficult friendship issues, which made me feel like I had to defer things (long story)… but eventually we just decided “the timing’s never going to be right, let’s just do it”. I also found that I didn’t get jealous of people’s book deal announcements, or wedding announcements, or new job announcements, but that I wanted to cry at every pregnancy announcement! And now I’m 16 weeks pregnant, terrified, and over the moon!

  • Lisa September 13, 2011, 5:51 pm

    The time we knew that we were ready – was after I had a miscarriage. While that pregnancy was a ‘suprise’, the grief and loss we felt highlighted just how ready we were. Sadly, we were to have another loss, and then have to endure over a year of fertility treatments, but I am so very happy to say that I am now 15 weeks pregnant and could not be happier!!! For us, it was definitley something that we talked about in depth, to make sure that we were making the decision to have children for the right reason….and not just because ‘well thats what happens after you get married’ lol

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 5:52 pm

      I am so sorry! I didn’t know this about you. I am so happy for you that you are pregnant now!

  • Kate September 13, 2011, 5:51 pm

    I’m a working mom with 2 little ones (ages 5 and 2) and some days I still feel like I’m not ready. Who left me in charge to grow a person? Are they crazy? But, the reality is, I love being a parent. The positives I receive on a daily basis from my kids outweigh all the temper tantrums (including those from my husband), sleepless nights and kid-induced poop and vomit that has touched my skin. It gives you a great perspective on what is truly important in life and the opportunity to do some things you may have not done in a while (coloring, dressing barbies, assembling legos, playing tag…)

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 5:52 pm

      🙂

  • Amy Ramos September 13, 2011, 5:53 pm

    Don’t scare me like that!!! 😛
    Well, I can tell you trying to achieve being PG is a tough road for us. We are going on 2 1/2 yrs of Trouble trying to conceive. The fertility treatments are not working so we are taking a break and re-assessing what we want to do.
    Honestly, hearing these stories does not scare me b/c I want to be a mom. I have wanted to be a mom for 2 1/2 yrs….

  • Mandy September 13, 2011, 5:55 pm

    Just to stand up for those of us that haven’t pursued the “traditional” female route since this thread seems a little one-sided…I’ve been given a lot of crap for waiting so long to get married and am now feeling pressure to reproduce. Because of my choices I’ve been able to live and work in amazing places (Germany, remote Alaska, etc.) and have built my dream career. I wouldn’t change THAT for the world. Regardless of whether or not I procreate, I feel sorry for those that have needled me in the past yet now appear to regret that their lives have passed them by and can’t do anything about it.

    Having said that, the fact that you cry at diaper commercials may mean you are more ready than you think? =) Sounds like you need to decide if there is anything left you’d like to do with your life that precludes kids.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 5:57 pm

      I think it’s awesome that you have pursued your career like this. I too feel very career driven and can completely understand wanting to do certain things first. I agree with many of your sentiments!!!

      Diaper commercials are the worst.

      • Clare September 14, 2011, 1:22 pm

        Mandy – Thank you so much for your comment! I feel like in the last few years, in the media especially, there has been kind of a back lash against women who go the non traditional route of getting married late/not at all, especially if this is because they are focusing on their careers. They always nearly seem to be portrayed as unfulfilled, unhappy and ‘hiding problems’ through their work (Helloo coverage of Jen Aniston in the tabloids). It doesn’t help that as me and most of my friends are coming up to 21, a lot of them are starting to talk about their ’10 yr plans’ – most want to be married by 25, had 2/3 kids by the time they’re 30 etc – so I feel like a bit of a freak for not wanting that! To hear that you were happy putting your career first is reassuring, as I definitely don’t want children and marriage is something I don’t really see happening in the next 10 yrs for me.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) September 13, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Can I be honest with you? Children are no longer considered blessings, they are considered burdens. Will anyone say that outright? No, of course not, but with the way they talk so negatively about their children you can clearly see that 1 or 2 is a blessing and anymore is a burden.

    This said, I have 4 going on 5 children and we’ll take as many more as the good Lord will bless us with. We’ve had children by birth and adoption. We see them truly as beautiful blessings.

    Its all in the mindset. Once you get past the way the world sees things and see things far more clearly your mind will change and you will put aside all fear and just take a step of faith. Is it still scary? Yes, a little. But they never go hungry, they always have nice neat clean clothes, and they are always loved. Does the budget always budget? No, oddly enough it doesn’t always balance just right but everything is paid and on time, no debt, food and clothing covered and still money for the good things in life. I guess it all comes down to faith.

    It all comes together and I can’t explain it. You know in your heart what you need to know. When your ready just take that step of faith.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2011, 5:58 pm

      YES. That is what I was trying to say. So many people act like their kids are a BURDEN. Isn’t that sad??? It is to me! I really appreciated this comment and I think it’s awesome that you have adopted.

  • Allison K September 13, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Ok, I would totally love to read through all the comments right now, I don’t have time at work.
    My husband and I were in the same boat as you, with all the same questions. Well..we have been practicing FAM, and as you know, its only effective when you practice it correctly. Let’s just say after a particularly fun night out, we didn’t practice it correctly. Two days later I ovulated, and now I’m six weeks pregnant!
    After a few days of shock, we both go on board with the idea. It doesn’t matter now if there are tons of things that I will be missing, or if my house will never be clean again, or if I will be sleep deprived for the next 18 years, it is what it is, and we are having a baby in may (God Willing).

    I think it exemplifies that there is never a good time. I think you guys are ready. And, like you pointed out, you aren’t sure if you will struggle with infertility, or if you will get pregnant on the first go-round!

  • Nic Dempsey September 13, 2011, 6:02 pm

    I don’t have kids (it just never happened!). My brother and sis-in-law were about your age when they got married and it took them 2 and a bit years to get around to having one (my delightful nephew!). My brother said that Olly changed their life completely but that was ok because they wanted him to change their life. I think that’s what it’s about. Are you ready for that change? When you have children, you stop being the picture and start being the frame, if you can handle that, you’re probably as ready as you’ll ever be!

  • OntarioGirl September 13, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I don’t think you will ever be ready but you will just adapt and there are so many wonderful things about life with kids vs. life without kids so I think there are pluses to both! My story…I’ve been trying to conceive since I was 22 and I am now 27 and still childless! You never know if you are infertile or will have problems conceiving so my advice is start now! I went through numerous fertility treatments including clomid and IUI until I had a surgery and found out my tubes are both blocked hence the reason I am not getting pregnant. I took a 2 year break for personal reasons and last month just completed my first round of IVF that sadly ended in a chemical pregnancy. We start IVF round #2 in 2 weeks and I’m praying that it’s our lucky month! Also, I STILL don’t feel ready for kids and I’m willingly going through all of this to get pregnant and have those same feelins you’re having still! I know I want kids but it’s still terrifying. I think that’s normal!

  • Chrissy (The New Me) September 13, 2011, 6:11 pm

    Here’s my two cents: when you have kids, your life changes. Some of those changes are for the better, some are for the worse. I do think that in most cases, the love a parent has for their children transcends the bad things and most parents think their kids are definitely worth it.

    That said, every choice we make has consequences. That doesn’t mean we need to be afraid of the consequences – we just have to be aware of them. I think many women face postpartum depression because they’re led to believe that the moment they lay eyes on their baby, every negative emotion will disappear. This is an unfair expectation that can – and has – hurt many women.

    That said, it sounds like parenthood is for you and a lot of your worries stem from being young and wondering if you’re starting too early. Even if you wait until you’re 30, you will still be considered a young mother – especially since you’re so active and healthy. My advice, knowing you only through your blog – wait another year or two and enjoy your life and your husband as is. Kids are definitely in your future and there’s no reason to rush into parenthood at this point in your life.

    (Then again, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for nine years and still don’t feel ready for marriage, so take my advice with a grain of salt.) 🙂

  • Renee September 13, 2011, 6:15 pm

    I was your age when we were blessed with our first baby. Now, I have a 14 year old and a 12 year old. I cannot imagine a life without them!! I know you don’t believe in God or a higher power. And I respect you for your honesty and I repect your beliefs. But I will warn you now, that It will be hard to experience childbirth and motherhood without questioning your beliefs. It’s hard to experience miracles firsthand and not be changed. Just thought I would throw out something else for you to think about and discuss with your hubby. Change is wonderful and will happen whether you have babies or not. Much love and blessings to you as you decide your path. Oh, and PS YOU GUYS WOULD MAKE CUTE BABIES TOGETHER 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:56 pm

      Aww thanks. 🙂 I hope the bebes have British accents (just kidding).

      I definitely believe in God, just not an organized God!

      • Renee September 13, 2011, 9:42 pm

        Oops! I am sorry for too much assuming about your personal belief system! You are a super star for replying with such class. Yay God!! Boo organized, man made God. I couldn’t have given birth and not believed in God afterwards.

        Crossing my fingers for that “babyHTP” blog one day!!

        • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 9:43 pm

          Aw it’s okay! 🙂

  • Katie September 13, 2011, 6:17 pm

    OMG! I’ve been having this exact same issue….I’m 29, my hubby is ready for kids, ALL of our friends are pregnant or have kids…..in our neighborhood, the wives get together once a month for a hang out, and there’s constant stories of “OMG give me a drink, my kids are making me crazy/driving me nuts/I feel like I’m having a break down” – that doesn’t make me want to jump on the bandwagon! LOL The last time this happened, I let them know that they were scaring me, and they said “oh no, it’s really great being a mom!” LOL I’m like uh…doesn’t sound like it! I’m also scared of how it will change the relationship btwn my husband and I…..I don’t want to resent him for feeling like he’s not chipping in, and I don’t want to be the hormonal psycho….I’m sure once we have them, I wouldn’t able to imagine life without them….but I’m still hesitant!

  • Kyla September 13, 2011, 6:18 pm

    You will make a wonderful mother Caitlin. Your love and warmth shines through on this blog and I don’t think anyone should ever make you doubt YOUR choices.

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:56 pm

      Thanks Kyla!

  • Laura September 13, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Caitlin, if you feel you and the husband are emotionally ready to have a baby, then I say go for it. I am also 27, and my husband and I just celebrated our third wedding anniversary, and we are currently three months pregnant. We knew that we were great partners, respectful of each other’s thoughts and desires, and that we couldn’t imagine anything more romantic and tremendous than creating a life to raise together. I’ve always heard there’s never a good time to have a baby, but we both feel so zen about this. I’m in grad school, and will have a year left (working on two degrees) once the baby is born, but I know we can make it work. Despite all of those negative things I’ve heard also, we really believe that parenting is dictated by our attitudes and behaviors. Obviously sometimes there are sickness or defects, but we will deal with each day as it comes. We believe our child will be an addition to the family, and not the center, so that we can maintain a focus on our marriage and provide a healthy and loving environment for our child to grow up in. There’s definitely a difference in wanting a child and being ready for a child–which are you? Once you figure that out, let nature take its course 🙂

  • Shayla @ The Good Life September 13, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Wow I love this post b/c I definitely can relate to it. I’m 29, hubby is 34, been together 8 years, married 3, and I can finally say that I am so ready and we are actively trying.

    I have a baby fever like none other – it’s like what you described. I wanted to wait until I had these feelings to start trying, and finally I did right when I turned 29. I thought the feeling of your “biological clock ticking” was hokey but it’s not – I definitely felt that clock ticking and know what it feels like!

    It’s taking us awhile to get pregnant so on one hand I wish we had started trying at your age, but I definitely wasn’t ready and didn’t have the baby fever that I have now. I also wanted to wait until we had a bigger next egg, traveled more, etc. But that just didn’t happen and the baby fever won me over. People told me that we never will be truly “ready” to have a baby, and now I know what they mean. On paper we may not be ready and like you I have fears due to horror stories I’ve heard from parents, but our souls, hearts, and our desires for a baby burns stronger than ever and that tells me we’re ready. And from what you described, I think you’re ready too 😉

    I want to read all these comments but there are sooo many so I hope you do a recap of it and give us your thoughts on it all 🙂

  • Julie September 13, 2011, 6:23 pm

    I can’t tell you how to know if you’re ready, but the fact that you’re thinking about it but letting other peoples negative talk surrounding parenthood cloud your decision makes me really sad!

    My son is just over 2. he is a handful. He has changed my life and turned it upside down, and changed my relationship with my husband at the same time. I would not change it for a thing! He’s a terrible sleeper, and he’s stubborn and willful and not always the best listener. He’s also sweet, funny, loving, kind, cuddly, smart as can be, curious, chatty, and the person I love the most in this whole world. I am so happy and grateful that I have him in my life.

    My best friend has been trying for three years to get pregnant and has not been successful so far. I am thankful every day that I never had that kind of struggle to endure before I was able to enjoy life with my son. That keeps me in perspective in a big way because many people would give anything to have sleepless nights with a kid or complain about how they never get a date night anymore.

    If you feel that your marriage is strong and can handle anything, then you will do just fine to have children any time you want to. There is no “ready”. You’re never really ready for kids… even when you plan it and are actually trying to get pregnant, you’re just not really ready or prepared for what the reality of having a child is going to be like.

    The good news is that with a great husband to support you and a support network of friends with kids (you can meet htem when you actually have a kid, it doesn’t matter if you’re the first one of your friends to have a child), you will do an excellent job raising as many kids as you want.

  • Sandy September 13, 2011, 6:26 pm

    I have 2 girl’s,the oldest is 21 and the youngest 15..while Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had(I’m a Nurse) I wouldn’t trade it for the World,I Love my Girls more today then I did when they were babies..it’s not always easy,but I still look at them and think “I’m so Blessed”..I was 25 when I had my first and was sick with worry if I was ready..lol..I’d do it all again to have my Girl’s..they are Priceless!!!

  • Jen@familyfoodfitnessandfun September 13, 2011, 6:29 pm

    I read your blog everyday, but I finally had to chime in on this one. I was your age when baby fever hit me. The hubs and I had been married about 4 years so we were both ready. But…we were both scared of what parenthood would bring. It’s natural to think it’s scary. At the time, I only had one friend who had a baby, the rest of my friends weren’t interested in kids yet. But I knew that we just had to take the plunge. If I kept second guessing it, it would never have happened. And now…it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. Parenthood enriches your life beyond your wildest dreams. Yes, of course there are hard times with kids…I’m already sprouting a few grey hairs. But when you watch them sleeping at night, and how peaceful and innocent they are, it is all worth it 🙂
    Best of luck to you both in your parenthood journey!

  • Sara September 13, 2011, 6:32 pm

    Not to be Debbie Downer, but as someone who’s been trying to get pregnant for over a year I wish I could tell anyone who’s “ready” or thinking about having kids to start trying at least. It’s much better to have fun with it trying than wait too long and let “baby fever” consume you.

    On a much lighter note, your babies will be so beautiful and healthy 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:57 pm

      Thank you Sara 🙂 I hope you get pregnant SOON!!!

  • Megan September 13, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Wow you have a lot of comments! I’ve been a long time reader, first time commenter, I think and since DH and I are talking about starting our family and we’re only 22, I think you are just fine! Good luck!

  • Samantha September 13, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Our boys are 5 and 8 and I still struggle with worrying about raising them right, am I good enough to be a successful parent, etc. One of the most common phrases I’ve heard over the years and think is accurate for MANY women (not all) is “If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never have kids because you’ll never be completely ready.” At least with your first.

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny September 13, 2011, 6:54 pm

    Holy cow – is this your most commented post, or what?!

    The hubs and I were together for 8 years before even getting engaged – we wanted to be financially stable before we went spending oodles on money on a wedding. We bought our house first, got settled in, worked hard, planned, planned, and planned some more. During our short (less than a year) engagement we got pregnant! I was told that I wouldnt be able to naturally conceive because I suffered from anorexia for years. It was a shock, and something we certainly hadnt planned for yet. Needless to say, as unplanned and unexpected as she was, our daughter is the absolute light of our lives. Sure, she takes up more than half of my bed, dominates the TV selection, and the entire living room with her things, but it is SO WORTH IT!! She turned 2 yesterday, and I almost can’t believe it. Time flies so quickly – the bed sharing, lack of sleep, lack of date nights, and the swap of a chic grown up space for a toddler’s paradise will be gone all too soon.

    I say go for it, Caitlin! You guys will be terrific parents … and you know what they say, the best laid plans ….

    All the best!

  • valuliana @ Ramblings of a BabyMama September 13, 2011, 7:18 pm

    We had a pregnancy scare that didn’t turn out to be one and we were so disappointed when we found out we were NOT pregnant. That’s how we knew we were ready for kids. After giving up birth control, we adopted the “we’re not trying, but we’re not preventing it either” attitude and it took us a year to get pregnant. We were excited and scared all at once, but now, our Rina is 9 months old and although parenthood is tough, it is also the most rewarding experience of our lives. We all have good and bad days, babies do too, but I wouldn’t give up being a mom for anything in the world.

    If you’re thinking about it and your only argument is “I don’t know if now is the right time”, well, there isn’t really a good time. EVER! You just make do with the situation when it arrives and you come out a stronger person and couple. Like you said, you can plan all you want, but once you have a child, all plans go out the window! It is truly a great feeling. Take the plunge, it will have its challenges, but in the end, nothing beats being a mom (or a dad)!

  • Lori September 13, 2011, 7:24 pm

    I was going to come on here and comment and was amazed at how many people already have! All I can tell you is, having my girls was the best decision my husband and I ever made. I never felt like I missed out on anything and I would not change it for the world. I also didn’t want to be “too old” and wanted to be finished by the time I was 30. I had my last baby at 29. We were together 4 years before getting married and (also lived together) and married 2 years before trying to start a family. We will be celebrating 18 years of marriage in the new year. It wasn’t always easy, but nothing is. My girls are growing too fast and I would love to go back in time. Or freeze it! I often find myself wondering what I will do when they are in college. I make myself feel better knowing that I am young enough and in good enough shape to travel and do whatever I want! And I’ve always been young enough to keep up with them – well, my 13 year old can now outrun me. At least in speed, not distance. Yet… 😉

  • Christena September 13, 2011, 7:25 pm

    Husband and I have been married for 8.5 years. We both have established careers, good health, a house, no consumer debt, cars paid off, etc. When we first got married, we knew we wanted to have kids; there was no question, we actually talked about names. Now the longer we wait, the less enthusiastic he becomes. I have been wanting to start a family for the past 5 years and this desire continues to intensify; he just keeps saying “not yet.” I don’t understand. Timing would seem to be perfect in my estimation. I can’t believe I am saying this for the world to see on the internet, but it is actually causing major problems in our relationship, simply because he keeps saying “not yet” and refuses to talk about it any more. He is also opposed to adoption (for us, not in general!), for reasons he will not elaborate on. Meanwhile, we’re 31, which certainly isn’t old, but sometimes it takes awhile and statistics show it is harder to get pregnant in your 30’s. If we do begin trying in a few years and I am not able to get pregnant, after wanting them so bad and waiting on him to be “ready” for so long, I honestly don’t know how I will be able to get past that in our relationship. Seriously, it is the thing I have been so excited for my entire life. The thought scares me. All of this to say that I’m so glad you and your husband seem to be on the same page. There is no perfect timing. As some one who would *die* for her husband to be ready and excited about babies, I say congratulations! Sorry for dumping this in your comments section! Yes, I am seeing a counselor! 🙂

    • Sarah @ w30 September 13, 2011, 7:36 pm

      Christena, I just want to give you a virtual hug. In a somewhat similar spot myself, and although we’re strangers with different life experiences, I know how heart-wrenching a situation that is. *HUGS*

      • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:50 pm

        I also want to give you a hug. I cannot imagine how hard this is for you… Lots of hugs and support. If you ever want to vent, you can email me!!!! caitlinjboyle@gmail.com.

    • HTPDad September 13, 2011, 9:34 pm

      I hope that things work out – and I will add, more and more I hear the clock ticking in my own life. Five years is a long time to put off a time sensitive decision. Best of luck.

  • ste September 13, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Three years of marriage and then babies for me. I have a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old. Yup, haven’t slept well in a very long time, am tired but I look at those two and can not imagine my life another way. You can look at all the possibilities in a myriad of ways, but once you’re stuck in the thick of it, you can do things you never imagined you could. Probably like your races. Prepare as much as you do, but there will always be things you aren’t prepared to do and you deal with them when they’re right there in front of you.

  • Kate September 13, 2011, 7:28 pm

    I am 29 and about 6 weeks away from having my first child. My husband and I have been together for 9 years, married for 5, and had been thinking about trying for a baby since 2008 (before I qualified for Boston and we decided to postpone it a bit). We both have good jobs and a house. We decided to start trying in early 2010. It took us over 6 months of trying, an endometriosis diagnosis and surgery to remove a baseball-sized endo growth for me, and another 6 months of trying before we were finally successful–a lot longer and more stressful than either of us had wanted. I guess my point is that things rarely go as planned, and only you and your husband can decide when you’re “ready” (though I don’t think anyone ever is!). Kids change everything, it’s just a matter of when you are ready to take that leap.

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:51 pm

      Congrats on your pregnancy 🙂 I wish you the best of luck with your new baby!

  • megan September 13, 2011, 7:30 pm

    ah so i just had to comment on this one! let me preface this by saying that i know this is NOT NOT NOT the same thing as motherhood, but i think i had a glimpse into what it would be like to raise a child when i moved home during my junior year of college to help my brother (a single dad with joint custody) raise his son. my nephew was an infant when i first started helping out. he was such a handful and there were a lot of times when i just felt so overwhelmed. i remember he had an ear infection, but we didn’t know it at the time. my brother worked at night and i worked during the day so i would be alone w the baby at night. he was crying so much and i had him in one arm and was trying to type a paper up for school and we both just ended up crying in bed together. there are moments like that where its overwhelming, but it was always so worth it. he is my absolute favorite person ever and i try to soak up every minute i can with him. i moved away once my brother had his situation stabilized and i miss my nephew SO MUCH every single day, without exaggerating. every time i go home, i spend almost all my time with him. when he was a baby and even when im fortunate enough to visit now, i just bring him with me. there are moments, like when he cried the other week when i put his left shoe on before his right (i dont even know…) where i think its nice to have my freedom. but they are all trumped by moments like when he recently asked me “can you just be done living in chicago yet?”

    with that being said, i’ve always, always known i’ve wanted to be a mom. in talking to a friend recently, i said that if you gave me a career, being married or having a baby and i could only choose one and would have to forever give up the other two, i would hands down choose motherhood. in my ideal world, i’d have all three 🙂 im 23 and single, so motherhood isn’t happening anytime soon, but i’ve had baby fever practically forever!

  • mi-an d. September 13, 2011, 7:38 pm

    when it happens, it will happen. don’t put pressure on yourself…just let it flow. 🙂 i’ve never been pregnant, i’m 31, but my career is not stable as of yet…but we do plan to have babies in the next 2 yrs 🙂 i have a niece who is 4, 1 yo nephew and another one on the way…i adore each of them as if they are mine. and i know im going to obsess and fall in love over mine as well… i think having children is one of the greatest gift God could ever give us. I mean, it’s another human being!!! and part you and part your husband!! and you get to teach them about life! it’s so exciting!!! 🙂

  • Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen September 13, 2011, 7:40 pm

    It’s really unfortunate that people feel that way. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it, and the same goes for parenthood!
    I personally have had a wonderful experience with my son, and I’m guessing that if you and your husband both feel the same way, your parenthood experience will be amazing.
    Good luck with your decision!

  • Megan September 13, 2011, 7:42 pm

    You are never ready to have children. Ever. Even when you think you have it all planned out and things are perfect, BOOM!! something comes along and throws you off track. We have three kiddos and the only one that was planned was the middle one. We had more financial strife during that pregnancy than the other two. Not that it will happen to you, I’m just sayin’. Having children of your own is the best feeling in the world, and i guarantee that nothing makes you fall in love with your husband all over again like seeing him with the kids, or looking at those babies and knowing that YOU created that (with a little help, of course). I have so many friends who have waited to have children because of careers or money, or whatever, and now, in their 30s, are struggling to conceive naturally. Again, not that this will happen to you, but its definitely something to think about. Just committ to not caring what happens and don’t take any precautions and see what happens!! Good luck!

  • Heather September 13, 2011, 7:51 pm

    We have never been happier or closer than we are now that we have our daughter. She slept beautifully. She is an angel. She is well behaved, happy, and joyous. She makes us laugh all the time. She’s a beautiful addition to our life. Seeing my husband as a father has made me love him ten thousand times more, which I never thought was possible. Yes, sometimes we’re more tired. Yes, we’ve had to come up with more creative ways to spend time together. We have never regretted our choice for one minute. How did we know we were ready? We just knew, and then we didn’t, and then we did… and then we sat down, ran a budget, and talked about the practical details. We figured out if I could stay home or would have to go back to work, we made financial plans, and we took the leap.

  • Sarah September 13, 2011, 7:51 pm

    I say listen to your own voice and intuition. YOU are the only one who knows what’s right for YOU and you don’t need everyone’s advice.

  • Sam September 13, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Great convo. One thing I wanted to throw out is that sometimes when I hear my friends talk about wanting kids, they all kind of assume they’ll have happy, healthy children. Which the majority might. But they might not. I think that when people “plan” to have a kid they plan for the best case scenario. But what if it’s not like that? You’ve gotta be ready for any.thing. with kids. Accidents, illnesses, behavioral disorders, etc.

    Sorry to be a debby downer, I just don’t feel like people my age ever talk about this stuff. Maybe because it’s too scary, but I think it should be considered when weighing whether or not one is ready to have a kid. (Which I’m decidedly not. One night in the emergency room at the animal hospital with my dog convinced me of that!)

  • theorist September 13, 2011, 7:57 pm

    great post!!!

    LOL@Are kids actually terrifying but no one wants to say anything for fear of destroying the human race

    live the life you always said you would. live that life now.

  • Chetney September 13, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Caitlin, can you please have a baby?!? You’d be the best mom, just look at all you’ve done for Girls on the Run!!

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:52 pm

      Coaching GOTR convinced me that I wouldn’t ruin a child. LOL

  • Stacie September 13, 2011, 8:08 pm

    Gosh, if I didn’t know any better I could have written this post. We are in exactly the same shoes as you guys, so unfortunately I don’t have any advice. However, a good friend of mind got pregnant unexpectantly to her boyfriend (now husband) and one of the best pieces of advice her mom said was, “If we all planned when to have kids or waited for the perfect time, we would never have children.” Thanks for this post!!

  • Sherry September 13, 2011, 8:09 pm

    This is a great post! I am a young mom, also 27 right now, and I have 4 children. I planned each pregnancy. My husband and I didn’t do things the traditional way and we didn’t want to. It worked for us. I always knew I was going to be a mom as a little girl and knew I wanted a big family and so I’m thankful that I found a man who shared the same interests. It is perfectly normal to feel what you are feeling about parenthood. Parents talk negatively about their kids sometimes because it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. It’s hard work each and every day and it’s a forever job! You’ve got to be ready to be a parent for the rest of your life even when they move out you’re still their parent, support system, and hopefully you become their friend when they are adults. It’s tough and you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you actually become a parent. As a parent you have to take the good, bad, and the ugly. Trust me, it’s all worth it! I believe you will be a great mom and it seems as though you are at a point in your life when you and your husband are ready to become parents. I do want to say that I wish I would have had more alone time with my husband before we had kids but I wouldn’t change it for a second. We will have plenty alone time when our kids are grown up. Being a parent is a tough job and it’s no longer about you, it’s about your little one. Also, remember all the changes your body will go through. I was lucky and I was able to get back into shape after each pregnancy and I stayed active during my pregnancies which helped out alot. Mom’s usually put themselves on the back burner which you have to do but you have to also remember to take time out for yourself and don’t loose yourself. There was a point where I kind of lost myself and didn’t know who I was besides being a mom. That all changed when I started reading blogs and developed a passion for healthy living and exercise. Sorry I keep going on, I just have so much to say. You and your husband are the only ones who can make the decision and you can’t listen to anyone else’s comments. I wish you the best of luck and would love to see some pregnancy talk on your blog.

  • Stephanie @ Love Life Project September 13, 2011, 8:13 pm

    I’m desperate for a baby. That sounds awful, but I really am. I had a miscarriage almost a year ago, and I’ve been hoping to get pregnant ever since with no luck. So yeah, I completely understand your baby fever. And sometimes – sometimes – I start to think that maybe it won’t be so bad to not be able to have a baby, since we enjoy our life as it is. But I think that’s just a defense mechanism on my part. Anyway, just follow your own heart and don’t worry about what your friends think. I don’t think anyone’s ever READY for a first baby. There are always going to be doubts and worries. But I think those all melt away when you’re holding your child in your arms for the first time.

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:53 pm

      I really wish you the best. xoxox.

  • Fallon September 13, 2011, 8:14 pm

    First of all.. don’t let other peoples experience raising their own kids affect your opinion! I always hear people talk “negative” like not sleeping well since 1999 or the house is always dirty.. but you know what.. you still love your kids no matter what! That is what having a family is all about and breaking in your house. So what if they get juice on the floor, you can clean it up! You were once a kid as well.

    If you both want kids, then there shouldn’t be any thoughts of what if. And I wouldn’t even worry about having a complication to try to have kids. You know what you need to do and it will just happen. If something goes not the way it should, you will just figure it out then. It is all about life. You guys will make great parents and I wouldn’t let all that stress get in your way of baby making!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope September 13, 2011, 8:22 pm

    Caitlin, I always wonder when you will be the next to have a baby since it feels like every blogger is pregnant these days! I think you guys should just totally go for it because you’ll be awesome parents. I’m 26, been with my fiance for nearly 9 years. We were waiting for us to be done with school, etc until we got engaged (and now we are)…of course, now i am in grad school, so we kind of have to wait for babies. Personally, if i weren’t in school, I would SO BE ready …now!! I am the same as you–dreaming about babies, pregnancy blogs, etc. I think about it all of the time, and despite the fact that I know it’s going to be hard as shit, I cannot wait.

  • Rachel W September 13, 2011, 8:29 pm

    I think you just stole the words right out of my brain. Seriously.

    I am 27, just celebrated the 3rd anniversary, we are financially stable, and I am beginning to think….now what?? I have had SO many friends announce pregnancies in the past month and I’m really starting to think, is it our turn now? I know my husband would be happy to wait another 5 years, but I am like you, I’d rather be a “young” mom. I just don’t know how you’re supposed to really know. I love sleeping in on the weekends, I love late nights with friends….but then I see a baby and my ovaries practically ache.

    You’re post was great to read, mainly because it assured me that I am not the only one who feels like this. Being a grown up is so much more challenging than I ever thought it’s be 🙂

  • Ali September 13, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Honestly there isn’t ever going to be a “perfect” time, and like you said, even if it’s YOUR perfect time it may not be in God’s plan so it “could” take longer than you hoped! If it’s something you are thinking about I say you should try and if you DO get pregnant I have a feeling all of your fears will fly out the window.

  • Sheryl September 13, 2011, 8:39 pm

    I’m not if at 382 comments you’ll even have a chance to read this– but as a regular reader (and now, first time commenter!), this is one topic I feel that I’d like to weigh in on…

    I am 26 and my husband is 36. I have a 10 week old daughter. My husband and I have been married only a year and together for about 5. Since the day I met my husband I knew I wanted to have children and since he’s older I knew he’d want them sooner than later.. and probably sooner than me and sooner than every one of my friends (who are all in their mid to late twenties). I am the first of my friend group to get married and definitely the first to have a baby. It’s been really tough the last few weeks, but I am so glad we’re doing it now. Even if my friends dont have their own kids, and kind of look at me like I’m loonie-toons when I talk about baby poo, they have all been so amazing and supportive and I am so glad that my little girl will know married people, single people, everyone!

    My husband made it a point that we travel extensively in the years we have been together– I’ve been to Asia, Africa, Europe etc. and all mostly funded by his wallet. He wanted to make sure I got to see the world before we settled down to have kids. He said that I would have seen the world eventually if I didn’t need to “rush” a little into starting a family, so if he could help me see it faster he would.

    Raising a baby is 100% the toughest thing I’ve ever done. If I wasn’t ready, I think it would be even tougher. The days that I want to cry or pull my hair out or just walk away from my house for 20 minutes to breathe would be much harder to tolerate I think if I hadn’t wanted her so badly.

    Being a young mom is cool and even if your friends aren’t doing it, I think you’ll know when you’re ready and you’ll want it so badly your heart will ache for it. Best of luck Caitlin!

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:54 pm

      I read all the comments 🙂

      Congrats on your new baby. I like how you traveled first… and are so honest. Thanks!

  • Kristen September 13, 2011, 8:42 pm

    My husband and I have been married for eight years, and together for 10. There are certainly times when one or both of us want kids, but it never lasts long enough for us to actually start trying. Most of our friends and ALL of our family think we are downright crazy. Sooooo many people ask us why we “don’t like children,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth! We LOVE our nieces and nephews, but we just dont want any of our own. I have several friends who really wanted a baby, but didn’t spend as much time thinking about those babies as a long term commitment. I do think it’s important to think about if that baby fever is really just looking at all those tiny cute clothes, or if it’s more than that. Just my two cents – I know whatever you decide will be perfect for you!!

  • Brandy September 13, 2011, 8:50 pm

    I’m twenty eight years old and have a 13 month old. My husband and I had 10.5 years together before we got married and waited 6 months before we TTC. Sawyer was conceived our second month trying. We were “ready”. Or so we thought we were. 🙂 My career was in education and child care, all I ever wanted was to be a mom.

    My husband and I talked about this a few months after our son was born, that no one is every truly “ready” to have children. Everything everyone says to you about becoming a parent, the sleep deprivation, the messy house, the disorganization, the love you’ll feel, you just have no way of comprehending what it truly means. Parenthood is this whole other stage of your life that doesn’t make sense until you’re in it. It isn’t just about the “work” it is about the emotions, you will feel so much you’ve never felt before.

    I could go on and on about how tired you will be, how spent you will feel, how your relationships will change with your friends, your family, your parents, your in-laws, your pets, your husband. How you will mourn the loss of your time to yourself, how hard it will be to balance everything, how incredibly lost you might feel. How much you will worry about every little decision about your perfect little baby and strive so hard to give him everything and just ache when you fall short. And it is all true but it is just so hard to understand until you are in it, until you give your heart to that little baby.

    But it is all worth it.

    You will wake up and look at that little baby and wonder what you did in your life before he came along. You just won’t even remember. You will never feel greater joy in your heart than when he smiles at you, laughs for the first time, lights up when you entire the room, sits up, take his first steps. I don’t miss my old life- this new one is SO much better.

    The one thing I do say to people is make sure your marriage is in tip top shape before having a baby and you’ve talked in depth about your roles as parents. Having our son has only brought us closer together and I feel that is only because our marriage is still number one. We still have issues but we work hard at our marriage and have the same goals.

    Good luck, I am sure you’ll be a great mom! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 8:55 pm

      Side note: Sawyer is a cool name!!! LOST reference???

      • Brandy September 13, 2011, 9:03 pm

        We’re big Lost fans. 🙂 It is a combo of that and Tom Sawyer!

  • Kellie September 13, 2011, 8:51 pm

    I had my first child very young. My husband and I were engaged at the time and a couple of months later I was pregnant. I was 20 when my son was born and actually graduated college when my daughter was 3mos old. I had my third 22mnths later and now at 31 I have an 11yr old, 7yr old and almost 6yr old. I would not trade having my children when I was young for having them when I was older and more “secure”. Since I did not have a career when I had my children I was able to stay at home with them without feeling a huge financial loss of me having to quit working. Yes, finances were (and are) tight, but God provides. We don’t live fancy lives, but my children know that I am home for them. Someday I will pursue my career, but I am just doing it the backwards way. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • Brandy September 13, 2011, 8:52 pm

    I forgot to add this

    http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/07/what-i-did-not-know-reflections-on-motherhood-.html

    I remember reading this and thinking this is exactly what I felt but could never put into words.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner September 13, 2011, 8:57 pm

    With my due date just 26 days away (not that I’m counting or anything), I still face the same fears that you described. My biggest fear with parenthood is losing the relationship I have with my husband. We’ve been together almost 10 years + married for 4 years – and we are actually later than most of my friends to start having kids. I know that a child is going to change everything, but I’m to the point where I’m prepared for that. I’ve had 9 months to prepare for this change, and though I can’t predict exactly what is going to happen once my little girl gets here, I know that I am ready for the change. I have also had 9 months to bond + fall in love with my baby, so even if I lose sleep + never have a clean house again, I don’t care because I love this little girl so much. People always say you just will know when you’re ready and I truly believe that, but just remember, you still have some time to prepare for that. Don’t let anyone tell you one way or the other, though, because only you + your husband will know when the “right” time is!

  • Jacalyn September 13, 2011, 9:00 pm

    I knew I was ready to have a child when we were out at a bar with a group of friends and I knew I could give this up for a few years without feeling like I was missing out on anything. Side note: the hubs and I still find time to go to bars with friends – something we thought wouldn’t happen. My husband and I had been together for 11 years before we had our son (together for 10 and married for 1). I think because we waited so long to get married, we knew we were ready sooner than other married couples. We don’t have any friends that have kids, but are fine with that. Everyone is very accepting when we are specific with our “going out needs”. I dont care about a messy house or getting less sleep than I did before Taylan because when I look at him, I am so grateful he is my son. There are times when I get frustrated with him, but I am sure my parents were frustrated with me. It’s life. You deal. Please don’t over think this. Let it happen. If you are meant to have children, you will. It will happen when it happens. I stopped my bc thinking it would take me a year to conceive… took 1 month. I saw that as a sign we were ready. Good luck! I can’t wait to see pics of little HTP babies!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} September 13, 2011, 9:04 pm

    Oh wow, look at all these comments. I don’t have time to read all 403 of them, so please forgive me if I repeat something that’s been said over and over. 😉

    First, I was married at 28 and had my first baby at 30. I’m expecting my second now at 33. In a way, I wish I would have started earlier because while I’d like to have more than 2 children, I’m terrified of having them when I’m older than 35. I’ve had two miscarriages and I am just afraid of all the complications that can come from having a pregnancy when you’re older. Even though I know a lot of people do it without trouble. So I think that is one thing to consider. It sounds like you’d like to have more than one or two children, so you definitely want to think about how old you’d like to be when you have your last, the spacing of your children, etc.

    As for how your life changes–it does. Of course it does. But the last three years since I had my daughter have been the absolute best of my life. I had my time in my 20s to be “free” and do what I wanted, I had a few years of marriage with my husband without kids, so I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. Being a mom is so fulfilling and wonderful. Yes, it’s hard work and you can’t come and go as you please anymore (or at least not to the same extent), but you can’t compare that to all the joys that come with parenting. Seriously, it sounds corny, but it’s so true.

    It sounds to me like you are very ready to start trying seriously. Just my humble opinion. 🙂

  • Ashley September 13, 2011, 9:14 pm

    Some of the best advice I’ve gotten – “If you are waiting for the perfect time…it’s NEVER going to happen.”

    You’ll make new friends. Friends with kids. It will become a new “norm” (plus you can keep your “old” friends, so you’ll have both). It will be hard. But it will be worth it.

    That being said, I’m 28 with husband of 5 years and no kids so…yeah…I’m in the same boat as you. haha ; )

  • jen@foodfamilyfitness September 13, 2011, 9:21 pm

    Honestly, you may never be totally ready. There is never a perfect time!! The husband and I married when I was 21 and he was 23, we wanted to wait 5 years and then talk about kids. Imagine our surprise when I found out I was pregnant 4 MONTHS after our wedding!!!! I just turned 31 last week, have 3 kids now (8,6,3) and can’t imagine life without them. I say go for it 🙂

  • elizabeth September 13, 2011, 9:25 pm

    I think the best advice I could give you is to know yourself and then act accordingly. That may sound trite, but both things can be so hard to do! I am a major planner and a major “feeler,” and so, even though you can’t control so many aspects of fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood, I at least tried to plan what I thought felt best. Birth especially taught me that sometimes the universe has a greater vision for you (waterbirth turned surprise breech turned attempted breech birth turned c-section). But I don’t regret trying to plan, because that satisfies a deep element of my personality, you know?

    That’s why no one can answer this for you – you have to know yourself and do what’s true to that.

    The biggest and best surprise about parenthood for me (my daughter Charlotte’s 16 months old) has been how it crystal-clarified my values. I went to law school (and am a practicing lawyer) for other people. But Charlotte requires me to be authentic. Thus I have had the motivation to create changes in my life I had struggled with for years: vegetarianism for the entire family, yoga teacher training, UU church on Sundays…It has been a revitalization of my soul and my life on every level. I was cranky and crabby through the first 9 sleepless months, yes, but what a teeny price to pay!

    That’s my high level (not as in special, but as in over-arching) advice. My best practical advice is to work out childcare concepts beforehand. I went to three days a week at my firm, which is a perfect balance for me (in hours if not content), but I take home next to nothing because her school was the only one I was actually happy and excited about, doesn’t do part-time, and is almost as much as our mortgage.

    I wish you love on your journey!

    • CaitlinHTP September 13, 2011, 9:27 pm

      I wish we could be real life friends. Daughter named Charlotte – my fav name. Vegetarian. UU church goer. 🙂

      • elizabeth September 13, 2011, 9:31 pm

        Well jeez doesn’t that make me feel all special and sparkly! I should at least create a blog so we can be blog friends, lol! Unless you want to move to Colorado! 🙂

  • Ashley September 13, 2011, 9:28 pm

    Your life will change. And in some moments you’ll wonder why you ever had a kiddo in the first place. But there is something truly amazing about being a mother that no one can ever explain to you. You just have to see it for yourself.

    You always hear about the bad stuff or the rough times, because people have to vent. They don’t usually spend the time to tell you how nice it is to have those big blue eyes just look up at you, and they have a look that is only for you.

    I’m a young mom (my daughter was born when I was just shy of 24). It is tough being the only one of our friends with a kid. But we still have friends and we get along alright. Life will change, but you’ll be just fine.

  • CN September 13, 2011, 9:36 pm

    Caitlin ,
    This is such an interesting topic , since I am currently in the same situation . I am curious to hear other people’s opinions too . I am successful proffesional , worked very hard to be where I am . I am 30 , married to a wonderful guy and defintely would love to have kids , the thing I struggle with is the time to have it … If I get pregant now, I feel like I would lose everything that I worked so hard at in my career ( I work in a place where it is 90-95% men ),so I work twice as hard to get the same responsiblites that they get. I know I want to have kids , I have had 6 wonderful years of marriage and husband is ready to have kids , but I have no clue how to balance it …

    BTW love this post….

  • Jamila6452 September 13, 2011, 9:48 pm

    I’m 35 with a 5 year old and I can say without a doubt that getting to mother my son is the biggest joy of my life. That’s not to say that it isn’t sometimes frustrating or hard. Of course it’s hard! You’re completely responsible for this little person and sometimes you don’t know what the eff you’re doing! But then you usually figure it out and life goes on. 😉 The early days especially can wear you down, and I understand people still in the thick of them complaining about them. Zachary’s first year was pretty tough – he needed to be nursing and/or touching someone, like, ALWAYS. But we figured out how to make it work (cosleeping and babywearing!). Even now, there’s occasional other frustrations like, hello, broken arm last week! Worries about whether or not he’s eating enough veggies at school lunch! But then he does something completely mindblowing like build an intricate Angry Birds fortress using his wooden blocks and a bathroom handtowel as the slingshot, or hilarious like repeating exactly what Grammy said about Aunt Susan’s new boyfriend. And truly? That hard stuff? It DROWNS under the amazingness of seeing this little person grow, and learn, and practice kindness (OMG, the compassion my little vegetarian boy exhibits towards animals – it’s bringing happy tears to my eyes just thinking about it), and use their little brains, and demonstrate their total fearlessness…. Seriously, there’s nothing better.

    Will you ever feel ready? I don’t know. I felt ready when we got married when I was 26 but I knew it wouldn’t work financially yet. So we busted a** until I was 28 and started trying. And then it took us over 2 years – I have PCOS like your friend Jen. I will say, going through infertility made me realize that time is not our friend. Women these days take longer to be “ready” but our bodies are still at peak reproductive stage in our late teens and early 20s! Biology definitely hasn’t caught up to society. So, I would just gently caution you not to take too long deciding because fertility is definitely not a given. Anyway, I finally did get pregnant when I was 30. I think an important thing to point out was that becoming a mom changed me (in that my heart was now walking around outside my body) but I was still ME. I still love to run and read books and go to book(/wine) club with my friends. I still travel – our son got his first passport when he was 6 months old and has been to 4 countries. Things take a bit more coordination now, but life doesn’t end when you have kids! I met an amazing group of friends for me and Zachary when I joined my local MOMS Club and I absolutely cherish getting to know them.

    OK, I’ll stop there. Obviously, I think motherhood is wonderful, but certainly respect others for knowing it’s not for them.

  • Jenn September 13, 2011, 9:50 pm

    I always knew I wanted to have a baby before I turned thirty. My husband and I started trying when I was 28. I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t get pregnant quickly. It took us nearly 4 years to get pregnant and I think if I had to do it all over again I would have started trying earlier! Things turned out perfectly the way they did but maybe I wouldn’t have felt the pressure of having to get pregnant NOW if we had just let it be one of those “if it happens, it happens” kind of things.

    Life does change drastically, but it is worth every second. I would recommend that if you want more than 1, have the 2nd one before the first one hits the terrible 2’s!! Mine is 2 and this stage has convinced me I don’t have the patience for more than one kid!! 🙂

  • April September 13, 2011, 10:01 pm

    I didn’t read all of the comments, and I am sure some one probably already said something similar to what I am about to tell you.

    There is never a right time to have children (or anything for that matter). Only you and your hus know what is right for you. When my hus and I were engaged we wouldn’t set a date until different milestones were met. A co-worker said to me gave me the advice on “…there is never a right time”. It really resonated with me, so we committed to a date. We were married 6 years ago, have two children (13 mos apart). They are good friends. We didn’t plan them on having so close in age, but I wouldn’t change it. We figured out how to manage and balance with them.

    GL with YOUR decision. I know you and your hus will be great parents.

  • Wendy September 13, 2011, 10:21 pm

    I think every bit of advice I would give you regarding parenthood has already been posted here, so I’ll just say that judging from the amount of thought you’ve already put into it, you ARE ready for a baby! As others have said, you may never truly FEEL ready – it’s a big fat scary decision to make, bringing a brand new person into the world. Heck, I am mom to a 6yo and 4yo, and half the time I’m certain I don’t have a clue what I am doing!

    My story, in short – I got pregnant when my husband and I had been married for 1.5 years, after roughly 6 months of not really trying or preventing (a result of taking a break from BCP to fix my wonky periods). I was in a mild state of shock/denial my entire pregnancy, up until I was actually checked into the hospital and in labor. But at the moment I first laid eyes my daughter, everything just FELT right.

    You will be a GREAT mom when the time is right for YOU!

  • kathy September 13, 2011, 10:24 pm

    I never planned to have children but I have two kids. I love my kids so much. I just have some advice out there for woman that want kids. Make sure you have a career that you can support yourself so you always have options. Make sure your husband has similar parenting ideas as you. Take as many trips as you can afford before having kids.if you can not afford to raise kids on your salary alone do not have kids. Ask all those ladies who are older with kids who stayed with husbands because they had no options. Or the ones whos husband left them and they struggle and their kids suffer.

  • Alison September 13, 2011, 10:39 pm

    I am 25 and pregnant with my first. Like you, we’ve been married 3 years and none of our high school/college friends have kids. Honestly, I don’t know how we decided we were “ready.” Part of it was I forgot to get my birth control refilled before heading on a trip, haha. Then within that month off BC we realized we were at good places with our careers and such, so I just decided to not go back on the pill the next month.

    It’s funny because with one set of friends, from our church, we were in the minority for not having kids yet, but with all our other friends we were in the minority for even THINKING about kids! I would go back and forth comparing myself to both sets of friends, but in the end realized it’s not about them! I will still be able to go out with my single girlfriends, and we’ll become closer to couples with kids. The truth is, we want to have a family, and since that’s so important to us we decided there’s no sense in waiting.

    Of course I’m nervous for how much life will change (and not even sure I can comprehend it all right now) and worry sometimes that I’ll be missing out on certain things, but I think that’s natural. Every parent I’ve talked to, from ones sending their kids off to college to those with little babies, has said it’s the most amazing experience and you’ll have the most fun of your life. Of course it’s hard work, but the most rewarding things in life always are.

  • Jo Ann September 13, 2011, 10:45 pm

    Honestly, I don’t think one can ever be prepared for some things in life and becoming a parent is one of them. Please don’t let people terrify you from having children. I do not understand why people speak so negatively about their children either. It’s something I
    I’ve never really understood. I think they just need to vent a little, and don’t even realize how negative they sound. Children are such a blessing and always remember that everyone raises their children differently and that has so much to do with what your children turn out like.
    I’ve never commented here, but I love your blogs so much. You are such a blessing and I’m so happy for the wonderful things that have come from your blogs. Thanks for being such a healthy role model for girls everywhere, both in body and mind!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:53 am

      Thank you so much Jo Ann 🙂 What a sweet compliment.

  • Bridget September 13, 2011, 10:46 pm

    How boring would life be if it DIDN’T change every now and then?

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:53 am

      AMEN to that.

  • Lee September 13, 2011, 10:50 pm

    haven’t read all these comments but i’m sure they’re super helpful and this may be repetitive….

    BUT, as the 34 year-old mom of a 9 month-old, i’ll tell you this: you’re never really ready. and then you are, and maybe it takes a little longer than you think it will and you start freaking out. and then you finally get pregnant and you start freaking out. and then the baby comes and you start freaking out. but all along the way, (and i mean ALL – even the crappy parts) there’s so much joy and hilarity and reminders (hopefully) that your partner (if you choose to make this journey with a partner) is amazing. and then all of a sudden you have this BABY and SHE NEVER LEAVES. and then you freak out. but you’re also totally blinded by love so it’s a little more ok. so basically you’re freaking out now and the freaking out won’t really go anywhere. and you can control so very little of it (which i didn’t realize when i was in this space you’re in now, contemplating motherhood and trying to make really informed decisions…it’s a great intention but you can only do so much of it). so just look at your finances and your living space and look at your pre-baby bucket list (and really, there isn’t much you can’t do with a baby if you have the will and the patience) and see if they/it will accommodate a baby and the rest is up to nature. it sounds like you and the hus have so much strength and love between you, you’ll do fine. and honestly, when you’re IN it (and yes, sleep deprived – and i think that’s a massive reason why so many parents dis parenting. the sleep deprivation is cruel but it really does get better) you don’t think (or at least i haven’t yet), omg, this is terrible or why did i do this?! you just move forward and make it work.

    i’m a social worker and work with adolescents a ton and ran all the time pre-baby and am trying to get back to it post-baby and i have to say that, of all the “healthy-living bloggers” i think you’re by far the most realistic and inspiring. the fact that you’re even asking these questions is something so commendable. keep up the great work.

  • h September 13, 2011, 11:02 pm

    i don’t know if you read the Dear Sugar column on the Rumpus (if you don’t, take a minute to pour some wine and settle in for a long time). she writes an interesting piece about it: http://therumpus.net/2011/04/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-71-the-ghost-ship-that-didnt-carry-us/

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:54 am

      What an interesting Q&A!! Thanks for that link.

      • h September 14, 2011, 2:29 pm

        seriously- Sugar gives some really interesting, heartfelt, beautifully written advice. i’ve never read anything else like it. best of luck with your decision!

  • Candice September 13, 2011, 11:06 pm

    I have to disagree with the popular comment “you will never truly be ready.” As a person who has been longing for a baby for a year and a half, I can tell you that some people are truly ready.
    My husband and I are both 28 and have been married for 5 years. We spent he first several
    years of marriage traveling, living overseas and pursuing our careers. I knew I wanted children, but i just wasn’t ready. A year and a half ago I went off birth control, feeling exactly as you describe…a bit uncertain. It only took a few months of not getting pregnant to realize how ready I was. Based on what you say about your situation and how you and your husband feel, I say go for it. Everyday I think about how I wish I could go back and start trying earlier. Keep in mind that once you get pregnant, you still have 9 months to prepare!

    Also, I totally agree with the comments that say your life does not have to end when you have a baby. We have tons of friends who have babies and still travel and have adventurous lives….and they’re passing that lifestyle on to their little ones. I can’t wait to have the chance to prove that it’s possible.

    Good luck with your decision!

  • claire September 13, 2011, 11:11 pm

    Go for it! Yes, things about being a parent will suck and your life will change drastically, but your new life won’t compare, it will be its own new thing and it will be awesome!

    After 5 years of trying, plus infertility treatments, I finally got pregnant and got the daughter I’d been hoping for…. and you know what? the past 7 months have been horrendous! Our baby was very collicky; she has allergies and she was even kicked out of daycare a few weeks ago. She still wakes up three times a night, etc. But holy cow, is she the most amazing, incredible little thing on this planet!

    I’ve learned you just can’t compare your pre-baby life to your post baby life. The latter is really it’s own thing. It’s scary and you won’t know what you are doing and you will be just like every other mom who is finding her way!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:55 am

      Congrats on your baby!

  • samantha September 13, 2011, 11:39 pm

    I don’t think there is any “perfect” time to have kids. I think the fact that you are spending time thinking about whether or not you are ready shows that you would never rush into something like this and that tells me that you are responsible and shouldn’t fret too much over being “ready”. With that said I have to tell you that anytime I got the baby bug I would borrow my friends kids for a whole weekend. They loved the free time and I got to see what it was really like to have kids around for more than a few hours at a time. Most of the time it ended my baby fever pretty quickly. 🙂 I always said if I still wanted them after that I would go for it!

  • Orla September 13, 2011, 11:52 pm

    In the limited capacity that I ‘know’ you, you seem like you’d be a lovely parent- whether that life change were to happen to you as a happily married 27 year old, a single mom of 16, or as a career-oriented 40 year old. I think it’s just in some people, and you’ve got it in spades 🙂

    I’m in the minority here in that I don’t have kids and am in no rush, so I’m going to tell you that it’s just as ok to wait!! You know how you made the decision to commit to your husband? Whether you did it consciously or not, you weighed up commitment to one person vs. the things you enjoyed about being single, and you went for it. When the balance is tipped so far in the baby along direction that the decision is as easy, you’ll know you’re COMPLETELY ready. That’s my logic, at least!! Personally I’m not there yet, so I’m going to spend the next few years doing things like drinking too much wine, making spontaneous plans, buying pretty shoes, and travelling 😀

  • LC September 14, 2011, 12:06 am

    Great post. I’m 27 and have an 11 month old son. Before we decided to try for a baby I went through many of the same things. I was trying to calculate the “right time” for a baby. Then I realized I wasn’t going to wake up one morning and just be ready to have kids. Even though we don’t own a house, my husband and I work full time and are not as social as we used to be, having our baby was the best.decision.ever.

    It’s true what many others have said – I really can’t explain all the love I have for my son. Life is different but all for the better. Watching him grow and helping him discover the world around him is worth every sleepless night, spitup covered shirt and showerless day. (And now that he is older there are definitely less of those hard nights and days!) Good luck! Just a little side note – my husband’s name is Kristyan (he is Italian) and your husband’s name is as similarly spelled as I’ve ever seen.

  • Clare September 14, 2011, 12:42 am

    I was the first of my friends to have a baby, and that was 15 years ago! Let me just tell you, there are no words to describe how much I love being a mom. (And I was very young when I had my first.) Now that my kids are older, I can’t believe how much I just love who they are, am blessed by them, and now get to watch Steel Magnolias with them! It will change your life, but just like getting married, it enriches you in ways you can’t even comprehend until you’ve experienced it. Just think about how much your parents love you, and there it is. Blessings on your journey.

  • Melanie @ Trial By Trail September 14, 2011, 1:10 am

    Oh Caitlin, I know you already have a bagillion comments up here but I’ll give you another one! I had baby fever pretty bad and we decided to start trying after about 1.5 years of marriage when I was 25 and Jon was 26. We had fertility issues and ended up doing IVF when I was only 26 years old. I’m so glad we had kids when we did because apparently it might not have worked at all had I been a little older. Who knows. Now I’m 29 and we have a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old. Is it hard? Yes, VERY. They are exhausting! Honestly it is way harder than I had imagined it would be, but I have also realized that it depends a lot on your individual child’s temperment. You give up a lot – your body, your sleep, in my case my career, your clean house, money, most of your “me time”, etc. At the risk of sounding totally clique, you gain so much too of course. You get to bring this tiny, precious little newborn home from the hospital and watch as they figure out their little world. I don’t regret having them in my 20’s. I figure, I’ll eventually get everything back that I’m giving up right now and I know it gets a lot easier when they can start to do things for themselves. I can’t wait to hear more about your baby decision process!

  • Tania September 14, 2011, 1:22 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    you will not know if the time was good for baby or not, before you have it. This is the greatest goy in life, if you want to be parent, dont hesitate.
    I think that parents talk negative of their kids because when they do so, they feel more important, they are doing a JOB, difficult job of raising a child. For me it was never difficult, I had my son when I was 20 and tried to concieve him for 6 months. He was a great gift for me, and he was never too much work for me.
    Now at 28 we are trying for our second child, we started at 27, but still no baby. By this time I planned to have had 3 children, but I started planning like you, first home, them career, and now I am so sorry that I waited so much and their difference in age will be so big.
    This is my experience, I think there is no right time for babies, never, but if you wait too much, you may regret one day. Good luck.

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:56 am

      Interesting observation about why parents talk negatively about this child!

      • Tania September 16, 2011, 5:37 am

        just my point of view… 😉

  • Leah September 14, 2011, 1:23 am

    I love being a mom… Yes some days I wonder why, but most days are wonderful. They have enriched my life and changed it for the better. They are amazing, wonderful and have improved my relationship with my mom too!

    That said, my life has changed. I am no longer employed as an engineer – I am “home” raising my kids. But it is because of my kids that I have gotten active, started running and have run 3 half marathons in the past year. Without their love, support and motivation – I doubt I would have changed my life. I no longer work long hours inside an office, I get to head to the playground, the park, dance classes and various other locations.

    Do I wish we’d done things differntly? Somedays. But I know if we hadn’t had kids when we did, we wouldn’t have travelled much more, we would have worked more. We might have more money, but we would be working very hard and not taking much vacation.

  • Lisa September 14, 2011, 1:43 am

    I will go against the grain here, but I believe that there IS a better time than others to have a child, and there is a time when you are more prepared than another.

    I think parenting is the most important thing that an individual can commit to and it’s not a job to be taken lightly, or to “let nature take it’s course and see what happens”- I think creating and bringing a child into the world is the biggest commitment and impact an individual can make on our world and I believe you CAN be ready and prepared and not have it be an “oops, well, we’ll see what happens”. I don’t believe that is fair to the child, to the parents, or to our Mama Earth.
    At 31, I have finally decided with my husband NOT to have children, and I am 110% happy with this decision. Motherhood was not something I ever yearned for and I certainly never thought I’d bring a life onto this earth just to see if it worked our for us and as insurance against later regrets. I take motherhood EXTREMELY seriously and give props to all moms. I believe that your future child deserves a set of parents who are at, the very least, semi-prepared financially and marriage-wise. From following your blog, you and the hubs seem on the same page, so I encourage you to listen to your heart and your instinct, not the opinions surrounding you, and if you listen from your heart, you won’t make the wrong decision.

  • lindsay r. September 14, 2011, 2:55 am

    You are very smart to be thinking this through. I am 31 and am the mommy of a 2 year old boy and have one on the way. I have a few friends who don’t have children, and they have quite the lifestyle- vacations, dinners out, wine tasting weekends, etc. So yes, life with kids is very different, your priorities change drastically. But I can say, with full, unwavering confidence that being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I still can’t believe the overwhelming love I have for my son, its amazing. I believe that people who complain about their kids or parenthod are getting out of it what they put it. When you love your kids, and spend time with them, you see how much you can learn from them, and that makes the relationship go both ways.

    Sure, there are days when my son drives me insane, but at the end of the day, after he is in bed, I miss him. And the next morning I vow to have more patience and give more kisses.

    In my opinion, there are no downsides of parenting that would make me not want to parent. People who never have kids, by choice, will never know how full of pure love your heart can be. And I will gladly deal with Diapers and tantrums if it means I get to know the love of being a mommy. Its all worth it!!!

    I do hope you listen to your heart and I hope you tell naysayers to hush up! 😉

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl September 14, 2011, 3:19 am

    I’m not in any position to give you any insight about babies or wanting babies, I’m in a stage of my life where I (and my partner) are still being a bit selfish in our careers, travels, life in general. We are only 25 so a bit younger as well… but I just wanted to say I think it’s SO great to see the outpouring of support from women (maybe some male readers as well) in response to your baby question.

    Whatever decision you and your husband make, it will be the right one at the right time. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

    Jeanelle

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:57 am

      I agree! SO many great comments on this post.

  • Juani September 14, 2011, 4:53 am

    I don’t think that when people talk about the negative parts of children that they are talking bad about their actual children,it’s more that they try to keep things realistic for aspiring parents.One of my friends tried to get pregnant for 2 years,and now has a 5 month old baby girl.She is still in shock about how completely her and her husband’s lives have changed,seeing as she always had these ideas in her head about how having a child would be.

    I’ve been feeling lots of pressure to have children (seeing as I’m 28,and have been with my boyfriend for 6 years) but I would like to wait until we’re married,and I am definitely not ready to give up my easy going lifestyle just yet.I am a worrier,and I can just imagine what having an actual human child to take care of will do to my nerves.

  • Nadine September 14, 2011, 5:13 am

    My kids are 14 and 12, and I am 40. So, I was your age when I had them. We had been married for 2 years when our first came along, but living together for almost 3 before that, so we had the ‘couple time’ too. It is no lie that having children is HARD WORK and it changes you. It changes your marriage, too. To be honest, I’m NOT the parent that I thought I would be. Raising kids today is not what it was when I was growing up. Kids are exposed to so much more and you have to worry about them A LOT more than our parents had to worry about us. That said, talk A LOT with the husband about your expectations for parenting, and then talk A LOT when it actually becomes a reality. Don’t forget to put couple time first sometimes too (we take 2 nights away every year for our anniversary!) — it’s true when they say its the hardest job you’ll ever love!

  • Brooke September 14, 2011, 7:08 am

    I honestly don’t know if you are ever ready. I am pregnant with baby number 2 and although we were trying, it was still an “oh my gosh” moment when the test read positive. There is no doubt that your life will totally change- it definitely does, but it will change from ‘all about you two as a couple’ kind of lifestyle to family lifestyle. Not as much dinner out or wine tasting, more family barbecues and early nights in. It is a huge decision and a ton of work but so so so worth it. It is absolutely the hardest job in the world but the most fulfilling!

  • Marty September 14, 2011, 7:25 am

    This is a decision only you and the Husband can make and you have to be absolutely sure, whichever way you decide to go. There are plusses and minusses either way. You’re still young so this isn’t something you need to decide quickly. From a 63-year-old vantage point I can tell you this: Nothing will give you the joy that you get from having a child and conversely, no one will have the potential to break your heart as much as your child. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:58 am

      I love this comment. Thanks Marty!

  • Michele Albert September 14, 2011, 8:03 am

    Caitlin – There isn’t much I can add to this post, I have always wanted children and spent seven years and untold amounts of money on fertility specialists but alas we were unsuccesful.

    What I can tell you is that I enjoy reading your blog and I love that you participate by reading and commenting on the comments you receive. Thank you for that. Good luck to you and the Husband, whatever you decide. It is not a decision for the faint of heart but you don’t strike me as a person who shys away from tough decisions!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:59 am

      <3

  • leslie September 14, 2011, 8:21 am

    Caitlin – I think for me and my husband, we were almost 30 and we were bored. We had 2 dogs, 2 cats and we golfed and shopped or putzed around on the weekend but we didn’t feel challenged. We had one house, an investment property and our 401ks were going along fine. It just seemed like the right time, like we needed a new challenge. And did we get it! Kids are hard. You have to be willing to put yourself aside completely. For e.g., I cannot train for a marathon until my kids are older. I could not imagine taking 4 hours on a Saturday out of my time with my kids, not until much older. That is our precious time together. Also, I have to work out in the morning at 5 am so I can spend as much time with the kids after work. This means on my day to sleep in I am choosing to get up and work out. My kids like to wake up at 5 am so that means I am up at 5 am everyday. But these are all sacrifices I am willing to make and it is worth it. However, you can’t go out for wine and pizza til 10 pm unless you have a sitter and that costs $$. So, everything you do is calculated and planned, less spontaneous.

    Also, financially, you want to be very stable. You don’t want your children to see or feel the effects of any financial stability (if you can help it, not everyone can I know). If you feel like you are barely hanging on or just scraping by, think of the cost of a child. Make sure you have a large savings cushion for the unexpected.

    This was all probably said before but I didn’t have time to read all comments. My husband and I were just commenting that kids were right for us because we like insanity in our lives! haha, but we also say that our single friends with no kids don’t necessarily realize how great their lives are too!

    • Hilary September 14, 2011, 2:42 pm

      I understand what you are saying about the financial part, but kids don’t have to be expensive. You can make do with very little (and are better off not having as much as our culture says is needed) and I hate to think that people don’t have children because of money. I think it’s good to not have as much – teach your childre that money does not equal happiness. They don’t care what you make or what kind of house or car you have. They just want love. And everyone has that to give!

  • Jade September 14, 2011, 8:22 am

    Caitlin,
    I have read your blog for a year now, but this is my first comment (so obviously I feel strongly enough to post.) Having a child is by far, the greatest blessing I have ever had in my life. You seem to be a very logical person, and it is wise for you and your husband to think this through. Listen to your heart though on this one. It will never lead you astray. I think mommy-land is waiting for you!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 10:59 am

      Are there instructions in mommyland???

      • Jade September 14, 2011, 11:09 am

        LOL! I’ll let you in on a little secret. None of us really know what we’re doing! You have so many friends and readers who care about you so much. We all just lean on one another, ask for advice, take some, leave the other and love our little ones unconditionally!

      • Michele Albert September 14, 2011, 2:02 pm

        According to my mother, none of her children came with an instructional manual, maybe yours will?? LOL!

  • GirlonRaw September 14, 2011, 8:47 am

    Hey Caitlin, you have so many other GREAT comments here that I highly doubt you’ll even read mine but I’ll just say this, as an older first time mum (34) with a 6 month old who I just could not imagine life without now, that a friend gave me this piece of advice when I felt the same way you did.

    “if you feel like you are not sure about having kids, then have them, because you are never going to regret having them, but you will regret not having them”

    • Daphne September 14, 2011, 10:29 am

      I don’t believe, as a previous poster said, that one should have a child just for the sake of insurance against later regret.
      I think it’s dismissive and flat otu wrong to assume that people who don’t have children will end up regretting it.

      • GirlonRaw September 14, 2011, 10:47 am

        It’s more directed at people that are not sure, not people that are certain they don’t want them at all.

        I’m using this advice regarding case in point, not just any old situation.

  • Emily September 14, 2011, 9:10 am

    I am late to the discussion, but wanted to throw in my thoughts. I’m 31 and mom to a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. My husband is 33. So yes, we are “young” parents. We were the first of our friends to have children, by far. And the first to get married, too, actually. (I was 20 and my husband was 23.)

    First of all, you will never really be ready. I smile when I read blogs or hear expectant parents talk about what they definitely will do or not do as a parent. All plans go out the window when your child is born.

    And, too, I think it’s always important to remember that you will be raising a child, a person, not a baby forever. That sweet, cuddly little infant will turn into a tantruming 1 year old, a whiny 3 year old, and a defiant 5 year old. Get the picture? These stages are ALL super fun, but each has it’s own challenges, too. Parenting gets harder as kids older, in my opinion. Physically easier, but emotionally more difficult.

    Having children does change your live, profoundly. You give up the right to be selfish. It’s no longer just you and your husband. It isn’t always easy. I’m not always patient. Kids are messy and expensive. I don’t do well with sleep deprivation. (Though, for what it’s worth, I think people get a bit dramatic about that. My youngest is 4 and he has been sleeping thru the night since he was 8 weeks old. Unless someone is up puking *shudder*, which thankfully happens very rarely, we do get a good night’s sleep every night.) Heck, let’s be honest, raising kids is THE most difficult thing I have ever done, hands down.

    But it is also the most wonderful. Our kids have enriched our life in ways we never thought possible. The amount of love is unreal. There are not words to explain the love you will have for these little people that have taken over your life and your heart.

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 11:01 am

      Thank you for this HONEST assessment!

  • Emily September 14, 2011, 9:31 am

    I just turned 28 and for the past two years my desire to have kids has only been more and more intense. It’s a very real and almost ever-present consideration for me. The catch? I couldn’t be more single.

    I know 28 is still young but at the same time, I feel my baby-making years ticking by. It even feels kind of crazy to say out loud, but I’ve started saving money to “make a baby” just in case, even though in a million years I never thought I’d want to parent alone…and still don’t. But even more so than the fear of parenting alone is the fear of not taking that leap, missing the fertility boat, and living the rest of my life with that regret.

    But when is too late? ya know? Obviously my ideal would be to date, fall in love, get married and then start trying by 35 but at what age has that ship sailed?

    I’m totally getting ahead of myself. I just wanted to share my two cents and that I can relate to how complicated the decision to pursue having kids can be.

  • Jenny September 14, 2011, 9:36 am

    Ghah!!!!
    I was on the fence before about kids but after reading these comments I want babies!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 11:02 am

      hahah glad we were able to convert you 🙂

  • penny September 14, 2011, 9:36 am

    I am pregnant with my second (they will be 20 months apart) and I can say you might never really be 100% ready. I think my husband and I were 75% ready and willing to give it a shot. Part of it was edging toward 35 so I wanted to have my kids ASAP. Part of it was losing my mom and wanting to do something life affirming. My son is 18 months and yes its hard and yes I miss sleep but he is totally worth it. And we planned this second pregnancy and STILL I was all “WTF did we do?!” when I got pregnant.
    I always encourage people to take the leap. Unless you or your partner has serious issues (work, health, addiction, whatever) then you change your life and I think its generally enjoyable.

  • Carolina John September 14, 2011, 9:45 am

    You are completely normal here. The doctors say you want to be done having kids by 35, so if you want multiples you are only hedging your bets to start now. I say go for it.

    We routinely tell people that having kids will completely ruin life as you know it today. I think anyone else that has anything negative to say about their kids will also tell you that it is always worth it in the end.

    We never had a clean house before, and never slept much anyway. If you want it, do it.

    And yes, we had infertility to be concerned with. 2 rounds of IVF. But then a chiropractor fixed all that for baby number two. It all works out in the end.

  • Allison September 14, 2011, 10:12 am

    First let me start by saying I really enjoy your blog. After watching countless friends get pregnant too soon, we waited until we both got masters degrees and took a 2 week trip to Italy for our 5 year anniversary. We got pregnant on the trip and lost the baby to a life threatening (for me) miscarriage at 3 months along. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. We now have 2 happy and healthy boys (1 & 2 years old) and they are fantastic. Thats not to say that life hasnt changed. It has, I no longer get to see movies at the theater, or go out much, but I know that the freedom I enjoyed before kids will once again be ours when they are grown. I was 29 when I got pregnant with my first. Good luck in your life altering decision!

  • Kattrina September 14, 2011, 10:27 am

    I know you have had thousands of comments on this and so I’m not sure you’ll even notice mine, but I wanted to weigh in because I feel like I’m in a similar spot. I want kids so badly and am terrified at the same time. My sister has two kids and up until July my husband and I lived with her and so I am pretty aware of the good and bad of children. I am more worried about my life – I am in a steady-ish job (non-profit grant based so you can never be 100% sure in this recession), but I am planning on heading to nursing school full time in two years, which I’m sure isn’t kid friendly. I am also afraid that kids will ruin my marriage (is that a horrible thought?) because my husband and I had such different childhoods (I was a military brat and he was born and raised in Honduras and was VERY poor and they still whip children with tree branches there, although he swears he won’t do that) – I don’t want to fight over raising our kids and who knows what kid stress will do to me! However, aside from all the scary things (and you are probably thinking I should never have children), my husband and I decided last month to stop the BC. Horribly terrifying, if you ask me. I just decided to “go for it” rather than plan, plan, plan. What changed my mind? A good friend of mine planned everything out. She’s 32, has a great husband, they have a house and great jobs, and they decided they wanted to have children after being married for 8 years. Well, now she’s been trying for over a year and still hasn’t gotten a regular period after going off her BC. This terrified me. What if I plan and plan and plan and then I can’t have kids? What if I wait too long? It was at that moment that I realized that we should just go for it and life would work itself out. We’ll survive. And although our life will change drastically, we will embrace the change and learn to be incredibly poor (since we can’t actually afford a two bedroom apartment!). Life, for me, is about taking chances and risking stability for love and adventure and I know we will love our children unconditionally and that will be enough. I’m sure you’ll know when the time is right, just don’t be pressured by society, parents, friends, etc. And I don’t think you’ll regret your children!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 11:03 am

      I read all the comments!!! I am excited to see how it turns out for you – let me know!!

  • Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's September 14, 2011, 10:34 am

    I am a new mom to a beautiful 2 month old little boy. My husband and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary 4 days before our boy was born. We had talked about kids, and I also wanted kids at a young age. I had just graduated with my masters, I wanted to pay off my student loans and get some teaching experience under my belt, so we decided to wait at least year. A few months later I found out I was pregnant. We were careful, I took birth control, and it happened. It was meant to be and I wouldn’t change a single thing. I feel like you can never be completely ready, wether it be financial or mental or another type of readiness.

    I am the only one of my friends with kids, and also one of the youngest. I won’t sugarcoat it, it is HARD being the only one. Sometimes your friends just don’t understand that you can’t just pick up and go out to the bar or to dinner, etc… But that’s okay, they won’t understand until they have kids, and I’ll never judge them for that, hopefully it goes both ways.

    As far as the engative talk goes, again I am a new mom, I don’t get it. Yes I was sleep deprived, yes sometimes the crying is hard for me to take. But my baby had to go back to the hospital one day after being discharged. I had to watch him be poked and prodded, and it was torture. I am extremely grateful that I was able to get pregnant and now have a healthy baby, not everyone can claim that. I am sure in the future he will frustrate me and make me crazy, but I will never regret him. I think sometimes those who complain maybe have their plates too full, wether by necessity or choice. I am very lucky in that I get to stay at home with my boy, so my only job is to be a wonderful mom and wife. I don’t get much “me” time right now, and I am okay with that. It makes me realize we were ready, wether we thought we were or not.

    I think some people genuinely don’t want kids, and that’s okay too. I definitely have a few friends that are married and they just don’t want kids, ever. That’s okay, I don’t love them any less, and I still spend time with them. We just have different life goals.

    Okay – that was an extremely long comment, I hope I answered some of your concerns. I love your blog!!

    • Leah September 14, 2011, 3:06 pm

      We just celebrated our 3 year anniversary yesterday and are having a baby on Tuesday! Such a similar story! 🙂

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 14, 2011, 10:46 am

    I know I’m a bit late but still wanted to weigh in for ya.

    You will NEVER feel 100% prepared to have a baby. If you wait for that feeling, you’ll be waiting forever. There will always be questions if you’re ready, able, financially stable enough, etc. to have kids. However, I know I got a feeling in my gut on when the time was right to go for it. We ended up getting pregnant faster than I expected with M, and I freaked thinking I wasn’t ready actually. LOL

    Also, kids do change things in life. You can’t just sleep in until 10 am anymore or pick up and go on a trip at the drop of a hat for instance. But I firmly believe in not allowing life to revolve around your children. They should be important, but you are still your own person and the marriage partnership is still the foundation of the home.

    Peter and I work hard on taking time for ourselves. I still make time to pursue all the things I love and that make me me. My children add to my life. They don’t consume my life. I think it really depends on the perspective people take into parenting with them. I have no doubt you will become an excellent mother one day, while still living out the life you love in your writing, blogging, supporting Kristien’s business, racing, and having fun. You set priorities and somehow make it happen. Heck. If I can do it with a smile on my face…anyone can. 😉

  • Amy September 14, 2011, 10:46 am

    Hi! I read your blog regularly (or stalk, I should say…this is my first time “commenting”). I could not resist weighing in on this subject. My husband and I have two kids and we both work full time and try to squeeze in time for a healhty life with family, friends and each other. I could go on about the struggles of parenthood – there are plenty. But I assure you there is no greater joy or reward. Life becomes a much richer, more rewarding experience in every aspect when you are a parent. Isn’t that worth a little less sleep and a messier house? I think so. Children are blessings and the children that you and your husband will produce will be your gift to the world. Thank you for your blog!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 11:04 am

      Thank you Amy!

  • Carrie @ No More Tomorrows September 14, 2011, 10:51 am

    I hear parents complain a lot too, children are exhausting, they’re needy, they fight with their siblings, they puke and poop and cry for reasons beyond your knowledge because they can’t just TELL you why they’re crying until, you know, they actually learn to speak.

    But ask each of those parents to give up their children and go back to a childless life (like a genie could *poof* them away) and I doubt you’d have parents lined up to give their children away.

    No matter what age you are, children are going to be exhausing, you’re going to wonder if you’re ready, and you’re going to have questions, lots of them, and doubts too most likely. I don’t know any parent that didn’t. I believe that means you’re ready, or at least, almost to ready. Because you understand that it’s a commitment. You get the depth of the responsibility that having children is going to be. And that is a good thing.

  • Krista September 14, 2011, 11:01 am

    I was one of the first of my friends to have kids. I was barely 25 when Sarah was born and just about 28 when I had Noah. I have absolutely NO regrets having my kids young….I had always said I wanted my family complete before I was 30 (mission accomplished). Now I’m 37 and they’re 12 & 9 and life is getting back to being more “simple”. Sure, the first 10yrs was “difficult” in that you lack sleep, every trip takes planning and life basically revolves around you kids schedules, but you know what? It is SO worth it! So, so worth it!I look at some of my friends who are still waiting for the “perfect time” to have kids, but no time will ever be perfect and I’m so happy to be on my end of raising kids and not just starting out. Sarah is already babysitting and both the kids are OK to be home alone which is just awesome! In sum; being young parents is awesome, as far as I’m concerned!!! 🙂

  • Kelley September 14, 2011, 11:02 am

    I’m a little late on the conversation. I am in my early 20s, so I know it is still too early to be 100% sure, but I am 99.9% sure I don’t want kids. My fiance and I are on the same page, and he doesn’t want children either but has admitted that it is possibly we may change our minds later but it’s very unlikely.

    My reasons for No Kids are three-fold (did I use that term right?!)

    1. Pregancy absolutely DISGUSTS me. And I am for real. Everyone thinks pregnant women have a “glow” and are “so cute” and whatever else, and I really hope I don’t offend any women with my personal opinion, but to me they look big, uncomfortable, and like they have an alien living in their stomach. NOTHING about 9 months of heartburn, puking, can’t sleep, swollen feet, hot (I know everyone is different) appeals to me. NOTHING! In fact, it actually makes me start to gag a little with the thought of another human being inside of me. Now if that doesn’t scream DO NOT BECOME A PARENT, I don’t know what else would.

    2. Then comes labor. I thought the pregnancy was uncomfortable… Don’t even get my started on breast feeding, oh HAIL NO!

    3. I was a nanny for many years and am finishing a degree to become a social worker. I totally love kids. And sometimes I see an adorable baby and think “oh my god, I want one” but you know what? I also do that with puppies. But you know what happens when someone’s dog won’t stop slobbering on me, barking, shedding hair, making messes? I think “oh my god, so glad this isn’t mine!” My fiance and I have this insanely close friendship and passionate love and quite honestly, I don’t want to share him. Wow, am I going to Hell or what? But I’m being honest.

    And since I’m already sounding like a monster, I should mention that my own mother just about slapped me when I said these things out loud. Love ya too, Mom!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 11:05 am

      bawhahahah best comment ever. you do you!!!

    • GirlonRaw September 14, 2011, 11:28 am

      I love this comment! Just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean you need to. Love the honesty!

    • Caitie September 14, 2011, 3:17 pm

      Hahahah, LOVE this comment. I do not agree and I am one of those people that thinks pregnancy is awesome and fascinating but I laughed out loud!!

    • Sarah September 14, 2011, 6:10 pm

      The idea of breastfeeding totally grosses me out too!

  • Ashley // Our Little Apartment September 14, 2011, 11:10 am

    Okay, there are a TONNNN of comments here, but I will add my two cents.

    I am 26. I got unexpectedly pregnant (with my husband of 3 years) and now we have a 1-year-old. It’s hard to imagine that it WASN’T planned, since he has been the best thing that’s ever happened to us.

    Our marriage isn’t better, we aren’t bleeding money, and we still do the things we love (travel, go out to eat, etc etc). Babies do not change everything – it really depends on the kind of person you are.

    Also, there is no right time. In fact, I wrote an entire post about the myth of the right time.

  • Kristi September 14, 2011, 11:22 am

    I am sort of conflicted myself. My husband and I have been married for just about 3 years. I am 25 he is 27. So I think we would be ready to have kids.
    Things are going so smooth for us right know. It makes me uneasy not knowing what will happen. Will we have one child, will we have twins (it runs in both of our families), will my husband get laid off again, will we even be able to have kids. All adds an extra bit of stress and I kinda feel like why ruin a good thing. But I know I what kids. I just wonder when I will be ready. Ugh.

    Kristi

  • HTPMom September 14, 2011, 11:35 am

    I read your note about 40% of parents who were asked anonymously is they were glad they had child, and they admitted to regrets.

    The side of parenting I wasn’t expecting is that life is a continuous set of lessons for parents also. Children come to us with many gifts…hugs, kisses, and love – some gifts are in a different wrapping like illness, personality challenges, or simply normal developmental stages that require us stretch past our comfort zone and see things in a different way. This can be very frustrating for some and not within their expectations or abilities.

    Raising you taught me as much as I taught you, and we grew up together – thanksJ. You and Kristien have the energy, patience, love, and a desire to meet challenges with a positive attitude. Parenting is a very personal choice. One we make with our partner based on our situation and ourselves – the statistics need not apply here. You will be wonderful parents no matter what life gives you. I also forward to meeting my sweet grandchild and watching your little family grow in love and size.

  • Kristen September 14, 2011, 11:36 am

    I feel the same way! I think it’s a very natural, normal feeling for those of us in “limbo.” I will hold a baby, look at a pregnant woman, or watch a diaper commercial and look lovingly at my husband while saying “I wannnnnt onnnnnneee!” And then I’ll see a screaming three year old flipping out because she doesn’t want to sit in her stroller and think ” yeah, sooooo not ready for that”. I feel like once three year olds don’t absolutely terrify me, then I’ll be ready. But really, I think the saying “there’s never a right time to have kids” is pretty accurate. So ,basically, I was no help at all. But at least you know you’re not alone in your feelings 🙂

  • Caileigh September 14, 2011, 11:45 am

    I have no real advice to contribute, just wanted to comment and say OMG baby fever everywhere. There must be something in the water around the blog world!

  • Matt September 14, 2011, 11:51 am

    I’m sure a hundred people above have said the same thing (I didn’t read the comments) but you’re never ready for children. My wife and I just adopted our first (fertility issues) at age 40, and I personally wish we had become parents ten years sooner. We got our debt in order, traveled, did all of the things we wanted to do and then tried to start a family at age 35. What we didn’t do that I would recommend is test early to determine if there are any fertility problems. Knowing if there are any issues can be extremely important and helpful in your decision making process as far as timing, etc.

    All that said, I wouldn’t trade our little girl for anything in the world. She is a lot of work, we haven’t slept well in the last 3 months, but it is SO worth it. You’ll never regret the opportunity to pass on your values to a child. The experience is priceless! Good Luck!

  • Kate September 14, 2011, 12:12 pm

    Good for you for reaching out and asking questions! I think so many people walk into parenthood having NO idea how much their life will change, some for the good, some for the not so good. It is the most important job you will EVER do and I applaud you for thinking with your head, not just your instinct. Because that is what “baby fever” is. We are mammals. It is in our genes to want to make babies. I think the main point many people miss is that of course you will love your kids, with all your heart and soul, and would never return them or change it if you had a time machine. But sometimes parenthood sucks. Not the kids, but being a parent. It can be hard work at times. Rewarding. But hard. But I think if you go into it knowing that, understanding that it won’t all be super easy, then I think you will be a great Mom. Enjoy the ride!

  • Brittney September 14, 2011, 12:20 pm

    You know we’re trying 😉 I think you’re still young, but I will say that I wish we’d started trying earlier, and if I had to do it over I would go back and start this process earlier, even though it was scary and things were more unstable for us a few years ago. I don’t know that waiting til everything seemed perfectly stable really bought me anything but huge anxiety and pressure to make it happen as soon as I can now since I’m older now and we’re getting started later than what I would consider ideal. I think it’s all such a personal choice though. Some people want to start a family at 22, some want to wait til their late 30s. There’s so many variables to consider. It’s just a really complicated thing!

  • erika mc September 14, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Think that by even thinking about it before acting on it shows that you are more than ready. You can’t let other’s negative words impact your decision. Of course life will change – some of it for the better and some it for the not so better, but I wouldn’t say worse. You just have to be less selfish and wlling to give up some things and time for yourself. It took my husband and me over 6 years to get pregnant and at 31 we had our first child 4 weeks ago! I wouldn’t change anything :)i

  • Amber K September 14, 2011, 12:45 pm

    My husband and I have been trying for almost five years. I have had selfish moments where I think maybe I’m just not ready to give up my entire life for another human being. SO I wonder if I’m just not ready. But the pull of baby fever feels much stronger. I sort of weigh out both sides and realize that I do want to be a mother. Despite the sacrifice, despite the complaints of other mothers, I still want it for myself. How it will happen, well after five years of trying I just don’t know! But someday, somehow, I hope so.

  • Carrie September 14, 2011, 1:16 pm

    Me & my hubby are in a very similar position as you & yours seem to be (together 9 years, married for 4, bought a house 3 years ago, have decent – but not dream- jobs, and a desire to have a kid one day). We figured a kiddo was the next step, but we were still hesitant for the same reasons – I KNOW there’ll be big changes, but how will it change our lives & our awesomesauce relationship together?

    Everyone told us we’d never feel 100% ready for kids, so we should just go for it. I tried to research, plan, & prepare, then went off BC thinking “we’ll just see what happens.” That was in June, and we just found out 2 weeks ago that I’m 6 weeks pregnant. I thought it was possible but not probable, so we’re still a bit in shock, but also excited and trying to just go with the flow. Happy? Sure….but scared? Hells yah.

    I don’t really have any advice per se, but I will say that I’m starting to learn that everyone pretty much just wings it throughout life. So even though we don’t feel like we know what we’re doing or if we’re ready for any of it, life happens – and it doesn’t really matter WHAT happens as much as it matters HOW you choose to deal with it.

    (Based purely on what I read on your blog:) You’re an uber positive person in an awesomesauce relationship who likes to kick bum when faced with a good challenge – if/when you decide to grow a tiny human, you guys’ll rawk it bc it’s just in your nature to do so. 😀

  • Erin September 14, 2011, 1:37 pm

    I was 26 when my first daughter was born, and my 2nd is due next month and I’ll be 29. My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for 6, friends forever. Life changed drastically, but once I found my mom groove, I really felt like I’d found my path in life. I’ve never regretted a thing about my first daughter, but am a lil more negative about my second pregnancy because it interferes so much with the great pattern my older daughter and I had. I can’t wait to clear the rollercoaster ride of the first 6 weeks of #2’s life and have 2 precious little beings in my life. Yes, you’re constantly tired, worried, and your relationships with EVERYONE (self, spouse, parents, siblings, friends) change. However, it is NOT an end of the world change. About the time the kid(s) hit the one year mark, you can do anything you put your mind to, it just takes preparation and the ability to go with the flow. Your personal interests will take a backseat for awhile, but they’ll come back in full force as your kid(s) gain independence.

    To me, it sounds like you’re as ready as any person could be to be a parent, but only you can really make that decision. And I’ll admit, both times we decided to try for a child, the first few months were scary and I wondered if it was really the right time. But then your head wraps around it and you accept what comes to you – every emotion under the sun. 🙂

  • kristen September 14, 2011, 2:18 pm

    lots of ?s! haha
    I had my son when I was 19. Obviously not planned and I was the first of my friends, BUT I wouldnt trade him for anything. yes. I complain about lack of sleep etc etc.
    BUTTTT I think that we usually talk about the negative WAY more than the positive (ex. if a boyfriend does soemthing nice, you talk about it maybe a little. If he pisses you off, everyone and their brother hears about it)
    As parents, there are some pretty amazing things that do happen everyday! We either dont talk about them, or we just go about getting lunches ready, laundry, and drinking coffee at the same time.
    Things will change, but dont forget about the hugs and kisses you receive. The smiles you see in the window when you get home from work. Or the million “I love you mommy” sayings.
    Its hard work, but everyone keeps on having kids- there has to be some perks right??? haha

  • Hilary September 14, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Honestly, I think people talk negativly about children because it’s somewhat expected in our culture. We don’t value children and family as much as we should and don’t parent as we should. We are in large part a selfish culture and children require selflessness. No, you won’t sleep as much, your house might not be as clean as before, but the rewards are great!

    Also, I think most people don’t know HOW to parent so it is an unnessicarily difficult task for most people. Thus, the negative talk about their children. People need to step up, be PARENTS, not friends to their children, and properly train their children how to behave and respect others. If you do it right, you will enjoy being around your kids, not desperate to send them off to school so you can have time to yourself.

    I’m not perfect – my son is 14 months – and I too love nap time and when dada takes him to the park so I can have some ‘me’ time. It can be exhausing, but how marvelous watching him grow and learn is! There is never a perfect time to have kids, just jump in and you won’t be sorry! I think if you wait and have trouble conceiving, you will regret not trying sooner. And, maybe your friends will see how you love that little baby and be inspired to become a family too! You can change their attitude by your example. What a great oppurtunity!

    I belived one of the main reasons behind marriage is the procreation and education of children. Its what we are supposed to do!

  • loreejo September 14, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Parenthood is rewarding, maybe because it’s challenging? I remember when I was pregnant with my first child (more than 23 years ago) all the people moaning, “Your life will chaaaange forever!” and I remember thinking how negative they sounded. Once you challenge their remarks, they usually backed up and stated all the joys over the lack of sleep, inconveniences, etc. Bemoaning how HARD it is reminds me of the people you run into that are always “so busy”; it becomes a bit of a martyr-type attitude. Travel is a piece of cake with kids, as is everything else when you just keep it simple. Stuff isn’t necessary to raise kids, just love. We didn’t have the most fashionable stroller or butt-wipe warmers and saw a lot of Europe while stationed there with a baby in a backpack. (breastfeeding rocks for simplicity!) Our (now young adult) kids haven’t been PERFECT, or done things exactly the way we hoped or planned (read: not always taking the easiest route); nothing and no one is perfect, but the joy is in seeing them find their own way and become their own person through their own choices. They don’t stay babies for long…..life is ALL about change. You might think your life will be the same tomorrow as today, but it’s constantly changing. You can bring a baby into your life and enjoy those changes too.

  • Lisa September 14, 2011, 2:49 pm

    Having kids teaches you not to be selfish. You realize it’s not always all about you at 3 in the morning with a crying baby. The three happiest times of my life is when I saw my babies for the first time. They can be a real pain throughout their lives, but there is nothing better than having one of them come up to you, wrap their arms around your knees and say they love you most of all. It’s also pretty awesome when they become an adult and tell you thanks for all you did for them and that they have you to thank for them being the person they are. It’s a change, but it is worth it.

  • nicole September 14, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I never wanted kids. The sound of a crying baby drove me crazy. Until one day, I started having second thoughts. I started noticing how happy mom’s were with their little ones, and started thinking that I might be missing out if we decided not to have any forever.
    We tried for one year. Then it finally happened. When I saw the positive pregnancy test I thought “oh my god, what have we done”. I hated being pregnant. Its not all glamorous. Your body changes in ways you never would have imagined. I had morning sickness. I got stretch marks. Once I felt the baby start moving though, I began to get excited about becoming a mommy.
    MY delivery was awful but as soon as I saw my precious little girl, all of that stuff that I thought was so bad did not matter. I had the most prefect, precious, amazing gift in my arms. You realize that your life changes forever at that very second, but ten and a half months later, I would not change anything for what I have now.
    The first three months were a HUGE adjustment. I could not just go to the store when I wanted. I had to plan around naps, breast feeding and diaper changes. It wasnt so easy just to run and get the mail, because I had to lug that heavy carseat in with me, even though it was just for 30 seconds. I had to watch what I ate because all of the healthy stuff seemed to bother my baby’s tummy….Its not all fun.
    BUT being a mommy is truely the best and most rewarding job that you will ever have. I never once regret my decision (and I was that person who didnt want kids). I wake up every day with a smile on my face, and I get greeted with a smile when I get my daughter out of her crib. Every day is the best gift that I could be given.
    Good luck with your decision. The best book I can recommend is called the baby whisperer. My baby slept through the night after two months!

  • flora k September 14, 2011, 4:08 pm

    I am in my late 30s and a mother of 3. I am a doctor and here in England it is easy to work very part time and I know I am very lucky to have been able to spend almost all of my time with my children. I have had the best 8 years ever… Making dens, looking for fairies, collecting stones…I had our first when I was 29 and I love both that I am young but also that both sets of grandparents are young enough to really enjoy the children. If the fear of loosing your fitness is putting you off…I am a triathlete and marathoner and my husband is a mountain biker and sailor. I ran with my buggy when the children were smaller and then taught them to ride bikes before they were 3! We ski with them and take them up mountains. They are our best friends. Go for it!!!

  • Sarah # w30 September 14, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Double comment! (like double rainbow, only slightly less amazing)

    So, I went to a lunch today featuring a talk by Steve Ford (Gerald Ford’s son). It was about ethics and character and he included a lot of amazing stories from being in the White House. Anyway, at the end of the talk, he showed us a copy of a book his dad made for him and his siblings. The President wrote about a half page mini-essay on 20 topics he felt were important – such as how to be a good spouse, how to handle failure with dignity ect. Steve Ford said he was about 20 when his dad gave it to him, and he was all, “yeah, um, thanks dad” at the time. But later, when he was struggling with his alcoholism and trying to remain sober, he read that book over and over. He said something that made me think about this post/conversation. He said that it was one of the best gifts his dad could have given him because when he struggled he had an “instruction manual for life.” Then he encouraged us to do the same for our kids, grandkids, or the kid down the street without parents. I thought that was so cool! So, we may not have an instruction manual, but we can pass one down! I know I don’t feel capable of giving someone life instructions; I still want a manual for myself. But I’m sure his dad didn’t think he had it all figured out either. Anyway, I left inspired. Best of luck in your decision! 🙂

  • Sophie @ threetimesf September 14, 2011, 5:15 pm

    I’m not a parent and feel a little like I have no right to dish out any advice, but my Mum was also older (35) when she had me and my brother (37). She is amazing, but I always wished my parents were a little younger and vowed to start a family earlier myself…Sooner rather than later is definitely the way forward 🙂

  • Julia September 14, 2011, 5:22 pm

    Hey Caitlin, I’m the first one of my friends to have a kid. I think that it’s the best thing ever! I also think that having a family trumps all else. Your kids are your legacy – they’re also a lot of fun (and loads LOADS of work). But really, having a family is something important. Your life will change. It will be okay too. Not worse. Just different from before.

    We live in a two income world where money comes first, then family. Kids aren’t a burden on life and our dreams. They get to be part of the dream. I probably sound crazy, so I’ll stop rambling. Best of luck whatever your decision!

  • Shannon September 14, 2011, 5:25 pm

    You never feel 100% ready. If you wait for that feeling, you’ll never have babies. If you have baby fever, are responsible, have money/jobs/stability, and are an adult, you are ready enough.

    The reason people talk so negatively about parenting is the same reason people complain so much about other things — it’s human nature to complain, and the happy/content/no-news-is-good-news stuff isn’t as dramatic. In other words, the “good” stuff is kinda boring. 😉

    Parenting is by FAR the hardest thing you will EVER do, and your life will change 100%. That’s just a fact. But what you need to understand is that when you’re a parent, all the hard/bad stuff is by FAR outweighed by the meaning, love, and joy that having children brings into your life. You think you know love and joy and fulfillment, but you don’t know it in the way you will when you become a mom. Trust me.

    If you want to know what life is really like as a mom, I invite you to check out my blog sometime (Mama in Wonderland). I have 5 years’ worth of posts and I have a book about stay-at-home motherhood, wellness, life, and laughs coming out in late 2011!

  • Laura September 14, 2011, 5:26 pm

    Great discussion. I need to go back and read all the comments. My husband and I are older than you (31 and 29) and are childless & are, generally, pretty happy with that. But I wanted to note a couple things, (1) there never IS a perfect time to have a baby. My brother had his first son when he was a first year medical student and his wife was working full-time. Not ideal, but they love that guy. And (2) don’t worry about the financials too much. My husband’s mom raised her 5 sons at just above the poverty level all by herself. Kids don’t need fancy things or lessons, they need love. Every one of her 5 sons are great guys.

  • Angie September 14, 2011, 5:38 pm

    If you are asking this question…you are ready. It just takes a leap of faith ♥

  • Amy September 14, 2011, 6:03 pm

    If you want to be parents then do it. Don’t put it off until a better time, because there really isn’t one. A baby will rock your world no matter how much you plan. So take the plunge! These are your optimal childbearing years so go for it! I have so many dear friends who waited, and are now having fertility issues. (It breaks my heart that now that they want a child soo badly it just isn’t happening.)I graduated from college, started my career, married my sweetie, bought our first house and then had my first baby. It was good for us. I had my first two children in my late 20’s and my surprise baby ten years later. Good parenting is hard. But so is running a marathon. Don’t be scared just because it’s hard. My children are the joy of my heart.

  • Sandy September 14, 2011, 6:06 pm

    I am 39 and have 7 and 3 year old boys. I often say I didn’t want kids until I had them. Yes, it is HARD…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There are sacrifices of YOUR time, sleep and social events. They may challenging in every way imaginable; however, the reward is indescribable. Your heart will ache like you have never known with both love and anxiety for the person(s) you are raising. You can read every book ever written about parenting but truth be told there is no manual for YOUR child. The SCARY part of that is YOU both have to figure it out what works best for your family and hope your are not signing them up for years of therapy when they are adults. 😀

    The negative stuff you hear…is likely to be just a vent. I hope so anyway…but to one complete stranger to another…GO FOR IT!

  • Erin September 14, 2011, 8:29 pm

    I am late to post this comment but decided I NEEDED to tell you my experience! I am 33 and have been with my husband since I was 19-we got married at 27 and then had a daughter 1.5 years ago.. considering how long we were together we were the last to get married of our college peers that were together in college and the last to have kids- what I have learned throughout all this is it really only matters what you and your husband feel or decide-it is your life. My husband and I both had fears about having kids, losing our freedom, losing our great relationship, money etc- we had all these fears and really took the time to think them through and get to a point where we were ready. I am SO glad I waited until I was ready- one part of this experience I am truly grateful for is I am 100% in it for her. I’ve gone out enough, travelled enough, met enough people- I am content and happy to stay home with her and enjoy her. There are definitely hard times/adjustment periods with the husband but we are truly stronger for what we have already gone through together even in the last year and I would not change it for the world-I am so glad we took the leap of faith but I am also glad we did it when we were ready and not on anyone else’s timeline.
    That being said- the comments to us the years before we were ready were relentless.. why didn’t we have kids? what were we waiting for? is something wrong with us? do we not have the money? is it my husband or me who doesn’t want them?.. we always had these questions and we always had a reply..”not yet, we will let you know when we are ready”-it was tough battling everyone about it!…BUT the telling thing was…as soon as I got pregnant and announced it 3 months in..we were met with shock! was it a mistake? was it planned? are you guys ok? WHAT?!!?!?!!? I was floored! This is when I realized people are strange…truly strange and make no sense! …it is about when you and your husband are ready and that is TRULY all there is to it! If you are ready-take the plunge! the fact that you are weighing it all and still wanting- you are in a great position! Try to take out what is going on around you and truly decide when the right time is for you and your husband..because it will be the 2 of you who are raising your child day in and day out! Good Luck! 🙂

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 9:35 pm

      hahah YES – people are weird.

  • Leanne September 14, 2011, 9:23 pm

    Hi Caitlin – I’m usually just a lurker but this is a subject that I feel really passionately about. I’ve just entered motherhood and my sweet little Zoe is 3.5 months old. I agree with others that you can never be truly ready for kids because your life changes but maybe not in the ways you think or atleast that has been my experience. I think your priorities shift, your heart open in ways you never thought possible, your home changes (and the home dynamic) but all for the better. I can’t imagine life without her but it didn’t start that way.

    I was concerned (too strong but def something I thought about) that maybe it was too soon, worried about lack of sleep and how much our life would change. At that point, I loved our life and I was so comfortable. But I knew that I wanted to be a mom and although I was younger than I thought I would be (I just turned 28), I wanted my kids to be raised as close to their cousins as I was and my siblings started poppin’ kids out EARLY! This isn’t to say that we felt pressured by our family or my siblings to have kids, it was something that we discussed at length and wanted for our kids. We also wanted to be young-ish parents with financial stability so I think we made the perfect decision. That being said, you’ll never think you make enough and according to my mom you should never let that hold you back from starting a family. “Somehow, you make it work.” Turns out she was right.

    Looking into her eyes, watching her face light up when I get her from her crib in the morning or making her smile while I change her diaper are the best moments of my day and I can’t imagine my life and family without her.

    • Caitlin September 14, 2011, 9:35 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment!

  • vks September 15, 2011, 10:49 am

    I think kids is a big picture thing, if you want to frame it as changing dirty diapers and paying college tuition, no, that doesn’t sound like fun, but when I think of it as creating a family and enjoying what my parents and in-laws have it sounds a way better.

    I thought at first we’d have kids semi-right away (26-27 y.o. 1-2 year of marriage), but now I think a little later might be better for us (30, 4-5 years of marriage). I do worry though about our parents, how old they’ll be when our kids are growing up and wonder if it’s selfish to wait? I also don’t want to be an “old” mom.

  • Alicia September 15, 2011, 11:01 am

    Wow- we have been in such similar places! I am 27, been married for 3 years (but we’ve been together for almost 10), my husband and I finished college,have careers, and a house, and we were debating children for quite a while. We kept feeling like it might be the right time, but were nervous about money, changing life, and all of that! We finally decided after a few medical scares that we would go off of birth control and see what happened. Well, I guess parenthood was in the plans because I’m 27 weeks now! We are still a little apprehensive about parenthood, but we realized that we wanted kids and that we would probably NEVER feel like we were 100% “prepared” for something that is such an unknown for us. I can’t give you any other insight than that, since we have a few more months to meet our little one! PS- I am VERY new to the blog world, just started my own, and found your website a while back when I wanted to try running my first 5K- I really appreciate the info!

  • vks September 15, 2011, 11:09 am

    Ohh, and I just read the comment before mine! Love it. I also think about our niece (and the baby my BIL & SIL are hoping/planning for in the near future). Neither my husband or I had cousins close in age growing up, but it’s something we want for our kids. I worry if we wait too long it won’t happen.

    And the financial stuff…I know we need to grow our emergency fund a little more, but other than that I think it does just work out. Your priorities will shift, it will fall into place and I think it does work out.

  • J September 15, 2011, 1:30 pm

    due to some past health issues i thought it would take me a long time (if ever) to get prego so i started trying soon after i got married. of course, i got prego on the first try. i was like you in seeing many friends struggle with fertility and i wanted to be prepared if i would have to go down that path in the future. i now have a one year old daughter and i must say, i probably wasnt totally ready to have a baby, none of my friends had them, we definetely missed out on stuff and it was quite a shock when she first arrived as to how DIFFERENT our lives had become. BUT, like many comments above, i wouldnt change it for the world. having a baby is an amazing experience and you (or should) realize that life is not about you anymore, its all about what is best for the baby. you have to learn to become selfless and appreciate the small things when you can get them (sleeping in when you husband gets up with the baby, a trip alone to target – HEAVEN, etc). that might sound sad to some people, yeah i cant go out and get drunk on a sat night anymore, i cant hang out with friends after work without planning it in advance but when you have a child you realize that all of that stuff is very trivial compared to being a parent and really, what else is life about than continuing it for future generations? good luck with whatever you choose, you will be ready when you have that baby, whether you think you are or not!

  • Ashley September 15, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Saying that I haven’t slept well since 2006 or that I can’t remember what things were like before I had a constant, constant needing person of my own is NOT negative. This is not making negative comments about my child. This is REAL. And saying so does not mean I cannot also say that my daughter is the single best thing in my life and that I would cut off my left arm if I had to for her.

    NOT talking about the realities of just how hard it is to have kids is more damaging then letting mothers vent.

  • Janelle September 15, 2011, 3:54 pm

    I’m 26 and most of my friends are still figuring out how they want their lives to be. When I started dating my now boyfriend, who has a 9-year-old son, I was lucky in that my friends really supported me. I got lots of “oh you’re such a cute mom!” and never any “omg is that kid the only thing you talk about?” (which I’ve heard other non-parents say about their parent-friends).

    So I think if being a mama is what you want, don’t worry about the friend aspect or their reactions. The good friends will support you guys, love the kid(s), and maybe even ask to be called Aunt or Uncle! 😉

  • KY Pam September 15, 2011, 10:00 pm

    I became a mom at 31 after trying to get pregnant for over a year. I was a month away from turning 35 when we had baby #2. My husband and I were married just short of 5 years when we had our first baby. Our boys are now 16 and 18. Being a parent has been the most beautiful, rewarding, all-consuming experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I love being a mom and sharing parenting with my husband. Every stage of parenting has been amazing; we have always felt blessed to have our boys and have never considered them a burden. Is it all bliss? Heavens no and going through the teen years has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride! But, oh Caitlin, there is NOTHING that compares to being head over heels in love with this new little person that enters your life in the most amazing way! If I could change anything, it would be to have started our family earlier so we could have three or four kids!

  • Amanda September 16, 2011, 2:31 am

    I got pregnant at 20 definitely and “accident” if there is such a thing. However my kiddo has pushed me to finished college RN, BSN where before her I had way to many nights out with friends. I am engaged to her dad and she has just changed my world for the better. Its stressful expensive but absolutely the most rewarding thing ever. She is 2 now and gives “teddy bear” hugs to momma and dada as well as “fishy” kissers” every night before bed. even on the days where shes screaming in Target and I would love to pawn her off on someone I would miss her in about 6 hours because its so quiet when shes not around. The only thing that stinks is in some ways the relationship with her dad and I have dwindled but maybe that comes with the territory. Plus having her so young didn’t exactly help

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef September 16, 2011, 10:34 am

    definitely didn’t read all the comments so maybe this was already said…but the best advice i have ever heard on this topic was, “will you regret having children or not having children? because there comes a point where you can’t have your own (naturally).” my husband and i don’t have kids but probably will…and i definitely came to that “probably” conclusion by thinking about what i would MISS by not having kids, instead of what i would miss by having kids. just my 2 cents 🙂

  • Katy @ MonsterProof September 16, 2011, 11:25 am

    I just don’t know. I’ve been pretty open that Robby wasn’t exactly planned, but this article was us to a T, referring to “maybe baby”s! http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/do-i-want-a-baby

    We got married, and as we were about to turn 30, I went off birth control, and just kind of let things go. We weren’t trying, but weren’t NOT trying, but didn’t really expect things to happen quickly…it was 1 month.

    I love my son, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t think anyone is 100% ready, but I definitely wish that we had been “trying”. It took awhile to get used to the idea that I was actually PREGNANT. And everyone around you is so happy, and congratulating you, and you’re just trying to wrap your mind around it! So…I would say, make the decision. Don’t just go with the “maybe baby” mentality of whatever happens happens. Because then you’re more likely to not be mentally prepared.

  • Joanie September 16, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Caitlin-
    My husband and I grappled with this decision as well. We mourned the loss of the “two of us” during my pregnancy and while I was in labor, discussed how it wasn’t just us anymore. We had been together 7 years and loved the time we had together.

    Let me say that our son is the most wonderful, joyous, unbelievable thing my husband and I have ever experienced. But things are different. OUr focus is on Charlie now and not as much on each other. Our love for Charlie is so enormous that sometimes it overpowers the love we have for each other. It is important to continue to make time for you as a couple and that is what we are working on now.

    If you have the baby bug, do it! It is such an amazing experience. Just go into it knowing and expecting things to change…because they do. Can’t wait to hear the good news soon! I have been reading your blog since it was a wedding blog when I was planning my wedding 2 years ago! Good luck!

  • Elise September 16, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Wow, I feel like you pulled the words right out of my mouth. I could have written this post, it actually brought tears to my eyes. I am the same age, and my husband and I have been together for about 10 years and married for 4. The only difference is that while I feel like we could be ready for kids and he’s not so sure. I just wanted to wish you good luck in figuring things out. Thank you for sharing your feelings about this.

  • Lindsey September 16, 2011, 10:56 pm

    Hey! I am 28yrs old. I Have been married for almost 6 and 1/2 years. I have three children 4yo, 2yo, and 8months. And I love it(enough to have one more). I truly do with everything in me. And so does my husband. I am not one of those parents who sugar coat everything tho. I am real. It is hard being a parent sometimes and easy others. But, I promise you…the good out weighs the bad…BY FAR! And the bad(when I say bad, I mean lack of sleep sometimes, disobedience, etc.)…when it comes to your own children, the kids YOU birthed, doesn’t really seem bad. My husband and I knew we were ready when we both wanted to have a baby at the same time. Usually it was just me and not him. Also, you have to make a decision to ENJOY your kids no matter what! My Mom always said “I had kids to enjoy them and not for them to be a burden on me.” I don’t think some people feel that way. But you can make that decision on your own. Hope this helps! Thought it might since we are close to the same age. 🙂

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) September 16, 2011, 11:17 pm

    I am 28 and going through the exact same feelings and emotions as you are Caitlin. I LOVE my life and am so happy right now, that I worry if I change anything, I might mess it up or not love it as much. But, I am pretty sure I want kids. Gahhh, it is so hard!

  • Heidi September 17, 2011, 5:13 pm

    I’m 25 and my boyfriend just turned 29. We have been together for over 4 years and have lived together 3 years. We have no plans to get married any time soon as we want to build our dream home in less then 2 years and sell out current place. That’s our goal, that’s our life, and we couldn’t be happier. However, I feel like EVERYONE has an opinion on why aren’t we married, when are we getting married, are you sad your not married etc.

    My point here is that you shouldn’t let anyone push you in any direction and tell you what’s right. If you feel like you want to have a baby then have a baby! You need to do what’s right for you and your husband.

    I think that the big things in life – marriage, home ownership, and kids are the things we are never quite ready for but when they happen we are are so grateful!

    Listen to your heart and do what’s right for you

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 18, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Wow, with all those responses I’m sure you’ve got plenty of input but I just wanted to give my perspective of having a one year old.

    We decided to stop NOT trying to have kids and got pregnant immediately. We never expected to get pregnant so soon and weren’t sure if we were ready either but it that’s the thing about starting a family, nothing is ever perfect, you’re never really ready and once it happens you have ten months to get your shit together and get ready:) We paid off our debt during that ten months, got the room ready, got our lives ready and jumped in head first.

    The thing that I notice most as being surrounded by parents is the ones that don’t commit their entire world to parenting, that resist certain aspects, are the ones that aren’t happy with it.

    I devoted my life to parenting and everything else comes second. I quit my job for crying out loud! It’s been the single most gratifying, fulfilling, amazing thing I have ever done. The cuteness NEVER stops, the love NEVER ends and the awesomeness is continual. I love it so much.

    I still blog, I still work out, I still enjoy friends and my husband (7pm bedtime rocks. haha). But my life is fully dedicated to raising my son and it is amazing. I have so much fun every day. There’s nothing like getting up in the morning and looking at the day saying ‘what fun thing do I get to do with my boy today?’. Life is so good.

  • Kari September 18, 2011, 8:10 pm

    Caitlin-
    I’m a long-time reader but this is the first time I have ever posted. I am sure you’ve heard from plenty of people but I am in a situation very similar to yours only a few months later. I felt exactly like you did. I had so many doubts about why it isn’t the right time but this summer my husband & I decided that these doubts weren’t going to go away (or that if they did we’d find new ones) and to take the leap.

    I will admit that when that test turned positive I had a moment of “Oh no! What have we done!”, but I am 11 weeks into it and so glad that we made this decision. Are the concerns totally gone? No and I doubt they ever will be. But I love this baby more than I ever thought possible and I know that I can handle whatever life throws at me and that my feelings toward this tiny person will never change.

    I know my life will change but now that I am on that path I am so excited about the changes that are coming whereas before that test came up positive I was very worried. I am so excited to see what the next chapter of our life holds. It’s actually very exciting, and that far outweighs any of the concerns I had before getting that positive test!

  • Nicole G September 19, 2011, 11:11 am

    A friend recommended me your blog and like many others here, I have to add my two cents.

    I want to say that it’s been really refreshing to read all these other comments (I’m about 2/3 thru), particularly the tales of relatively young women who took 6, 10, 12+ months to conceive. I’m (almost) 25 and thought that we’d get pregnant the second I went of BC. I had a unique situation in that for the 4 months I was marathon training at the beginning of this year, my cycles got all out of whack and are only now getting readjusted to “normal”, even though we’ve been actively trying for a couple of months. [I’m also in a slightly unique situation in that my husband is 13 years older than I am — I’m struggling with wanting to get pregnant NOW before he gets “too old” — and yes, I know that’s a relative term, but my parents were 22 when they had me!]

    I would add that I NEVER EVER wanted kids until I met and married my husband and saw our future family together. Similarly, having to “struggle” (and since we haven’t been trying that long, I’ll use that term lightly) with getting pregnant has also made me realize that I want a child — it really is depressing to get your period every month when you’re really hoping beyond all hope that this was the month.

    I will encourage you like others have that if you’re leaning towards the child-inclusive life that you start now. You really do not know what biology has in store for you until you start trying.

    Thank you for posting this blog and getting this conversation going. Unlike a lot of other places on the web, this has been really cathartic for me as my husband and I go through our TTC journey.

  • Alyse September 19, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I think you are the only one that can answer that question. I don’t think you’ll ever be fully prepared, you just have to have them and then adapt. 🙂

    See if you can borrow someone’s kids for a week. I love my 7 year old nephew but after he stays with me for two days, I’ve had enough, which tells me I don’t have the patience yet.

  • Heather September 19, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Caitlin: I never comment (but definitely read your blog!)but really feel strongly about this topic! I always heard the same complaints as you do from friends and wondered about it too…until I had my own. I always asked my Mom about it b/c the way she talked, she just loved having kids! My Dad worked a lot and was gone sometimes for work, but I never heard her say anything negative about being alone w/ us kids. All I remember and all she talks about is how much she loved us and everything we did together! She wanted many more kids but could only have 3 due to health complications…anyway, enough of that.

    My husband and I waited 5 years. I watched all my friends have kids and begged my husband to start earlier than we planned, but he held strong…and I’m so glad he did! We will never get that time together again (until the kids are out of the house of course but I imagine it will be different then!) and I treasure those memories and fun times we were able to have because life truly does change! Not for the bad, but it is just so different you can’t even imagine. While everyone told us you can “never be ready”, I truly felt we were – both then and now as I look back. You still can’t really understand what it’s going to be like, but we were ready: financially stable, both with good jobs, loving family/friends surrounding us (which we needed since we had a premie: 2 pounds/15 ounces!) Anyway, it took us about 6 months to get pregnant and actually ended up getting pregnant when we decided to step pressuring ourselves and stop “trying” for a while. We went on our 5th anniversary cruise…and got pregnant. Go figure. Anyway, all that to say, my son is now just over 2 years old and the LOVE OF MY LIFE. Yes, some days are so incredibly hard and I am so anxious for my husband to get home. Some days I want to pull my hair out because he won’t nap and nothing will make him happy. But then my son tells me he loves me. Or hugs me for no reason. Or says/does something that cracks us up and I forget it all. There is nothing like it in the world. He is 100% completely dependent on me! (incredibly overhwleming but true!). I couldn’t love him anymore than I do. I can’t describe in words how awesome it is to be a mom. I still feel like I have no clue what I’m doing but I’m trying to teach him what’s right and show him in every possible way how much I love him. I get tears in my eyes just writing about him. I’m sorry this is so long but I’m so passionate about it. I feel like if people are going to complain so much about it I wish they just wouldn’t have kids (at least stop having more). 🙂 I love seeing life through my sons eyes…everything is so much more exciting!! So do it…but only when you feel ready. And enjoy your time with your husband!! AND one last thing and I’ll swear I’ll stop: you can still do what you love after you have a kid. You just have to make it work. Before I could run/workout whenever I wanted (outisde of work of course)…now I get up at 4:45/5 a.m. every day except Sundays to fit it in. I ran my first marathon when my son was 1 1/2…you can still do it! It just might be a little harder. 🙂 Good luck to you!! They are SO WORTH IT!!!!!

    1 – I would do nothing differently.
    2 – We both just felt ready. We were at a good place and both felt it. I think that’s the key: both have to be ready.
    3 – I was the last of all my close friends! That was hard but I don’t regret it! I just tried to enjoy their children and my freedon. 🙂
    4 – I really don’t know. Maybe they don’t teach their children properly and they are out of control and nobody wants to be around them….who knows! 🙂
    5 – Children are a true gift and a true joy. I like to tell my son he is the joy of my life…he has no clue what I’m saying but the grin he gives me is worth it. Love him so much.

    • CaitlinHTP September 19, 2011, 3:52 pm

      Thank you for this comment!

  • elaine! September 20, 2011, 6:50 pm

    When you mentioned parents occasionally offloading about the negatives of parenting, it reminded me of this really great TED talk about parenting taboos: http://www.ted.com/talks/rufus_griscom_alisa_volkman_let_s_talk_parenting_taboos.html

    Running isn’t always fun either but it’s still worthwhile.

    And, too young? Shit, Caitlin, 16 year olds are having kids these days. 😉 You’ve got things together enough to procreate if that’s what you and your husband want.

    That said, the idea of raising children terrifies me. Still waiting for that “biological clock” people keep talking about to start ticking. Honestly I’m thinking either it’s a myth or mine is broken.

    • CaitlinHTP September 20, 2011, 6:50 pm

      I watched that TED talk a while ago and LOVED It. I thought it was pretty awesome and upfront.

  • Jenna September 21, 2011, 3:32 pm

    So many things I want to say (and most have already been said probably, I don’t have time to read all 500 comments!) but I will add this because it’s the thing I consider most important –

    When you look back at your life when you are 80, are you going to regret your kids? I don’t know any 80 year olds who do (well 80 year olds who are mentally stable, productive, intelligent, etc). My parents, and husbands parents LIVE for our son. Like there is nothing in the entire world that brings them more joy than having them around. Same thing with my grandma, she can’t get enough of him, even though he is her 12th great grandchild, and so she has done this a few times over.

    I try to keep in mind that hard things usually have the biggest payoff. As a runner yo know that! There is this sense of accomplishment and wonder that comes from creating something, and this is a project that never ends. Or I guess a better analogy for you might be a race that never ends, but in a good way.

    It’s crazy hard, like so often husband whines to me WHY DID WE EVER DO THIS and talks about how he wants to go back. But we don’t really mean that when we say it. What we mean is, we see a lot of other people who aren’t doing this right now, and in the present it seems like not having kids would be way more fun. But I keep in mind the myriad of ways that having children actually expands our possibilities, instead of thinking about the ways we might be limited, and it seems like it is worth it.

  • Katie September 22, 2011, 10:45 pm

    Good topic and one that is a little heavy. Sorry I’m so late to put my two cents in on this. A couple things I would like to add: While the change and the challenge may seem nerve-wracking and daunting, that’s the way most changes are. We may feel intimidated and scared whenever we make a big change in any area of our lives because we can’t see into the future and there’s no guarantee of the outcome on the other side. It just takes faith, arming yourself with as much knowledge as you can, and then taking that flying leap. Sometimes you feel ready for that leap, and other times you don’t. Sometimes you have to be pushed into that leap. But in order to get the most out of your life and achieve your dreams, that leap is always required.

    I’m a big believer in following my gut; I hardly ever look at statistics. When making a decision, if I feel a strong pull in a certain direction, I follow that feeling. It has never failed me. Follow your heart and your gut; only you know what is right for you at this stage in your life. Nearly six years ago, I made the big decision to move (ironically) to Charlotte. I had hardly any money to my name, hardly any possessions, and was terrified, but I knew I had to go. I was fed up in my hometown and knew that I would never get what I wanted out of my life if I stayed there. I took a huge leap of faith and followed my gut; it was the best decision of my life and I’ve never looked back. My life has only gotten better as a result of that one decision.

    You can plan and plan until you are blue in the face, but often those plans just don’t turn out the way you wanted. My husband and I started trying for a baby about 9 months after we got married, in June 2009. We were 28 and 29 years old, and my husband, a Naval officer, was working a desk job at the time and not deploying anywhere. Ideally, that would have been the “perfect” time to have a baby because he was home. Well fastforward to today, 27 months later, and still no baby. We’ve gone through a slew of fertility treatments, moved cross-country twice during that time, my husband is back on sea duty and deploying again, and we’re now 30 and 31 years old. While getting pregnant a couple years ago would have been nice, whenever we finally do get pregnant, it will end up being the perfect time because we will have finally been blessed to have a child.

    Good luck with your decision!

    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 11:01 am

      I hope you get your baby soon!! xoxoxo

  • Sara September 28, 2011, 11:07 pm

    Yes children change your life entirely, not just financially or emotionally, but also physically; I never had acne or dry skin before my son. Your life really can never fully be your own after hearing that first cry after birth, and you’re never entirely ready for becoming a parent.

    But….

    You gain a whole other life you never knew could exist. One far greater and more exciting than any race you will ever run. I am grateful for the new life my son has given me, because I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.

  • Emily October 2, 2011, 10:11 pm

    I’ve been dreaming about kids since I was about 15 and I’m 20 now. When I was little my favourite toy was my baby born. I hated barbie and bratz and all that because I couldn’t nurse them and they were so tiny. I guess my obsession stemmed from the fact that me, my brother and sister are so close in age and I’ve never been able to nurture them.

    At 20 I’ve been a bit lacking in the relationship department though and I often wonder – because of my low self-esteem – if I will ever get the opportunity to have children. My psychologist tells me the story of how she felt the same way at my age then at 22 – bam! – she found true love and had a child a few years later:)

    Caitlin I guess my opinion is that there is never a single right time to start planning for children but I have insight that once you hold your piece of blue sky in your arms – you’re ready.

    By the way, Caitlin means pure and that’s exactly what you are – you’ll make an awesome mum when the time comes=)

    • CaitlinHTP October 3, 2011, 9:11 am

      I love ‘blue piece of the sky’. I cannot wait 🙂 Thank you!

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  • Amber March 20, 2015, 10:12 am

    Caitlin! You should write a follow-up post to this. I’ve been reading your blog forever and I remember I was just planning my own wedding when I read this post over three years ago. Now I’m in the exact same position you describe in this post — major baby fever one day and thinking ‘are we really ready?’ the next day. I want to hear your thoughts 3+ years and two kids later on the whole “planning parenthood” thing 🙂

    • Caitlin March 20, 2015, 12:07 pm

      Maybe I will 🙂 good idea!

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