To this day, I wouldn’t say I’m ready – but I’m ready as I’ll ever be.
My husband and I are 34 years old, turning 35 in March and July respectively. We’ve been married for five years and since the day we said “I do,” we were often at the receiving end of this perennial question: when are you going to start a family?
On top of that, sometime early last year, my mother told me I better start having kids before I get too old (oof).
If you’re of childbearing age, regardless of your relationship status, you’ve probably been confronted with this question. Most of the time, it probably comes from a good place with curious intentions. But quite frankly, it can be annoying as hell!
I think that’s where the pressure to have kids stems from. It’s as if only a singular timeline for life exists and if you’re not hitting those big milestones, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.
But the only timeline that really matters is the one you set for yourself, or if you’re in a relationship, the one that you and your partner should set together as a couple.
James says he probably felt ready to have kids about two years ago. Many of his close childhood friends have children of their own, and I actually love watching James with them – he has always been so good with kids! But did that make me want them right then there? Nope!
Over the past few years in particular, I’ve really enjoyed our life together. I landed an incredible job in the airline industry in 2017, which enabled us to travel to places that we would’ve never been able to afford when we first moved to NYC. We were both focused on growing our careers, enjoying new experiences, and spending time on our marriage and our friendships. Our lives were constantly on the go, but it also had been really good. I wanted to enjoy that for just a little bit longer.
When the pandemic hit, life came to a screeching halt. Then, as we socially distanced and stayed at home, I began to find joy in other things. Like decorating our apartment. Taking care of plants. Learning new recipes to cook. Snuggling on the couch and sleeping in on weekends. On the few occasions that we got to see our families, it really made me cherish the time we spent together. And so just like that, my priorities began to shift and after a few months of having fun being an at-home cocktail mixologist, I finally felt like I was ready (at least as I could ever be) to have a baby.
Of course, I would be lying if the thought didn’t cross my mind: If I’m 34 now, I’ll be 52 when my kid graduates high school, 68 when they’re my age now, and so on and so forth. But in the end, I’m glad I was able to prioritize my needs and aspirations first, and feel incredibly fortunate that I have a partner that could appreciate that as well.
And let me tell you – it feels good that we’re both very ready and excited to welcome our sweet babe into the world! We can’t wait to meet him!