Anyone struggled with this? I’m 30; I like the idea of having kids but also was never my “dream”. I get along with my friends’ kids ok, though I’d 100% hire a lot of help(love my career and would like to retain some freedom—the idea of not going to be able to go away for a weekend w my girlfriends/my husband with no kids troubles me).My husband LOVES kids, he takes charge of nearly all of the house chores, so I’d have support. People say don’t do it unless 100% sure;I feel I’ll never get there?

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I took 9 years in between having my kids. It’s a huge commitment of time and energy, and I wanted to get my law degree/establish a career for before having 2 kids. But I don’t think it’s possible to ever feel “100% ready.” If you and your partner feel like you’re ready to make some lifestyle modifications and you’re okay financially to have kids I say go for it. I was never a big fan of kids but I love my own!

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The secret I didn't discover until after having my daughter is that it's a completely valid choice to just have one kid. I hadn't considered this for some reason, but after we had one, we decided that was it for us. Our lifestyle is much more flexible than several of my friends who were pregnant the same time as me and now have two (or two and another on the way, in some cases). Easier to ask grandparents to watch one, easier to leave one with the other parent without feeling guilty, easier to take one to the store, etc. My husband and I both have 2-3 weekends a year where we go away childfree.

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I chuckled to myself reading this because—as an only child—I never thought having just one kid was an odd choice until dating my boyfriend (an identical twin who also has 2 sisters) who jokes that “having just one kid is child abuse.” 😂 So I’ve realized that apparently there are a lot of people who never even consider that they could just have one!

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Kids are portable. You’ll never feel 100% ready, but if you decide that you aren’t going to be stuck in your house with the kid, and you have a supportive spouse who will do a lot of chores and you can trade off alone time away from the kid, it’s not that bad. Especially if you hire out the house-cleaning, get groceries delivered, and pay a day care or nanny.

If you don’t have a supportive spouse, don’t do it.

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I don't feel maternal, and don't like children, but I DO feel I will regret not having one with my husband. It's weird. The only thing going for me is I have a domestic husband who's dying to be a parent. I will remind him of that everytime. No, seriously though, a supportive partner is KEY!

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This was me. I was 9 months pregnant and still unsure. I had a newborn and wasn’t sleeping and thinking “what in the world did I do to my life?” I absolutely love being a parent now. It’s so much fun (exhausting, hard, but fun). It’s insane how much I love this little person.

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I don’t have kids but I don’t think anyone ever feels 100%. I can totally relate to your feelings as well about wanting freedom still. I’m 33 and haven’t had kids yet though it is something I want. I definitely do not feel ready and don’t know if I will ever be 100% ready so I’m just going to go with the flow and be as prepared as possible while also knowing you can never be totally prepared.

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You will never feel 100% ready. Kids totally change your life, but in a lot of wonderful ways, too. I always tell my friends that if you’re not 90% sure you DON’T want kids then have them (assuming you can afford them, that you can physically have them, etc). It’s a big part of life not just now but when you’re old and grey, but you have a limited amount of time to have them. You might want the ability to work 250 hours a week and still have time to watch Netflix and take random weekend trips now, but in 20 years you might wish you had a little “more” (for lack of a better word). Fwiw, we still travel a lot and go out on weekends and have good careers so it’s possible, just a little harder and more stressful than if you’re kid-free.

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Insight: we got our first son when my SO was 2.5 years out of law school in the M&A group at a V2. Partners told him we were crazy. Other partner told him waiting until he was 42 to get his first was a huge regret. It won’t be easy (no sleep!) but there are plus and minuses to do it later on too! We managed. It’s wild but we did it!

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Almost the same except my husband doesn’t LOVE kids, he feels the same as me. We’re pretty sure we want them (30/33) and we know we’ve got to start now/soon (I know a lot of people have babies later than early 30s but we don’t want to push it, especially if we want 2 and want to take a break between).

It was never a “dream” for either of us, but when we think of our lives and what we’ll want 15 years from now, we picture a kid, you know? We do want that family life and the experience of raising a child. But it’s hard to actually get started because we’re not 100% ready and the logistics feel challenging- though we would also outsource a lot.

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Came here to say - don’t take your feelings toward your friends’ kids are indicative of how you’d feel toward your own. I love my son with all my heart, and only have a passive tolerance for most of my friends’ kids.

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Everyone I know was able to be the best mom possible to their kids - a lot of the parenting (especially early on, for babies) comes naturally even if you have no experience with babies and was never a baby person

Just want to reiterate that the "you're never 100%" thing is not a justification in and of itself for having kids. Of course there's always a doubt about permanent decisions that will change everything about your life. But it's also ok to just....not be sure that's your path and therefore not take it.

If there's such thing as a biological clock, mine is broken. My husband and I are 34/35 and the Auntie/Uncle life suits us just fine. I really enjoy kids (over the age of 3-4...) but also really value returning them at the end of the day and coming back to a clean, quiet, absolutely not childproof home. You can be maternal and not want to do it 24/7 for the next 25 years!

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Totally take your point, thanks for sharing this!

I agree with other posters that you’ll never feel 100% ready. But you’ll reach a point where you’re ready to take that next step, despite the unknown/uncertainty. I will say that having strong partner support is absolutely crucial in terms of being able to have time to yourself and pursue what’s important to you, so it’s great that you have that.

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I don’t have kids, and I’m 95% sure that I’ll never regret not having them. I never developed that maternal drive that some women seem to get, even when I was teaching and around awesome kids all the time. I’d probably be an okay parent, but it’s not for me.

I’m in the camp of, “if you’re not 100% sure, don’t bring a child into the world.” But I know people who were unsure about kids who love being a parent more than anything else in the world; I also know people who were certain they wanted kids and either regretted it or realized they would have been just as happy without.

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Thanks for sharing. I feel my husband and I are very happy as is; we like the idea of having kids, but if I were to find tomorrow that we cannot have them, I don’t think I’d be heartbroken and necessarily explore other avenues (adoption, surrogacy, etc.); I’d still be very happy with my life.
I just feel I could regret it not to try.

Based on my friends’ experiences, if you want to retain the freedom to go away for the weekend without kids, don’t have kids. 🤷‍♀️ Of course, I’m sure that’s not always the case, and you may have tons of help and family support.

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I suggest reading the book Mom Genes. It detail how fundamentally your brain and priorities shift when you have a kid. The things you think you’ll miss now may not matter much after you have a child (or maybe they still will, who knows). But I love my kids & am totally obsessed with raising them and being with them. The things you describe not wanting to miss/lose don’t matter to me much anymore. Good luck with your decision!

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I only like my own kids 😂 and I have four of them! I have a nanny who has been with us for 6 years and family close by so definitely a lot of help but I can focus on my career, get away for girls’ trips, vacations with my husband, etc. Just depends on what you want but I don’t know if anyone is ever 100% sure about having kids so waiting for that “feeling” may never come.

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Thank you for saying this. I don't like children. But people are always telling me it's different when they're yours.

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I am in a very similar situation but a bit younger. I feel like I’ve always rushed to get to the next “milestone” or “step” in life and I don’t think having kids is something I should just do unless I’m completely sure I want to be a mom.

Following!

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I think that the fear of not having time away is valid, but you can take time away from your children if you want to. I also echo what others above have said about thinking about what you’d like things to look like in 15-20 years. We have two already, and although it feels like so much, we still want a third because we know that if we don’t, we’ll regret it in the distant future. Do I right now want to have to manage another child? No, not really. Is it part of my bigger picture for my family? Yes.

For what it’s worth, my husband and I are both attorneys. We both respect each other’s career goals and support them and do our best to approach parenting as a team effort. You can have both a career and a family, and you may find (as we have) that having one makes you better at the other, and vice versa.

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There is no right time. I had my first three weeks after the Bar exam, after my husband and I *accidentally* got pregnant. Started my law career at 29 with no money and no prospects (because I didn’t line anything up due to the pregnancy). 4 years later, we have a nice house, another baby, my career is going great. On the flip side I work my ass off and I’m constantly exhausted, but holy hell it’s amazing what we’re capable of! I do not regret having these two kids even one little bit, I love them immensely and they make everything better. Tiring and louder, yes, but still better 😂

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Just commenting in solidarity, sister—our surprise baby arrived a few weeks before I took the bar exam!

I think one of the best pieces of advice came from a thread I read years ago. The OP said that if she made a pros and cons list about having kids, the cons would all be very tangible things like impact on finance and career, and the pros would all be very intangible like “when my baby smiles at me, I melt.” The question comes down to, can you see yourself finding the intangible pros to be rewarding enough to outweigh the tangible cons.

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Agree with everyone. There is no such thing as being 100%. I’m not a person that typically knows how to hold a conversation with kids, but I love my kids and haven’t found this to be a problem with them in particular.
I had my first child a few months into my first job, the second at the end of 1L year, so neither was timed perfectly. We travel a lot, and our kids have been flying with us since as early at 8 days old. We don’t have family support, so we can’t travel without them and are uncomfortable with leaving them overnight with a nanny (although I know couples that do).

You just need to decide what is important to you, then be prepared to make adjustments as you go. It’s not the most convenient life, but you’ll figure it out.

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You don’t have to give it up. It takes a little bit more planning, but it’s totally doable. Feel free to DM me if you want to discuss more.

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