{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Moms, how did you decide when and that you wanted to have a child. I’m 27 and not sure if I want to have a child but also don’t want to wait till later and then run into problems getting pregnant. 😞 I’m admittedly pretty self centered and don’t know if I can be selfless towards my child. \n\nAlso career wise, is it better to have a child early and then be able to focus when you’re ar higher positions? \n\nFinancially, how much money should we have saved before we have a child? We have about 100k.", "post_id": "6090400849932800245a7f51", "reply_count": 41, "vote_count": 39, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Moms, how did you decide when and that you wanted to have a child. I’m 27 and not sure if I want to have a child but also don’t want to wait till later and then run into problems getting pregnant. 😞 I’m admittedly pretty self centered and don’t know if I can be selfless towards my child. Also career wise, is it better to have a child early and then be able to focus when you’re ar higher positions? Financially, how much money should we have saved before we have a child? We have about 100k.

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My thoughts on this - intelligent people tend to plan and strategize their decision to have children. Others just wing it. It usually works out either way. 1) I did want to hit certain income milestones and even when I did, I did not feel financially ready. There are certain costs to consider - like childcare. In my area, it’s about $2500/3000 a month. Diapers/formula another $300 maybe. I would say i estimate that it costs roughly $4k a month all in. That’s half my take home. Run those numbers and make sure you feel comfortable (use your own areas childcare costs). But also know that most Americans are unable to save during the daycare years. I have friends who have barely any debt/mortgage/etc and make 500k combined who feel like saving becomes tricky with kids. You just know it going in and pad yourself to prep vs waiting for income to increase. You just don’t necessarily want to be in a position where one entire income is going to childcare as that is when I’ve seen most of my female colleagues leave the workforce. 2) my career took a huge jump during my maternity leave. My income close to doubled. I did wait until i had a 6 figure income and mortgage to have a baby so that I knew what my baseline expenses would be. I know some couples who did the reverse and continued to rent low cost apartments. I think that is a smart approach as well because they have access to more cash. 3) fertility is a real thing. At 28, my husband wanted to have a kid. Our combined income Was just under 200k in HCOL city. I wanted to wait. Had some health issues that jeopardized my fertility and also, pregnancy in my 30s was so awful and hard to bounce back from. Wish i either started younger or froze eggs. I got lucky to get pregnant- but it might be a struggle for my second and I’m already 35. Also have a friend who got pregnant at 27 and has been trying for 5 years for a second with no luck. It can be a crap shoot. 4) i think of savings in terms of emergency funds. 6 months Living expenses going up by ~4K a month is a good number but also, people do it with less and make it work.

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I'm 32 and currently in my third trimester with my first child. My plan was to have kids before I was 35, hoping for a minimum of 2. I got pregnant about a year ago and it ended up being an ectopic which required surgery, even with the anatomy set back I was able to get pregnant again 4 months later very quickly. My husband and I definitely put our careers first the past few years to be at a certain title and pay. We saved about 6 months of our income plus another $12k "baby bump". We also bought a house within that time frame. It just made us feel better to have everything on a spreadsheet and spelled out month over month. But like all other commenters people make it work. My companies benefits for Parental Leave are pretty terrible and will likely just go on unpaid leave for 8 weeks , pto for the last 4 weeks. My husband gets full salary for 12 weeks so between his benefits and savings we feel confident. We made the leap to move back into the area where we grew up so our parents could help us, not everyone has that luxury and it's definitely been a learning curve on boundaries. Getting pregnant , having kids in general is an extremely personal decision. I was never one to think I would be a mom when I grew up but now being pregnant and realizing that there is so much more to life then working has forced me to refocus on what matters. I know that's super touchy-feely bullshit but priorities definitely shift once you decide to make the leap, no matter how you do it ( pregnancy, adoption, etc) . I do have to say even though this is equal parts exciting as it is terrifying, I feel confident in my ability to raise a good person and be a parent. Hope that helps and good luck with your decision!

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1. I married at 25, was not ready to have children until into my 30’s. 2. Getting pregnant was NO problem. 3. Don’t focus on the money- I know people say this all the time but it really “does work out”. $100k at your age is really good. 4. Career-wise- I was glad to have a lot of time to develop my career before having children. And I also liked being married for many years without kids. We did all of our traveling, spontaneous weekend trips, etc. young. I did like that when we finally had kids, money was not an issue.

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This is all good if your kiddo is perfectly healthy. What if he/she isn’t? Sadly mine is not and it has been a real struggle. Parenthood has is joy but for us it has been a very painful journey and we don’t even know if our kid will live past 5. Make sure you are ready to make those sacrifices. There are many when you are a parent. They require a lot of time and energy and resources so be ready. That being said no one ever is but you will get through it

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Second this. My kiddo has cleft lip and palate, and while this is survivable and ultimately very overcome-able with good health care, we’ve had two major surgeries within his first year (and during COVID 😖) and it sucks for all involved. We are lucky to have great insurance, a partner with flexible employment and an incredible support community.

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I really think it’s dependent on both you and your partner. I’m 36 and we are expecting our first and my husband is excited, eager and we are prepared financially and emotionally. Sadly I have a good amount of younger friends who recently had kids and are back on the pill because their partner was really not ready, immature and acts like a kid themself. Just make sure both of you are ready and understand what’s involved. Maybe babysit/ shadow a friend or relative with a newborn first

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Thanks, SA1. I really appreciate it!

I’m 29 and single and think about this often. Follow on question, at what point do people consider freezing their eggs if you out off kids until mid-30s?

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Agree with P1 you will have a higher success rate with IVF with “younger” eggs. 29 is a great age to carry a child successfully without complications. You are officially “advanced maternal age” at 35 but doctors will still freeze your eggs at AMA.

Married at 26, had a kid at 36. Loved that 10 years to travel, and honestly we weren’t certain we would have kids until the month we decided to pull birth control. I vowed not to have a kid until/unless I had a partner who would be an equal parent with me, and I’m very happy with that decision. It just took him 10 years to get to the point that’s what he wanted too. :)

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This is really inspirational. I turn 35 and celebrate 10 years together this year. I've been on the fence and am worried about complications at this point but I know I wouldn't trade our years of just us for a child. It's just really nice to hear others have taken a similar path.

I am 31 and now pregnant with my first child. I definitely wanted to wait until I hit certain career and financial milestones before I felt ready. I’m still terrified of how our lives will adjust when baby is here but I feel well equipped to try to deal with it. It was also really important to have plenty of senior stakeholders that back me, to feel ok taking maternity leave and come back in a strong position.

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I wasn’t ready when I got married at 29. I don’t know if it is like this for others, but I thought about it a lot and wondered when I would be ready. Weighed pros and cons, etc. And then around the time I turned 32, I just wanted a baby and all the weighing options just became irrelevant. Same with baby number two. I was in my head about it for over a year and then all of a sudden I just wanted the baby so much. Now I’m 35 and have a newborn and a toddler. If you give it time, your heart may help you decide. Because you can’t logic your way to the right decision in my opinion.

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Yes! It was like a switch flipped inside me. Congrats! Newborns can wear you out, but enjoy those cuddles! The time goes too fast.

I don’t have any advice but I’m 30 and have the same questions. It’s always comforting to see posts like this because most the time I only hear people firmly wanting or not wanting kids, but rarely undecided. I know having kids you have to put them first but...I don’t know if I’m too self centered for that.

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Not a mom yet, but finally decided I wanted kids by age 28. I just finally felt a yearning to have children and I knew I had a good foundation to support having children.

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On a similar note, anyone get pregnant before marrying their partner? What’s that like logistically? Lots of these circles seems to be a career-marriage-baby timeline. I am the higher earner and I don’t know if I’m ready for the complicating financial factors of marriage, but given that I’m in my 30s, I may want a kid first. Not sure how it could be easier or harder parenting a child if the two parents are not married though. First thought is on taxes and who gets to claim the kid. My hesitancy with marriage is I’ve been married before and the divorce was not fun.

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Yup! I value the relationship above the formality. We are engaged but timing wise just made sense to get going on the baby making. Financially we halve all expenses from a joint spending /savings account that about 60/65 percent of our salaries go to, and the rest we keep personal/ separate accounts. Works great for us and don’t plan to change once/ if we do decide to bother w making it official in next couple of years.

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It depends and everyone has their own thoughts on what’s best for them. Age is one factor but so is genetics. I have friends who have a family history of miscarriages esp in their 30s and older and for them, they’re considering having kids earlier on. Friends who do not have this history are less worried about having them later. Beyond age and finances, what’s your level of maturity to take care of one at this moment? Many in their 20s and early 30s aren’t having kids and are living a different lifestyle. Are you ready to live something different from that? I have friends who sometimes have regrets and FOMO for having their kids earlier bc they see their friends traveling and living a more carefree life. So a lot to think about.

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I wasn’t ready at that age too and didn’t think I wanted kids. However it’s crazy how things change as you get older. Not sure if it’s because I feel like I’m in a secure place now to have kids or because I feel like I’ve done the things that I want to do without kids.... That said there are downsides to waiting until you’re older as well. I had a really hard time getting pregnant, considered high risk, and feel like I’ll be a grandma compared to other parents with kids the same age!

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38, my kid is 1

There is a lot of excellent insight about finances and timing here. (Fwiw - partner and I were together 10 years when the first arrived, including a second bachelors, 2 masters, three countries, and 4 major moves with LDR. Now established in our careers enough to feel good about taking time off. We do live in the EU with good public services for our taxes.) ...I looked in the mirror yesterday and realized I had baby spit in my hair. I've been pooped on. And lost a lot of sleep. You may feel selfish but if you WANT a kid, you get over some of it. Long term you figure out where your new boundaries are. It's OK to be a little selfish with our time and energy.

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33 and just had my first this year. Pregnant on the first month and uncomplicated pregnancy overall. If age is your concern, you should get your fertility health checked out so you’d know what to expect as you age. But seems to me that people with fertility issues are not just age-related but had other underlying health conditions as well. I also think genetics play a big part... because I come from a family of >10 biological aunts/uncles.

This is me

We decided to wait a bit and go crazy with travel (especially trips that would be hard w family eg. Sri Lanka backpacking/ hiking etc). I think career wise it was hugely helpful to my progression to do the long hours, jump at every opportunity, have no travel restrictions, and be at constant team dinners and drinks for those years. Also a lot of fun and learning! We are both directors now and have first on the way. Expect next 5-8 years to be less work more family, and we are good with that! I’m 33 FWIW.

We also did this. Took a huge trip to Africa (almost a month). That kind of travel doesn’t feel reasonable with a small child and having a baby really shifted my appetite for risk. Not that where we went was super dangerous, but we definitely had excursions to remote areas where it would have been impossible for anyone to contact us. There was a death in the family while we were away and we didn’t know until we returned. I couldn’t stomach that with a kid back home and I wouldn’t take one on the trip we had. I’m glad we got a big trip like that in before having our first.

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There no one size fits all answer, but I agree with those who say if you're considering having a child with a partner the two of you need to be aligned. My kids are older and what weighed on my decision was mostly timing. If we were going to have fertility issues I wanted to know while we were younger so we had time and more options to deal with those. I also wanted to have kids late enough that I felt financially stable, but early enough that when they left the nest I'd still have plenty of time and energy to do things with my partner and enjoy retirement. For me that meant being done around 31, but having a good partner was key.

Married at 25, first kid at 30, pregnant with second now at 31. My mom couldn’t have kids after age 29 so I was nervous about being able to get pregnant (I want 3), but I also knew I wanted my MBA done before kids so I knocked that out in upper 20s and graduated when 6 weeks pregnant😊 Infertility sucks (learned from others) - I knew I wouldn’t be able to do daily shots of IVF so I made the call to not delay after MBA

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