Author Topic: To have or to wait?  (Read 2883 times)

WorkingToUnwind

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To have or to wait?
« on: April 04, 2017, 09:19:51 AM »
When do we start having kids???

My husband and I are about a year and a half into our FIRE savings adventure, and have about 6 more years to go. We're saving at just about 70%. I'm going to be 30 this summer and he's 37. He'd like to wait a few more years to have kids to add to our savings and also to continue enjoying our child-free freedom. We have a great group of childfree friends and enjoy skiing, mountain biking, and a generally active lifestyles that keep us away from home much of the time. I enjoy our lifestyle, but I also feel like I work too much to keep the savings rate at 70%, and I'm feeling less than fulfilled even with our fun hobbies. I'm also a bit worried about waiting til I'm 33 to try having kids. I know it's done all the time, but I'd like to avoid any fertility issues especially if we end up wanting to have more than one child.

Another factor is that two of my close female relatives, who are about my age, are planning to start trying to have kids in the next year. One lives close by and the other is about two hours away. Part of me would really like to share the experience with them.

Aside from giving up our active fun lifestyle, we won't be able to keep up our current savings rate after we have a child.  I make about twice as much as my husband, and I really don't want to continue working 50 hours/week after a child is born. If I drop down to part time, our income will be affected pretty drastically.

Any thoughts or insight from the mustachian parents out there?

gardeningandgreen

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 09:30:33 AM »
As someone who is currently trying for their first baby I would say the time is never quite right. We decided that now was as good of a time as any to start. You really have to look at your life and how you want it to be. Yes having a baby in the next year or 2 might make your FIRE time a bit longer but there will always be trade offs.

Millennialworkerbee

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 09:32:47 AM »
How many kids do you want to have?

Yes, having a kid will mean that you won't see your child free friends nearly as much. But you will still get to see them, if that is still important to you.

Our son is 10 months old. Most nights, he sleeps from 7pm-6am, but about half of the nights he wakes up once at some points  and needs help resettling. I've heard horror stories of bad sleepers, sometimes for years. Since hubby and I are both young it is pretty easy for us to make it through a work day after a bad night, although I do notice a difference in my energy levels at 26 and hubbys at 31 (we are both healthy). To me this is even a bigger benefit of having kids younger instead of later.

As far as work goes, there are a few goods threads on here that can give you some good thoughts. There is a part of it all that you just won't know until the kid is in your arms. I really didn't know how I would feel about working once I became a mom, but it became clear to me over my maternity leave that I am meant to be a working mom :)

Good luck with your decision!

little_brown_dog

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 10:10:38 AM »
Tough question…it truly is different for everyone. I had my first just after I turned 28, and now pregnant with my 2nd at 29. I’m looking at hopefully being completely done with my childbearing by 32. Having kids younger was absolutely the right decision for us because we knew we wanted to have multiple kids (most likely 3), and we were not worried about achieving FIRE or anything like that before kids arrived.

From a fertility perspective, I would recommend that you start trying relatively soon (within the next couple of years) if you want the option of having more than 2 children open to you.  And most definitely start sooner rather than later if you are a lady with a history of problematic cycles or anything that might hint at anything less than normal fertility. The problem with delaying too long is not that your risk catastrophically rises in your early 30s (the really scary declines in fertility often start around 37 or so), but that your timeline is cramped if you do run into trouble. For example, if you start trying at 31 and find out that yes, you do need fertility treatments, you can still easily end up being a mom by 33. But if you start trying at 33, and need fertility treatments, you might not become a mom until 35. This won’t matter at all if you want only one kid, but if you know you really want to remain open to multiple kids, you don’t want to be limiting your timeframe from the get go unless you really need to for some reason or other. The time adds up rapidly…if the first baby doesn’t arrive on scene until age 35, and you wait the recommended 12-18 months between that birth and trying to conceive again for baby #2, and it takes you the average of 6 months to conceive that baby #2, you are looking at being pregnant again at 37-38. Again, not bad if you only want 2, and most likely will turn out fine (provided you don't run into any problems like miscarriage or fertility issues). If you want 3 kiddos however, you are looking at being a 40 something with a newborn and a very high risk of miscarriage and certain genetic conditions. Many women find that once they hit their late 38s/early 40s, the option of having another child has been taken from them.

Personal anecdote – we started trying at 26, and despite perfect reproductive health, just had a bout of bad luck and had back to back miscarriages before conceiving our daughter. It took 10 months to conceive a viable pregnancy. With this baby now, it took 6 cycles of regular timed intercourse at age 29 (average). I am very thankful we started trying early, even though everyone said we were "so young"…it was bad enough going through those losses and wondering if there was something seriously wrong with us, and I am glad I didn’t have to worry about age on top of it too. I spent a lot of time on miscarriage support forums, and there were a lot of older moms, in their mid 30s who were genuinely scared they might not be able to have a baby, or that being set back a year was going to cost them the ability to give their kid a sibling. I don’t say this to scare you, just to let you know to really weigh these risks carefully so you don’t end up with regrets and unnecessary pain.

Edited to add: personal reproductive health matters alot here. Some women are fertile goddesses and can get pregnant quickly, over and over into their mid 40s. Others find they are running out of decent eggs at 30. If you want to be proactive about TTC without actually trying for the kid, take stock of your own fertility history to try to get a better sense of what might be a smarter move for you. Take note of your cycles (are they regular, normal, like clockwork?) and start talking to your OBGYN/midwife about your age related concerns.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 10:19:10 AM by little_brown_dog »

Tiger Stache

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 10:18:51 AM »
What LBD said. The longer you wait, the harder things get. My main desire was to have the kids out of the house by the time I was 55. We now have three, and I'll be 56 when #3 graduates HS. There is never a perfect time.

I'm a red panda

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 12:43:58 PM »
I would not wait due to money.

I just had my first liveborn at 35. Her placenta had chromosomal issues. My stillborn at 33 had chromosomal issues.  Having waited until 32 to start trying means we likely wont have a chance to have another.  I never thought I'd have an only child, but outcomes just dont typically get better with age...nor do they get favorable getting pregnant too close together.

Laura33

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 12:45:55 PM »
LBD +1.  I had always had completely normal cycles and no suspicion of anything, so we started trying at 32.  After multiple miscarriages, testing, treatment, etc., we managed to have our first at 35 and our second at 40.  And then I went into early menopause at 41, so you can tell how close I ended up cutting it.  All with no clue/warning in advance.

Your DH seems to be thinking that you need to go have your fun now, because, what, when you are 50 you will be old and decrepit and not be interest in/able to do that any more?  Let me tell you, from the other side of that particular coin, I want to go play just as much now as ever -- perhaps even more, since I am getting bored with this whole working thing (and have saved enough money to *really* enjoy that freedom).  But since we started so late with the kids, the second won't be out of the house until we're 58, and won't be through college until 62.  So even though we are FI now, we can't RE and go play and do all of the things we want to, because we still have these darn kids in the house!  I adore my kids more than anything, but I'd also be supremely happy if it were my youngest who's almost out the door instead of my oldest.  :-)

Tl;dr:  There is no "perfect" time to have a kid; prioritizing freedom at 30 means "still parenting" at 50 or 60. 

Easye418

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 01:16:53 PM »
Tough question…it truly is different for everyone. I had my first just after I turned 28, and now pregnant with my 2nd at 29. I’m looking at hopefully being completely done with my childbearing by 32. Having kids younger was absolutely the right decision for us because we knew we wanted to have multiple kids (most likely 3), and we were not worried about achieving FIRE or anything like that before kids arrived.

This is almost what we are doing as well.  I am about to turn 28 this month and my son will arrive in July.  My wife turns 28 in October. 

Question for LBD (or any other repeat mothers), how was it getting back pregnant in only one year?  I am assuming you delivered right after 28, then got pregnant at 29, and you will deliver right before 30? 

Pregnancy has felt like FOREVER, which may make my wife hesitant to hope back into the "pregnancy" mode.  Took us 5 months of TTC.

I wasn't a big drinker before we got pregnant, but I decided to quit alcohol with my wife and holy smokes, its not fun when you can't enjoy a nice beer every once and in a while.  I would be lying to say I have been perfect, I have had maybe 10 beers in the last 6 months.

We prefer to be empty nesters early than later.  If I had it my way, I would have like to have him a year earlier.  We would like to have definitely 2, most likely 3 children as well.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 01:21:13 PM by Easye418 »

moof

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 05:04:48 PM »
There is no right time.  Your careful plans will get up-ended at best.  A lot of your old hobbies and fun activities will be gone.  Everything will take more time and be more difficult to plan and execute with a little one latched onto the family.  Raising a kid brings different kinds of gratification for sure.  But have no doubt that you are getting on an 18-30 year long roller coaster that you can't get off of.  Might be the best 18 years possible, or it might leave you feeling trapped, scared, and frustrated.

All in all if you are in a secure financial place and you and your spouse have a strong and stable relationship, sooner will be better than later.  My wife and I were married for 5 years before we decided to have a kid, and were both 35 when he arrived.  I would not wanted much less of "us" time, nor would I advocate waiting past your mid-30's for a woman due to much increased complication rates as you hit 40+.

I am glad we had the kid and would make the same decision again, but I would have probably almost as happy and gratified if we had not.  I definitely would have a lot more money in the bank if we went the DINK route.  We went the SAHM route, which probable has cost us >$200k gross before you even start with all the baby stuff we got suckered into buying, and extra plane tickets, and extra food, classes, etc, etc.

startingsmall

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 07:31:46 PM »
Don't wait too long.

We had our first child when I was 33 years old. Got pregnant after six months of trying, relatively uneventful pregnancy until the end (high blood pressure, breech, low fluid levels, c-section).

The plan was to try for #2 roughly 1-2 years later, but we ended up waiting longer due to a variety of medical/job/life issues. The second time around, it took us 1.5 years of trying to get pregnant. Those first few weeks of pregnancy, at 38 years old, were MUCH more exhausting than they were with the first pregnancy. I'm sure some of that is related to the fact that you don't get as much rest when caring for a child, but I think my age was a big factor. When we went in to the doctor for our 11-wk ultrasound, we found that we had miscarried approximately 3 weeks earlier. Obviously, I knew miscarriage was a concern with any pregnancy.... but I never realized how much more common miscarriage becomes with age. So not only is it harder to get pregnant, but apparently a lot of women my age (30-40% depending on the study, if I recall correctly) lose their pregnancies at the 8-12 week mark. That is not an enjoyable experience. Given the statistics, we don't plan to try again and our daughter will be an only child. We're okay with that, but if not I would be kicking myself for letting work/life/health get in the way of trying sooner.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 07:35:01 PM by startingsmall »

firelight

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 07:38:57 PM »
What everyone said. There is no one right time. As long as both of you are committed to having kids, I'd suggest to start trying earlier than later to give yourself buffer time in case things don't go according to your plan in the first try.  Also energy is higher and recovery faster the younger you are. I had my first at 28 and second will be here soon at 30 (almost 31). Though we are happy with my age since it allowed us to settle in career and not lose too much time for a lost baby, I sometimes wish we had had kids a few years earlier so my energy levels are higher. This is more apparent the older you get. It's harder to match a toddler's energy levels the older you are.

Good luck with whatever you decide :)

NeonPegasus

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 10:39:31 AM »
I'd lean towards earlier than later, and not just because of you. Few people mention that difficulties and risks are also related to the father's age. Sperm mutations start increasing in men over 35.  And if you want more than 1 child, age-related problems can be compounded by a difficult delivery with the first.

Financially, no, you won't be able to maintain the same savings rate. Daycare is expensive. But you set yourself on a great path already and should get to enjoy the compounding fruits of that labor even while you're not contributing as much.

little_brown_dog

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 12:57:58 PM »
Question for LBD (or any other repeat mothers), how was it getting back pregnant in only one year?  I am assuming you delivered right after 28, then got pregnant at 29, and you will deliver right before 30? 

Almost– I delivered less than a month after turning 28, and got pregnant with baby #2 about 5 months after turning 29. This baby is also due about 1 month after I turn 30. I just barely miss the back-to-back births at 28 and 29 years old.

For me, it was pretty easy. I had a healthy, easy pregnancy and rapid recovery from birth with my first. No major tearing, pelvic floor issues, or anything like that. I lost all of my baby weight by about 9 months postpartum. If I had been struggling to lose weight still, or if I had experienced a csection or had prior problems, I  would have waited a bit longer. For me, the most important part was how I felt and my health. Ideally women are told to wait until about 18 months between birth and TTC, but I felt ready to start TTC at 12 months given my prior low risk pregnancy/recovery.

gooki

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2017, 01:48:47 AM »
There is no perfect time to have kids.

If you both want them, close the curtains and get busy.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2017, 04:46:24 AM »
Get going. It doesn't get easier. Also, the earlier you start, the more time you have with your kids and grandkids.

WorkingToUnwind

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2017, 07:53:00 AM »
Thank you all for the replies. DH and I talked about it the other night in light of some of the info you all shared, and have decided to give it a go in the fall. I'd like two kids. Breaking down the timeline into 1yr to conceive, 9 months to cook the baby, then about year or so to recover before trying again makes it apparent that we'd be putting ourselves in for the potential of some conception stress if anything goes awry. DH is happy with the idea of one more summer of mountain biking, a ski season with the sprinter van (though I might be vomitting out the window), and another year of saving. :) Thanks again! 

brycedoula

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2017, 08:50:38 AM »
Breaking down the timeline into 1 yr to conceive, 9 months to cook the baby

When my husband & I decided to start a family, I too assumed it would take ~1 year (as that's what all the books & people tell you, right?).

NOPE. Three weeks after I removed by IUD I was pregnant! Unfortunately I miscarried around 8 weeks, but < 3 months later I was pregnant again & now have a, extremely busy 14-month old.

So make sure you have a plan, financially, if you end up getting pregnant right away :)

little_brown_dog

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Re: To have or to wait?
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2017, 09:35:55 AM »
Thank you all for the replies. DH and I talked about it the other night in light of some of the info you all shared, and have decided to give it a go in the fall. I'd like two kids. Breaking down the timeline into 1yr to conceive, 9 months to cook the baby, then about year or so to recover before trying again makes it apparent that we'd be putting ourselves in for the potential of some conception stress if anything goes awry. DH is happy with the idea of one more summer of mountain biking, a ski season with the sprinter van (though I might be vomitting out the window), and another year of saving. :) Thanks again!

Sounds like a great plan…you are getting the best of both worlds. You'll have a little more time to enjoy being child/pregnancy free, but will also maximize your fertility chances and protect your preferred family size. Good luck!