I’m at the age (yes, THAT age) where a good chunk of my friends have children that are becoming adults and moving out. Then again, I have another set of friends that are still wiping butts and researching preschools.
I’m squarely in the middle, in that sweet spot where my kids are all just about in the double digits and can be left home alone – but they’re not quite yet into anything that would get them into trouble.
So I have a little bit of “freedom” but this stage is emotionally taxing and of course, there’s all the driving around to activities and friends houses. Having put my career on hold about 5 years ago, I am thinking it will be another 10 years before I could commit the time to a commute and the headspace to a demanding corporate job.
This makes me think that having kids “early” is the way to go. While you’re young enough to crawl around on the floor and you can possibly handle the all nighters better (?!) Then, you’re still relatively young when your kids are older and you have time for your career (or whatever else you care to spend your time on). The snag here is being ready for a family: emotionally, financially and in your relationship (or even having a partner!) Personally, if I started a family with the person I was dating at 20 – um, let’s not go there!
So when you have partnered up and/or settled down, do you have a baby right away?
Others will often wait until they are older so they can get settled in their career, establish a good relationship with their partner, and feel more ready financially. This can also backfire if you wait “too long”, or if there’s a medical issue that requires time. Let’s just say that whether “trying” for early or later babies, you can’t always have a say in what nature brings.
We can make plans all we want, but we just can’t control everything. I wouldn’t change a thing about my kids and when I had them and I think most people will say the same… but we all have earned a few nuggets of wisdom along the way via hindsight!