Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Babies



I sometimes go periods of time where I think to myself "Do I even want kids at all?"

I know, my mormon friends and neighbors probably just fell out of their seat reading that.

Don't worry. When I take (and edit) photos like this, I'm reminded that yes indeed, a family is something I see myself wanting in the future. The idea of Steven looking at our child the way this dad looks at his little girl?

-insert long wistful sigh here.-

That being said, I've never really been the type of person who felt the strong and immediate need to reproduce. I know I'm young and this "biological clock" thing may kick into gear later on into my twenties, but I've met plenty of couples who got married just as young as I did and then immediately started trying for a baby. I think families are sacred and important and beautiful so I respect the choice they've made, but Steven and I decided long ago that we didn't want to go that route.

The conversation went a little something like this:

Daryl: Do you want kids?

Steven: Yes.

Daryl: When do you want kids?

Steven: Not now. Definitely not now. But sometime soon, maybe.

Daryl: -sigh of relief- so, if you had a deadline for when you wanted to have kids by, when would that be?

Steven: -ponders- probably by the time you're 30ish.

I was eighteen when we had this conversation. SO WE'VE GOT TIME, FOLKS.

What are your thoughts on the babies/no babies debate?

P.S. These photos are from a family photoshoot I shot this weekend. More coming soon :)

18 comments:

CC said...

I got married at 20 and waited nine years before we had our little guy. That gave us so much time together to really cement our relationship and enjoy our freedom. By the time we did have him we were sooo ready for him that all the changes little ones make in your life were so worth it. I would highly recommend waiting several years at least. :)

Nikki | The Ginger Diaries said...

When I was young I always screamed of the rooftops that I never, ever in my life wanted to go through the horrible 9 months of carrying a baby and the terrifying process of actually giving birth to one. I made a complete U-turn in the last year or so. Kenneth and I have discussed having kids, and I think 25 would be a nice age to "get started". He wants to wait until he's 30 though, so obviously we don't agree on the "when" part. If we get a daughter he also wants to name her Daenerys, yeah, not gonna happen!

Kym said...

First of all, LOVELY photos! I started dating my husband five years ago, we just married in July and we've been trying for a baby since the honeymoon. I'm not yet YEARNING for a baby, my bio clock isn't ticking or anything, but I'm definitely looking to start our family this year. I turn 27 next month and my husband will be 29 in a few months. It's crazy that you spend all of these years trying to NOT get pregnant, and then when you do want babies it's not as easy as you once thought it was to get pregnant!

Alysha Doan said...

I feel so so strongly about this! There are a number of factors that you have to think about when deciding if you're "ready" to have a baby. It is a highly personal decision between you, your spouse, and the Lord. He needs to be a part of that decision too and once that decision is made with thoughtful prayer, people should respect that! That being said....I honestly don't believe that there is anything more wonderful than having children and with some obvious exceptions (physical, emotional, mental health) don't feel that there is a good reason to delay having kids. Originally, I felt the same way as you- I wanted time on our own first. We were blessing our baby in church on our first anniversary! We have seen so many blessings come into our lives, financially, emotionally and spiritually from having these sweet little ones in our home. As I said before, it's a highly personal decision and frankly nobody else's business (remember that when you're getting flack for waiting or not!). I respect everyone's choices, but I feel really strongly that following this commandment without delay blesses marriages and families beyond your expectations!

Jamey Meteer said...

I always think back to Elder Andersen's talk "Children" from last Octobers General Conference. In it he shares this quote :
"Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: “[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.” She then adds: “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”

I too married at 18. I'm now 20 with a beautiful two month old baby boy. I can assure you, the decision to have children this early was not easy...Both my husband and I are poor college students and he is planning on becoming a doctor so we have many more years of poverty and schooling ahead of us. But we felt that the time to start our family was now, and moved forward with faith.

The best advice I was given (and that Elder Andersen also addresses in his talk) is that the decision of when to have children is a sacred, exclusive discussion to be had only between you, your husband, and the Lord.
Truth is, there is going to be pressure about if/when to have a family from both ends of the table. People will judge you whatever decision you make, which is a major bummer, but it's a fact of life.
Just gave confidence that the decision is YOURS.

Hope this helps!

P.S. For the record, babies are the awesome.

http://simplyanimated.blogspot.com/



Betsy said...

Lots of thoughts here from a completely different angle, too! I'm not very observant in any religion, which probably colors my opinions on when and why to have children just as the strong faith of many commenters colors theirs.

I do agree with Alysha when she writes "it's a highly personal decision and frankly nobody else's business..." and with Jamey when she quotes Elder Anderson as saying “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”

However, I think that there are plenty of good reasons to delay having children, some of which haven't yet been mentioned. My fiancé and I both want children - there's no question there - but we've agreed to wait for several years (I'm currently 26 and he's 24) because of a few important things.

Our first priority is our emotional readiness to bring a child into the world and take responsibility of a new life. From everything we know, marriage is an amazing and challenging adventure. We want to be emotionally secure in that step before taking the next one.

Our second priority is being intellectually ready to have children, which - for us, though of course not for everyone - isn't somewhere we've arrived at yet. We certainly wouldn't put off trying for children because we want to travel or because we want to continue our educations, but I am confident that the next few years of intellectual experiences - including travel and study - will make us better parents that we would be otherwise.

And the third priority is financial. We know that the kind of lifestyle we want to provide for our children is monetarily out of our reach at the moment and probably will be for another few years. Of course you don't need lots of money to make sure a child is happy and healthy, but we both want to give our children the advantages that we had growing up, and we know that we can't afford to do that at the moment.

As I said at the beginning, much of this comes from my spiritual background (and that of my fiancé). I understand that, if you have very strong faith, your priority will probably be "following this commandment without delay" as Alysha encourages. But we believe that what will bless our family and our marriage the most is waiting until our priorities are satisfied so that we can create the happiest and healthiest family for us.

Ashley Anderson said...

Honestly, I am dead scared of pregnancy and labor. Like, to the point where I make myself light headed and pass out. It's terrible, really. But Jayson and I want at least 5 kids..and I don't want to be like.... in my 60's and have a child in middle school or elementary school... I want to be a young-ish mom.

I think we have finally decided that sometime in 2013, i was to be PREGNANT. so if I get pregnant on december 31, 2013...that still counts ;) :p

Anne Taite said...

First of all, I applaud your honesty and willingness to put this all out there.

I recently read a review of a book titled, "The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant." I think the review tag was something like, "Pregnancy for the Type A Woman." The idea was that many of us have spent years planning exactly where we wanted to go to school, exactly the career we wanted (or didn't), exactly the home we wanted to buy, and so on. No wonder many of us take the same approach to pregnancy.

Of course I believe we should be intentional about the decision to have children, but I don't think we can plan it. Personal goals, monetary concerns, distance from family - have all been reasons I stalled having kids. But at some point, I just have to take the giant leap of faith to trust that I WILL be ready. The things that really matter - the love and support I have with my husband - are ready.

Yvette Johnstone said...

I definitely feel the same way! My husband and I got married when I was 19 and he was 22. We felt immediate pressure after we had been married for a year to start reproducing. We decided from the beginning that we want to wait until I'm closer to 30, and to top it all off, we want to adopt and not have any biological children of our own even though we are perfectly capable of doing so.

I just think it's a personal decision between you two and God. He has a perfect plan for everybody. It's not that you don't have a heart for children it's just that you know God has something else in store for you at this time. I think it takes a lot of maturity to realize and admit that it would be wiser to wait. Sometimes I think people put things in a little box and when you go outside of that box therefore it is wrong; even though it is not wrong, just different. Continue to listen to God's voice and you will be just fine!

Glad to hear I'm not in the same boat! Love your blog and seeing your travels!

Autumn said...

I agree with a lot of people here. No matter what decision you and your husband make together with God there will be some type of judgement or criticism from people.

I feel parents should be able to emotionally, spiritually, and financially be able to support themselves and their children. To one person, that may be on thing and to another it may be something different.

I am not ready for children right now at 24. I know many of my friends were ready much younger.

Jackie D said...

WIth you on this one. I definitely want to have kids but I'm waiting until I'm like 35ish, ideally. Especially since I currently do not have a man in the picture. But I also really really want to adopt, if possible, so that kind of lifts the pressure of my biological clock issue. I guess I'm mainly just worried about being in good enough shape to keep up with a kid in my mid to late thirties.

Jessica said...

Gosh this is so relevant to me right now. We got married two months ago (although we've been together for 7 years) and now all anyone asks is when we are having babies and why don't we start now.

I think deciding to have babies is a very personal decision and isn't anyone else's business. No one knows what is going on in our relationship or what our plans and goals for the future are.

I personally would like to have a house and be more financial secure before having children. The hubby wants them now-because he is feeling pressured about getting older. He's 30 and I'm 25. I, on the other hand, feel like we have plenty of time.

Only time will tell!

PS- Hi from a new follower!

Jenna said...

Ahhh, these photos are just too precious for words... look at those little brown eyes :) On the topic of children, about a year ago I caught the baby bug... and bad {I think Rockstar Diaries had something to do with it}! I wanted to get married and then start popping babies left, right, and center... which was weird since I had never even known if I wanted to have kids prior to that.

Luckily, the bug has worn off to some extent, although I do know that I want to have kids eventually. I just realised that there are so many things I want to do first {like base camp}. 30 sounds like a good number to me :)

xxx
Jenna

ifs ands Butts said...

I used to want 4. And then I au paired 4. And they were great kids. And Is till wondered. I think ultimately I do but not now. Not now at all.

chelsea.lynn said...

I completely agree with you. My husband and I are waiting a few more years before starting that chapter, God willing. We live in a small town in Korea right now where every time we talk to someone, or anytime we're around our students, they always ask when we'll start having kids because the norm here is as soon as you get married, you start. We have to simply have to tell them that we're not ready, and I think that's the most important part, that YOU"RE ready! love love love the photos too by the way!

Lauren {everyday ATLAS} said...

I am on the fence about having my own biological child and leaning towards being childfree. The idea of pregnancy and childbirth terrifies me, and I really hate the societal expectation that you have to have kids or you aren't a real adult or are somehow selfish. I know some people are very passionate about their dreams to become a parent one day, but the majority of people don't seem to have a burning passion in my opinion. It is "what they are supposed to do" or the natural next step. The fact is that your life is yours to live, and there are endless choices and possibilities.

I have raised a baby this year from 3 months old to 1 year as a nanny and I believe before people decide to have children, they should be a nanny and housekeeper for a year. Literally live a family's life for them and see how you feel about that becoming your life. My husband and I enjoy our life so much and have a lot of dreams and ambitions that would not work with a child. I hope this comment doesn't come off harsh! It is more just getting the point across that you don't have to have a child to have a fulfilling life. It is 100% a choice.

If I do have a child one day, it would be thought out for years and most likely be through adoption. There are enough children in the world who already are here and need a family.

Kristen said...

I agree you are too young right now. Enjoy your life for a bit. Finish college. Get everything in order because when you two decide to have kids...its all about them. In a really good way! But you'll always have your memories of being young and married and growing with each other so you can be the best parents possible for your future children.

I was the same way and really didn't see it in my horizon. After some time of maturing...it all changed in my 30's. Now, I have the most beautiful little girl and my husband and I celebrate our love in her every day.

Daliene said...

None for me and I'm 30. I always say I am too selfish at this time. I have never wanted kids of my own, though adoption is one of my favorite things. :)

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