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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    USA
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    3,169
    I'm 21 and just recently married, but I don't plan on having kids till we have a good stable home, so probably not for another couple of years. I would suggest talking to a close friend or family member about how you feel. We are both young, but I don't think that's kind of a fair reason since biologically speaking, we can get pregnant as early as 11! So it's probably natural that by our 20's we start thinking about babies. There is also known health risks for having children past age 35.

    Personally, I think I would hold out until you are around the age of 30. You might meet someone! If you have one now, I think you might regret it since you would have to give up going to school/your career. You could hire a nanny, but I don't think that's what you want from the sounds of it since you seem to want to raise your child yourself.
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  2. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    778
    You should definitely finish school first. Taking on single motherhood is tough--you'll want to have the ability to earn enough to support you and the baby. You'll need savings ahead of time to pay medical bills and tide you over maternity leave, since there will be no partner's income to live on during that time. And the comments that you will change and grow over the next few years I agree with as well. When I was about your age, still in school myself, I was overcome with baby fever as well. I had a goal set that I'd have my first child by 28 at the latest. Well, that came and went, and after my fiancee and I broke up in 2010, I was very discouraged. But now I am 32 and having my first child in a few months. At this point I can see the things that weren't apparent to me 10 years ago. All my wild oats are sewn, I have an education and job history that will allow me to provide for this child on my own, and I have matured into someone confident and strong enough to do this without a husband. I know it hurts to want a baby badly and see what seems like everyone around you getting what you want, but part of being a good mom is preparation. Not everyone gets the chance to plan ahead, but there's a difference between accidentally having a baby before you're ready and doing it on purpose. I'm already worried I won't get to see this child as much as I want and I know, at least for me, that if I'd had him before I finished school I would have wound up working more hours at lower-paying jobs to make ends meet and that would have broken my heart.

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,598
    I know a bit how you feel, since I come from a part of the country where people marry young and start families early. I went to many weddings that summer after college graduation, and even though I was excited about my future, part of me was wistful and worried that perhaps I would be left out of the 'musical chairs' that is the dating and mating game if I waited too long.

    Fast-forward. Those friends who married at 22 completed their families by 30. They've bought their houses, long since finished their education/training, and are in every way settled. There are no more mysteries left in their life-- all the big pieces have come into place, and they're simply sitting back waiting for their lives to unfold. The children will grow, they'll go off to school, their husbands will retire, perhaps they'll sell that house and buy a condo, etc etc etc. It's stultifying and frankly terrifying to contemplate, personally.

    Between the two of us, my husband and I have 9 degrees (3 bachelors, 3 Masters, an MD, a PhD and a JD). I've lived and worked on four continents and traveled to six. I have friends literally all over the world. I'm met a slew of luminaries, I've had experiences ranging from falling in a crevasse in the Nepali Himalayas to shoving my hands in the open chest of a gunshot victim in an attempt to restart his heart to delivering babies by candlelight to chatting with Prince Charles at a cocktail party. And I have a wonderful baby son.

    If I'd married at 22, I would have foregone literally all of that. If I'd had a baby in medical school, I probably wouldn't have decided to train as a surgeon.

    Yes, you should try to start your family before age 35 for fertility and congenital anomaly reasons. But simply because you haven't met anyone by age 21 you'd like to partner up with (in a relatively small circle of a single university) doesn't mean you won't as your world gets larger.
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  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    1,453
    Quote Originally Posted by lucialucentum View Post
    Honestly, I think it might be a good idea for you to get referred to a psychologist for a bit.
    21 is young, and even though no 21 year olds think they're young, they are.
    I think that if you have depression, having a baby will not be a cure for that. You should get that under control beforehand, as that will only be a benefit to your children.
    It does worry me that one of your reasons for wanting to get pregnant now is because you're afraid someone'll steal your names. Maybe talking to someone would help you prioritize your thoughts? Honestly, becoming a parent for the purpose of using a name before someone else in your circle does isn't a good enough reason if you aren't emotionally or financially ready. It does sound like you realize that, though.
    When I was in high school, I had very emotionally destructive baby fever. It almost ruined me, honestly. I went to a psychologist for 3 years for it, and while it wasn't a miracle-maker, it helped a lot to be able to talk about wanting to be a mother, and not get judged for it. I've learned how to manage it a lot better over the past 6 years.

    Maybe you could volunteer at a preschool or a primary school? I have always wanted to be a mother, but I've recently started practice teaching with a grade 1 class and it is EXHAUSTING. I can't even imagine going home to kids that age after being with 20 of them all day long. I don't have time to do anything at night except lesson plan and have a shower before I need to go to bed. I love teaching grade 1, though, and kids that age are fantastically fun, so if you can volunteer with a class, try it and maybe it'll help wear you out. I do find that doing this reassures me that I'll be a great mom when the time comes, but that time is not now (I'm definitely not financially ready for it. And I'm single, and I'd rather not be, though I'm not a good relationship person, so I'm just letting that situation play out.)

    I have changed an INCREDIBLE amount in the past 3 years (I'm 25 now). You will, too. Honestly, I am nowhere near the same person I was in my 1st or 2nd year of undergrad. I was the girl who took 5 hours to psych herself up enough to go get a coffee on campus and did her laundry in the sink to avoid having to interact with people, and now I'm the girl who went by herself to live in the Basque Country, never having been that far north in Spain and with no inkling of what Basque sounded like.
    Anyway, 2 of my closest cousins didn't have kids until their mid 30s, there was no pressure on them from family to get married or have kids any younger. I feel like since I've seen how much time I actually have, I don't need to be in a big rush. I'm 25, and sure, I have a couple friends with kids, and a bunch of friends who are married or engaged, but that isn't what's right for me at this time in my life. Sure, I'd LOVE to be married and be a mother right now, but I have time for that, and right now I need to finish my education and be financially independent before I can start putting someone before myself.

    I would actually put money on you changing in the next few years. I know you feel like you're short on time, but you aren't. Graduate, be gainfully employed, enjoy being by yourself and find out who you are apart from your mothering instinct, because that matters, too. You can want to parent, but also want other things in life. You don't have to choose, especially when one of the options isn't actually feasible at this point.

    I do know exactly how you feel, though. I've been there, and it sucks more than I can ever explain, but waiting until you can give your kids everything you want to give them is a good decision. Everything you do now, you're doing for your kids in some way, so do everything you can because in the end, it will matter to your children down the road.
    Feel free to PM me any time! It does help a lot to talk about it.
    This post is full of inaccurate assumptions I don't know where to start.
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  5. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    1,453
    Quote Originally Posted by blade View Post
    I know a bit how you feel, since I come from a part of the country where people marry young and start families early. I went to many weddings that summer after college graduation, and even though I was excited about my future, part of me was wistful and worried that perhaps I would be left out of the 'musical chairs' that is the dating and mating game if I waited too long.

    Fast-forward. Those friends who married at 22 completed their families by 30. They've bought their houses, long since finished their education/training, and are in every way settled. There are no more mysteries left in their life-- all the big pieces have come into place, and they're simply sitting back waiting for their lives to unfold. The children will grow, they'll go off to school, their husbands will retire, perhaps they'll sell that house and buy a condo, etc etc etc. It's stultifying and frankly terrifying to contemplate, personally.

    Between the two of us, my husband and I have 9 degrees (3 bachelors, 3 Masters, an MD, a PhD and a JD). I've lived and worked on four continents and traveled to six. I have friends literally all over the world. I'm met a slew of luminaries, I've had experiences ranging from falling in a crevasse in the Nepali Himalayas to shoving my hands in the open chest of a gunshot victim in an attempt to restart his heart to delivering babies by candlelight to chatting with Prince Charles at a cocktail party. And I have a wonderful baby son.

    If I'd married at 22, I would have foregone literally all of that. If I'd had a baby in medical school, I probably wouldn't have decided to train as a surgeon.

    Yes, you should try to start your family before age 35 for fertility and congenital anomaly reasons. But simply because you haven't met anyone by age 21 you'd like to partner up with (in a relatively small circle of a single university) doesn't mean you won't as your world gets larger.
    I too have traveled the world, and tbh, the world doesn't mean a thing if I don't have anyone to share it with. Yeah, traveling was fun, but I was also a single traveler and somewhat lonely too.

    I also don't have wishes to become a doctor. I don't have the brains for it. Hence why I'm in nursing school, and even that is a struggle for me.
    Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

    Favorite girl names: Alice, Anastasia, Athena, Aurora, Calliope, Cordelia, Daenerys, Daisy, Eleanor, Guinevere, Gwendolyn, Isadora, Jessamine, Mirabella, Ophelia, Persephone, Seraphina, Tatiana, Violet, Willow

    Favorite boy names: Arthur, Atlas, Gideon, Henry, Isaac, James, Leopold/Leonidas, Oliver, River, Roman, Thaddeus, Solomon, Walter



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