I’m a recent newlywed. So as you can imagine, one of the questions we get asked a lot nowadays is when we plan to have children. It’s a question I find almost taboo in this day and age as so many couples struggle with fertility and don’t have an answer to give. It’s important to remember everyone is fighting their own battle or is on their own time schedule. Because of this, I try my best to never ask other couples when they plan to start trying or what their baby timeline looks like. I’m an open book and I have to be especially now, as I decided to start Lipstick & Ink and share my life. When people ask me the question, I just answer honestly.
Growing up, I always thought I’d be married and have my first child by the time I was 25. My mom complained about being an “older mom” and that always stuck with me. She and my dad didn’t marry until almost their mid 30’s and had me as soon as they could. After surpassing age 25 without a husband or child, I took a deep breath and realized that wasn’t what I wanted at that time.
As Adam and I deepened our relationship over the years, we began to talk about more about the serious aspects of life, like marriage and children. Luckily, we were 100% on the same page and that gave me so much confidence and comfort in our relationship. We mutually agreed we wanted to have a long engagement (which we did), get married, and wait a few years for children. And if I’m going to keep it real, we have admittedly even questioned if we could be happy without children in our life. Many women will likely scoff at that statement and that’s okay, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But just because we as women are biologically wired to reproduce, doesn’t necessarily mean we have to reproduce. If we truly don’t feel it’s in our life plan, that’s okay. Every woman is on her own journey and should be respected for whatever opinion she has on the idea of children. You do you, girl, and I’ll do me.
Adam and I both turn 30 this September (fun fact: I’m 15 hours older than him!). I’m expecting a rush of “so, when are you guys having kids?” even more so than before. While we are fairly certain kids are in the cards for us (pending no fertility issues), we plan to wait as long as we can for these reasons.
I value my career and pride myself on getting to where I am today because of my ambition and work ethic. While Salesforce offers an amazing parent leave policy and a flexible work schedule, I feel like to take time off now or in the near term would honestly negatively affect my career. I’m at a height in my career and what I do between now and the next few years is really going to make or break how far I can go. I’m aiming high and ultimately want to continue moving up in the company. I’m actually terrified if I were to have a child now that I wouldn’t be able to give 100% to my career like I can now. There’s so many articles out there that claim women can really ‘have it all’ when it comes to career and having a family, but I’m not entirely sure I buy that. There has to be some give or take somewhere and truth be told, it’d likely be my career that suffers. I suppose I won’t really know until I have a child of my own, but I’m not ready to find out quite yet.
Independence & City Living
Adam and I are both shamelessly selfish with our time. We enjoy our separate time alone and doing the things we are passionate about. Adam loves to read and I am now always on my computer writing, editing pictures, or planning my social posts for the blog. We also love spending time together with zero distractions. We can watch hours of Netflix with no other looming responsibilities, we can go to dinner without having to find a babysitter, we can go to the gym at a moment’s notice, and we can sleep in on the weekends. Not to mention, we absolutely love living in Chicago. We have already determined that once we are ready to be parents, we likely won’t stay in the city and will make the move to suburbia. So right now, I’m going to relish in the fact that I can walk to Wrigley Field in less than 20 minutes, try a new restaurant every day, and have a short work commute. The city has so much to offer and we haven’t even skimmed the surface even after living here 6-7 years. We truly aren’t ready to give up the Windy City yet!
Kids are expensive! Adam and I have made strides to be able to save a lot of our take home income and could afford a child today. However, we have our sights on wanting to buy a piece of property first. From there, we want to ensure that we are financially stable to contribute more to our 401Ks and continue putting money into savings every month. They say a child costs over $230,000 in his/her lifetime until he/she is 17. That’s just counting the basic necessities and doesn’t even include college! Needless to say, we aim to save a lot more before becoming parents.
We’ve come across so many older couples that have actually commended us in our decision. They’ve also encouraged us to travel now “while we can.” You can obviously travel with children, but the harsh reality is it’s definitely a lot more difficult with a baby in tow, especially when traveling internationally. Adam and I have been very fortunate to see a lot of countries and cities already. However, we are nowhere close in what places we want to see before we have children. We have a long list and I’m determined to cross them off!
As stated earlier in this post, this can be a taboo topic and every person is likely going to have a differing opinion. This is mine and I hope you will respect it. I want to iterate that this post is in no means a way to diminish the amazing mothers and future mothers out there. I commend all of you and give you so much credit! This is truly just our decision as to why we are waiting. Please know that when our time comes, having a child will be absolutely life changing for us in the best way.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.