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 Senior 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.
This question is my BIGGEST pet peeve. 3 kids and I still get asked regularly about family planning. I realize most of the time the question is harmless about the deemed “progression” in American culture. Yet this basic question is personal, between you and your significant other, and insinuates you have complete control exactly when, how, and how many kids you will have. If you ask any mother their story, it rarely matches with their expectations and what they had planned. What I have found to be true (like you said) is some women don’t want kids, some struggle with infertility and miscarriages. Treatments and adoption are difficult and expensive. Some mothers are teenagers while some middle aged. Some have one child. One of my grandmothers had eight. Frankly it’s no one’s business and in my opinion the question is rude 100 percent of the time. I’ll get off my soapbox now 😬 We love you and Adam and the life your building together!
Oh my gosh, people don’t quit, do they!? So glad you agree that it’s such a personal question. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! Love you and Zack too!
I’m getting married this June, and people are already asking me about kids and we aren’t even married yet! It’s so annoying. I know, people are just trying to make conversation, but it really is no one’s business but yours. Right now, my fiancé and I want to have a few years of marriage under our belt before we bring kids into the picture. Also, congrats on getting married!! Love your photos!
It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this! That is so annoying you’re already getting asked when you’re not even married yet. Sounds like you and your fiance are on the same page as my husband and me! Enjoy the rest of your wedding planning and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
I love your perspective on why women want to wait to have children. It is totally up to you and Adam. Of course I want to be a grandmother but you don’t want to have children for us. As you know, we will love and spoil them when they are with us, but in the end, they will be coming back to you. I am frankly tired of people asking me too when you are going to have children. You will have them when you are ready. Do what you want now. It is not easy trying to work full time and travel with children. I love you and don’t know where I would have been without you and your sister. You both have made our lives more meaningful and enjoyable.
Thanks, Mom! We love you so much too and really appreciate your support! You’re the best. xoxo
Thank you for this post! It’s so encouraging to read, and you put words to some of the exact things I’ve been feeling!! Sometimes I get “baby fever,” but I also LOVE the life and freedom my husband and I have now! You got me excited to wait to have kids!
You are so welcome! Thank YOU for reading and leaving your thoughts. I am sooo loving our freedom right now too 🙂 Enjoy this special time with your husband!
this is great. i’m newly married as well (last february) the freedom to travel was a HUGE one for me. waiting seems to be more and more common with millennial wives like us 🙂
Exactly, Shay! Most of my friends haven’t started having kids yet either. I think it’s definitely a generational thing 🙂
Wow, what an amazing read! As a mum to 3 girls (who I absolutely adore) we find that we still get asked our family planning plans! Having children definitely changes your life, you guys will find the right time when to begin this journey.
Petria, that is crazy that you’re still being asked about your family planning! I sometimes wish people would just mind their own business. Thanks for reading and stopping by!
I love this!!
I’ve been married almost two years (I’m 21) and been asked countless times about children. Part of me wants children, but part of me also knows how time consuming and needy children are. Right now, my husband and I are just enjoying how peaceful and easy our life together is. It’s pleasant. We have time, money, and energy to go do all the stuff we want- like camping, hiking, traveling, having our horses, etc.
We don’t plan on having children any time soon, but that could always change. I suppose if we never have kids, we’ll never know what we’re missing. If we do have children, I’m sure we’ll love it / love them, and be very happy for that decision. The way I see it, there’s no way we can really “lose”.
Great post, it made me think a bit, thank you for sharing this with us!
You are still so young, Sarah! You have plenty of time to have children. I think that’s so great that you and your husband are just enjoying life the way it is now and taking advantage of doing the things you like to do. I definitely agree that it’s a win/win decision either way, and to each their own, right?! Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts!
I don’t want kids at all for many of the same reasons you all are waiting. Luckily, I’m young so people don’t bug me that much about it. They still do sometimes, though. I hate it. I’m engaged so I imagine the annoyance level is about to rise. Stay firm in your decision whatever it is. It’s only your life to live!
Yes, Olyvia! I totally agree. It’s probably going to be asked more of you, especially after you get married. But you stay strong too in your decision and don’t let anyone tell you differently! Thanks for stopping by and reading!
Yes! I love that you addressed this topic! My husband and I got married young, and have been married 7 years now…so you can imagine how many times we’ve been asked when we’re going to have children. But, we both really love our freedom, are still working to advance our careers and honestly, have no desire to have kids RIGHT NOW. And I don’t understand why some people act as if that’s a negative thing.
YES! Exactly, I don’t understand some people’s obsession of asking this question and pushing their agenda on OUR lives. I think that’s great you and your husband are enjoying the time you have together and working on your careers! Kids will happen when you are both ready!