Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby Pressure

First, let me say, I am not getting baby pressure. My mom and mother-in-law don't put any pressure on us.

But I have a friend whose mother got her a subscription to some baby magazine. I won't pretend to know what the magazine is called. Maybe it's Babies or Baby Parenting, or something like that. And this friend isn't planning on babies until next year! Hinting, much? She's been married 6 months.

I understand how parents want to be grandparents. They want to enjoy their grandchildren while they're still young-ish (50s) and mobile. My generation is mostly putting off having children, which is IMHO by-and-large a good thing. I know people who had children younger (22, 23, 24) who spend their adult lives somewhat looking forward to when their kids are grown up so they can travel and do things they love to do. While they love their children - and they truly do - it seems odd to spend 20+ years waiting for your child to grow up in order to resume "living".

Why not do some of those things before children? Why feel like your children made you put your life on hold? Aren't your children supposed to be a big part of your life? Albeit, not the only part of your life. Oh, and why even wait until your children are grown up to travel? Marie-Eve and others have proven you can travel with kids, but for some people it's a matter of money.

I won't get it until I have kids, I get that. That's what everyone tells me. I can imagine that it's a life-shift. I can imagine everything changes - priorities change, how much you have to pack up in the diaper bag just to run an errand, free time decreases. I get it. (And yes, I got the message that I won't actually get it until I have kids.)

Study after study shows that having children in a marriage tends to increase the stress in marriage, so in marriages that aren't very strong, the divorce rate goes up. I don't mean to say children cause divorce, but rather, marriages that aren't strong are more likely to fracture if children are introduced. These are the marriage would have fractured under any signficant stress. (And study after study show that getting married younger, typically defined as under the age of 24 or 25 has a higher likelihood of divorce.)

So why rush? If the biological clock isn't screaming, take the time to solidify your marriage? Six months of marriage, about to turn 30, and has been purchased a baby magazine. Sure, they've been living together for a couple years, but somehow I feel that time was building the relationship, now I feel it's solidifying the marriage. On the day-to-day stuff, there's no difference between living together and being married, but yet somehow it changes everything in your mindset.

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