The Baby Conundrum.
My coworker and I recently got into an argument with our boss about when in life one should bear children. My boss’ path is similar to my parents’—they finished all of their educations, settled down in one place, and established themselves in their jobs, making them around 30 when they started having children. I was commenting on the fact that my parents will be in their 60s when my youngest sister graduates from college, they have another ten years to wait for their freedom. My boss did the same thing, both families have four children, but in retrospect he claims he would have done things differently.
“Have all your kids at twenty three; just bust them all out as fast as you can.”
His argument is that children will turn out fine as long as you are somewhat financially stable and then by the time you are able to really make money they will be off at school so you can enjoy your life at 50.
I disagreed, I told him that I feel that I am just beginning to live my own life and while children may bring joy and a connection that I cannot yet understand, I do know that once you have a child you are no longer first in your own life. Ever. I am personally not ready to give up my freedom quite yet. I want to live while I can.
My coworker has done a bit more living than I have; he’s spent years off traveling the world and moves back and forth between the U.S. and Canada. He is married but he doesn’t have plans to have children any time soon, if ever. He suggested that maybe instead of worrying about when you live your own life, you just always do – never have children. It was odd that I had never really thought about the option of just NOT having kids, but I must admit it is a very appealing thought.
I know that there are hundreds of unmentioned pros and cons to the timing of having children. It’s a choice that boggles the mind, one that seems to take so much preparation and consideration but in reality happens incidentally all the time. I’m letting the conversation go for now, if I spend too much time being concerned with planning out the lives of my potentially-unborn-children I’ll miss the chance to live my own.