So, I thought I would write a post on this lovely (seriously, it is GORGEOUS outside) sabbath day about when we are going to have babies.
David and I both loooove kids. David wishes he could make money being a Dad and do it like a J-O-B, but unfortualy, parenthood costs money and doesn't make it. We both know that we want kids (the number is negotiable, but most days its a good solid 2) but we don't know exactly when we will have them.
First off, we both have like 3 years of school left (maybe. its hard to tell with us. somedays its 3 years, others its 10, so really, we'll see) and neither of us really want to have a baby whilst in undergraduate school. So, its at least 3 years until we start even THINKING about having a baby.
I also am of the mindset that I don't have to have kids before a certain age in order to be a good mother. Someone I know told me that if I waited till I was 25 I wouldn't be a "young mother" which apparently, is really important. This person said that I didn't want to be an 'old' parent, which means I would, of course, be at the ripe age of 50 by the time my kids go off to college- and we all know that by 50, you might as well be dead. (okay, that is total sarcasm, incase you can't tell) My mind set is that if I wait till I'm 25, I'll be just as young as my Mom was when she had Nick, and if I wait till I'm 30, I'll be just as young as she was when she had me. I don't feel like my mom was an 'old' parent - in fact, she is much more able bodied and about a million times hotter than some of the people my age's parents who had them when they were 20. My Mom and Dad could probably have a baby NOW and be rockin' parenthood better than most 20 year olds - heaven knows that would rock it more than I would at this point. Anyways, the moral of that is I don't feel like I have to have a baby before I'm 25 - or even 30 - to be a good parent.
Anyways, leaving age out of it, I also want to be in a certain financial point in my life when I have kids. I don't want to have a million dollars in the bank, or have a McMansion or something before we start a family, but I do want to have an INCOME that will be enough to put money in the bank to cover rent/mortgage, food, clothing (not banana republic or anything, but a new pair of jeans once a year would be nice) car (not a lexus, but something to get us from point A to point B), retirement (in that we can contribute the max a year to our IRA's and 401k's) and maybe even put some aside for school for the kids we will be bringing into our family. Right now, we make enough money to pay for our rent, our food, our clothing, and thru saving, so extras (like getting David a new razor after almost a year of him shaving with a broken one, or a new vacuum after a year and a half of saving). We don't have to pay for the car we drive (it belongs to David's fam, and we have to give it back when the next child starts driving in 2 years), we don't have cell phone bills (our parents cover that, so we'll talk to them), we don't have a lot of expenses that we would have when we have a baby. We are married, we pay for almost everything on our own, but most days I feel like we are still only semi-adults. I don't think a semi-adult should have a baby, I feel like we should be real adults before we do that.
Also, I know that the church has counsel about not delaying having a family. I have been searching lds.org for the past 45 minutes trying to find anything more recent that 1972 with counsel of not waiting to graduate or etc before you have kids. Lets play the numbers game between now and 1972. More on church counsel after this.
The Average Cost of new house in 1972 was $27,550.00. The Average Income per year $11,800.00. This means that the average house cost roughly 2.3 times the average salary.
The average income today is around 44,933. The average house price last year was around 180,000, give or take depending upon where you live (midwest was like 131k, west coast was 250, etc). This means the average home cost roughly 4.18 times the average salary.
Also, it should be noted that income is "household" income which today, in 70 % of all households, means 2 people working. In 1972 it was less than half that, at 33%.
I think you guys can extrapolate what it means financially for couples today who want the "american dream" of having a home, a family, and for me, staying at home.
Thats right, I want to stay at home when I have kids. The church agrees with me (I found plenty of talks post 1972 talking about mothers staying home with their children) and I think that to me, it is more important for me to stay home with my kids than for me to have them right now. It really is a choice between those 2 things. Either I A) have kids now and go back to work when they are very small, and finish school who knows when, and have to put them in daycare because David has to work and go to school and there is no one to take care of them OR B) Wait 3-9 years, graduate school, work until David is done/when we feel the time is right, and then have babies and stay at home and play with them all day long. Then, when they go to school, I can go back to work being a part-time teacher, or even a full time teacher (because we will have the same days off, same time, etc) and put all the money I'm making into their education/our retirement/vacation funds. I'm sure if you were to ask my future children if they would rather be born in 9 months, and have poor parents their whole lives (there is actually a ton of research that states that when you have kids, that is the basic financial situation you will be in the rest of your life) or be born in 3-9 years and be able to go on family vacations and have help with college, they would probably pick the later.
Anyways, I don't know why I feel the need to justify myself to everyone, I have just been feeling a LOT of pressure on this front lately and needed to get it out.
I am 21 years old.
I have many years of viable womb-age left in me.
I am not a sinner for wanting to be in a financial situation where I can stay home with my children before I have them.
I can still be a young mother at 25. Or 30. Or 35.
I am not a sinner for only wanting 2 children. Multiply & Replenish? 2x1=2.
Sorry this was not very articulate.