Ask Alex : Pressure to have children

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Hey Alex!

I recently got married. My husband and I had been dating for 5 years prior to marriage but we both decided to wait until we graduated college to take the plunge. Since we’ve been married, both of our parents have been pushing for us to have children. They are light hearted about it and say everything in a joking way but we are starting to feel the pressure.

We had talked before we got married about having children and we both want them, but are trying to wait until we become more established in our careers and our lives. I know our parents won’t be around forever and I would really regret them not having the joy of having grandchildren if we wait too long. Are we being selfish by waiting to have children? 

Sincerely,
Feeling Rushed

 

 

Hey Rushed!

Thank you for asking this question. This is a common issue that a lot of young couples face, feeling the pressure by parents to produce those “grand babies”.  

It sounds like you and your husband have a clear picture of the future you want to have together, and as much as you love your parents and he loves his, this is your life together and your new family you are forming, so take your time and live the life you want.

I understand regret, and if any of your parents were to go before the two of you decide to have a child, there would be a regret that they didn’t get to meet their grandchildren. But this regret will be there no matter when they pass. If your child happens to be fifteen when they go, you’ll regret that they didn’t get to see their grandchild drive or graduate high school. If older, you will regret that they didn’t get to see their grandchild get married or meet their great-grandchildren. This is just part of the living experience, so don’t let these feelings dictate your path, especially on such an important life-changing decision.

From your letter, I get the feeling that you have a good, close relationship with your parents and your husband has the same connection with his. This would mean that you are your parents’ first love and deep down they would never want you to do something that would make you unhappy or make it to where you end up not living your life to the fullest.

You should have a conversation with them and let them know your plans. Based on what you’ve said, I would think they would be completely supportive of your decision.

The bottom line is, that this is your life and you need to take care of yourself and do things at your own pace. Are you doing what makes you happy and makes the most sense for your own well being? 

Sincerely,
Alex

 

 

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