Choosing to start a family is a heavy decision. Andrew and I, like most newlyweds, have been bombarded with inquiries literally since we got home from the honeymoon. Every time I was asked, my forehead crinkled, my stomach turned and my heart began to race. Having a baby was the last thing on my mind immediately after our wedding but apparently the first thing on everyone else's. A year later, it still isn’t the most dominant matter in my life, or ours.
Deciding when to have a baby is not the sort of decision that is made in one conversation over dinner. Taking on the role of a wife is a challenging task in itself, let alone taking on the role of being a mother. For me, and for us, it’s one day at a time. I still find myself growing, changing and learning about life more each day. I am confident that it will happen when it is supposed to, and until then I am enjoying the “now.”
Andrew and I have discussed our goals and have prioritized them, which I recommend if you think it might help your own situation. We have decided to wait to have children when we are financially and emotionally prepared to take on the responsibility of being parents. Supporting two people alone is expensive; adding in a third takes it to another level. With regards to emotional preparation, being a parent involves selflessness and dedication. With being a newlywed, I find that quality time with my husband is already limited. We still have quite a few goals to conquer together before we are ready to take on a new challenge. I am savoring the time we have together and using it to learn things about my marriage and my husband.
No matter what, do not be swayed by the wishes of people around you, whether it is parents or friends. Just because you have a ring on your finger doesn’t mean you need to immediately have a baby on your hip. I will admit that I do have those moments when I am walking the aisles of Target and I see a pink, frilly dress and think, “I can totally envision my future daughter wearing this.” But for now I have learned to enjoy the present and learn from each baby step – no pun intended.