On Having Children

Friday, January 29, 2016


I was talking to a dear friend yesterday who casually sent me a photo of her dog lying next to her six month old baby with the caption, "aren't you excited for Harlow to do this?"

To which I responded, "In 4 or 5 years, perhaps. But also Harlow does't want siblings." (He really doesn't. He has that "only child syndrome" going on.)

And then my friend said something along the lines of, "so your kid is going to have the old fart parents, huh?"

I guess in all fairness I should probably note that this friend and I have that kind of friendship where we're brutally honest and often "jokingly rude" with one another. We'll call her Tyeler. Because that's her name.

Anyway, she's always wanted to be a "young mom."  Like she desperately wanted to get on Teen Mom when she was in high school. Jk jk. What I mean is that in college she talked about wanting to start a family fairly soon after she got married. It was just her thing. Me on the other hand, not so much.

Now don't get your panties in a bunch, her comment was intended as a joke. (I think... some friends you just never know, you know?) But regardless, it made me think about "old parents" vs "young parents" and how it's all relative, really.

For example in Chicago, "young parents" are usually in their early thirties. I frequently see people much older than me happily carrying around their newborns. But when I go back to Nebraska, moms five years younger than me are toting around toddlers. So to each their own.

Almost every single one of my friends who lives in Nebraska has a couple of kids now. And if they only have one, they say things like "we're currently trying for our second." Which gives me great material for my standup because I'm a child and this phrase goes a lot of places in my comedic head.

Anyway. To answer my friend's question, yes, I have every intention of being "an old fart parent." And speaking of this, ever since Chris and I got engaged I can't tell you how many people have already started asking about "our future children."

What? Why? Stop it.

Last night Harlow had a bit of an upset stomach so I had to let him outside five different times from 2 a.m.- 4 a.m  and the only thing I could think about was how my friends with babies do this every. single. night. How do they function the next day? I just don't get it. Being a parent looks exhausting. Rewarding, yes. But so so exhausting.

And now I'm going to end by showing you a photo of Finley, Tyeler's daughter, because she is a toddler fashion blogger and we could all learn a thing or two from her keen fashion sense.


I'm kidding. She's not a blogger, but she should be. I keep telling Tyeler you have to start 'em young these days. Isn't it weird when toddlers dress better than you? I'm pretty sure at Finley's age I was really into the pink sweatpants and "Someone Loves Me In South Padre" t-shirts my grandparents use to give me. 

On second thought, I have to do this right. Let me just show you.


Oh that was fun. You can grab Finley's look here. You can grab mine by having a child in the early 90s.

Have a great weekend, it's the last one in January! Only two more months of winter hell. Summer, I see you getting closer...

35 comments:

  1. I think you and I are the same person.

    I've donated so much of my time to volunteering, animal rescue, and doing my own damn thing that I really don't feel the need to have kids right now - or maybe ever. Husband feels the same. Our lives have purpose and meaning. We don't need to procreate to fulfill some void that doesn't exist for us.

    Maybe we will adopt when the time is right. Animal adoption has worked really nicely for us so far.

    Plus - being the fun aunt really has its perks.

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  2. Everyone who wants kids needs to have kids whenever they're ready--and I think we all know that it's clear Harlow is not ready right now! We're expecting our first in one week (no big deal). I'm totally freaking out about the whole not sleeping thing, and I'm also incredibly anxious about making sure our dog continues to feel loved and important. I just ordered her a giant box of toys and treats so she doesn't feel left out when the baby is here.

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  3. This totally resonated with me! Everyone back in my hometown is married or pregnant or trying to be pregnant and I'm living in the city trying to figure out how to accomplish basic adult tasks like feeding myself regularly. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

    -Nellwyn | www.thecardinalpress.com

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  4. From the mouth of someone who wanted kids young.. and got pregnant the second she was married (ahem, me...) TAKE YOUR TIME. It's hard. It's exhausting.. and some days I'm like "what the hell was I thinking???" haha. :-)

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  5. Haha seriously...I never dressed that well, and still don't! I'm with you on the kids thing. Can't we be married and have fun and travel and do whatever we want right now? To each their own, but our 5.5 years of childless marriage so far have been a blast. I also go back home to my tiny hometown to find everyone I know with children. I think the winner there has 4 already, same age as me.

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  6. yeah i dressed more like the left. If i ever have kids (which is feeling more like it might never happen) it will be later. i think everyone is on theri own path and i'm on the one where you gotta do you. i might be old as hell. they'll call me granny mom.

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  7. Call me an old mom then, we are 33 and 37 and E is only 10 months old. And I am perfectly ok with it. Do your thing on your own time. And my poor child looks like she was a child of the early 90's as I try to get her in something other than pj to get to school.

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  8. I realize people probably ask out of curiosity, and attempting to make small talk, but I hate the "When Are you Going to..." questions. It's like some big cosmic checklist that if you don't do every last thing, you won't be happy. I'm at the point in my life where, if it happens, it happens.

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  9. Awww!! My daughter's name is Finley too :) Don't rush having kids! We were married 3 years before we got pregnant. And honestly, sometimes I think it would have been nice to wait longer. Side note... Shortly after we got engaged, my soon-to-be GMIL was all "I already have your kids names picked out!" I was all - You had your chance old lady! BTFU.

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  10. In Texas it's so common for people to get married right after college and then immediately start having kids. Even though my husband and I did get married right after college, we're in no way ready to start having kids yet. #1 I just don't have the desire right now, and #2 we still want to travel. I think everybody has the right time when they'll be ready for kids, and for some people it's when they're in their 20's, for others it's when they're in their 30's or even 40's and there's nothing wrong with that. But nobody should be judging others for when they decide to have kids. And just so you know our dog Dart has only child syndrome too!

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  11. Luckily, none of my close friends have kids yet so I don't feel any pressure to start. My parents were at the time considered "old fart" parents because they had me in their early thirties so I'll be carrying on the tradition

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  12. My parents had me in their early/mid-30s and then had my sister 13 years later (which is actually pretty normal in the Bay Area). Growing up, I had a friend who celebrated her dad's 70th birthday when we were still in high school. Then I went to college in Wisconsin and was shocked that some people's parents were in their early 40s. Back in California, parents in their early 40s are usually going to pre-school drop off, not a tailgate with their fully grown kids. It felt like total culture shock. I guess I feel like I've seen both ends of the spectrum and neither is better than the other. Being old is relative and I kind of think its crazy for anyone to presume that someone else will have kids soon (or at all). Right now, I think I'd like to have kids around 30, but who the hell knows what I'll want by then; I love kids, but I also love sleeping in on the weekend and then going to brunch without a care in the world. Right now, brunch is more important and that's ok.

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  13. haha I loved this post. Finely is a gorgeous name and I get jealous that babies have better style than I do!

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  14. I'm def on the same page as you. If I could wait til I was 40 to have kids I would. And I still probably wouldn't be "ready". It's just so.. permanent and forever... Do you even get to watch TV or go to Happy Hour after kids?

    But then I think my parents had me at 35 and now they are 65 and it makes me so sad! The struggle.

    Side note - you need to do a post on how to take good pics of dogs who don't like to sit for pictures. Your Harlow ones are always great!

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  15. I was a young parent but also a protective parent, I had all my girls while in my 20's and worried about things like them walking to school on their own didn't happen till Kathy was in year 6, in the morning I would walk with them to school but in the afternoon I would be out the back watching for them to get home

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  16. I'll be 31 on Valentine's Day and I now live in a town where it's weird if you don't have kids at my age or don't want them. I'm still on the fence. I really, really, really need my sleep & adult social time to function. And I don't think I could stay home with kids without some part time job as an outlet. I love my friends' kids and I think I'd be a decent mom, but I guess my biological clock is broken. I definitely don't want to bring kids into the world just because someone else wants me to have them.

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  17. I won't have a choice. Whenever I have a kid, they're going to have old parents cause I'm already old. I wasn't ready for a long time and it's the kind of decision you want to be totally ready to make.
    I have similar pics from when I was a toddler. Kid fashion was so not a thing back then.

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  18. This is great! I 100% agree that each couple needs to decide for themselves when they're ready, and it's really not anyone else's business. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have 2 kids and I just turned 28, so I look forward to having somewhat independent children by the time I'm in my early 30s! (I'm also from the midwest, and went to a Lutheran college, so all my friends married right out of college and started having kids right away. We're even kind of "behind" some of my friends with 3 or 4 kids already).

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  19. I live in the South where you are married by 21 and start having your babies by 23. Unmarried at 22, I'm an Old Maid. Imagine the shock when I tell people we're not having kids until our later 20s. Although the BF wants to have some before we're 30 because he still wants to run around and play soccer with them and he thinks that after 30 you can't do that anymore. . .

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  20. Few things annoy me and anger me more than when people ask me or my husband when we are having kids. It's none of their damn business!!!! I'm Mormon and I live in Utah. So you're an old parent if you don't have your first kid by the time you're 20 and your husband is 22. I'm 25 my husband is 31 and we don't plan on kids for 3 more years. Gasp. We don't care. It's so interesting how each culture is different when it comes to having children and getting married. Being single at the age of 28 in Utah is the equivalent of being single and never have been married at 45 everywhere else in the world. My husband, Taran, was 27 when I met him, we started dating when he was 28 and we Married when he was 29 so he was "old." I always felt these cultural unwritten rules were beyond stupid and ignored them, but everyone else lives by them. Drives me crazy. Wow this was a long comment.

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  21. I'm 31 and my husband and I have been married for going on 2 years now. Our plan was to wait 4 or 5 years after we got married to start a family (which is a plan I think we're still holding strong to). This would make me about 33 or 34 when we have our first and he is 3 years older than I am. Everyone comments about the fact that we are going to be "old parents." However, I feel like having kids later in life will keep me young. I've gone through most of the life stages later than normal (I got married 2 months before turning 30), so I've always felt like I'm really a 24 year old in a 31 year old's body. Maybe that will hold when it's time to have kids. Though, I do worry I'll have more problems conceiving later, but I figure I can adopt if it doesn't quite work out the way we hope or plan.

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  22. I agreed with EVERYTHING you said here. I have friends who have such bad baby fever they send me pictures of random babies. And are planning future timelines. My time line planning consists of "at least 5+ years from now". I am so unprepared for children at this age!

    http://toastthegirlalmighty.com

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  23. People started asking us when we were going to have kids at our wedding reception. #goodtimes. Since then, whenever people ask (which they ALWAYS do..wtf?!) I just tell them that we have a really awesome time practicing, but we like our life how it is right now.

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  24. I hate the "when are you having kids?" question, so rude!

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  25. When I got married two years ago everyone had to ask when we were having kids like we were approaching a deadline of some kind. Now we are having a baby and the first question I always get is "was it on purpose?" wtf?! You can't have it both ways, lol! Also, TMI!

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  26. Preach! My husband and I have been married a year and a half, and since before we got married people have been asking about when we're having kids. We have two dogs and I have the same thoughts as you, it's hard enough taking care of them! There's nothing wrong with having kids early, but there's also nothing wrong with doing you and waiting to have kids!

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