Letter to My Mother: Why I’m Not Ready to Reproduce aka My Uterus is Not Up For Negotiation

Dear Mom,

In the past four years, you have asked me no less than 382 times when I am going to have children. The short answer is: someday, but not yet. But that’s no fun. Let’s go over the long version shall we?

First and foremost, you are way too young (AND young looking) to be a grandma. Grandmas are supposed to be old and I refuse to steal your youth by bearing children. You’re welcome.

Also, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but having kids cost more than not having kids. And while there are certainly ways to reduce the cost of children and they definitely don’t have to cost $250,000 a year, they are still really expensive compared to being childless.

For starters, let’s talk about the highly controversial subject (in the PF blogosphere at least) of lifestyle inflation — namely upgraded homes and vehicles. Now, while most people would argue these upgrades aren’t necessary when you have kids, our situation is a bit different.

We live in a studio and while we currently have a car, we are considering going carless. Realistically, neither of these really work for people with children. A studio is perfect for just the two of us, but before we have kids, I would definitely want to “upgrade” to an apartment bigger than 400 square feet with a separate bedroom. Because sharing a space with a sleeping infant does not sound like my idea of a good time.

A carless lifestyle is also difficult with a child. Portland is walkable but we are not close enough to a hospital. And knowing my neurotic streak, I will definitely have to go to the hospital multiple times a week during the first few months.

And what about health insurance? Ignoring the fact that I am currently uninsured (until January), adding a single child to Steve’s health insurance would cost an extra $3,000+ annually. That’s almost 4 months of rent! This adds up!

On top of that, there’s the startup costs of having a kid — crib, changing table, whatever the hell else kids need — and the ongoing costs of having a kid — clothing, diapers, whatever the hell else kids need. For an idea of how much these items cost, click HERE for U.S. numbers and HERE for Canadian numbers. A child’s love may be priceless, but their needs sure aren’t!

Furthermore, I know myself well enough to know I’m not going to cheap out on the cutesy stuff, at least on the first kid. Say what you will, but I am of the opinion every new parent needs to spend too much money on their first child. It’s just a rite of passage for new moms and dads to buy adorable stuff no one needs.

Obviously, I’m leaving out a few expenses applicable to some people like childcare and formula. Ideally, I won’t need either as I plan on rocking a WAHM lifestyle. I firmly believe you can be a baller and a breast feeder at the same time.

Of course, if money was the most important factor in reproduction, no one would have kids. And I don’t for a second plan on letting finances alone keep me from having children. Thankfully, I’ve got a lot of things on my side that make my decision to have children a few years from now totally fine.

First of all, I’m not at an age where I have to have kids immediately. I’m twenty freaking four years old, Mom, I have plenty of time. While I don’t buy into the bullshit that healthy pregnancy can’t happen after the age of 35, I would prefer to have kids earlier than my mid-30s. And I can, I have years and years before my biological clock stops ticking.

Second of all, I’m in a monogamous relationship with someone who also wants kids in the future. If I had kids now, it would be okay, but I am free to have kids later.

Lastly, I still want more time to be selfish. Being a mom is about giving a lot of yourself for someone else. Someday, I will definitely do that. But right now, I really love sleep and the ability to do whatever I want whenever I want to.

And while I’m sure I’ll do the “I never knew love until I had children” spiel once I pop those suckers out, I’ll gladly live in blissful ignorance for now — drinking too much wine and spending full days curled up with good books.

Don’t worry, I look forward to being a mom in the future. I want to have two or three awesome kids who will most definitely be the cutest babies on the block because their parents were the most adorable children ever. And when my debt is paid off and I’ve taken a couple of international vacations, I will totally rock motherhood. Just not now.

So be patient, Mom. There will be tiny half-Ginger, half-Arab babies calling you “Grandma” before you know it. But for now, you enjoy your youth and I’ll enjoy my 9 hours a sleep per night and money in the bank ability to aggressively pay off debt.

Love,

Your Amazing Daughter and Money Drain of 18 Years

[Image from BuzzFeed]

Comments

  1. PREACH IT! I know your pain. We have one now (and trust me they don’t have to be anywhere near that expensive if you don’t want) and though we spared the “when are you going to have kids” after we were married (married 3 yrs before having kids) now that we have one it is just assumed we’ll have another, and fast. Do people not remember the havoc thia child reared on my body?! (I had a very difficult pregnancy). My inlaws refuse to pack away the baby stuff they have ‘just in case’ we change our minds. We’re getting a lot of backlash for consiously deciding to wait 3-4 yrs b/w kids. This is a topic that I feel is no one’s buisness but the two ppl in a relationship, moms included.

    • I find it odd that a person’s sex life and ability/desire to reproduce is questioned so casually. It’s such a private matter, especially because so many people have trouble getting pregnant. I think 3-4 years in between is totally reasonable, and even if I didn’t it wouldn’t matter, because it’s not my baby!

  2. Sadly, it doesn’t stop after the 1st child !
    The grandma-to-be will then state “you can’t have just 1 mini-clone, it will become a spoiled one. You must give him/her a little brother/sister.” bis repetita ad nauseam πŸ™‚

    As for the “getting children” part… In the end there is no good or bad time. Younger you have more energy but less money. Older much less energy but more money. (even if costs in USA seems insanely high)

  3. Yeah I am definitely not cheaping out on baby stuff.

    I buy organic, not made in China, natural, etc. You can always find cheaper versions of what I buy. I mean, who pays $30 for 7 organic cotton baby wipes made in Canada? <<<<this soon-to-be-mother.

    You could pay $1 and get 10 of them at Dollarama, but I am not bending my principles.

    All of that costs MONEY.

    Also.. you're only 24. I'm a good 6 years older. πŸ™‚

    (Thanks for the link to my page!)

    • I’m planning on being the exact same way. I love your war on stuff from China and I’m constantly working to replace my clothing and household goods with things made locally.

      By the way, I totally bought the Flint and Tinder 10 Year Hoodie πŸ™‚

  4. The old lady and I waited until she was almost thirty. We had been togeather long enough and gone on a couple epic overseas trips. The time was right for us. There is so much to experience in the world while you are young. Most of these things are easier (and cheaper) to do without kids.

    Heck having a kid made my wife give up her Mini, which she loved, mostly because it is a huge pain in the butt to put a kid into the back of a two door car. Someday we will probably have another kid, but not for a few years. Heck we may just adopt instead. I was adopted and I think I turned out pretty ok.

    • Another consideration is spending more time with Steve before we start a family. We’ve been married for 4 years, but we got married quickly so I still want a few more years.

      Yeah, I’d say you turned out alright πŸ™‚

  5. Erin, this is a wonderful post. I am not married and I do not want children for quite awhile. Thanks for giving reasonable and legit reasons as to why you don’t want a child right now. All those reasons are the same for me. I still want to be selfish as well. πŸ™‚

  6. Damn! No warning on that post….lol. You know my world is complete with our little family, and for your sake, I will stop begging. HOWEVER, do not expect me to give up hope. Know, though, that you were never a money drain. You did not require much. It was my overspending that kept things tight growing up. You were happy with a box, yet I felt the need to buy you a princess palace for Christmas. I am amazed and proud that you have such a great head on your shoulders….not to mention a wonderful husband. That is plenty for me……..at least for another 9 months. Sorry- couldn’t resist!!! I love you!

  7. Amen to that! I think people stopped asking me that question in my 30’s, although I didn’t ever want children. Somehow people were trying to convince me I wouldn’t be a whole person unless I had them. Oh really? One of my guy friends who said that is on his third wife, his one kid from the divorce is having serious problems, and he and his current wife are in couples therapy and they have 4 kids total. mmmm, sounds great! Sign me up!

  8. Loved reading this. All logical, perfectly reasonable explanations as to why kids aren’t in the cards for you right this second! I think the most important point is that you’re only 24. You have PLENTY of time if you decide you want kids, there should be no rush. I know your Mom probably means well, but for your sake I hope she can understand this stuff asap!

  9. For someone who loves sleep as much as you do…good call!

    Being selfish (and unmarried) will be a number 1 reason I have for delaying child-rearing. I have zero interest in tending to someone other than myself right now. I can’t even afford/change my lifestyle for a dog yet.

    Luckily for me, my parents got married in their late-20s, enjoyed life for 4 years and didn’t pop me (and then my sister) out until their 30s. I don’t imagine I will be getting much encouragement to procreate until I’m starting to push mid-30s.

    Maybe get your mom a puppy. That has been the best surrogate child for my parents the last few weeks! πŸ˜›

    • She still has two kids at home (although they are teens) and 3 pets πŸ™‚

      When I got married, I planned on “putting off” having kids until I was 25. And now I’m almost 25 and I am SO not ready yet.

  10. Love it! I’m still not sure if I want kids, but I still want time to be selfish. Travel and sleep are quite important to me, too. My oldest cousins are in their early 30s and just had a baby, and there’s still my other cousin who will probably have one in a few years. Hopefully that will keep my family entertained, though I’m sure I’ll face the question after marriage.

    • Yeah, I’m the oldest kid in my immediate family and the second oldest AND only one married out of my cousins, so the pressure is definitely on me.

  11. I hear ya! I just got asked that question by my Mom yesterday! And when I said “soon” she said “that’s what you keep saying … ” as if she’s giving up, ha! Right now I feel we’re in an ok place financially (and in the 9 months it takes to have the baby, even better) and I’m certainly not getting any younger (I’m 9 years older than you!) but there’s some things we’re trying to work out first (we both want to be healthier and I’m sure being healthier will make it easier to conceive) but it seems to be driving our respective families crazy that we don’t have a baby yet. The timing has to be right for you guys, not for anyone else.

    • My grandpa told my mom a year ago that he had “given up” on me ever having kids. I was 23. That’s the small town, Midwest mentality for ya!

      If we did get pregnant right now, we could roll with it, but I’d definitely like to have our finances in better shape first.

  12. Haha, I love this! I’m glad you are waiting. Makes sense to me. I don’t want kids and that was a heartbreak to both my mom and faux mother-in-law. We both don’t want kids, but you know the burden is on me, right? I’m telling them I’m doing them a favor by not having a kid I don’t want. But their will be very cute grandcats in their future! You will be a hot, fun mom too, but enjoy your youth! You ARE still so young.

    • Of course, it’s ALWAYS the woman who gets the shit. Like guys have no say when it comes to having children…

      A hot, fun mom? I love my future mom status already! πŸ™‚

  13. AMEN.
    As soon as I got married in September, we were bombarded with the “When are you guys having babies?” question. I’m 26. My husband is 29. We have plenty of time to pop out a baby. Plus, we plan on adopting which means even MORE money to save and legal hoops to go through. I want to wait!

    • You guys have the same age difference as Steve and I, we are 24 and 27 πŸ™‚

      Adopting costs a lot but it’s definitely an awesome thing to do!

  14. Wow! Preach it! I’m with you on this one. Although I’m not convinced I want children. I never really wanted to have my own. I believe I have said this since I was a kid. But when I mentioned it to my mom, she freaked and said why not? “Has your husband convinced you to not have kids???” “No, mother, I can think on my own and make my own decisions.” I know people think it’s selfish, but darn it, I don’t care if it’s selfish. I want to sleep in, do whatever I want, and not have to worry about someone else. And people, please stop asking me about when I want to have kids!

  15. I was in this very similar situation with my family — that is until my younger siblings started having kids. Now I’m off the hook and loving it! πŸ™‚ I suppose my family got tired of “holding out” until I had kids too..lol

  16. Love this, this is great. I’ll have to show it to my mom (or other relatives!) when they make such references haha

  17. Oi! Thankfully, our families are respectful enough to not wonder about kids. People where we live, however, can get pretty darn ridiculous!

    • Yeah, I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, so people I went to junior high with now have multiples. I am enjoying the DINK lifestyle for now πŸ™‚

  18. I love this post so much. My parents aren’t pushing me too hard yet. In fact, they have even stopped asking me when I am getting married (we’ve been engaged for just under three years with no date set). I think give it another two years and then it will happen…

    It really does make me laugh how open people are about when they’re trying to conceive. They willingly say “we’re trying to get pregnant” – do you just want the first thing I picture when you say that is the two of you naked doing god knows what?! Just sayin’.

    • Thanks, Alicia!

      I just don’t understand why anyone would tell people they are trying for kids. What if they have troubles getting pregnant? Do they really want to add the pressure of people knowing that?

  19. Love this! We get the children question all the time. I’m too selfish right now! W’s mom is funny and has even pointed out a 25% Asian/75% Irish baby to us (a family friend) to see what we would say about it. HAHA!

  20. Preach, sister! My husband and I have been married for a year, so we feel the pressure to reproduce all the time. However, we’re waiting for all the same reasons: pay off our debt and travel first!

  21. LOL well thought out and justified response, Erin! I want kids right away, but time’s not really on my side. I agree to live life and explore more – when the time’s right, both of you will know, but it’s only up to both of you to be ready! But once you do, wow, what a great mix!

  22. Aww, your mom commented. My mom wouldn’t touch a computer if her life depended on it! And despite the fact that she knows how much debt I’m in and that I’d have to see a reproductive endocrinologist to see if I can even have kids, she still always assumes that when I call with news, it’s that I’m pregnant.

  23. You have PLENTY of time to enjoy your “child free” years. I get the baby guilt from my parents too. I can barely afford my own life, let alone support another!

  24. Haha, I love this post! My family is the exact same way. My cousin and her husband just had their first, so instead of my parents living as grandparents vicariously through them, it has turned to: “Doesn’t it make you want a little one?” I am only TWENTY FIVE! For me, I am in no way ready for that responsibility (or financial obligation) yet!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Erin wrote a nice letter to her mother explaining why at 24, she is not going to have kids.. yet, and linked to my Canadian cost of a baby for proof. […]

  2. […] are everyone’sΒ priority. Like Erin’s current priorities (and, to be clear, she had another great post on kids and how they are not for her right this second – but that doesn’t mean forever), […]

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