The most common reason I hear for people postponing having kids is because it’s “not the right time.” People want to travel the world, have a successful career, own a home, pay off their debt, lose five pounds, save the environment, and renovate the kitchen all before taking the plunge into parenthood.
If it’s not one of these reasons listed above, it’s something else. People who genuinely want kids also look out at an increasingly chaotic and uncertain world and feel it may even be immoral to bring children into it. The good news is these feelings are unfounded and misplaced, no matter what your circumstances. If you desire a family life, now is the right time to go for it.
Let me begin by saying that I’m not pushing the idea that all women must be mothers, nor am I saying that you should rush into family planning before you’re truly ready and are married to someone who is willing to go the distance with you. What I am saying is that if you are married and know in your heart that you want to have children, don’t wait because of the external factors or superficial circumstances of your particular situation.
To give you some armor against the constant barrage of reasons we hear of why not to have children, I will offer some useful counterpoints.
1. We Have Never Been Richer or Safer
The first reason is the most obvious — we somehow have been convinced that the world is unfit to bring a child into. This is frankly preposterous. Thanks to global free markets, much of the world has been lifted out of poverty and into a standard of living our ancestors could have only dreamed of. The modern world provides more comfort, security, and longer lives than ever before in human history. Today, even people on a low income in the Western world live lives that would be unfathomable to the rich centuries ago.
The modern world provides more comfort, security, and longer lives than ever before in human history.
Poverty is a real issue for some people though and lacking financial stability can be one of the most difficult challenges to mentally overcome because we believe we need so much material wealth to “afford” a baby. The truth is all babies actually need is love, diapers, and boobs. They need so little in reality, but we have been convinced by the baby product industry that we need $500 cribs and $1000 stroller and car seat duos to manage. I recently had my first baby, and we avoided spending a fortune in all sorts of simple ways.
Some examples from my own life include that I cloth diaper, meaning I invested a couple of hundred dollars in pocket diapers that are machine washable and I no longer need to buy expensive disposables. I made back my initial investment by month four because of what I saved by not buying Pampers. I exclusively breastfed until 6 months, which the majority of women can do, especially if given support from a lactation consultant. So we didn’t spend money on formula. And we have co-slept with our baby since day one, which removed the need for a crib or nursery. We also shopped second hand for things like swings and strollers, cutting down costs immensely.
Your baby needs your love and attention, not the most expensive baby products on offer.
If you really want a child, money doesn’t have to be a reason to postpone. You can be resourceful, shop smart, and, in places like Canada, avail yourself of generous child benefit checks so even the poorest people have options for making a budget that will support a growing family. Your baby needs your love and attention, not the most expensive baby products on offer.
2. Your Fertility Has a Time Limit, Wanderlust and Career Aspirations Don’t
The next reason to have a baby now is that for women, fertility has a time limit. We can travel the world later in life, but we can only have babies within a specific window of time. I’m not saying this to fear-monger you about your ability to conceive, or to make you feel that you have to rush the decision before you are ready, but knowing the facts about female fertility is useful when gauging a timeline for family planning.
In a worst-case scenario, waiting until you’re in your mid-30s to find a husband and settle down can mean some women end up never getting to be mothers, all because they bought into the lie that they had to “live life” before having a family. I can’t think of anything more tragic.
We can travel the world later in life, but we can only have babies within a specific window of time.
Women’s fertility has a steep drop off after 35, and if you are one of the unfortunate women who have trouble conceiving or are battling a reproductive illness like PCOS or endometriosis, waiting until your 30s can make it even harder due to decreasing egg quality the closer you get to 35+. It tends to be easier to find a husband when you are in the prime of your youth, not to mention pregnancy itself is easier on your body and you face far fewer risks of complications the younger you are. For many women, this information is discovered only when they’re in the midst of carrying a geriatric pregnancy or when it’s too late.
Women are constantly told that they should enjoy themselves and explore for as long as possible before starting a family. If they do want to start early, then they’re gaslit and told they’re crazy for “throwing away their youth." To me, this is doing women such a great disservice. If feminism was really about giving women choices and freedom, we would tell women the truth about trying to start a family later in life and the difficulty they can face if they put it off too long, so women can weigh the risks and benefits for themselves.
3. Motherhood and Career Are Not an Either-Or Choice. Babies Do Not Make Dreams Unachievable
The next biggest myth that needs to be dismantled is propagated primarily by feminist female celebrities, such as Stevie Nicks or Michelle Williams, citing their abortions as the reason why they were able to have such successful careers in the music and film industries. Not only are ideas like this influencing young women to see material gain and status in one’s career and motherhood as an either-or choice, but it also pushes the idea that children are an impediment to achieving one’s dreams and goals rather than a catalyst of them. It also implies to young women that the only consequences of abortion are positive and that a career should be valued over human life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Motherhood makes our dreams more meaningful because you become motivated by your family and not just personal gain.
Certainly, children take a great deal of time, energy, and patience, especially in the beginning, but the truth is that children add to one’s life a great deal more than they take. Children grow up, meaning that they’re only tucked under our wing for a short time; women live long lives nowadays, and once their children are older, there’s no reason why women can’t pursue meaningful work and their dreams later on in life.
Children are an inspiration — our love for them is one of the most live-giving and encouraging feelings that exists. Motherhood is not something that destroys dreams, it’s something that makes our dreams all the more meaningful because you become motivated by your family and not just personal gain.
4. Children Don’t Harm the Environment
Finally, the last and potentially the most harmful myth is that having children is destructive to the environment. The truth is that while this myth is widely accepted among regular people, climate change activists have a tough time agreeing on the matter.
Many large, faceless governmental and corporate bodies would love to misdirect your attention about the true culprit of climate change because they wouldn’t like to admit the ways in which they themselves are to blame. Don’t buy this anti-human propaganda. We must solve the problem of our damaged environments by coming together and changing how industries work, not by demonizing families. It’s not the responsibility of individual citizens to curtail their desires for a family to offset the environmental damage being done by international corporations and various government bodies.
We should help the environment by changing how industries work, not by demonizing families.
Countries like China are responsible for immense pollution to our oceans, yet ordinary people in North America, where we have some of the lowest carbon footprints on Earth, are somehow supposed to make up for this by abstaining from having children? It’s outrageous, and we should never ever allow governing bodies to dictate to us what our family planning should look like.
Don’t let the world or your circumstances determine when the right time is to have a baby. The truth is that this is something we women sense we’re ready for in our guts and our hearts without ever having to check our bank balance or the latest science. If you desire motherhood and family life, there’s no good reason I can think of not to go for it. There’s no good reason to postpone, and no matter what you’ve heard, I can assure you, there has never been a better time than now to have a baby.