I get the impression your feelings may be more from a lack of wide exposure to children, rather than just not being ready. All kids have their moments. I’ve seen some true monsters that have made me consider shutting that whole thing down ASAP. That said, my cousin had a child when she was 21 (he’s now 8) and I have been heavily involved since day one acting as a secondary parent.
He has his very-occasional moments, but most things are remedied with a firm, “Please do (X).” He gets to it. Part of this is temperament — he’s laidback — but part of it is also practicing my own skills. I have noticed that he’s MUCH worse around his mom — because she ignores his behavior until he drives her batty, then she explodes and tells him he’s grounded for 3 months and other ridiculous punishments that she conveniently never follows up on.
Being consistent, being firm and not sending mixed messages goes a long way in directing a kid away from being bad. The next time you’re around your friends’ children, pay attention to how they parent their kids…and how their kids respond.
Do they ignore a child’s bad behavior until it’s outright awful? Do they issue several empty threats, then, only after the behavior is out of control, they lash out? Do they make excuses for the child’s behavior (“He’s only 3, he doesn’t know any better…”).
That said, it’s very wise to think about the cost, your own personal needs at this time, etc., in deciding to have a family.
My husband is 30 and I’m in my mid-20s. I will be blatantly honest with you and tell you that I have no outward signs of fertility problems. I’m overweight, but I eat well, work out, etc. My temperatures are normal and indicate ovulation at about the time my ovulation tests go positive. It’s been over a decade since I’ve missed a period, and I’m quite regular.
…Yet we’ve been actively trying to conceive for 10 cycles without a positive. Only now are we suspecting that it’s *him*, which is shocking to me. He eats OK. Again, no outward symptoms that something’s wrong.
I do urge anyone, after having my experiences (and keep in mind that I’m going to be very biased — I happen to be one of those people who had no sign of anything being wrong who is in the minority of folks having fertility problems), to get a semen analysis and get the basic blood work right out of the gate.
I regret that we didn’t do that now. It could’ve saved us so much time. There’s a chance I could’ve been in my final trimester by now.
A semen analysis usually runs $100 – $150; basic blood work could be several hundred dollars ($500, $700); the ovarian reserve tests they do, which tend to be more important for women in their 30s and 40s, could run a total of a few hundred dollars (average around $300 for E2/FSH/AMH/AFC tests).