(Closed) babies too soon?

posted 9 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

The problem is, and I don’t say this to be hurtful, you are being judgemental. This is your friend’s life – you can’t possibly know anything about her situation with her husband and the things that went into the decision to have a baby. Maybe they lived in a crappy apartment on purpose because they knew they would be pregnant soon and wanted to save on rent. Maybe it really was an accident and she didn’t tell you because she’s embarrased. Maybe she has health issues and can’t afford to wait to get pregnant so they started even though circumstances aren’t ideal.

I don’t mean for you to feel like I’m attacking you, but since you put it out there it sounds like you are jealous. You want to be validated in that you’re making the "right" decisions via your priorities and your station in life – but in these instances there is no such thing as right or wrong.

Post # 4
Member
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Eh- I wouldn’t go so far to say you are being judgemental or jealous.

I would say more or less- obviously you have different standards than she does. And  you have a different mind set as to how to go about meeting your own needs.

You would be surprised by how many people live this way on a daily basis. I did my public health rotation, and many people are ‘getting by’ with the bare necessitities and are trying what is their darndest to provide for themselves and their small families. So while this may be depolarable to you, this is just how some people live.  It’s the reality for many people. It’s not to say it is a permanent reality though.

I have some friends who have very small living arrangements and don’t feel the rush to ‘upgrade’ to a larger home, or nicer neighborhood until their child is walking or speaking. To them they have nine months of "baking" a baby, and an additional year to save a little and research where their lives will subsequently take them. And this works out for a lot of people. Once a baby is born. a lot of people’s perspectives change as far as what they want for themselves and their child. Maybe your friend isn’t there yet, or maybe your friend is taking their time getting to that point. Or maybe this is the sacrifice your friend is making to save money to get what they really want…

Post # 5
Member
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I think there are two things going on.

1.  Your friend having a baby in her current financial situation  I think it’s pretty natural to have the feelings you do.  You are concerned for them.  It sounds like their neighborhood is unsafe.  Also, babies are expensive, and they don’t have a lot of money.  (And in the back of your mind you’re thinking, it wasn’t an accident.  They were trying.)  Maybe they didn’t think things were going to get better anytime soon.  It’s hard not to judge.  But I think that you are right in just trying to support her.  What could you say to her that would be of any good anyway?  I think it could only hurt her feelings.

2.  I think you might be feeling some jealousy, or questioning your decision to wait 6-8 years.  You say that you are doing fine financially, so maybe you and your husband can reevaluate having children sooner, if that’s something that youfeel is surfacing now.

Post # 6
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think it’s normal to be a little jealous or judgemental in this situation.  How many of us have seen another couple getting married and thought, "They haven’t been dating long enough," "They’re too young," "They’re not financially ready, yet," or "We did it the RIGHT way; why can’t they just wait?"  In fact, I’ve been struggling with some of these same issues over my younger sister’s wedding (which is Dec. 5th of this year).  Part of it is jealousy (we wanted to get married earlier but waited), part of it is judgement (they haven’t been together long enough and have NO idea what they are in for), part of it is real concern (seriously, she’s moving to Missouri to be a corn farmer?!), and part of it is just plain old egotism (I still think our way is the right way ).

Obviously you know that nothing can come of confronting your friend about your feelings.  Imo, the best you can do is suck it up and be supportive.  Of course, that probably won’t make you feel better.  I find that complaining to/with my husband about how we’re doing it the right way helps.  And sometimes making snarky comments about my little sis on an "anonymous" wedding website.  🙂  But maybe also re-evaluating your baby-making plans with your husband will also make you feel better; I agree with Tanya123 on that point for sure.  Anyway, at the very least, I hope it helped some to get these feelings off your chest by venting.  We’re all here to listen, so what better place to vent than here! 

Post # 7
Member
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

I would just focus on your friend’s safety/health.  Is the apartment scary to her?  Is it just mildewy, or is there actual (dangerous) mold in the bathroom?

 I think these concerns could be brought up, and maybe her family can help her get into a safer situation.  If she was truly trying, though, then it makes it harder to intervene, as she made the choice knowing where she lives.

 I have a friend in a similar situation, but my main concern is that she is pregnant w/ their 2nd kid, not working, and their CC’s are maxed out…I worry so much about their financial decisions (both kids were planned), but ultimately it is her choice to live paycheck to paycheck.  I just pray her hubby doesn’t even lose his job, bc I don’t know how they would get by…seriously!

Post # 8
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m sure that you’ve identified many of the complicated feelings that you are having.  Not all of them are about your friend, but I doubt that none of them are.  If you are honestly concerned that they have mold in their house, that’s a big deal.  It can lead to lifelong health problems…and I suspect that people sometimes don’t realize that.  If it were me I would probably bring it up… 

For the other stuff, I think it’s hard to imagine that your friend doesn’t realize the safety issues or that baby’s can be expensive.  Overall, I think you probably are judging the decision she is making, but that’s human.  I have friends who make decisions I could not imagine making with kids in a million years (of course I don’t have kids yet, so who knows).  But their kids are happy and well taken care of, I’m just paranoid about financial security.  I think those kinds of things are a very personal choice, though, and you probably just have to stand by and watch.

We tend to be a private culture, but I do think it’s appropriate to intervene if you see a child’s life in danger.  The only thing, though, that I think calls for that in this situation is the possibility of mold.  Everything else is sort of a judgment call, and I don’t think you get to make that decision for your friend.

Post # 9
Member
773 posts
Busy bee

 I think what you have to understand is that everyone has different priorities.  For you, financial stability and spending time just being married before having kids is top priority.  But for some people, myself included, having children is a top priority.  It isn’t up to you to decide what is right for your friend– maybe having a ton of money isn’t important to her. Home ownership and a high paying job aren’t going to bring satisfaction to everyone, just like having babies without any money wouldn’t leave you feeling satisfied with your life.

Post # 10
Member
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

One thing to consider is one of the most expensive baby-related costs is day-care.  Since your friend is unemployeed, she doesn’t need daycare and that will be a huge savings for them.  Of course health care can be expensive but I’m assuming they have insurance.  They can also save a lot of money if she nurses the baby, formula is very expensive!  Most of what is needed for the first year can be purchased used for a huge discount.  The first year of a babies life really can be inexpensive if you are willing to sacrifice the Pottery Barn Nursery and Baby Gap Clothing. 

It might not be a bad idea to have a kid while you are still used to living a relatively simple life instead of living the "good life" then having to make bigger sacrifices to have a baby. 

That being said, I am guilty of judging people and wondering why they make certain financial decisions.  I’m also not planning on having kids until we are married for a few years.

Post # 12
Member
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

It’s always kind of weird to see that first friend go down the parenting road, especially when it’s so fast AND planned. I’ve seen a few unplanned babies among my acquaintances over the past few years, but no "Ok, we’ve been married 4 months now, let’s get pregnant" until this February. I was so mad/sad at first, for a lot of the same reasons you were, feeling like we had this hard and fast timetable that could under no circumstances be adjusted, and sort of "indignant" (totally unjustified) that they got to start before us. Then I found out they did it for medical reasons (she has endometriosis, which could get better with a pregnancy or without one progress till it kills her fertility), and then *I* found out I was pregnant (oh the irony) and then she had a miscarriage. It’s been a rollercoaster emotionally for both of us, especially now that our situations are flipped.. I am now the first mom in our group, and I wasn’t even planning for it, while she who needs it has to wait.

So anyway, I just wanted to share my story, and to say good for you for facing your emotions on this and sorting out the legitimate from the not-so, and realize that we can’t control gut-level responses, but instead how we act after we’ve processed. It sounds like you are being an awesome friend. 🙂

Post # 13
Member
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Family planning is different for everyone. I am sure some people are surprised that we want to have children right away. We aren’t having premarital sex (though neither of us are virgins) and so from wedding day forward we will let whatever happens, happen.

People have all sorts of reasons for why they want to do things they way they do.

Fo us, we are in our early 30’s and financially stable, yes, he is in Kuwait and so will be for the next year. No big deal. We see each other at least every 8 to 10 weeks. But never more than 10.

People say. "oh, I think people should wait two years before they have kids" and I like "why do you believe that?" and they say, "well so you can get to know each other" and I am like "oh, really? why would I marry someone I didn’t know? and then why wouldn’t I want to spend the rest of my life getting to them as they change and grow over that time?"

We plan on being together, forever. We plan on a family. So why wait? Children are typically parent dependent much longer in life these days, 25 years in this economy. So, for that 25 – 30 years we raise a family. Then we are older and we will help with grandchildren. We will have spent a lifetime being family. 

I tell people, it might be hard now but what is enough money? Most people in todays society spend more than they make, regardless of how much they make, which is why we have the massive credit issue. Babies can be very expensive, but honestly, for about the price of a Venti latte every single day you can feed, cloth and buy diapers for the baby, just add the health care (which is about the cost of a new car payment every month) and well, there you go, less than $500 a month a you can have one too. As their situation improves, and life becomes a little more $$ and the things the kid needs becomes a little more $$ they can have both parents working, even if she is just providing day care in her home.

As for mold, yes, that is an issue. However, having her clean it with bleach is also an issue. They are moving soon. You could offer help in cleaning sometime…just like, oh, I brought you a plant and I thought I would help you around the house as cleaning products are dangerous when you are pregnant. This could be a good time for yourself to research save and healthy cleaning alternatives, vodka is actually a good antibacterial cleaning product, and vinagar and baking soda are great to clean with. 

If you can spend more time with her, do. She might need it and maybe you will get a fill of pregnancy and either decide that now is the time or that you’d rather wait. Either way, it is great that you are taking this as an opportunity to learn about yourself and discuss this with your husband.

Best wishes.

and sorry this was so long. I obvious feel passionate about this issue.

 

 

Post # 14
Member
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Kids are a big big deal, it really changes everything in a relationship and I understand your feelings completely. When many of my friends get married and have a child in the same year I think my concern comes off as jealously as well. 

 I just hate to see their relationship completely change; I mean for me I have very strong feelings what I want to wait to have children. I am taking on two step children and excited to be in their life but I want to take the time to develop my marriage and enjoy married life before changing our focus on raising a baby.

So many of my friends are so unhappy in their marriage after having kids, I mean they love their kids and their wives but feel so side-lined… and that is my worst fear. I think that fear rubs off on everyone around me that are having kids so early in their marriage and maybe it comes off very strong I feel bad if I am butting my nose in their business.
 

Post # 15
Member
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I’m so glad you had a talk with your husband, ladybug.  I bet that does make you feel better.  Now you can feel comfortable going into it. 

But now that you both ar open to reconsidering, I bet, you’ll wait 2 yrs -3 tops!

Post # 16
Member
3125 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I can identify with the feelings that you’re going through – it’s just so out of my realm to want babies so soon, that i find myself looking at newlyweds that do like they’re aliens.  I value security and comfort (I’m a taurus!) so the idea of having such a huge life change before completely ready is mortifying.  Friends that are in the process of building a house, new job, newlyweds, and want a new puppy scare me with their baby talk, mostly because if I were in that position I would need to be talked off the ledge.

 

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