Post # 1
First of all — I’m not pregnant! We will be married in less than 3 months and we’re both very excited to start a family. He just turned 31, I’ll be 27 next summer. I’ve been thinking lately about when we should start trying for a baby. I recognize that having childern is a huge adventure and I want to plan as much as I can for it. Fiance is on board to start trying immediately after the wedding; I am more hesitant and want to think it through.
Fiance and I plan to move back to my hometown (5000 miles away; where my family lives) in 5 years. To do this we will have to save $$$$ (hence our 5 year plan!) Ideally I would love to start having children when we live back in my hometown so I have a huge support system. However I’m starting to wonder if we should just get started here/where we live now. The idea of waiting 5 more years to start when we feel ready now just makes me sad. My fiance is the type of guy who is told all day long how he would make a great father and he is just SO excited for a family of his own (we own a business together and a ton of our customers are families w/ children) And I spoil my baby nieces/nephews because I love children SOOO much!
Pros: Cheaper cost of living (everything from childcare to food to healthcare is way cheaper here than it is back home/ I feel like this will help with the upfront costs of having children and I believe we will still be able to save for our move home)
Owning our own business, we work from home 4-5 days a week. We will not have this luxury when we move back home in 5 years as we anticipate going back to jobs where we work for other people..
We want children!
We have good private healthcare (that we pay for out of pocket ourselves but it’s affordable) and adding a baby on would be very affordable.
Cons: No support system really. 🙁
Small housing. We own a 3 bedroom house but rent that out for the full mortage. We live in an average size 1 bedroom apt which is a detachment from his parent’s weekend home. Moving from here is not an option as it is FREE. We think baby would sleep in crib in our bedroom. Which is fine. But it would be cramped.
Really the major con would be no support system.
Looking for some thoughts on those who had babies with essentially no family nearby. Looking for some insight, thoughts or even suggestions..
Post # 3
I have most of my family nearby, but my friend’s family lives pretty scattered. Her brother and sister in law have an 8 year old and they live halfway across the country. It’s hard, but as long as you have some sort of friends support system then that helps. It is convenient to be able to ask our daughter’s grandma or grandpa to watch her for a night so we can get out, but not ‘necessary.’ I think it’s a huge luxury to have family close by and I loved growing up with my family close, but I don’t think it’s a reason to put off having kids if you want kids now. Moving with a baby is going to be more difficult, but my husband moved across the country with a newborn DRIVING. (to be closer to family actually).
I’d say it’s doable, I know people who have done it. I would prefer to have family close by, but it’s up to you two and how long you want to wait. Five years is a long time to wait.
Post # 4
Most of my family is relatively close to where we are now (2-4 hours away). My Mother-In-Law is about 30-45 minutes away. But most of DH’s family lives 12+ hours by plane away, as they’re in Germany, Brazil (and next year Father-In-Law is moving to Kenya). So, if we stay around here, we’ll be far from some of our family. If we move to Germany, we’ll be close to DH’s family, but from from mine.Either way, we’re looking at traveling a lot to see family. It’s always been a fact of our relationship and future family.
A couple things to consider: could you possibly build on somehow to the apartment you’re living in (since it belongs to family)? Do you have a large enough closet that you could make that into the nursery and just live small? (there’s a really great piece on living in a small apartment with kids on OffBeat Mama, I just don’t have the link on me right now).
I think if you could stay with the baby in your current place until your child is about a year old, you could save up enough money (or grow your business enough) to start renting a 2 bedroom apartment at that point. If you have kids now, while you’re both home and able to swing your schedules enough to not use daycare, you could save $$. With a 2 bedroom, it’d be cozy, but you’d also have space for 2 kids 😉
Also, unrelated, but if you’re in the US (not sure), what insurance are you using? We’ve contemplated going the self-employed route for both of us, but haven’t found any good insurance, and so Darling Husband stays witth the corporate gig.
Post # 5
I didn’t, but my parents did. When I was very young my dad took an interstate job (and in Australia, “interstate” is a long way), and my parents always seemed to manage fine. I grew up only rarely seeing my relatives. My mother made friends and they were her support I guess, she often traded babysitting nights with friends so that my parents could regularly go out. These have been strong friendships – I’m over 40 and she still keeps contact with a lot of these friends, even those who now live overseas. Not everyone can make friends like my mother can, but if you do you can get a lot of support.
Post # 7
@S2013: See if your area has some mom’s support/social groups, sometimes hospitals run them for new moms – it’s a great way to meet other moms and get some support in all kinds of ways…advice, babysitting swaps, used clothes/gear, etc. We hope to set up a once-twice a month swap with another couple that has kids for date nights: one of us goes to their house after the kids eat dinner so the parents can go out, then we swap and one of them comes over so we can go out a few weeks later.
On the space situation: have you thought about exlusively using a Pack N’ Play for your crib? I have a friend who did that with her daughter, all the way until she was ready for a toddler bed, and it worked out really well. It also doubled as the changing station, and was less expesive and smaller than many cribs. She could keep it in her room, but it also rolls so if LO is asleep and you and Darling Husband want some “alone time” you can gently roll it out into the hallway or living room. Really, when it comes down to it kids don’t need very much to be just fine, though it’s hard to remember when the marketing machine goes to work on you 🙂
Post # 8
@S2013: I hear you! I’m currently 7 weeks pregnant and 8000 miles away from home, which translates into a 28 hour door to door trip, at a cost of $2500 roundtrip. We actually just moved here (Australia, home in South America) so its even worse cos havent even found a suitable home yet, have no friends yet and didnt even know how the medical system works here. We got pg on our very first try! We figured it take longer (we’re both over 40) thus we went ahead and tried anyway even though the “support system” wasn’t in place.
But you know what, you get round it all somehow. Yes with tears and homesickness, you get through it and you figure it out. I think that in life it’s extemeley difficult to plan for everything and having everything in control, in perfect circumstances and in check. Life has a way of always testing you and throwing things and challenges at you, specially when you resist to change and don’t leave your comfort zone. So my two cents are if you guys feel like having a child, go for it, don’t worry too much about the logistics. It works out somehow, love and will is what’s important.
Post # 9
I haven’t done it but my tattoo artist did. He (from Canada) and his wife had two kids here in Korea, I don’t recall their ages, but they’re ADORABLE!!! They do work really hard though, and he admits he doesn’t think they could do it if he wasn’t making enough for her to stay at home with them.
At last, they actually are planning to move back to Canada for a lot of reasons, and he said he will look forward to having support.
So I guess it’s harder, but doable? I assume at 14 hours away you’re expat(s) so check out expat networks for support systems you can build!
Post # 10
I moved away from my family in the Midwest to live in England when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I have a 7 month old daughter that none of them have ever met. Its hard. I wont lie and say its not. I miss my family greatly and its heartbreaking knowing that they are missing this special time in my daughters life. I takes tons of pictures and put them on the internet for them. I send them videos any time she does something cute or new and we try and skype regularly.
The best thing for me was to build a support network of friends here. Thats really what has saved me. Try local mom groups or play groups.
Post # 11
I’d like to keep reading these responses. Fiance and I are intercontinental, and, due to our circumstances, expect a tight few years and won’t be flying with any kids anywhere fast!
Post # 12
Thank you everyone, for the comments. As mentioned, I’m not pregnant yet but it just makes me SO sad to think about it. I’m already homesick enough already and to think about adding that to the mix is unnerving. However my fiance and I want to start a family together and I guess it’s all about growing up. Thankfully money is no issue so I could alfford to hire someone to help when the time comes, though naturally I would feel most comfortable with that person being at family member. I will probably go the route as hiring a “helper” so I can get things done but still am home with them.
Thanks again and welcome any other comments.
Post # 13
@Nickles9911: I have thought about using a pack’n’play for the crib. Our room is set up so there is a corner that it would fit perfectly in. And, we don’t even use one of our tall dressers right now so that would be nice for baby clothes. I definitely think the small space, tho cramped, could work.
Post # 14
@Mrs.Camera: We have Anthem BCBS. 🙂
Post # 15
You should base having kids are when you are ready to have kids. Alot can change in 5 years and things don’t always work out the way that you plan. My husband and I wanted to wait at least a year before we started trying to conceive. I ended up being 3 months preggos on my wedding day.
I am only a 4 hour plane ride from my mom who I am extremely close with and the only family that we have close by we don’t get along with. Our daughter is now 9 months old and whether I have family near or far it doesn’t change the fact on how happy she makes us or how much we love her.
Post # 16
@S2013: Thanks 🙂
ETA: Bummer, this isn’t available in Washington state!