Storks Everywhere – If and When To Have Kids? ” Planting Our PenniesPlanting Our Pennies

The big one on the right is the stork. He’s got about 4 other stork friends that usually come around at the same time.

One of the things that I love the most about our house is the small lake in backyard that we share with a handful of other homes and a good variety of wildlife.  We’ve had otters, bald eagles, and even roseate spoonbills.  But recently a small flock of storks has started to frequent our little patch of paradise and their timing could not be worse.

Instead of looking at them and appreciating the beauty of their funny shaped bodies and admiring how good they are at grabbing fish from the water – instead of that, I get reminded of a question I told myself about 3,000 days ago that I’d have the answer to sometime in the next 700 days.


If  and When To Have Kids?

I’m not sure why, but I always assumed I’d know my answer to this question by the time I was 32.  But having rounded the bend and formally entered into my thirties (gasp!), I’m finding I’m perhaps even more undecided than ever.

But unlike when we first got married when we were 26, the five year plans that we’re working with now seem to have a giant asterisk next to them that says:

* assuming status-quo on PoP family size – ie. us + Kitty PoP *

And the mental dialogue goes something like, “Well, if we do decide to have small PoPs in our lives, the financial prep work we’re doing now is certainly going to help with whatever that brings… right?”

Factors I Consider

Pain – Yup, I think about pain.  I have a back injury from a car accident a couple of years ago, and I’ve been told there’s a strong likelihood that it’ll worsen if I get pregnant, and the best treatment I have for the pain happens to cause birth defects, so I wouldn’t be able to use it.

Parenting – Would we be any good at it?  Would it depend largely on the personality of the child?  Would Mr. PoP and I be able to parent an extrovert effectively having grown up so introverted?

Money – Along with the back pain, there’s also a higher than average probability of bed rest if I were to get pregnant.  So in addition to actual child costs – I hear costs for the little buggers add up quickly – income losses would probably start months earlier as well.

Aversion To Change – We’re pretty happy with the current status quo.  2012 was a good year for us.  2013 is looking pretty bright.  We have a LOT of fun and don’t feel “unfulfilled” in any way.  What kind of risk to the satisfaction with our current dynamic would we br bringing in with such a huge change?

Hypothetical Kids’ Feelings – There’s not a whole lot in this world that could be worse than to feel as though they weren’t wanted or are a burden.  So if there was any epsilon chance that we didn’t want kids and had them, I worry that the kid would pick up on that and be immeasurably hurt by it.

I’m a bit of a scientist at heart, which leads me to (over?) research and analyze issues in search of optimal solutions.  So even though I’m no longer holding myself to the deadline that I’d have this question answered by the time I turn 32, this is still a huge subject to research, so I’m asking for a bit of help.

My Help Request

Knowing that Mr. PoP and I may come to very different decisions on having kids than you did (will do?), what are some of the factors that you considered in your decision process?  Were there any books or sources that you felt were instrumental in providing clarity?