Thursday, September 2, 2010


In the past couple of weeks, two of our best friends and their spouses had babies.  The wife's best friend M and her husband M gave birth to little J.H.  And my cousin B and his wife K had an early surprise when their son E.C. (also my initials.  Coincidence?  I think not.), was born a few weeks earlier then expected.  Both parents are now home with their new sons, and everyone seems to be healthy, happy, and doing great.  One of the hardest parts about being in another state is not being able to share in the joy of new babies in person.  Pictures and phone calls are great, but it would be so much more fun to be there with them.  And, while they never say it out loud, with the arrival of new babies in the family and friends circle, I'm sure many people are wondering why the wife and I are babyless (that's a word, right?).

In my circle of friends and family my age, I was one of the earliest to get married.  And six great years later, I'm one of the last holdouts in the baby making category.  So, why have we waited so long, and why are we planning on waiting even longer before we have kids?  (I'll give my Mom a chance to pick herself off the floor after a panic-induced heart attack after the last part of that last sentence.)  Four main reasons come to mind.

1)  Financially speaking, we are not in a great place to have kids right now (and probably won't be for a couple of years).

Of the six years we've been married, we've only had one year where we were probably financially stable enough to consider having kids.  When we first got married, I still had one year of school remaining, and the wife was just starting her job.  We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment and drove less then reliable cars.  Kids didn't make much financial sense.  Year two I was starting a new job and we'd just bought a house.  Kids still didn't make sense at the time.  During year three we were a two income family with a house and two cars, so, financially speaking, we could have had kids and been fine.  But we didn't (mostly because of the reasons explained below).  Year four, with no kids, we decided that we were in a good place to be able to leave for law school, which bumped us back into the "it's not the wisest time to have kids financially speaking" category for three years.  After law school, we'll (probably) be moving back to Colorado and reentering the job market, so it may be a few years before we're back to a financially stable situation.

2)  We've never really had a long enough period of time of calm in our lives for the subject of having kids to make sense (or, life's stresses have always gotten in the way).

Year one was filled with learning how to be married, my finishing school, and the wife's new job stresses, so throwing the a kid into the mix would have been a big overload.  Year two was filled with my being in survival mode as a first-year teacher (and the wife was overcome with the stress of being married to a first-year teacher.  I think she got the tougher burden to carry that year.) and buying and fixing a house.

At the beginning of year three, we were in a less stressful phase of our lives, which lead to us getting a cat and a dog (usually the gateway drug for baby making).  But, eventually the wife's job stagnated, so we spent a year preparing for law school, and goal number one of that preparation was staying baby free.  The following couple of years were filled with the stresses of moving, law school, my new job, my being unemployed, my finding a great new job, etc.  All of which would have been much more difficult with a child.

3)  Married life without a kid is a ton of fun (or, less responsibility is a ton of fun).

One of my favorite comedians, John Heffron, has a bit about how he was at a point in his life where he had to choose between having a kid and buying a jet ski.  And he chose the jet ski.  At this point in my life, if I had to choose between having a kid and golf, baseball cards, nights at the ball park, weekly poker games, going out to eat as often as possible, spur of the moment trips/vacations, shopping sprees, hours on the couch watching tv and movies, blogging, etc., I'm going to pick the latter choices every time.  Would it be possible to do those things with a child in our lives?  Sure.  But it is so much easier to do them, and to do them more often, without the child.

4)  We're still relatively young and the so called "biological clock" hasn't really begun ticking.

Because we got married as youngsters, we were given a larger window in which we could have kids.  We live in a time where it's not imperative to have kids at an early age.  It's both scientifically possible and socially acceptable to have kids at an older age then ever before.  My parents were both in their thirties when they had my brother.  So the wife and I are in no hurry to have kids, biologically speaking.

With each passing year, the choice of having a kid becomes less and less appealing for many reasons, especially those listed above.  Will we have kids in the future?  More then likely.  But right now (and for the next couple of years), it just doesn't make sense for us. 


  1. It sounds like you have given this a lot of thought. Although, if you truly wait until kids make sense for you, you might not ever have them. Because they dont really make a sense.

    Are you getting pressure to have a child from someone?

  2. My only change to this would be to make the "more than likely" a "maybe".

    Well written, Pal!