Career before kids or kids before career

I have never questioned wanting to have a family. Although other aspects of my life I may have been uncertain about at times on this subject I have always been resolute. It’s not just that I want to have children though, I want to have children when I am ready, I want to have a plan. I am starting to question my plan.

Now that I am back in school Todd and I have discussed waiting to have children until I am finished with my masters. I have been comfortable with this decision, even with the concerns raised by some about my age becoming an issue (I will be 34 when I graduate). This morning Todd and I were watching the news while getting ready and they were talking about some of the student loan interest rates doubling. This got me thinking. I already know I am more than likely going to be taking out a student loan to help pay for school once enrolled in the program but I guess I have’nt given enough thought to what happens when I graduate. Naively I thought, I will graduate and then Todd and I can get pregnant and I will have our first child before entering the work force. The reason this made sense to me was because I would finally be finished with school and I thought it would be good to get out of the way before starting back to work. I don’t know what I was thinking. The truth is when I finish school I am going to have to start working immediately to supplement Todd’s income and start to pay back my student loans. Then it’s not like I can get pregnant and take a maternity leave as soon as I start with a new company.

Then I started thinking, Ok well maybe we could have our first child while I am in undergrad. The course load should be lighter than when I am working on my masters and I would have a little more flexibility in my scheudle to balance being at home with an infant and working on school work/going to class. Wrong again. I won’t be working which means Todd will now have to pay for everything he already does for our household plus my medical bills (through his insurance) and a baby. That is a lot to put on him financially. That doesn’t seem fair.

This is what led me to where I am now, sitting on my couch waiting for Todd to come home so I can bombard him with my anxiety about our future. Luckily Todd is an expert at untying my knots ( he must have been a boyscout or something). It’s just that when I made the decision to go back to school and finish my degree I knew it would mean waiting to start our family, I dont want “waiting” to turn into “sacraficing”. I am afraid of losing our chances at a family if we put it off too long. Everyone has heard or read the statistics about the risks involved with women over 35 having children. I don’t want to be a statistic.

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