(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)
Get a job, get married, have a kid. That's the natural progression of life...or is it? Many don't see it that way. The best outcome of the feminist movement was that it empowered women to stay single or have a family as they saw fit. Yet even today, women are pressured to fit into the typical mold of becoming a wife and mother. While that may be the path for some women, to others, children are a threat to their desired lifestyle. So what is the better choice for you?
You enjoy your freedom to take a spontaneous road trip, to stay out late drinking with your friends, to move as you please, to advance your career, and most importantly, to not have to take care of anyone besides yourself. Those are all very legitimate reasons to stay kid-less and carefree. Even if you find the right person to spend your life with, you do not have to settle down and have kids. It is possible to have a fulfilling, loving relationship without ever worrying about convertible cribs and college funds.
The beauty about waiting to have kids is that you can always change your mind (because you can’t un-birth a child, if afterward you decide you aren’t ready for the responsibility). Enjoy the ability to take your time on making big decisions. Yet if you never decide to have a child, you are no worse for the wear.
Starting a Family
There are as many misconceptions about having kids as there are about not having kids. It is true that it becomes harder to travel once you have children. However, it is possible. Just like it is possible to maintain your maintain your personality and hobbies and dreams. Upon giving birth, you do not automatically become a militant mommy: the kind of mother who gives up everything that made her who she was in the pre-baby years, who becomes obsessed with preschools and pull-ups.
Because more and more people are waiting until their mid- to late-30s to start a family, they are able to establish their careers and get some of their wilder urges out of the way long before the stroller-days arrive. Yet, even then, parents may find themselves limited by what they are able to do. The cancellation of a babysitter can throw your plans for a loop, regardless of its importance. Also, while many employers try to be “family-friendly,” having to take time off for doctor’s appointments and classroom parties (not to mention, limited time to travel for work) can inhibit your climb up the corporate ladder.
In conclusion, you may be thinking, “this wasn’t helpful at all. You didn’t say which is the best option for me.” Well, of course I didn’t. Choosing whether or not to have children is not something the Internet can help you with, silly. Rather, the purpose of this article is to show you that there are benefits and drawbacks to either lifestyle. In the end, all that matters is how you feel about your life, what you want to accomplish, and what your vision for the future looks like.