Should I Have Kids?
Amy Cao Smith

I would like to say that nothing is certain in life. I had my son when I was 26 which was either too early or too late compared to some of my friends. I was just starting my career and was engaged to my son’s father when I got pregnant and thought my life was pretty much set — I have always really wanted to be a mom. Needless to say I lost my job and my fiancee within the year I had my son — it would have seemed as if all was lost. With no partner, no career, no home and a huge student debt I became a bit depressed about the “awful” way my life turned out and could have let it spiral downward from there. My son was the one thing that pulled me out of despair to be honest, I was able to get a job in my field through a university friend, I bought a small condo, settled custody with my ex and within 3 years was debt free and in a long term relationship with my current husband. The most precious thing in my life is my son (who is 9 now) he is extremely bright and caring and is the light of my life. My point is life will throw you curve balls. When you are ready to have kids don’t wait until all the cards have been set perfectly (we cannot have mini -mes in perpetuity — our ovaries do have a shelf life). No pressure but when you know you want to have kids don’t let circumstances stop you — nothing is certain (the career , the marriage) as a parent you will do the best with what you have whether you live in 3000 s.f. home in the suburbs with a perfect husband or if you are single living in a crappy apartment. Raising kids is one of the most fulfilling (and humbling) life changing experiences any person can undertake. Don’t think you have to pick between having kids or having a good career with a “care-free” life (whatever that is) — you can still have that and more with kids — it doesn’t need to be one or the other. And as for the “freedom” aspect of forgoing children I just got back from vacationing in Belize solo for a week (son and husband stayed home for work and school) so you can still have some autonomy it just wont be as clean and predictable — but who really wants that anyway. This society puts way too much emphasis on self promotion and autonomy — we are social beings we are meant to care for and be cared for by others. Any way do what is right for you — what you want really matters. When you know you want to have kids you will know, just don’t think you have to have everything figured out before you start.

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