How Long Should We Wait Before We Have Kids?


So how long after marriage should you wait before having kids?

Whether you’re newlyweds or have been married for years now, the answer depends on your unique situation. We can’t give you a definitive time frame, but we can give you and your spouse some important things to consider. Having children is a highly individual decision, and it’s one you should make carefully.

Before we get started, the most important thing to keep in mind is that this decision is yours to make as a couple. No outside source can tell you the right time for you. Instead, it’s crucial for the two of you to stick together as you make this decision.

What If My Spouse Wants Kids Before I Do? (Or, What If My Spouse Isn’t Ready For Kids When I Am?)

So what happens when one of you wants children, but the other is hesitant? First, it’s important to avoid trying to sway your spouse to your “side.” Instead, commit to being open and honest with each other.

Talk together, and truly listen, to better understand one another. It’s important for both of you to feel heard and understood. Don’t pressure your partner to see your side, but be vulnerable in sharing your feelings.

If you still aren’t on the same page by the end of this discussion, we suggest setting a time frame for when you’ll revisit the topic. Put it on the calendar, then stick to it. You might need to revisit the topic more than once over time, but it’s important for both of you to feel at ease with your decision when you do decide to have children.

What If All Our Friends Are Having Kids Already?

It’s easy to compare yourselves to other couples you know, especially if your friends are having kids and you aren’t. While it’s tempting to try to “keep up,” your pacing might simply be different than your peers’. And, it’s understandable that you and your friends might want to be able to raise your kids together.

Still, when it comes to having kids, the best timing varies from one couple to the next. Some couples start having children immediately because they’ve chosen to do so. Others wait until after schooling is done, careers have stabilized, or finances are in order. The best decision is ultimately up to you.

How Do We Respond To Family Pressure?

If parents, in-laws, or other family members are pressuring you to have kids sooner, remember this is a decision you and your spouse are making together. Gently remind your family when they push for an answer. You could say something like, “Mom, we love you, but this is our decision to make on our time. We understand how excited you are for grandchildren. When the time is right, we’ll celebrate together.”

But if your families continue applying pressure, you might need to set firmer boundaries. For example, the topic of having kids might need to be off-limits for a time. Ultimately, you and your spouse get to decide what’s most appropriate.

Becoming The Parent You Want To Be

Regardless of when you decide to have children, it’s important to focus on growing into the kind of parent you want to be for them. Our book, The Parent You Want To Be, is a guide to choosing and modeling the kind of person you want your kids to grow into. You can start that process any time.

Want to know more? Take a look at the book and get your copy here.

Do you and your spouse have children yet? Why or why not? How did you decide when to have them? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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