My husband and I have been married for almost a year and whilst I am eager to start having children, my husband is not due to financial reasons.
Although we don’t have a lot of money, we do have enough to get by. We don’t have full time jobs as we’re both students, but will be qualified for well paying jobs by the end of the year, but will probably only begin full time work in early 2016.
Whilst I respect my husband’s fears about being financially ‘insecure’ when having a child, I’m really struggling to agree with him. I have a strong calling to motherhood and feel that God will provide for us if he blesses us with a child.
Can anyone shed some light on the right thing to do here? Please pray that I will have the patience to wait for my husband.
What I have done in the past, when I think it’s time to go a direction and hubby doesn’t agree, is to take it in prayer to God and be patient. Appreciate that time of waiting and soak it in. Remember when we experience an “I want something” and are required to wait, it’s a good exercise and discipline. You can offer that to God for the conversion of sinners, to strengthen the weak, to help souls in purgatory, etc. Maybe a fitting intention might be for teens to remain chaste and teen girls not seek abortion.
You’re right to think that you will manage if you have a child (which could easily happen whether or not that’s your husband’s plan). But on the other hand, your husband is correct that having a child is a very demanding enterprise, with lots of unexpected surprises. For instance, you could wind up with severe morning sickness, on bed rest or with a premature baby (lots of women do) and then find it pretty much impossible to get through your academic program. Even just normal pregnancy exhaustion can be a really bad combination with work or study. Likewise, a healthy baby is not something to be counted on. A sick baby or a disabled baby often requires one parent leaving the workforce for an extended period.
Also, even under the best of health circumstances, young couples often find it difficult to share the load of early parenting and housework. It’s very difficult when one member of the couple needs to be caring for the baby during all the baby’s waking hours while also getting everything else done that needs to be done, while at the same time the couple is so short on money that there’s never any money for a babysitter or a pizza. This can cause tremendous stress on a relationship. So, I’d say that your husband’s concerns are not unfounded and his timeline is also not unreasonable.
In the meantime, I would suggest perfecting your household routines (cooking and cleaning) as once you’ve got a baby, it’s good to be able to do that stuff without much thought.
No one else can really answer this. But some things to consider:
Do you have student loans that will kick in when you graduate?
Being qualified for a well paying job is not the same as actually having one. The job market isn’t exactly flourishing right now, especially for new grads.
Do you have good health insurance? (Recently there was a suspected problem with my pregnancy that turned out to be nothing, but ended up costing my insurance company over $10,000. :eek: And I haven’t even had the baby yet. I cannot imagine what we would have done without good insurance.)
You mentioned you don’t have full time jobs, but is either one of you working part time? How do you afford the basics now- food and housing?
Do you have any emergency savings?
If you are paying for health insurance, the premiums will increase once you have a baby.
Can you afford everything you will need for the baby, including formula in the event that you are unable or don’t want to breastfeed?
Xantippe has also offered good advice about potential pregnancy complications.
Personally, it’s not something I would have attempted, had I been married while in school. If it happens, that’s another story- people can and do make it work. But to try, I don’t think I would have. Being able to support yourselves is not unimportant, and the inability can be a good enough reason to postpone. I certainly understand the calling to motherhood, it can be very strong and difficult to put off. But sometimes it is prudent to really scrutinize out situations and consider whether we are making the most responsible decision.
It’s good to have a long term plan, but it would probably be helpful to take it month-by-month. Talk to your husband and pray, and each month that goes by, discern your situation together and revisit the following month.
My wife is pregnant with our 5th. It is a rough pregnancy for her. She also works full time and is getting an MBA in Dec. Add that to the 4 kids we already have and it is a lot to have on her plate. Our second child also had medical difficulties so all of Xantippe’s advice rings true. I cannot imagine my wife taking this on for our first pregnancy. Now it is ok. We have an ebb and flow that works for us and our marriage and family runs well. We are capable of handling the stress. I always want another child. Heck, when this one is born I will probably be angling for the next. But my wife needs time to recover and adjust.
I am curious though. These decisions should be made by the couple but many times the woman pretty much can get what she wants. Especially with NFP. So, just out of idle curiosity how does the NFP work with your husband? You have not tried to “lure him with your sex” (My wife’s phrase)? Or are you more altruistic and honest than most and are able to abstain during fertile time while your husband does not really want kids now?
I have to wonder if a year from now, or after you both have FT work, that he won’t use financial instability as a reason once again. You know: the need to plan and save money, get a nicer place and so on. You might tell him that there is no such thing as having every single financial situation planned for. You will have to deal with those issues forever so what is the deal with getting it right now?
You might compromise and give it one more year, but after that you expect to start having children. There is no such thing as perfect circumstances.
Explain what you are implying about NFPers by this comment… “Or are you more altruistic and honest than most and are able to abstain during fertile time while your husband does not really want kids now?”
Not all people who pracitce NFP are like that. In my experience many NFP people can indeed struggle with that issue.
Lets not get too wrapped up in that. I can certainly say that I regret wording it that way and the post does not even need that in there. Ignore it.
I think the OP can respond. It is just idle curiosity. One partner wants children now the other does not. That can be an NFP obsticle or hardship in a marriage. It is no more out of line to bring that up than to address financial student loans.
Though we cross swords on NFP please do not assume that we must always have to have the same battle.
My and my wife had twins when I was in graduate school. She stayed at home with the kiddos and I worked a part time job while in full time school. That was 10 years ago…My wife and I are still alive and so are the children. Obviously being married means both of your vocations are to be parents…I’m not big on the “financial waiting” excuse anyway, when is enough money enough? Doesn’t God know you’ll be having children? If you follow your vocation to the best of your ability (and for your and your husband that is to have kids, raise them to be holy children to give glory to God), then God will provide.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?…”
I found this rather insulting too. Both to “most” women who would try to “lure their husbands into sex” and to the men who would apparently mindlessly fall for it in the moment and forget all their financial concerns.
I am not the OP, but I can say there was a time when I wanted a baby more, and he didn’t feel it was prudent. Looking back, I believe that he was right. But I never once tried to use sex to lure him into having a baby before we both were on the same page, and was always forthcoming about my cycle so that he was informed. Even if I had, he has too much self-control to “fall” for something like that. Additionally (and I think this is important) when you truly do have good reasons for avoiding, as much as you might want to be intimate, it is easier to avoid, no matter who wants a child more. In a good marriage, husbands and wives respect each other and discern together, and there is no need for childish trickery.
People do make it work even under very unfavorable conditions (I know a family that for at least a little while, had four children supported largely on a grad student stipend), but it’s a very predictable source of strain on young marriages.
The good news is that a lot of times, the abstinence works a change of heart…
Another important question is, what are your peers doing? If everybody your age is out having fun, it’s grim going through the sacrifices involved in having a baby early in life, but if you know a lot of young families already, it can actually be very fun having babies together.
One more thing–in case childcare help from grandparents is part of your mental plan, be aware that there can be a lot of bait-and-switch from the grandmas and the grandpas. One often hears from young parents who were begged to have babies by their parents and promised the sun, moon and stars, but once the babies are born, grandma and grandpa are nowhere to be found. I don’t think it’s malice–it’s just that the idea of having grandchildren or buying cute little clothes is sometimes much more exciting than the reality of actually spending time with grandchildren.
I would (in this and other areas of life) make plans without taking into account promises from parents.
It’s something you’ll have to put some real forethought into so you are at least being realistic about certain things. You say that “We don’t have full time jobs as we’re both students, but will be qualified for well paying jobs by the end of the year, but will probably only begin full time work in early 2016.”
Everything that a child involves may mean that your career plans may not go that way or may have to be put off until your hubby is capable of carrying a family on his wage while you continue your own career development. You have to ask yourself also about how you will cope with the idea of fulltime daycare for your child while you both have fulltime careers.
It also depends on how long your hubby is asking you to wait. A year or so seems reasonable as men often do feel a responsibility to have a tangible prospect of being able to support a family. A few years on the other hand, might be being a bit 'what was the point of getting married’ish. Someone earlier suggested developing the essentials that make motherhood easier and calmer, like being a competent house organiser and cook etc, while you are waiting. His confidence that you will be on top of things when a baby arrives might help in compromising.
HD is always looking for ways to question the fundamental virtue of NFPers.
I apologize that my wording and phrasing has caused confusion and argument on this thread. Some of it goes back to other threads and it should not be in play here.
Is this an issue in NFP for you guys? When I used NFP and we disagreed about having a child it was a stress. When I was an NFP instructor I found this to be a stressor for some couples. Since your post is directly related to when only one is ready to start a family I think it is quite on the subject to address how this might play into NFP practice. Is you husband more into participating in NFP because he is wanting to avoid?
Continue praying, asking the Holy Spirit to help your husband be open to the possibility, to not be afraid. We have a priest from South America in our parish and he commented about how in the states we have to have 20 safety nets in place before having a kid, but in his country people would simply welcome children as blessings and would be lucky if they had any savings at all.
It is healthy and normal for you to be wanting to receive children. Marriage is ordered toward procreation, and fertility is a gift that is finite! I can share my experience that both of us being open to children from the beginning has definitely helped our marriage be stronger. We went through being without a job, etc etc… there has never been a really perfect time to have kids, but God has always provided. There are some people on here that have had children while studying. I shadowed a doctor that had children in medical school. It is true, there are many unknowns, but that is part of where trusting in God comes in. Being open to changes in plans, to the possibility that His plans being different than ours… this all helps. I understand your frustration, and I don’t think you are being unreasonable, but I also understand why your husband feels this way, especially in the society in which we live.
Keep praying, love your husband, be patient with him, talk about it, and pray some more!
You guessed it, we’re Australian.
So, we do have student loans, but because I will never have a full-time job (I plan to homeschool in future), I will never have to pay mine back. Hubby’s student loan will kick in once he works full time, but the repayment is so small that most people don’t notice it.
As for potential illness, we have amazing public health care in Australia and I really wouldn’t need private health insurance.
At the moment we get by on part time jobs and social services (because we’re still students we get money from the government). It’s not much, but we enjoy the humble lifestyle.
We already have most of the big items for a baby (I’ve wanted to be a mother since I could walk, so I’ve been collecting things along the way). I definitely plan to breastfeed for as long as possible, and use cloth nappies (I think you call them diapers in the US) to save money.