theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Living

December 12, 2012

We waited years before having kids. Big mistake?

(Continued)

I think about this all the time. Of course, there are the scenarios no parent wants to contemplate, like the possibility that mine or my husband's age will somehow contribute to one of our sons growing up to be autistic or severely depressive or schizophrenic. But the more mundane situations we can predict with some accuracy. And they are frightening enough: I will not be an empty nester until I'm at least 54, and that's optimistic. I will probably be taking care of my ailing parents while I'm still taking care of my growing kids. And I'll probably be in my late 60s by the time my kids start having kids (if they have them) and well into my 70s by the time my grandkids are fun to talk to and all wearing underwear. Whereas most of my grandparents lived to see me graduate from college, get married and start my family, it's quite possible I won't see any of that from my kids' kids.

Then there's this: "What haunts me about my children," writes Shulevitz, "is . . . the actuarial risk I run of dying before they're ready to face the world."

This is not exactly how I'd like things to go. And I'm not sure why I set myself up for it. I got married at 26. We delayed having kids for five years just . . . 'cause. Our friends weren't having them. I was, as the story goes, "focusing on my career." And it was fun to be young and married without too many responsibilities. But we would have made friends who had babies because that's what happens. And while I loved my young married years, it's not as if they created any sort of happy-times reserve that I can tap into now, whenever I am feeling annoyed that I can't just go out after work without booking a sitter two weeks in advance. Plus the physical advantages of being a young mom — to think how much kinder I could have been on my poor, poor old-lady back. As for my career, I have no way to predict what would-have-been-could-have-been had I started having kids at 27. Maybe I'd be wandering the streets, professionless in mom jeans right now, maybe not.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Living
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks
Poll

Are you pleased that Oklahoma has repealed Common Core standards for public school students?

Yes
No
     View Results