Right after I married my husband I got the same piece of marriage advice from multiple friends and family members…
Wait a little why to start having kids.”
At the time I was a little annoyed. Did they think I wouldn’t be a good mom? Were they insinuating I wasn’t ready and needed to grow up first? No, that’s not what they meant. Now, four years and two babies later, I finally get it.
We needed to grow together.
Having a baby is difficult and having a strong foundation makes all the difference. Being on the same page is important when doing things like creating human life. The years we spent getting to know each other helped make things easier today, like when I need a break from the kids or when he needs some time to unwind from work. We can communicate almost without words at this point.
We needed to have fun.
Nick and I spent the first two years together traveling, eating out and being spontaneous … all things that become exponentially harder once you have kids. We tried to keep up traveling, but have you ever taken a red eye with a one year old? Or driven six hours crammed in the back of a Honda Civic between two car seats? Suddenly, traveling doesn’t become as fun as it once was. Plus, eating out is less fun when one kids is crying and the other is throwing their $6 kid’s meal on the ground.
We needed to get our finances straight.
With $20,000 in student loan debt, we had some work to do. Also, bulking up our savings was important. Kids are crazy expensive. We found out Emerson has a heart condition. BOOM. $400 for a test and to see a specialist. Emerson has a allergy. BOOM. $$ for an EpiPen. Sippy cups, formula, snacks, diapers, wipes, clothing, speech therapy, baby shampoo. Everything costs money and you have to really budget.
We needed to get our priorities straight.
I was only 20 when I got married. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do forever and didn’t have a clear path. Having time to start a career and find out who I was as a person was extremely beneficial. The same goes for my husband, and I truly believe it has made us better parents.
I’m now at the age where lots of my friends are starting to get married. When they ask me for marriage advice I say the same thing I once rolled my eyes at, “Wait a little why to start having kids.”
Disclaimer: I have many friends who had babies shortly after getting married, and they are some of the best moms I know.