Do I marry/have kids with longterm love if I'm not ready due to career?
March 21, 2014 9:57 AM Subscribe
I love my partner - we have known each other for over a decade and have been together for over five years. I am in my 30s and he wants to live together/get married and/or start a family. I have insisted we wait due to my graduate school (and later) career struggles. Now we are older and our time frame for children (if not settling down with children in mind later) is diminishing. I don't know the right thing to do - specifics inside...
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose to Human Relations (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
... I know this person is right for me. I recently left school, moved out of my parents home, and began my professional life at 30. I am struggling and want to make it work but feel I began my career too late in life. I am also living on my own for the first time and find it exciting. My partner wants us to live together at the very least, and ideally get married and start a family. He is willing to be the primary care parent, and even provider, though they did not finish high school and therefore have more limited prospects than I do. I feel torn because I would like to start a family but my career is still in the initial stages. Even if he is the primary care parent I still need time off during a crucial career period if pregnant. Both of us came from poverty and are trying hard to attain something more, so we do not have the financial resources or friend/family connections to smooth the journey. Also, I am not the sort who would be sad if I couldn't have kids, so I don't have a strong maternal urge guiding me.
I know having kids is important to him, and I also know I don't have many years left to give him that. I am scared not because I dislike babies but because I won't be able to work just as I am starting to break into something good. I feel child rearing and living with someone else will prevent me from focusing on work. I don't want to leave him but know it is wrong to make him wait if he wants a family - and he says he does not want to start over with anyone else. We have talked about it and he is being understanding but getting increasingly sad. Now I just feel like I keep stringing him along by the constant delaying, since my career is developing so slowly.
My question(s) is / are: can I make this work, or will I have to choose one over the other? If I must choose, how do I make a choice between such different life prospects? Have any of you made a choice and regretted it? Am I being needlessly short-sighted or selfish? What important things am I not thinking of but should?