It seems like everyone in our lives right now is having babies. Siblings, cousins, friends, everywhere we look there are sonogram photos and birth announcements popping up. Babies are on everyone’s minds, and T and I have been asked more times than we can count when it’s going to be our turn. Both of us have always known that we would be parents one day, even before we knew each other, and while we look forward to that day very much, we’re not ready yet. Here’s why we’ll definitely be expanding our family eventually, but not right this moment.
1. We’ve always envisioned living in a house with our kids… but right now we’re cool with our apartment. Both T and I grew up in single-family homes with yards where we spent hours playing outside with our siblings and friends. We took piano lessons and played wind instruments, and my brother shot hoops on the driveway (and sometimes in the house). We want to give our kids all of the freedom that comes with living in a house that we own, with a yard and everything. Right now though, we live in a one-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, sharp corners, and two shared walls, which is not super conducive to small children, or really more than two people at all.
2. We dream of the activities we’ll do as a family… but right now we’re enjoying our friends. We are constantly coming up with ideas for things we would want to do with our children. From memberships at kid-friendly museums to travel destinations to books we’ll read to science projects we’ll do, by the time we actually have kids our list will be long enough to last their entire childhoods. But in the past couple of years we have developed some great friendships, and we like being able to go to parties with them, sit around talking about church stuff for hours, or make impromptu late-night trips to Applebee’s after choir rehearsal on a Wednesday night.
We’d like our Disneyland trips to look like this for a little while longer.
3. We hope to give our kids a comfortable lifestyle… but right now we’re still trying to prepare for that. Living in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive places in the entire United States, can make it really difficult to get ahead financially. It’s hard to save money towards a house when a third of your paycheck goes to rent alone. We’re doing our best, and over the past several months we’ve definitely seen an improvement, especially once I became the choir director at our church. Our hope is to save enough to buy a house in a less expensive area, but that also means we need jobs in that area. It’s a process.
4. We look forward to taking our kids to their games and concerts… but right now our evenings and weekends are full of our own activities. It should be no surprise that T and I are incredibly busy people. By default, our schedule includes three and a half nights a week doing church activities (the half comes from middle school ministry every other week). On top of that, I sometimes have rehearsals for shows or for the San Francisco Symphony Chorus that require me to miss even the things I already had planned. On the nights we would otherwise be free, we usually have at least one social gathering to go to, and occasionally we even spend a night at home together (how revolutionary). On the weekends, we like sleeping in, being lazy, and spending entire days watching Friday Night Lights. We know those things will change when we have kids, and that’s okay, but first we want to feel that we’ve lived our own lives the way we wanted, because once the kids come, our lives won’t be our own anymore.
Also, T likes naps way too much to be ready for kids.
5. We want to have our own children to love and care for… but right now we’re practicing on the new babies in our family. T’s older brother and his wife recently had their first baby, and two of my cousins have also had their firstborns within the past six months. We’re looking forward to the day when our kids will meet their cousins for the first time, but I have to say, it’s fun to be auntie and uncle for now.
Someday this will be us with our baby, but for now we’re happy to snuggle baby T, our nephew.
6. We can’t wait to talk to our kids about Jesus… but right now we feel our calling is with the youth group. Two years ago, when T and I first started volunteering as youth leaders, we had no idea what a blessing it would be to us. Both of us have grown so much in our faith because of it, and we have seen a lot of growth in our students as well. We love them and always look forward to the time that we get to spend with them, whether we’re playing games, doing Bible study, having a Christmas party, or going on fun and crazy events like houseboats. Having a baby would limit our time with the students, and while we know that will happen one day, right now we’re invested in these kids.
We already have 20 teenagers.
What about you? Do you want kids, but not right now? If you have kids, how did you know you were ready for them?