Baby Talk

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What’s with all the baby talk, people?

I feel kind of really weird even writing this post.  Nick and I aren’t engaged or married but we have been dating for quite some time now (6+ years). At this point, getting engaged is just a formality - we finally know where I'll be going to school, he's been at his first job for almost a year, and it's in the near future (or so he says). 

We’ve had the marriage/babies/let’s-grow-old together talk MANY times throughout the years. So, what’s different is that all of a sudden, other people are bringing this stuff up- mostly the one about babies.

The way people bring up babies is usually in a passing comment that almost goes undetected in the grand scheme of conversation but taken collectively, these instances warrant some attention.  

I mentioned in a previous post that Nick bought a new car.  While taking a family friend for a quick spin around the neighborhood, the friend said something about the car being spacious with the backseat having enough room for car seats. WHOA. Did you just say car seats?  Then another friend said something about enjoying his new car now because before long, he’d be buying a mini-van. These are just a few of the comments...

Now before we get too ahead of ourselves...I love babies!  I love children of all ages and stages - minus teenagers. I could careless about them but I think most people would agree with that.  I’ve been babysitting and nannying and camp counseling since I was 13 so I am extremely comfortable with these adorable tiny humans.  But the thing that makes all of these activities so great is that at the end of the day, I get to give them a quick hug and relinquish them back to their parental units who unconditionally love and adore them. 

The problem is, I am entirely too selfish to have children right now and most days, I can barely take care of myself.  While I know the baby comments are being made with the future in mind (i.e. being married), it’s just a little shocking to hear all of a sudden. 

Recently I met a woman who was visiting from the South. She asked a little about me and we chatted for a bit until she asked if I was married or had children.  My response was, “Oh no...I’m only 23!  I’m too young to be married and have kids.”  This woman just started laughing and said, “Honey, when I was your age I already had three kids!”  I’ve actually had multiple conversations like this which usually end up with me looking foolish and judgmental. 

I want to have it all...just not right now.
The funny thing is, I never envisioned having this outlook on the subject of babies.  I always wanted to get married young and have babies young. I didn’t want to be an “old” mom like so many of my friends’ moms.  I wanted to be able to have the closeness in age that my mom and I have. 

On top of that, there is no “good” time to start a family while in medical school or residency.  Sure, there are times that are “better” but on the whole, adding to an already stressful period of your life is never going to be easy or comparable to someone not pursuing this field of work.  I guess this fact has daunted me to the point where all this baby talk has me thrown for a loop. 

I would be afraid to start a family knowing that a) I would not get to spend as much time with him/her as I would like, b) I would end up neglecting my school work and thus lower my chances of entering my residency and career of choice, and c) I would add to the stress, sleeplessness, and anxiety that already comes with med school and parenthood separately.  

The few woman doctors I’ve talked to have told me to wait until after residency to start a family.  Well then I’ll be 30 or 31.  I can hear that biological clock ticking already...that isn't gonna work for me either.  I really do want a family - just not now.

I don’t know what the right answer is or what the correct timing will be - like always, I’ll probably just wing it when the time comes.  I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’m behind the curve when it comes to marriage and babies. There are so many people in my med school class that already have children - maybe it will put me ahead of the curve? Less distractions. Who knows?!

 In the meantime, can we stop all the baby talk and just let me enjoy other people's kids for awhile longer?


  1. I completely understand this post. I'm 29 and I've been married for 2 years. I get the baby question ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately, when I say, "I'm 29, I'm too young for kids," I get eye rolls. ;)

    I think the biggest lesson I've had to learn, is that I don't want to have children just because everyone else is doing it, or because it's the right thing to do. I want to have children because I want children, not because I should.

    When it's the right time, you'll know. Until then, try to drown them out and just enjoy where you are at. You're right, you're only 23 and you have LOTS of time. :)

    1. You are so right! It seems like as soon as you are in a committed relationship (and as soon as you get married) people want to talk babies. Let everyone live!

      Like I said, I love kids but I want time to be a twenty-something and enjoy being married (hopefully soon) for a bit first!

  2. I've heard that a good time to start a family is at the beginning of residency - you can take time off for mat leave.

    But don't worry about any of that yet if it's not right for you! I agree with the "only 23" thing (I'm also only 23 and in no position to have kids). Take your time!

    1. The earliest I would consider having kids is 4th year when things aren't too busy. But yes - I've heard after intern year is the best time! Hopefully I go into a family friendly residency, although I've heard OB/Gyn isn't and it's one of my areas of interest.

      I don't know how people go into school with small children to care for - so much hard work!

  3. I'm 29 and have been married three years. When I turned 25, my "five year" plan was to meet my fiance by 28, get engaged a year later, get married by 30 and have my first baby by 32. I live in southern California so I think we're more progressive in having kids later in life (in comparison to other parts of the country). Anyway, of course this plan went to to crap, because I got married three weeks shy of my 26th birthday. And now I'm thinking next year will be a good time to start a family. 30 is not old. You have until 35 before you need to get worried. To me, it was important to build up my career and be settled before we get serious about kids (I'm in grad school right now).

    1. That's what happens when we try to plan our lives, I guess! Some unknown force comes in and turns everything on it's head! And I definitely think being in SoCal changes the outlook on when to start a family. It's babyland here in the Midwest!

      I do hope to be done having kids before my early 30s...I just don't want them for at least 2-3 more years. At least!