Single and married women alike today have something new in common: Roughly half of each group is undecided about having kids. If this describes you, you are not alone – 2014 saw the largest annual birth rate drop since the U.S. Census began.
Ultimately, it is totally fine to not know yet if you want kids, or even to be sure you don’t. Here are 10 of the most common reasons women today say they are on the fence about having kids.
You adore travel.
If you don’t fancy trading in your exotic intercontinental travel plans for a nonstop, non-glamorous domestic itinerary of washer-to-dryer round trips, it may not yet be the right time for you to have kids.
You can’t imagine life without wine.
Let’s try a little meditation. Sit in a comfortable position. Breathe deeply in and out a few times. Visualize nine long months without a single sip of wine. If this part doesn’t sound fun, you might want to postpone having kids for a bit (or a lot) longer.
You can’t imagine life without sex.
Oh yes. Or, rather, oh no….as in, oh no, where did all the sex go? And is it ever coming back? With the average new mom waiting 120 days or longer after giving birth to resume intimacy (due to pain, discomfort, body image issues, sleep deprivation and other factors), this is a valid question, and one you may not ever want to hear yourself asking.
You are loving your slim and trim figure.
In addition to the eight to 11 pounds or so of actual baby in your belly, you can expect to gain anywhere from 17 to 26 extra pounds during your pregnancy (up to nine of which will likely be pure stored fat).
You are single and “actively looking.”
Dudes with baby strollers in Central Park (or anywhere) still retain a fairly decent chance of scoring a date. But gals with a stroller may all too easily find their park time dominated by doting grannies instead. Not to mention that the moment you conceive, your mind may readily turn from fantasies of necking to fantasies of napping for the foreseeable future.
You enjoy taking the time to prepare gourmet meals.
You will still have the task of preparing meals, but the gourmet aspect will likely look a lot more like pureed apples and squash than mint-parsley ceviche or shrimp bouillabaisse.
You like checking your bank balance and watching it grow.
Recent estimates show that having and raising one child tends to cost the average family around a quarter of a million dollars (and that figure doesn’t include college tuition).
You are super happy in your relationship.
Guess what 67 percent of couples cite as a major cause of relationship discord? If you guessed it’s having kids, you’re right. In other words, if the phrase “marital slump” doesn’t sound appealing, you might want to move any thoughts of having a baby to the back burner.
You are pretty (or very) happy with the way your life is now.
If you have a kid, prepare for all that to change, unless you can afford the kind of star-studded post-delivery care that makes your actual hands-on participation in parenting a totally optional task. The harsher reality is that most new parents report a significant reduction in their own personal sense of well-being following the birth of their first child. Eep!
You think the world is already overpopulated.