Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, a high school principal offers his advice to a woman hesitant about motherhood. If you want to throw your hat into the ring, you can submit questions here.
This week's question:
I don't know if I want to have any kids. My boyfriend does. He'd like to start a family by the time he's thirty (in about five years). I know I don't want any children at this time. I guess I've always thought I'd have kids eventually. Sometimes I like the idea, but what if the desire for motherhood never really kicks in? I can't have a baby and think, "Oh wait, I don't really want this anymore." I don't want to resent my child, or my husband. How am I supposed to commit totally to a relationship when I don't know if we have the same goals for the future? Should I be worried about this now?
Signed, Confused About Kids
To see the high school principal's answer,
Dear Confused About Kids,
During my 30 years in education I have watched the lives of young people unfold in unique and unexpected ways. While much time has passed since high school, your early twenties are still a formative stage of your life and career. You should feel good about what you are struggling with, for it is a sign of maturity and emotional depth. However, before you jump in and tackle the idea of having children with your boyfriend, you might want to take on a broader discussion of where you are in your relationship.
There are many issues to ponder, so I suggest you do a little homework. And as is true with school, there are fun ways to learn. To further understand each others' intimate thoughts, you could play a game over dinner asking each other questions like, "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?" If either of you are from a large family, chat about how things might have been different if you or he were an only child. You could also ask each other to describe the ideal vacation. If he says it is a two week camping trip in the mountains and you are a sun and sand kind of girl, you better start talking. A little game like this could lead to a deeper discussion about the future and help you both decide if you are meant to live your lives together.
You certainly don’t have to come to a decision now about children, but if you harbor strong feelings on the subject you owe it to your boyfriend to express how you feel; you must come to some understanding before moving forward with your relationship. Good luck!
Signed, A High School Principal