We live in a community of 20 college students with their wives, five of whom don't have children. The children in this community range in age from newborn to nine years old. There were ten babies born this year alone. It's easy when surrounded by all these young children, particularly the babies, to start wishing that I was a mother too. The support that I've seen this community show to families with newborns is beautiful and admittedly very tempting to be on the receiving end of, particularly for a first child.
But I don't want to be influenced into starting a family just because I'm jealous of the mothers around me. I do want to be a mother one day, but I don't think we should try to become parents just yet. Just because most of the people living around me in our community have children doesn't mean that I should have children now too. In fact that's a pretty selfish motivation to create a new life.
I recognise that my wistful desire to have children now is selfish. Sometimes I think it would be a great way of getting out of the hard things to come next year and beyond. If I had a child now I wouldn't have to have a career, and that's okay with me.
J and I have been married for nearly a year and a half now. I know people who have had children earlier than that in their marriage, but I want more time as just the two of us. I don't want to add to our family just yet. Because babies change things. Once you're a parent you can't ever go back to the life you had before children. And it would be unfair to J to have a child now for the wrong reasons because it absolutely would affect his study. This isn't something that would affect only myself.
Without the right motivation (or God's influence), having a child now is selfish. For now I know I will enjoy living in this community of many children, playing with them, baby-sitting them, and learning about parenting from their parents. As a non-parent I know that I don't see all the sides of parenting. I don't have to clean up vomit, change dirty nappies or discipline a stubborn child. I am glad that when the baby start crying I can hand him back to his mother!