Starting a family and wedding day grief
Tell Me About It – Kate Holmquist answers your questions
Q My wife and I are in our mid-30s and got married last year. We’ve had a nice lifestyle and have been able to afford to travel and eat out. Now, we’re thinking seriously about having a family. I’m not sure we’re anywhere near ready.
We’re swamped with negative equity in a smallish apartment in a gritty part of Dublin. I am employed but my wife’s job is very shaky. Life feels so chaotic and stressful as it is; I worry that starting a family might be just too much. My wife feels much the same – but then reminds me that the biological clock is ticking in the background.
A Many people just let families happen, but you’re being quite unselfish by seeing children as a choice rather than an inevitability. A hardnosed financial view would be to wait for property prices to rise and use contraception, but you must follow your heart, not your head.
- My daughter and family are moving in with me, but for how long?
- We have no sort of life in the bedroom
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There is no going back if you delay and find yourselves in your late 30s with the expense of fertility treatment and the likelihood of no baby at the end of it.
“Deciding to start a family is a major life-stage decision and this couple are right to be concerned if they feel overly financially burdened with inadequate living accommodation for a growing family,” advises Bernadette Ryan, psychotherapist with Relationships Ireland, and also a parent.
“You need to pay attention to this feeling of being overwhelmed and address it first. These feelings of stress and chaos will not disappear with the birth of a baby but most likely will exacerbate,” Ryan says.
Look at your life and make it more manageable – this is easier said than done but possible. Even a glass-half-full attitude can help. Disliking where you live when you are in negative equity is making you feel trapped, while your wife’s shaky job – if you rely on her income – is hardly going to become steadier with new parenthood. There are thousands of couples just like you.
But there’s never a good time to have a baby, and while you clearly want the best for your (prospective) child – including a better address – your child won’t care where it lives as long as it is loved and within a few years, your circumstances may have improved.
Looking back on your lives in years to come, what will you most cherish – having prioritised financial pressures, or having muddled through like most parents? You will need support, should you decide to go ahead, but there is plenty of it out there.
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