Dear Relationship Expert,
First I would like to thank you for being here for people who need advice about pregnancy. I appreciate it and I am sure everyone else does as well. I am a 20-year-old college student and I want a child. I know that I can not financially provide for a child and that is why my plan is and has always been to wait another 6 or 7 years before I have a child. I will be done with school, have a good job and be financially prepared.
On the other hand, I just really want a child. I feel so incomplete because I am not a mother. I'm not in a serious relationship, nor am I married and I don't have my own place. There are so many reasons for me to tell myself to wait, but the desire is so strong. I am thinking it is because my life is so preoccupied with kids right now; most of my friends have kids and I have four nieces that I absolutely adore. I still want a child of my own.
I babysit a lot and have been taking care of my younger cousins through the years so I know how hard it is to raise a child. I told myself that I would never be like those girls from my home town who had babies in or right after high school because I have too much to accomplish, but now none of that matters to me. What should I do?
Thank you in advance for your advice,
You sound like a lovely person who would make a great parent. It feels like you are really good with kids.
Maybe finding a partner is a tough thing to do and being a parent would be more fun. Maybe getting out there and meeting people is hard. Just think how much more you could give your baby if you had a great partner to share the baby with and for the baby to share with you. Think about when they are ready to go to college and you will have the money to send them and they will have the confidence they can make it in college because their parents did. Maybe you have a partner so you find it hard to wait. In that case I am way off base. Still think about what you could avoid if you had a child. Is it something you need to work on?
Maybe you need to find some new friends without kids to hang with until you finish college. If you are in a hurry to have a child maybe you could stay up late in the hours you would be up with a new baby and apply yourself and finish college earlier?
Hope this helps. I don't know a lot about you so I may be missing something. I am pretty sure you can make a good decision. Good luck to you and let me know what you decide.
Carol Ummel-Lindquist, author of Happily Married with Kids: It's Not Just a Fairy Tale, received a Masters and Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois and completed a pre-doctoral clinical internship at the University Psychological and Counseling Services in Champaign-Urbana. She is a board-certified clinical psychologist and a Professor Emerita of psychology at California State Fullerton, where she has trained other marital therapists for more than twenty years.
Dr. Lindquist retired from California State University Fullerton to devote her time to private practice, workshops for couples with children and completing a book "Happily Married With Children", published by Berkley Press. She lives with her husband and two sons in Laguna Beach, California.