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“Making a decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”~ Elizabeth Stone
Why is it that the minute you get married or enter into a committed relationship, people – your parents, friends, co-workers, doctors, pastor, neighbors, and even the mailman begin to ask you when you’re going to have kids? This is especially true if you are in your 20s because people naturally assume that if you’re young, healthy, and in a committed relationship, you should get pregnant – the sooner, the better.
More specifically, these “Nosy Nancys” believe that if you’re 20-something and in love, your primary goal should be to fill your home with the giggles of sweet babies. So, what do they do? Ask you when you’re going to “add to your family” every. single. time. they see you. Really? Frustrating much? Absolutely!
Take a pause
However, in a way, it does make sense to start a family in your 20s. Why? Because, most women and men are their healthiest in their 20s, which means healthier eggs and sperm. You are also better equipped to stay up late with a crying infant and move around with a toddler aka get on the ground and roll around with him or her. These things can be more challenging for “older parents.” Hey, let’s be honest, once you hit your 30s, things slow down…way down.
So, what does this mean for a young, vibrant woman, who may want to be a “Mom” one day, or the young, active man, who’s always dreamed of being a “Dad?” It means the pressure is constantly mounting to “get pregnant.” And, believe me; this pressure is real and heavy.
It’s important, however, to at least acknowledge the benefits of waiting to have kids.
For instance, “older parents” typically have more wisdom and money. They also tend to have a lot of patience, which every person needs in abundance when “parenting” young and older children. These things also matter, but most people dismiss them, opting to focus almost exclusively on the idea of healthy eggs and sperm.
If you’re wondering if you should get pregnant in your 20s, look no more, this article can help you decide when it’s the right time for you to “get pregnant” – regardless of the pressure.
Read the longer version
You can learn more about pressure to get pregnant in your 20s, the benefits of getting pregnant in your 20s, pressure to get pregnant before 30, and how to deal with pressure to start a family by reading the following articles: Ways to Deal with Societal Pressure to Get Pregnant by Bonobology, The Pressure of Getting Pregnant by Professor’s House, When In-Laws Pressure You to Have a Child by Family Education, How to Cope When People Ask When You’re Going to Have Kids by Very Well Family, and Age and Fertility: Getting Pregnant in Your 20s by Baby Center.
Practice mindful meditation
When the pressure becomes too intense for you to bear, practice mindful meditation. Go somewhere quiet and private, close your eyes, and think about positive experiences, people, images, and events. If nothing comes to mind, focus on a specific word or phrase (mantra).
Keep saying that word or phrase until you are able to replace negative thoughts and feelings with more positive ones. The goal is to go someplace inside yourself where you feel safe and secure. The aim is to restore balance and peace in your life – peace that has been stripped away by the pressure to “get pregnant” before 30.
Set healthy boundaries
One way to cope with the pressure to start a family in your 20s is to set healthy boundaries with the people who stress you out. In other words, limit contact with the people who continue to pressure you to have kids. But, for those you can’t necessarily get away from (like family members and close friends), explain to them that it stresses you when they keep asking when you’re going to get pregnant.
Also, explain to them that you get why they are so anxious for you to have kids while you’re still young, but that the timing should be determined by you and your partner – not them. Be polite and respectful but also clear and firm with them. Lastly, reassure your loved ones and close friends that they’ll be the first ones to find out when you finally do get pregnant. Then, ask them not to question you about pregnancy until they hear the news from you. If they continue to pester you about getting pregnant before 30, it may be time to limit their access to you.
Lean on your partner
If you want to successfully combat pressure to “get pregnant” by 30, you’ll need to lean on your partner for support. No one understands what you’re going through better than him or her, because it is probably also affecting him or her. So, talk to your partner and tell him or her how the pressure is making you feel.
Be honest and open with your partner, and discuss when you’d like to start a family. Societal pressure can be overwhelming, but familial pressure can be even more daunting, so you’ll need each other to make it through the rough waters of “when to start a family.”
Remind each other that you are in it together, and focus on each other and your relationship. If you’re focused on each other, it’s harder for the naysayers to get into your mind and come between you. You have each other and you’ll know when it is the right time for you to get pregnant. Go with your gut, not with what others say, and you’ll be just fine.
About the Author
Dr. R. Y. Langham
Ph.D. in Family Psychology
Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
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