OK, this is just wrong. You definitely DON'T want to tell family members you are writing an advice column when you start writing an advice column because then this might happen: You get a letter from one person who you suspect MIGHT be your brother, and you answer it. Later, you discover it WAS your brother who wrote the letter.
And about a week later, you get another interesting letter and you respond to it, not thinking anything of it, just responding as truthfully as you feel you can, and then you discover it is from the WIFE OF YOUR BROTHER (AKA YOUR SISTER IN LAW!) WHO WROTE THE ORIGINAL LETTER and YOU HAVE JUST GIVEN THEM COMPLETELY OPPOSITE ADVICE!
Here are the letters --
Should I throw in the towel now?
Dad or Not?
Dear Manic Mommy: WHEN SHOULD WE START? I am just around the corner from turning 30 and my wife is too. We have recently talked about starting a family. We actually have some names picked out. Sometimes we both like the idea and other times we can't imagine having kids. I talk to my siblings and they make it sound like a pain in the A** (up all night, no sleep, no social life, etc). But then I think about my family and my parent's age. My parents are almost 70 and the thought of not having them around for much longer scares me. Recently my father had an accident and I was not sure if he would make it. I see how much enjoyment my parents get when they hang out with us, maybe because I am their favorite child. I wonder if I will have that much fun when I am their age. So I guess the question is what is the right age to start a family so you can a) Still have a fun younger lifestyle or b) Have longer moments with your kids? Just looking for some help!
Thanks, DAD OR NOT
P.S. Do many men write you for help?
Manic Mommy: Dear Dad or Not, first of all, is this my brother asking this question? It sure sounds like it could be, but my baby brother would have made a bunch of typos AND he is clearly NOT my parents' favorite child.
Regardless, it's so cool to have my first ever question from a man, but I'm not so sure you're ready for the answer I'm going to give you, which is this:
Do not even second-guess yourselves...start working on that family now. Like, grab your wife NOW and start doing it! (Okay, you can finish reading this first I guess.)
As a parent, you can still have a lot of fun! Mr. Manic and I have a blast together, with and without the kids (maybe that's how we ended up with 3 in less than 4 years!). I'll tell you the truth, the first few years are hard, really hard. And sleepless nights, dirty diapers and mixing bottles suck, but the rewards of a baby are so worth it. They truly are!
So, don't put off what you know you eventually want, especially when there are no guarantees on when you'll get pregnant. Have fun with it, don't stress out. And don't forget to send me a birth announcement when it's time to share the great news!
Just Another Manic Mommy
Feeling the Pressure to Procreate
Dear Manic Mommy: I have been married for over two years and my husband and mom are pressuring me to have children. I personally have not been "bitten" by the pregnancy bug and cannot foresee it in the next three to four years. Everyone around me is claiming that will be too old to start. What is your advice? Should we start because of some fake time clock or should we wait till I feel the urge? Will I ever feel the urge?
Sincerely, Feeling the Pressure
Manic Mommy: Dear Feeling the Pressure, this one has me in a quandary, because if you read a recent question I answered titled Dad or Not, I urged the writer to start his family immediately. (As a side note, to which I really was not sure when I answered that question, Dad or Not was none other than my own brother, looking for advice! We'll see if he fires up a little niece or nephew for me any time soon!)
One very important detail you left out is your age. Let's pretend you are 24 or younger. Then my answer (and this is based on my own personal feelings as a mom and a woman - and reading between the lines of your question) would be to definitely wait. In my opinion, you still have some time. You've only been married two years; you and your husband should enjoy your time together.
On the flip side, let's pretend you are on the verge of 30. I would still say to not rush into it. While the answer to Dad or Not was definitely start trying for a family, I sense you are really not ready. Dad or Not, aka MY BROTHER, mentioned he and his wife have been discussing the possibility of a family together, and have had conversations about baby names. In your letter, I see no interest on your part to have a baby. And hello! You are the one who will be carrying this child for nine months. You will be experiencing all the symptoms. You need to feel at least a little bit excited about wanting to start your family.
After my husband and I had been married for a few years, he was ready to start our family well before I was. I just wasn't bitten either. And there's nothing wrong with that! You may feel a change in the future, and I hope you will be open to the possibility of a family someday. But for now, please do not get pregnant only because you are feeling the pressure from other people.
So, have a legitimate parenting or pregnancy question that won't stump me? Ask it here on Betty!