This is the question asked by couples all over the world. I guess it is the question asked by most couples at some stage in every relationship. For some it is reasonably easy to answer, a simple yes or no. For others, it is a little more complex. For some, it is not a question of should we have children, but more a question of “When” do we have children. I guess that these questions are as old as time, and couples have been asking themselves these very same questions ever since the dawn of mankind. I am NOT going to attempt to answer the question, for the answer will be different for everyone.
Beth and I have been having a discussion these last few months. As you readers have possibly figured out, the discussion has centered on the choice of children, should we try to have children. Now, for some people this would be a very easy question to answer, but as I eluded to earlier, for others it is not quite so straight forward, and possibly regarded as complex.
I have been blessed with already having three sons to previous relationships prior to Beth entering my life. I will say right now that my three sons are all the greatest things to ever happen in my life. They continually enlighten me, teach me, fulfill me, and complete me. They possibly do all of this without ever realising that they are doing so. This is part of the beauty of having children. It’s not just all about continuing the family name. It’s not just all about building future generations. It’s not just all about passing down and sharing of knowledge. It’s just so much more. I am very proud of all three of my sons. The older two have turned into fine young men that work hard, and pursue good jobs while having loving and caring relationships. The youngest is well on his way to doing the same. all of them do this in their own unique manner.
I know that Beth would love for us to have our own child. Beth has not been previously blessed with children as I have. So we are fast approaching a point in our lives where we must make the choice. Beth is currently in the mid to late 30’s age bracket, and I’m in the very early 50’s age bracket. This now raises many questions for and potential situations for us.
We have many points to consider. Obviously the first point is my age, closely followed by the similar question of Beth’s age. At my age I will be very close to retirement age when the child is entering early teens. I’m reasonably active, but I do have my doubts at my ability to kick any type of football and attempt to keep up with a young teenager.
Most of us are very aware that as a woman approaches the 40 year point in her life, childbirth becomes an issue. Yes it is possible. Yes there are many cases of it being successful. Yes, as modern medicine and techniques improve, it is becoming safer. I love Beth very much, and do not want to place her in any situation where she could potentially be hurt, or worse. I would like for Beth to stay in my life, I do not want to endanger her life. However, I also do not want to be selfish. I do not want to be accused of not sharing, and not wanting Beth to have what she wants.
So, thinking logically about the pros and cons of each situation. If we decide to have children, how will that effect each of us, and our relationship. More importantly, how will it affect the child? Beth would love nothing more than the opportunity to have a “our” baby. Taking into mind the fact that she is from a culture where if a couple is married, they must have children together. It is difficult for her to accept the idea that there are people in relationships that simply do not ever want to have children.
We have discussed the situation at some length quite often. We have still yet to reach a final decision. So writing it all down and sharing it with the world here on our website may actually improve the decision making process. Some other points to consider would be that the child will be relatively young when I reach retirement age. Some people (indeed some cultures) would see this as a benefit. Having someone so young to help with the care of me. Personally I don’t see it as a benefit. I see it as possibly a little cruel to the child, for they will still be very young when I eventually pass away. Dealing with death is not something that should be forced upon a child if it can be avoided.
Thinking about death, Beth would appreciate having “our” child with her for that time when I do eventually pass away and leave this world. The child would be receiving a very alternative type of upbringing, which would certainly give the child a different outlook on life compared to the child’s peer group and friends. When I say alternative upbringing, I don’t mean that in a negative type of way. I mean it as a positive. The child would certainly be raised to have a very broad mind, and be accepting of others, no matter how different from the mainstream of society. Compared to others of similar age, would potentially be learning (dare I say living) more about recent history from those that actually lived the events.
The impact of a child entering our lives would be massive, on a scale that those who have never had children can’t begin to imagine. Late night feeding (well, I gotta get up to go to the toilet anyway), changing nappies (diapers), teething, toilet training, baby seats for cars. The list is almost endless. I know, I’ve done it all before. In some ways the realisation that I’ve done it all before, actually makes it easier. I know that I know how to look after, take care of, and raise a child. I’ve done it all before.
I do however wonder if we would still be classed as responsible if we had a baby. When Beth and I originally applied for her first tourist visa to visit Australia we said that one of the main reasons for this is, so that we can spend several months of quality time together, to assist us in the decision as to if we really do want to get married to each other. We actually stated to The Department of Immigration that we were old enough that we wanted to be responsible, and not get married without first spending a lot of quality time together. We stated that we were responsible enough to request this because we were a little older and a little wiser.
A baby in our lives would affect so many different aspects of our lives. A baby would even have an effect on the type of vehicle that we next purchase. As many of you know, we currently own a very unreliable Land Rover Discovery (check out some of the other posts for more information about that ongoing saga) that we have plans to replace with a more reliable vehicle in the near future. The type of vehicle that we purchase would change (dramatically) if we decide that we will introduce a child into our family.
Buster the dog would also be affected. Some people might laugh and say that he is just a dog, why are you concerned. Well, he is a dog. Buster is also a very important part of our family. We love him very much. When I’m at work, he is Beth’s constant companion, and guard dog. Buster goes everywhere with Beth, if she walks down the road to the shop, Buster is with her. They spend so much time together, they are almost inseparable. If Beth was pregnant, Buster would be very aware of that. We would need to be very patient while he adjusts to another person (a little baby) entering our home. We do however know that he would be very protective of that child.
Should my older children finally decide to make us into grandparents in the near future (always a possibility), the child would potentially have nephews and nieces of a similar age to themselves. There would certainly be some interesting conversations at the local street Christmas BBQ. Still, that would be nothing like the fascinating conversations that would happen when I would be shopping with Beth and the baby. I’m positive that there will be a few that will potentially mistake us for Grandad with Daughter in Law and Grand Child. But that would only be in the opinion of others, and the opinions of others has never really bothered me in the slightest. I’ve always figured that opinions are similar to butts, everyone has one, most are not worth a second look.
So all of this is what we are currently thinking about. None of this would be taking place until after Beth has been approved as a resident, so would have a Medicare card, and eligible for all of the free hospitalisation that comes with that. We do not want to place ourselves into the situation where we would be going into debt to cover the costs of childbirth. So at this stage we already know that we will be waiting for a few more months yet, as the final decision from the Department of Immigration is a ways off yet. Check out the post earlier today about Immigration contacting us for more information.