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Now or never? Breaking our decision-making deadlock about having kids

Jason and I have been together for about 8 years. I’m 31 and Jason is 42. We’ve lived together for the last 5 years. We’re at very different stages in terms of our careers. He’s settled into his career and has a great position in advertising. I just recently finished my certificate in massage therapy and haven’t found a full time job yet. My dream is to have my own “wellness” clinic one day.

We’ve had the “baby” talk a number of times over the years that we’ve been together and it’s always ended in a fight. I always told Jason that I wanted to wait until I was settled in my career before having kids. That’s not likely to happen for at least 5 years. I’m just not ready. But Jason was born ready. He loves spending time with his niece and nephews and they love spending time with him. He has this gentle, caring way about him that kids just love. It’s one of the things that attracted me to him from the beginning. But it’s also been one of the things that has caused a lot of conflict in our relationship. I kept saying, “wait until I’m done school and have built my clientele and business.” But then Jason turned 42 this year and it was like that was it. He told me that he wanted to have kids now– that he didn’t want to be an “old” dad. But I’m NOT ready! I’m still young and I have time to get pregnant – lots of women have children in their 30s, and heck, even in their 40s!

He finally told me in the spring that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to stay in this relationship if I wasn’t willing to have kids soon. It was enough to make both of us consider ending the relationship. But I really love Jason and we’ve invested 8 years of our lives together. We have great friends and we even like each other’s family! So as a last ditch attempt to save our relationship we finally went for counselling to try to work through this deadlock. Honestly when we started, we didn’t know if we were asking for help to end the relationship or to find a solution. But after a few sessions, I began to budge on my position. I knew that Jason would be an amazing dad. If there was anyone that I’d want to have kids and be a parent with, it would be him. Maybe it wasn’t so bad to have to take some time away from building my career now in order to have a baby when Jason was young enough to still enjoy it. And Jason even agreed to take a paternity leave for the first 6 months so I can keep building my practice. In the end, it came down to some soul searching and ultimately a compromise.

I don’t resent Jason for telling me it’s now or never. In fact, it forced me to really think about what I want in my life – and who I want to share my life with. Who knows – if we waited until I felt like I was “ready” it might have been too late. So we’ve flushed the last of my birth control pills down the toilet and are heading down this path completely and truly together.

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