Some Thoughts On Kids at 32 - Erin's Inside Job

Some Thoughts On Kids at 32

I finally solidified this idea last month, but wanted to wait until after my birthday to post it. Then, both Jen and Ange wrote similar posts and it was nice to see that I wasn’t alone. It’s one of the reasons I love honesty so much. Also, the universe wants it to be written.

I wrote a previous post about pregnancy and children here (it’s good; I just reread it), but a lot of my ideas were still nebulous. It often takes me time to analyze, OVERanalyze, and then just experience life for things to solidify. Here’s this week’s thinking out loud and some thoughts on kids at 32.

Yesterday I turned 32. Here are some thoughts on kids and where I am in that journey.

Yesterday I turned 32.

The problem is that I don’t feel 32 or really on par with my peers of the same age group.

One thing I heard repeated in recovery is that when you stop the addiction, addicts of any kind are emotionally the age they were when they started using. We stop developing socially and emotionally as we learn to run from those feelings and interactions by using whatever substance or action we can.

That makes my emotional age when I entered recovery 18.

Of course this isn’t true for everyone, and there’s no statistical data backed by science, but it’s a loose statement meant to emphasize that addiction slows maturity and a lot of our personal development.

I was 26 when I entered recovery, meaning that I abused drugs and alcohol on and off for 8 years. I’ve been in recovery for 6, and every year I learn more about myself. I had to start with the basics:

  • Feelings aren’t facts
  • No one is perfect
  • You are enough
  • You can’t find happiness by dressing up the outside
  • Self-care is essential

And so on and so on. These are all basic developmental milestones that I was delayed in conceptualizing until I actually decided to live life and see how it’s done.

So now that I’m 32 and have been married for 3 years, inevitably the questions about when we are going to have children start to come up. I’m lucky in that I haven’t been bombarded by them, but I know there’s still a wonder. Believe me, I’m right there with you.

Here’s the thing about me and children right now: I’m too selfish to have them.

This is right now, mind you, not ever. I went over it in my head with all kinds of justifications, but the truth of the matter is that I want, no NEED, to take the years that I lost and make sure that I am emotionally ready to be the best parent I can.

As noble as the emotional part sounds, I have other selfish reasons:

  • I want to grow in my career (who am I??)
  • I want to do what I want when I want
  • I want to be able to travel with Neil on short notice
  • I want to travel with Neil. Period. Sans baby.

Basically, I want to be able to experience the life that I denied myself for 8 years. I want to dedicate my full attention to work and play and growing into myself. This means that I will probably be later in my 30s before I want to have kids, which at this point has actually gone from a proposed two down to one. Kids are WORK, yo.

I feel like I’m FINALLY becoming an adult and caring about things like the future, where I want to go in life, and basically everything that didn’t make sense to me or matter much when I was in my 20s. I do not take the decision to raise children lightly, and will probably overanalyze it just like everything else in my life. That being said, I’m also a big proponent of intuition, and am confident that it will help guide that decision when the time is right, just like it has throughout the years.

This postponement decision used to terrify me, as I watched many people my age starting families and finding contentment and purpose in raising another human being. I still think I will feel incomplete without it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to force it to happen because of some arbitrary timeline. Even the fact that I’ve come to peace with that fact shows growth from last year.

So for now I am going to focus on solidifying Erin, enjoying every moment, and reclaiming the years I spent foggy and stagnant. I’m going to grow, achieve, and prepare the best life I possibly can for medium eyes (seriously, read it).

On a related note, I seem to be experiencing what can only be described as “dog fever,” which, although I haven’t experienced it, must be what “baby fever” is like for some. I’ve always loved dogs, but I seem to have developed a stronger urge to touch them, talk to them, coddle them, and seek them out at dog parks. I’ve forced my sister to sent me pictures and videos of Pinky. I’ve lost all fear when it comes to approaching complete strangers and asking to accost their dog. Has this happened to anyone else??


  • What are your thoughts on kids?
  • Can I pet your dog??

70 comments on “Some Thoughts On Kids at 32

  1. You know that I fully support the decision to go ahead or to wait. For myself, I can’t travel with my husband (because of his job and we don’t have the money), so that isn’t even a consideration for us. BUT it might be by the time our kids are older (so pump those suckers out now). And you will be an honorary aunt to our dog when we finally do get one!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Words : Turning Negative Triggers into Positive CatalystsMy Profile

  2. Thanks Erin for sharing this. Its a topic I am struggling with so much at the moment (well for the past few years if I am honest – I’m age 33) but I have step kids through my boyfriend of 3 years, and also my dog and am quite content. Unfortunately this doesnt seem to be enough for other people, “but do you not want to be a REAL mum” etc etc – hurtful! I wish I didnt worry so much about other peoples or societys feelings on this, something I need to work on.
    The dog thing is legit, my dog is my baby!!!!

    Thanks again 🙂

    1. That’s so hurtful of them! I finally got so tired worrying about everyone that I just stopped. It took me a lot of years, but finally something just shifted 🙂

  3. I know the feeling! I’m turning 30 this year and it’s like this weird magic number where it feels I’ve got to do all these things and change my whole life in the next few months. I keep toggling between feelings of I’m running out of time I have to do it now, and feeling like there’s still things that I want to do on my own. Good luck with your decisions!
    Nikkola H @ Flimsy Lion recently posted…Blogger Recognition AwardMy Profile

    1. I FREAKED OUT when I turned 30. Surprisingly I’m calming down more the older I get. Weird.

  4. You know from My Single girl post that kids are definitely not in play for me and I’m 38. Kind of need a man for these things! But looking back, i would not have been ready for kids back then even if there were a man. You will know when you’re ready & when it’s right for you.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…I Have An IDEAMy Profile

    1. Absolutely and I loved that post of yours! Also, I had no idea you were 38! Lookin good girl!!

  5. You’ll know when you’re ready. Everything you said about emotional age and recovery is so interesting to me and it makes a lot of sense. Dog fever is real and it’s how I ended up with 3 pups. If you have time, your local shelter will gladly let you love on, walk and play with their pups. Just an idea if you need more dog love in your life!
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Protein and PregnancyMy Profile

  6. I really enjoyed this post. Carving your own path is so important. When/if the time is right you’ll know and that’s all we should ever really need. I found this quite interesting because I’m 25 and I’ve really wanted kids since I was 23. It may not happen in the near future but when I share these feelings with others they tend to say things like “but you’re so young” or “don’t you want a career first”. There is no set path, we all pick our own and I’m glad that you’re giving yourself the chance now to enjoy yours and embrace life. 🙂

  7. As aways, I absolutely love your honesty and self-reflection, and I applaud you for making the decision that is best for you at this stage in your life. I feel like I know SO many people who have kids at a certain age/stage because they feel like social conventions say they should, and that is t always the healtheist choice for them OR their kids (obviously accidents happen, I am talking about a planned kid). I absolutely LOVE my son, but I am not going to lie, parenting 100% changes your life. It is very hard to be selfish when you have a kid. Not only because they just take up so much of your time/energy, but just because our mommy instincts take over and you just automatically put yourself first. I find it so hard to take time just for myself anymore, even though I know it is so important. So good for you for making the honest and best decision for you RIGHT NOW, and recognizing that it doesnt have to be a forever choice!
    Stephanie @ My Freckled Life recently posted…Channeling my Inner Joanna GainesMy Profile

    1. Totally. Your son is so precious. And girl you did so much in such a short period of time. Props to you!

    1. Omg I love your dog. My dog that’s now my sisters is a Boston terrier/French bulldog mix and she’s the most precious thing ever.

  8. Great post (and so was the It doesn’t have to be perfect post)! I am almost 32 myself and am watching all of my friends and my sister have babies. I know I am finally at the point where I am “ready” but I am also still a little hesitant to lose the life I currently have with my husband.
    Emily @ Always Emily H. recently posted…17 Getting to Know Me ThingsMy Profile

  9. Totally with you on not feeling ready right now and still needing to work on myself first. I know I want them in the next few years, but not yet. I say get a dog!! They totally fill that void, give you a taste of responsibility and grossness (I get peed on by Gus almost everyday) and you can easily leave them with family, friends or a kennel to travel (just make sure you get a dog not prone to separation anxiety).
    Bri recently posted…Comment on Results of my #evenbetter 5K run challenge with Ocean Spray® – Did I get faster? by Ange // Cowgirl RunsMy Profile

    1. I know. I think we are considering it more seriously now. We always wanted one but weren’t sure when

  10. I think your reasoning makes so much sense. It’s a big decision that can’t be taken lightly and I think as women, we have to be comfortable in our life before we endure something like that which changes everything. I definitely have dog fever! We plan on getting one in the fall. I think it’s a real thing?!
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…Day in the LifeMy Profile

  11. I feel like a lot of women are reflecting on this topic right now, especially after Jennifer Aniston’s article. I tried with my first husband to have kids in my mid 20’s….I was ready then. It didn’t happen. However, at 29 I found myself unexpectedly pregnant and due after 30. I always thought I’d be done having kids by that time and wasn’t even keeping the idea on my radar at that point. I think that there’s no right point in your life, no one right time, and it’s not something that you should ever feel pressured to do. I also hate when people say “your own kids”, because maybe….when you’re 38, the right kids for you will be some in need teenagers who can travel with you and share in the things you like. Maybe at that time it’ll be your own baby. Or maybe it will be a pair of dogs and not a human at all. Just live your life to the fullest and take what comes to you in stride. You’re doing a great job at that already!
    AmberLynn recently posted…The Luckiest Girl in the World!My Profile

    1. Love all that. Yeah, everyone is different and it’s all about figuring out what’s best for you and owning that!

  12. This resonates so strongly with me! I’m a few more months into 32 than you, and half a year away from 3 years of marriage; but I share your feelings on having kids. The last three years of my life have brought so much change, and sometimes I feel like my husband and I haven’t had enough time amidst that to just enjoy each other’s company. My biggest fear about having children is that I’ll lose myself and just slide into that place where all you do is take care of other people. While there’s never a “right time” to have children, I think that having time to get clear on what you want from life and how to get there BEFORE having kids makes it easier to maintain a sense of self beyond just “mom” once you do have children. Does that make sense?

    In the interim, you can totally pet my dogs. They might not let you stop, though.

    1. Totally makes sense. I was also a people pleaser for so long that I want to make sure I don’t slide back into that and lose myself. I would love to pet your dogs!!

  13. I totally get your feelings on this even though I do have kids. I never thought I wanted kids or at least I didn’t feel the NEED to have kids until I was about 31. Then it kind of hit me. Before that my husband and I were always asked – when are the kids coming?!?! I don’t think everyone needs to have kids. It’s their choice. You follow what you want. End of story. And you can pet my dog. He likes his ears scratched! 🙂
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…The Great Sports Bra DebateMy Profile

    1. Yesssss. Everyone wants me to pet their dogs! This is amazing. And I totally feel you on everything else 🙂

  14. Wow this is such an honest post and one I can definitely relate to. At 25, having been struggling with my eating disorder since I was 21, I definitely feel “behind” compared to a lot of people my age. I’ve been beating myself up too: why am I not further in my career, why aren’t I engaged, why am I not even DATING someone, etc.

    This post reminded me to have some more self compassion. Thank you so much girl! <3

    1. Absolutely! You need to take some time for you! It can be discouraging sometimes in dealing with the aftermath of addictions and eating disorders, but I also feel like it gives us a deeper understanding and appreciation of life in the long run.

  15. Thank you for your honesty Erin! <3 Maybe there are just some more years of growth and healing and restoration for you ahead, and maybe someday you can tell one of your kids about it? 🙂 I hope to have children someday Lord willing, but I'm not married, so we'll see. 🙂
    Emily recently posted…TOLT: When You Doubt YourselfMy Profile

  16. I adore your honesty and your logic. I mean, call it selfish, but I think it’s freaking fantastic that you are in a place where you want to take care of yourself and figure out what your life looks like. I don’t think enough people do that, and I know plenty of people who rushed into having kids or did it for the wrong reasons.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #57My Profile

  17. LOL at the question, “can I pet your dog?”
    I love that we live in a world where kids aren’t expected the moment you say “I do”. Although Ray’s mom keeps asking me when we’re going to have kids and if I’m pregnant
    I also love that we live in a world where someone can express their thoughts on kids and feel support. I support you! Everyone has reasons for delaying, having, or not having kids, and that’s OKAY!!
    Ray and I want children, but definitely not even thinking about trying this year or next. I think we want to get a dog first, which may delay the kid thing a bit more.
    Love reading your thoughts xoxo
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  18. I believe what you are saying is true. When I was experiencing high levels of anxiety, stress and PTSD it’s like I blocked everything out and my life just froze. I can’t remember a lot of things that happened during and before that time so many days I find myself trying to make up for “lost” time. Everyone has their own season for having kids or not or making those types of decisions. At this point just do what’s right for you and your husband. Everything else will fall into place.
    Ivanna recently posted…How To Save Money On Your Fitness ExpensesMy Profile

    1. Absolutely. There’s a lot I can’t remember from my childhood and also specifics during addiction. It’s all bits and pieces. Just gotta keep walking!

  19. At 33, I definitely do not *feel* 33, but, HOW is it supposed to feel?!
    For so long I felt more mature that some of my friends and now I feel someplace in the middle. It really sounds like you are doing what’s best for YOU and that’s the most important.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…The Race Photo DilemmaMy Profile

  20. I felt the SAME way about kids until, well, I had one. 😉
    My biggest fear was my selfishness, and I still struggle with wanting “me time” and wishing I could just “up and go” without asking my parents to babysit (praise the gods they live close by) or worrying about “can we afford to do this?” etc. Parenting is hard, plain and simple.
    I’m 32 also, but we obviously differ in our life experiences. I absolutely, whole-heartedly believe that you MUST trust your intuition and, even if it doesn’t seem obvious at the time (like up until 2 weeks after you took that pregnancy test, haha), you just know when it’s right—or not meant to be.
    I HATE how much pressure our society places on young (and older) couples and having children. Some people just don’t want to raise them (that doesn’t mean they’re selfish or hate kids!), some people prefer being the best damn aunt ever (or dog mom—yes you can pet my dog; heck, I’ll ship him to Chicago for a few months if you’d like!), and some people struggle for YEARS to have them and suffer in silence. You just DON’T KNOW.
    Since my son is nearing 2, I now get the “when will you try for another?” questions all the time, and it’s annoying in a similar way. I have a feeling if/when we DO, there will be a large age gap between Bazooka and hypothetical baby #2—and that’s OK! I’m still young and know many women having kids in their late 30s and early 40s.
    So, with ALL of that said, I understand and respect you, and Ange, and Jenn. I wish more people really thought about taking care of themselves first, the responsibilities, and the LONG-TERM commitment before they had a kid—or several. And, I wish people would mind their own business—unless they’re sharing because they WANT to. <3
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  21. Happy belated birthday! I just turned 32 as well. 🙂

    I am with you. In some ways, I forget I’m at the age that I should be having kids. But after getting married really young (to someone who didn’t want kids) then being divorced before 30, I’m in a weird position. I like the idea of loving someone so much that you’d like to create a family of your own, but I’m also really selfish and appreciate my freedom. Uh… I also need a husband/life mate first. HAHA
    Jo @ Living Mint Green recently posted…17 ‘Getting To Know Me’ ThingsMy Profile

  22. Love this post so much Erin. I can relate to not wanting kids right now. It just doesn’t feel right at the moment and yes, for selfish reasons too. I grew up with 5 siblings so when I was in my early 20s I totally thought I wanted a big family with at 3-5 kids. Now I’m like, uhhhh 1? Time will tell!
    Let’s raise dogs together! What kind of dog do you want??

    1. OMG all the dogs. I think we will have to get a smaller one bc of where we live. Neil has his eyes on a Manchester terrier but who knows. I LOVE THEM ALL!

  23. I don’t have kids for the same reason – I’m selfish. I like my life the way it is. However, I don’t know that I’ll ever NOT be too selfish for kids. I’ll be 34 next month, and I’m pretty sure my feelings won’t change on the matter. So now the questions I wrangle becomes “without kids, what legacy will I leave?” I have a lot of ideas, and they all require the loads of money I supposedly have because I don’t have kids? Funny, I don’t know where that money is (oh wait, yes I do, paying off the debts due to poor decisions in our 20s). Anywho. You do you. It’s your life. Don’t let your decisions be dictated by people who don’t have to deal with the results.
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  24. First of all, happy birthday! Second, I love this post and your open honesty. While I can’t relate to the kids conversation, I feel very similarly when it comes to the marriage talk. The questions are starting to pop up (I’m 25) more frequently and it can be a little concerning at times. I too want to focus on my career and live life the way I want it. I think you are a very strong and caring person for choosing to make yourself happy first so you have the strength to take care of a family later 🙂 Go enjoy your travels with Neil!
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  25. Erin, I love this, and am in support of you! First off, I’m so proud of how far you’ve come and the freedom you now are experiencing after being chained down for so long. And second, I love your vulnerability and honesty. People need to hear this, because it’s what many experience. I love it, and I’m so thankful for YOU!

    Sarah Grace
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  26. I’m 31, been married for 7 years and to be honest most friends and family have stopped asking us about kids! I don’t know if it will ever be on the cards for us, I really just don’t feel that desire to create a baby, so if we decide to have kids I know we will probably go down the adoption route.
    But I have been experiencing dog fever! I want a poochie so badly! Haha!

    1. At least they’ve calmed the questions down and they haven’t increased! Yessssss. Get one and let me pet it!

  27. I never wanted kids. I hit 35 and thought maybe I want a kid. I had my first and only 2 months after turning 40.
    If you know you are not ready, its very wise to wait…I should have waited a few more years, haha!
    You are young and have lots of time to have a baby.

  28. Loved reading your thoughts on this Erin. I don’t think not wanting kids right now makes you selfish at ALL! Focusing on yourself and your goals is great if you ask me. That’s why I don’t care about looking for a boyfriend right now! I’m only 19 and I want to focus on my goals and dreams and making myself the best Lyss I can be.
    Alyssa recently posted…Top 3 Friday 7/22/16My Profile

    1. Oh yeah girl you need to do you!! I love that and wish I had done more of it when I was younger. It’ll allow you to figure out who you are and what you will and won’t accept in a relationship. Love.

  29. I’m 31 and I’ve always known that I don’t want children. Every thought I’ve ever had if my future, everything I’ve imagined, doesn’t have children in it. I just don’t really like them, mostly, and I’m selfish and the lifestyle I want isn’t compatible with having kids. Also, I lost a lot of years to illness and I feel like I’ve missed out on so much in my own life that even if I did think I wanted kids, I would want to get my life back first.
    It does make things difficult in a relationship, I’ll say that. It took a long time for my fiancé to realise that I won’t change my mind. I still stress sometimes that he somehow thinks I will, but I’ve made my feelings known and he still wants to marry me, so I’ve accepted that I’ve done all I can there.

    Dogs though… I want a dog so much! Can’t have one right now because life is quite unsettled, but I walk someone else’s border collie and pretend. You can pet him, but he’d rather you threw a stick for him!
    Laura recently posted…UKRunChat Squat Challenge – Week 2My Profile

    1. That’s good you know what you want though and are willing to stand up for it! And at least until you get your own you have a dog you can play with haha. Thanks for commenting Laura!

  30. When I was in my early 20’s and over a decade away from even starting recovery, I was on the fence about eventually having kids. I can vividly remember when I got a new puppy that just loved to wake up at the crack of dawn. Every. Damn. Morning. No matter what time I had stumbled my way home, if the sun was coming up that labrador kissing machine was banging my door open and jumping on the bed. Not being a morning person and well, usually hungover or still buzzed I would throw a shoe at him. It hit me that I probably shouldn’t even think about having kids until I had the patience NOT to throw a shoe at something….like a dog…or a baby. I was young and had time. Not to leave out that I sorta kinda needed to find a partner to have said kids with.

    Years went by, much vodka was consumed, possible partners were interviewed, many hurtful comments were made (like many of those in the comments) and even before I started recovery I’d come to the conclusion that I really didn’t want my own biological children. Between the addiction, other mental health stuff, allergies, vanity, fear, and a million other reasons, I never felt the urge or never felt “ready”. (or the ability NOT to throw shoes)

    I’m 44 and now have 11 years in recovery. I still deal with the hurtful and sometimes downright nasty comments. I’ve now been in a great relationship for over a year with a guy that brings his own three tweens into the mix. (haven’t thrown one shoe!) You know what? That’s ok. I’m okay with it.

    We all do things, or not do them, on our own timetable. The trick is not letting everyone else’s timetable make us feel that ours is wrong. I hate that many of us have to write posts like this or have these conversations over and over again, defending our own individual choices. However, my hat is off to you for taking the time to do so and for living your own timetable! 🙂
    Gwen recently posted…Bloggiesta To Do ListMy Profile

    1. I was the same way w my dog when I was still using. I wrote a whole post about how having her probably helped me not completely fly off track bc I knew I had to take care of her. It took me so long to realize that my life was MY life and I was able to make whatever decisions I wanted to. I spent too much time letting other people’s opinions sway me one way or the other. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment Gwen!

  31. Hey! What a great post! I feel the exact same way! It seems like the topic of children enters the conversation with my husband and I daily. I am 30 and I definitely don’t feel ready. I am getting closer. But like you, for now I want to focus on building my business, SO I can travel with my husband at least for a while when we are childless. And I am selfish right now. We spent the last 5 years paying off our student loans so we put our adult responsibilities in front of doing fun things you should do in your 20s. Then of course I get scared that if I wait too long to have kids, I will be too old when they grow up. Oh the debate that goes on in my head! Thanks for sharing your thoughts though!

    1. Thanks for reading!! I figure that everything will work out when it’s supposed to and that makes me feel a little better 🙂

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