Travel the world or have a child, or both?

Old Jun 20th, 2006, 08:56 AM
  #21  
 
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I'm 55 and my kids are 17 and 12 - born when I was 38 and 43. I am a passionate traveler, but it was mostly put on hold during the early years, though I remember a couple of trips to California when my daughter was 1 and 2, and another great one to Montreal when she was 4 or 5. I became a single parent when my kids were 8 and 3, which actually made it easier for me to travel - they could stay with their dad (not something I wish for you). When my daughter was 13, I took her to Paris for a week, and last year, to London. She's my favorite traveling companion, flexible and interested in everything. My son, on the other hand, is the world's worst traveler. He doesn't like to leave home for anything, and once we get there (recent trip to Costa Rica for example, just him and me) he complained so much that we pretty much ended up on separate vacations - he refused even to eat with me. So I promised he'd never have to go again. (Now he's telling me he wants to go back to Costa Rica in two years, when he'll be more "ready.")
The big question is: when you have kids, you give up something, and you gain something. A quick story: a few years ago, I was at the the beach with my kids, and we were riding the waves together, and I thought, "How many 50-year-olds get to do this?" My kids are maddening, loveable, infuriating, and joyful. It's a mix. I wouldn't have missed this experience for anything, despite my initial ambivalence. I have a friend who was a passionate traveler, went all over the world, and after fourteen unfettered years of marriage, had two kids at 41 and 43. She loves being a parent, to the amazement of all her know her.
Last word - if you're a pretty high-energy person, don't be daunted by the fatigue factor. It's pretty short-term. As an "old" parent, I have tons of energy.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 08:59 AM
  #22  
 
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"Honestly, neither one of us is really ready because we both have a lot going on with our careers, and also because we both love to travel."

"And, finally, please be honest"


______________________________________

Don't have a child.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Whether or not to travel is such a tiny part of the decision regarding having kids. As I citizen of this planet, I would be delighted if every child born was deeply wanted. If you don't deeply want children, don't have them. It's a cliche, but they change your life dramatically - most of us think in a very good way, but if you and your husband are not longing for a child, don't have one.

The managing partner of our law firm is married to the managing partner of another large firm in town. They are in their early 50s...no children. I love asking her about their travels...Venice last time, India this year. They both seem to have very fullfilling lives without kids.

When our kids were tiny, we mostly visited relatives and made short trips in our state. For us, it was an issue of getting value from our travel dollar...why spend the money to take them to the Caribbean, when they are happy with the lake at Grandma's house? As the kids entered grade school, we started taking nice trips in the US - San Diego; Chicago; Williamsburg, etc., always renting a condo to have the kitchen and washer and dryer.

When the kids were 12, 10 and 7, we took them to Paris. It was a nice trip, but being in Paris with three kids is sure different than being in Paris with only your sweetheart.

This year we took the kids to Italy (at ages 15, 13 and 10). It was amazing how much better they traveled. The younger two totally kept themselves amused on the flights - I wouldn't have even needed to be there.

So yes, you can travel with kids, but it is different.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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IMO...You are not ready to have a child. You admit that you and your husband are not ready. Asking strangers will not talk you into it. Nor should it.
I think the best people to answer your question regarding children would be those who cannot have children. The ones who would give up all those trips for a baby .
But I will play along:
1-yes, it is possible to travel anywhere with a child. 2-how easy a child is in all aspects usually depends on the parents and what kind of job they did..a well behaved child with manners and loving parents will generally be easy to do anything with, not just travel. that would be up to you.
3- I had 2 children, I traveled before and have not stopped since I had them. They , now, travel everywere they want to go ( without me)..

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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Is this a trick question?
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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travel addict, From the information you have given, my advice would be to not have a child. First, you admit you aren't ready (I definitely was ready, we had been married 5 years, owned a home, traveled a lot and I was ready willing and able to stay home with a child).

Secondly and probably most glaringly obvious is that you ask the question whether anyone wished they had traveled more instead of having children. That question is mind-blowing to me, as though it's an either or proposition.

Traveling with children is very doable, the only limitation is financial and that may be where you have to set priorities, but if you have the dough, you can travel with kids as often and far flung as you wish.

Frankly, a career is more of a hindrance to travel than children could ever be.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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not everyone should have kids or wants to.
maybe you just dont want kids.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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My wife and I were both around 35 and had been married over 10 years before we began our family. We don't regret it for a second...

BUT, having been together that long, we had naturally each become set in our ways, both as individuals and as a couple. Another way to describe us might have been "self-centered."

I don't mean that necessarily as a negative, but personally, my self-centeredness often got in the way of my being a good parent. It still does today. And that's the source of the conflict. Because, no matter how much you may love to travel, once you have children, being a good parent will rightfully become the most important thing in your life. It will become the yardstick by which you measure yourselves.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:25 AM
  #29  
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Wow! I certainly didn't expect this many responses so soon! And each of them have been very helpful in their own unique way too. Thank you everyone for your insights! (and thanks Wow for the birthday wishes too!)

Just to clarify... my DH & I both agree we'd eventually like to have kids, but wish we could wait 10 years to do it - after we've traveled more and have more money. Since that wouldn't be possible physically, considering my age, it'll have to happen in the next few years. My DH is also only 25 (yes, I married a much younger man!) so he could wait, but I couldn't. As to our energy levels - both of us are quite active, in good shape, and have a whole lot of energy. (but that's with 7-8 hours of sleep each night too!)

We also realize it is solely our decision, but it has been a difficult one to say the least. Interference from well-meaning family, friends & my OB-GYN certainly hasn't helped either.

I really liked what you said, Cantstayhome, about children adapting to your lifestyle. That makes me feel a lot better to hear that. I hate schedules and routines so even without travel, my child would somehow (hopefully!) need to adapt to that!

Well, thank you again everyone. Lots more to think about. I will print this out and share it with my DH.

Heidi
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Also, we've only been married 2-1/2 years too. If you would have asked me 10 years if I ever wanted to get married, the answer was a definite no.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:33 AM
  #31  
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"my DH & I both agree we'd eventually like to have kids, but wish we could wait 10 years to do it - after we've traveled more and have more money. Since that wouldn't be possible physically, considering my age, it'll have to happen in the next few years."

I hope you've at least considered adoption. There are plenty of kids out there of all ages that need parents, and they don't care what the status of your biological clock is. In other words, if you would rather wait 10 years to have children, then wait and adopt a child then, IF you still want children at that point.
 
Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Heidi, I married a younger man too. My husband is 11 years younger than me. He's great at doing all the fatherly things dads do with their kids that take a lot of energetic enthusiasm.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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heidi - sounds like you appreciate that it is just a decision you have to make. Having a newborn, adopted or not, would be a bit of an unusual challenge at 50, so waiting 10 years might not be right for you.

One more word - two of the best parents I know were not "ready" and had great careers, traveled all over the place, but were caught off guard with the news that a little one was on the way. First one came, they adapted, they still travel, they still work, and a second will be here soon.

I don't believe you are basing your decision soley on what people here have to say and it is perfectly reasonable to ask those questions. The more info you have (for what it's all worth - take it or leave it!), the better equipped you are to make your decision.

Hope you are all happy either way!
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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We've definitely discussed adoption, and it's another option to think about too. Heck, I don't even know for sure if I can have children (no one does until they try) so this may be our only option anyhow.

By the way, how old does a child have to be before they need a passport to travel outside the US?
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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I will add this...I am a much better parent now, @ 43, than I ever could have imagined I would have been @, 30 for instance. Patience is something that is a learned (& required) skill. Particularly when dealing w/little ones. It is easy to find excuses to not have them...there is always something going on in our lives...You just have to make the decision & do it. In our case we very much planned both kids to the month, so, we were very lucky in that respect as well.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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As soon as they are born, they need a passport if you plan to travel w/them. Both parents also need to be present (or the appropriate forms signed) in order to obtain one. I obtained my daughters' at 4 mos. & my sons' @ 6 mos. My daughter has a bib on in her passport pic...lol
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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You can always travel, but you can't always have kids. If you really want a child, and your ob-gyn is telling you to get crackin', then go you better go for it.

I gave up a lot when my son was born. The loss of income by going from a full time position to a lower paying part time position. That meant very few vacations over the years (and traveling is my most favorite thing to do)!

But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

(I'm guessing that maybe you husband isn't as ready as you due to his young age?)

Like other posters have said, it's something you have to decide on with your hubby and doctor.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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<<I hope you've at least considered adoption. There are plenty of kids out there of all ages that need parents, and they don't care what the status of your biological clock is. In other words, if you would rather wait 10 years to have children, then wait and adopt a child...>>

Speaking from personal experience, I have to disagree, Weasel. Adopted kids of any age come with lots of baggage. And with 10 more years under her belt, travel_addict will have accumulated a lot more baggage than she's already carrying. Waayyyyy too much baggage for one family. Talk about over-packing. ;-)
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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Interference from well-meaning family, friends & my OB-GYN certainly hasn't helped either.
Well if you put our advice over your family and doctors, we are indeed honored!

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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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You wrote, "I hate schedules and routines so even without travel, my child would somehow (hopefully!) need to adapt to that!"

Oh, traveladdict, children love and crave schedules and routines.
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