There is nothing like the right time for kids!
Having children may not be a question of money!
If the baby is there, things will work out.
These words are all so true, but, unfortunately also so naive. At least they are for starting a family in Germany. I will keep things short again today, as this is really depending on the place you live and I can only talk about my government here.
But start with first things first. Of course you need the right partner to start a family. If you are unshure about this point I highly recommend working on your relationship first, before you really consider having kids. They are not meant to fix your relationship nor are they made for filling an emptyness in your heart which is caused by you or your partner.
The older you are, the higher the health risks get. Also think about the fact that (very) late parenthood can lead to the fact that your already wanted to retire, when your kids still need financial support in college. Especially for women the time in which having kids is really limited biologically. Nothing new so far, I guess.
The very short version about the situation in Germany: If you have a baby you can stay home to care for it in the so called “Elternzeit”, parenting time. In this time you can get “Elterngeld”, parenting money, from the government. But this money is far less than you earend before in your job. In fact the higher your income was before, the more money is missing, as higher incomes don’t get supported as much as lower incomes (which sounds like the socially friendly Robin Hood method, but in fact it is no such big deal for really rich people, but it is a tough fact for highly educated couples with slightly over average income, so the middleclass carries most part of the burden). No matter how much you earned before you won’t receive more than 1800 Euro monthly. This leads to many hard decisions when it comes to childcare and going back to work early after givong birth. Especially families in which the mother is the one with the high income have to face significant obstacles, when they want to both preserve a stable income AND have time to bond to the bay, to breastfeed and all over to see it grow up in its first months.
Long story short is, that having kids in Germany really is a very expensieve mission. And oh yes, it is a financial question when and how you decide to have them. It is something many couples want to blend out of their minds as it is rather frustrating, but it does not help, they all have to face theses problems. If you understand how this family poltics work here you really understand why academics here – especially highly educated women! – have only few children (if at all) and most have them late in life (if at all…). We are very far away from true emancipation here. Germany is not family friendly and the family politics here support a way of life which leads for many women to withdraw rom the working market.
Besides the question of partner, age and money there is one big aspect which should really be as fixed as possible if you ask me – but has not to be perfect as growth in this area will come during the process too. So don’t panic, just be aware.
Do you feel ready for a baby? Does it feel right? Are you the person you want to be to live as an exaple of the life you want to show to your baby?
Especially for very young couples this can be intimidating, but trust me (and believe people who are already parents), if you are open, pregnancy will teach you and so will parenthood. Just really be open and learn. For you and your children. And know for shure that this new human is exactly that: a new individual, no copy of you. No fix for a broken relationship. A baby’s purpose is not to love you unconditionally, just because it will. Its purpose is life. Everything else will follow. Your purpose as a parent is to love it unconditionally. But fill the word “love” with action, otherwise it remains an empty shell. Life what you talk about. Show your love.
So all the best whishes for all parents to be out there. Be honest with yourself why you really want to have children and make shure you want them because of the right reasons. Make shure to check your finances first, if you don’t want to get in trouble in this highly sensitive time of pregnancy and early parenthood. It is a great and amazing journey. But as all journeys, the travelling is much, much easier if you are prepared at least in the most important parts.
Enjoy the way! Lots of love!