This was one of the harder articles for me to write as I interpreted the question in more ways than one. Having had a failed adoption a few years ago, my overactive brain went right to the thought of birth mothers deciding to parent their child rather than make an adoption plan for their child. How would you have answered this question? For the purpose of this article, let’s look at the topic of women deciding to have children in general rather than birth moms deciding to parent over making an adoption plan for their child. That will have to be a whole new article to be written at a later date and time.

I don’t know when I started to think about having my own children, but whenever it was, I am sure I was way too young! Either way, it seems I had wanted to have children for as long as I can remember. I love children. I love their creativity, their innocence, their laughs, and just the way they can brighten up a room. I wondered, though, when my husband first thought about having children. I certainly do not think it was as easily as I did. I thought about it long before we were married. He didn’t think about it until after we were married. Go figure!

So I did some research. Comes to find out, yup, a majority of women decide to parent over men. I probably could have bet that to be true. But I also found some things out that come as a shock to me. Probably because I always wanted to be a mother I never thought of not being a mother. But sometimes it helps to look at both sides of the coin, not just one.

Here are two interesting things I found out: One, the fertility rate is at a record low, and two, 86% of women ages 40-44 are having children. And the increase is coming from women who have advanced degrees, who chose their career path first, and to those women who have never been married. If I would have known, I would have the career I have now before we wanted to start a family. In other words, I would have waited to start a family. Does that make sense? I never wanted a career, but I have found myself in a position where I am needed at home and at work. And it is one of the hardest things in life to balance life and work. So, to those women who are choosing their career first and then having children later in life, props to you. I get it, and I am happy you are doing it. Hopefully, you will have the balance thing figured out by the time you have children. If not, just know many people struggle, and some days you win, and some days you lose.

Not only that, but trends are showing that more and more women and men are deciding not to have children. They are going child-free. And I can understand why. Don’t get me wrong, we waited almost six years to become a family of three, and I love our son with all of my heart. I would not change one thing about the life we have been given. But I can see their reasoning behind it. Parenting is exhausting. Parenting is expensive. Parenting takes a priority over pretty much everything else in your life. Parenting makes you work harder at your marriage. I will also say, though, parenting is also rewarding. I just won’t be one of those moms who gets mad at the girl that doesn’t want to be a mom or the guy who doesn’t want to be a dad. I can see both sides of it.

Can you?