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When I showed him photos of my friend's baby, he went quiet. Will he leave if I tell him I want a baby before I'm 21?

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Question - (27 February 2006) 3 Answers - (Newest, 3 March 2006)
A female , anonymous writes:

My friend has just sent me pictures of her new baby boy. I showed my boyfriend them and he immediatly went quiet and looked suspiciously at me. I love him to bits, we haven't been together long but I really want to be a mum before I am 21. I have a few years left but will he accept this if I tell him or will I lose him for good?

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A male reader, bobsevers +, writes (3 March 2006):

there is no reason to be a mum before you are 21. You have ages yet. If you love him, you wont pressurize him.

keep calm

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A female reader, missbunbury United Kingdom +, writes (1 March 2006):

missbunbury agony auntI think you need to discuss this issue with your boyfriend. I normally wouldn't say it was necessary to have the whole 'do you want kids?' chat early on, but it sounds as if you have very fixed ideas about what you want, which could easily cause a problem in any relationship.

For most young couples the important issue is just whether or not both have the same eventual desires - ie 'we both want to have kids someday', but your case is different because you've given yourself a time limit which isn't actually very far in the future. This means that any man you are with needs to know that you expect him to take on all the responsibilities of a family within the next however-many-years you have left until your twenty-first birthday. Or, to be more specific, he has to be ready to impregnate you by nine months before that birthday at the very latest.

This is a big thing to ask of a man, especially a young man. I definitely think there's a danger that having such inflexible requirements will put off the guy you're with, but then, if it's really that important to you, you're better off telling him now so that you are free to get rid of him and find another man as soon as possible if necessary.

Basically, what it comes down to is this: is having kids before the age of twenty-one more important to you than being with the man you are with at the moment? How would you feel if he said he thought it was an awful idea, and that you should wait until you're thirty? Would that mean you wouldn't want to be with him anymore? If wanting to wait is a dealbreaker for you, that's fine - it's your life, after all - but it's only fair to your boyfriend to let him know that there is this potentially massive obstacle to your relationship.

Finally, whilst I don't want to criticise your personal life choices, I can't help thinking you are making life difficult for yourself by having such a strict timetable for your future plans. What if, for some unforeseeable reason, you fail to meet your deadline? What if you have a man, but not enough money, at the vital time? Will you go ahead and conceive anyway? I assume you like the idea of eing a younger mother - but is twenty-three, say, really that different from twenty-one? I really don't see why you need to set such a difficult goal for yourself; why not simply decide that you want to have kids a soon as it's possible for you to do so, and then sit back and relax a little without the constant ticking of your biological clock getting in the way of your relationship?

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A female reader, Seratuki United States +, writes (28 February 2006):

Seratuki agony auntYou seem like you know what you want, but please rmember that babies are a LOT of work, not just cute pictures and family picnics.

Have you tried discussing this with him? Maybe he isn't as ready as you are, in which case you need to respect that. as hard as it may be.

You've got years to have babies, you should enjoy being young while you have the chance.

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