Waiting for kids

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Is waiting to have kids after marriage the best plan? Today’s checklist goes something like this: education, travel, marriage, a home, travel, then finally kids, but only a few! Have children become part of our to-do list?

Thirty years ago, getting married at BYU had as much or more value as getting a degree. I married after two semesters and had a baby within the first year.  Now, years later, I get to rub shoulders with amazing young people as I finish my degree. Young women have seized the day and value education; I applaud them.

Now we hear so much about the accolades of an education but very little about what it feels like to hold your newborn for the first time. In Elder Oaks’s October General Conference address titled “No Other Gods,” he reminds us that, “The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given his children. … We grieve at the sharply declining marriage and birth rates.”

While waiting to have children seems harmless, the consequences are real. The national average for women to marry is age 27, the same age at which my sister was unable to have more kids. Studies show that the optimal age for childbearing is 20–34, a fact to consider in a newlywed’s planning of priorities. Life is a test; so are children, but they are the internship of a lifetime. Education will always be available, but childbearing will not.

Sherrie Goasllind
West Jordan
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