I became a dad a bit earlier than I had bargained for (at 30, while still a PhD student) and we have since added a 2nd one to the mix. Becoming a parent is a hugely life-changing event. I love my kids, but they are a ton of work. And we’ve definitely taken a big hit financially and socially. Add to this being expats and living 1000s of km from our nearest family members (whose help you will learn to appreciate greatly, and maybe be a bit annoyed by, once you have a kid) and it has been quite tough at times.
Kids slowly get more and more awesome. Under 6 months, they are basically a milk-to-shit converter and are frankly not that interesting . Once they start walking, talking, getting dressed by themselves, shitting in a toilet, etc. things change for the better. I’m sure that once they get to 10-12 and you can leave them home alone for a bit, another constraint gets lifted (although then they become teenagers, which should be a lot of fun…).
I know a guy 20 years older than me who has kids the same age as mine. While he has a nice flat, good salary, and great job stability, I can see that he and his wife are totally overwhelmed by it. The younger you are, the better equipped you are to improvise, adapt, and succeed…on very little sleep.
I had never thought about when I would actually want to have kids - all I knew was that it was sometime in the future. Now, I am quite happy with it. Being 70 when my kids start uni? Fuck that, I’ll be 50, and in great fucking shape too.
But, of course, everyone’s situation is different and we cannot plan everything (and shouldn’t try to!). Women’s fertility (and men’s to a lesser extent) starts to fall during their 30s, which means that often you can’t just decide, ok, next month is the month whenever you think the stars have aligned for baby-making.