Mariella Frostrup advises a woman of 22 not to make her mind up yet about becoming a parent

The dilemma I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years, and recently he has decided he wants kids when before we both shared views on not wanting them. He believes time will change my mind (he is 31 and I am 22), but I know myself. I am ready for every other big step in life – getting a house with him, getting married – both of which he has not expressed he wants. I want to believe I will change my mind, but I’m afraid it will then be too late for him to have kids. I’m scared he’ll resent me if I don’t give him a baby. And worse, I believe I will resent him if I do. Any advice? I don’t want to leave him, but I’m afraid it’s the more responsible decision. No matter how much it will hurt.

Mariella replies Whoa, steady on! This really isn’t as calamitous as you might think, and there’s certainly no need for immediate action. That said, you’ve presented me with a more complicated situation than is immediately apparent. In isolation, the baby issue may appear momentous, but it’s actually more of a distraction. You are barely out of your teens and have years ahead of you in which to ponder your options on parenting. It would be unusual if you were champing at the bit to get on with procreating when only 22 years old.

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