Dear Dr. Laura:
When I was in my late 20s, I worked at a board of education office and loved making visits to the preschools and the kindergarten in the small town where I lived. Playing with other peoples' kids (e.g. carrying three kindergarteners at once piggy-back style or playing tag with twenty 5-year-olds at once) made my day. One of the parents said I was "kid-crazy."
While I would have loved to have had children of my own to play with at that time, I hadn't yet found the right woman to marry and mother them. In my early 30s, I found the right woman, got married, finished my MA, and when I found work to support my family I was ready to be a father. Before then I was willing to be a father, but I had plans to get a Ph.D. in history (not a high-paying field) and relished the thought of visiting historical sites, and digging through archives. It was only when I had a job that paid well enough to allow my wife to stay at home and raise children that I was ready to be a father.
My job has nothing to do with my studies and doesn't give me the personal fulfillment I'd been conditioned to expect by the do-what-you-love preachers I listened to. Instead, I have a job I can tolerate and a wife and two daughters I love playing and spending time with. Providing for them gives me great personal satisfaction, and my wife assures me I can go back to school to get my Ph.D. when the kids are grown and out of the house.