Question:

My husband and I have been married two years, we both have good jobs and live comfortably in a nice home. I am planning to start grad school in the fall. I've told my husband I'd like to get 12 credits under my belt before we have kids so I can keep the momentum going. I know he's really ready, he's made it very clear.

I'm ready too, but my hesitation is twofold: I'm only 26, and I feel like it's a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses moment for him. Several of our friends and family are pregnant (none planned). I'm an over-preparer and my husband is my opposite. I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that we're ready - as ready as can be expected - and that his rush is based in his love for me and his desire to share parenthood with me.

Answer: Yes, he just loves you and can't wait to raise kids with you.

And if you find that reassuring, then I'm scared.

It's hard to imagine a question I'm less able to answer (quiet, you in the back) or one that's any more intimate than yours. Whether your husband's motives are good or pure is a profound question, one that has everything to do with trust - or lack of it, which seeps through the words in your letter.

You say you over-prepare and your husband is "my opposite." Would you say he under-prepares? And if you're nodding your head to that, do you think he's irresponsible? By any standards, or just by your hyper-careful ones?

The urgent need here isn't for a negotiated deal on when to start trying to have a child. It's for you two to reconcile your differing approaches to life, so you both can come to - here it is again - trust each other.

When you'd both feel confident handing a baby over to the other for the day, without fear s/he will screw everything up in your absence, yet mindful of your highly different approaches for getting from point A to point B? That's when you're ready for kids.

E-mail Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax, or chat with her online at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.