I wrote this about eight months ago, but never published it, when I was still in the ‘should we or shouldn’t we’ state of mind and even though I’m out of that questioning chapter now (story for another time, but nope, I’m not pregnant), I felt it was worth posting. So here’s what I wrote more than half a year ago and never published, until today. I updated a couple of things and added a few more thoughts before posting…
At least once a week for the last year, the subject of having kids has come up like clockwork, in normal discussions with Jeff. I felt so plagued by not knowing the ‘right’ answer that I’d often bring it up to try to figure out what I really wanted. ESPECIALLY since I didn’t have that thing that I hear so many people talk about. The ‘I just always knew I wanted to have kids’ thing or the ‘I held a baby and realized I wanted that for my life’ thing. That didn’t happen to me.
I haven’t seen many people talking about the whole ‘maybe baby’ thing and trust me, I’ve looked. Trying to figure out if this is something that I can 1) handle without completely fucking up a human beings life 2) if I want to make all those sacrifices that I know Jeff and I will face with having a kid.
So, that’s what I’m talking about today! Maybe baby! Any thoughts?
Before starting this story, a quick something to share that I think is important to state at the very start!
Having kids is not for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. Some women, no matter how smart, nurturing, kind, compassionate, and mom-like just don’t have a desire to have children. EVER! And that is PERFECTLY okay. No one should make another feel badly about that very personal decision. Right? RIGHT!
So, if we’re all in agreement, let’s keep going… When Jeff and I were engaged, more than one person at my bridal shower asked me when we were going to have kids. Which at the time, we had no plans for. I was 25 and I had NO idea what I was doing with my life. Marrying Jeff was one of the very few things I knew that I was doing right. Other than that, it was kind of a shit show of feelings. Mainly, I thought that I should have my act ‘more together’ than I did, at my age. I didn’t have a clue where we’d be a year from then, which meant you could completely throw a five year plan out the window. And KIDS?! Huh?! Who knows?! I’m young and free!
But now we’re older. Some days it feels like we’re MUCH older and we’ve been together for more than 12 years (married for 8). I’m 33 and Jeff is 36 and if we want to have any biological kids, it feels like time is kind of running out. Assuming we can even have biological kids. I don’t want to be that parent that doesn’t have enough energy to play with their children as they get older. And while I’ve read more and more articles recently about how women are having healthy babies later and later, I still wonder. Would that work for me? What do I want for our life together?
It’s also entirely possible that one of the reasons why I’ve felt unsure is because I don’t have any overwhelming desire to have a baby baby. I feel like I could completely skip the 0-6 months stage and just get straight to the good stuff when babies stop being aliens and start being cool little guys and girls with personalities, pudgey little leg rolls, and cute squeaky laughs, etc. AND there are lots of babies and children out there already, that desperately need good homes and loving parents. So for me, the ‘maybe baby’ train also includes the possibility of fostering and adopting. Which is again, a whole other rabbit hole – not for today!
As of right now, what we DO have (without kids)… 1) Disposable income! Can I get an amen?! 2) Freedom to travel whenever we want… And travel we do. 3) The ability to dedicate a lot of our energy to pressing forward with our careers. 4) A pretty cool cat named Franz. 5) And until six months ago, we also had the biggest piece of our previously ‘I feel fulfilled already’ puzzle – our dog Luna. She passed away and I still haven’t had the heart to talk about it, six months later. To say that she was the love of our lives feels like a good way to put it right now. She was absolutely everything to us and definitely felt like the closet thing to a baby I could imagine, without actually having a baby of my own. I mean, we literally moved out of my dream place to one that is not my dream in the slightest so that she didn’t have to deal with going up and down stairs. We made big decisions with her in mind. And now she’s gone. I’m not dumb, I’m sure having a baby is vastly different than a dog. But she was WAY more than a dog to us. I can’t put it into words, exactly, which I why I haven’t shared her passing publicly before now. But in some strange way, that hole that she left has freed us up to think differently about our future.
Will things change if we have kids? I mean I know they will, but will things change for the better or for the worst when it comes to our relationship? That’s one of the things I worry about most. And I don’t know what the answer there will be because (obvs) I can’t predict the future. My parents got divorced when I was a teenager (separated right before my senior year of high school) and I don’t want that for Jeff and I. We have a really strong relationship, filled with ups and downs like everyone else. But the ups far outweigh the downs and I’ve always worried that having a baby could change that. Not because of anything that’s happened with Jeff and I, but because of that past experience with my own family. There’s some sort of insecurity there, I think, that that will happen to me as well.
Even with all of those things though, I’ve often wondered (and so has Jeff): Are we missing something? I mean, how can I possibly know what I’m missing out on when I’ve never had it? And at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to life than just traveling and being able to buy the stuff that you want when you want it. 🙂
When I think about what having a baby would be like and envision the things I would look forward to most, a few things come to mind… Trying to make those special moments super special (decorating for birthdays, scavenger hunts for Christmas), helping to shape the mind of a human that will (hopefully) be a decent, open-minded, (and fingers crossed) funny little person! Also…the clothes! Don’t get me started on the clothes. Sure it’s superficial to get excited about something as trivial as buying cute little baby / toddler / whatever clothes BUT I don’t care. It’s one of the things I think about, so I’m writing it down. And there’s plenty of other things to list here too, but I don’t want to go on and on because this post is already way longer than I intended.
SO, all these (hopefully semi-coherent) paragraphs later and I’m wondering where that leaves us?! And I also wonder if you have ever been in this same boat?! And if you’re even still reading this?!
That said! So many questions for you. Did you go back and forth on having kids? Are you still going back and forth on having kids?! Are you in the yes, no, or maybe baby camp? Did you not want a baby and end up doing a 180 when you actually had one? Did you want a baby and end of doing a 180 when you had one?! I would LOVE to know your thoughts on this subject – whatever your experience may be! I would really love to hear it and make this a space where we can all talk openly about this very big topic. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.