What’s next?

Posted on April 22, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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We (okay, let’s be honest, I) babysat our neighbors’ six month old son this Saturday while they attended a wedding and it got me thinking about us and our future.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Honey, let’s wait like a decade until we have kids.  I need a nap.”

Him: “Okay.  Whatever.  Wait, but you’re really good with kids.  I had no idea.  You don’t even need me.  It’s like you know magic to get him to stop crying.”

Me: “Thanks.  It’s called bouncing around.  WAIT.  This is babysitting.  Don’t get your hopes up.  Come hang out with him.”

Him: “Wow, at six months, he’s like a real human who can play with me!”

Me: “Yup. Wanna hold him?”

Him: “Oh, gawd, ohgawdohgawd.  Like this?” {holding him like a very wriggly armful of laundry}

Me: “Good enough.  So, a decade?”

Him: “At least until we get the house under control.”

Me: “Right.  A decade.”

Him: “Not funny.  I’m going to move dirt.” {the never-ending drainage control project}

The older I get, the less I seem to know about kids.  See, I grew up with a huge extended family.  There was always at least one baby around and I was always the one wanting to hold him and keep him and never give him back.  I have baby-handling skills acquired at a young age, thank goodness, and they serve me well.

And yet, the older I get, the more I’m struck by how relentless the needs of babies are, how everything takes forever and makes a mess, how the only thing that keeps our species alive is the incredible cuteness of a baby’s laugh (seriously, why else would you happily wipe stinky poop off everything within a foot’s radius?).  I love that kid but I was very happy to give him back.

So for now, we have agreed on a series of goals before we start talking about having kids: finish the major work on the house, sell the bonus house, finish school, get our finances in order.  Oh, yea, and get married. 🙂

I wonder, though, at what point do you admit that the goals are, at least in part, delaying tactics?  Neither of our parents were stable in their careers, financially well-off, or living in their dream house when they had us, and we turned out okay.  And yet, it still feels like we have a long way to go before we’re ready.  We almost need a whole engagement period’s worth of talking just to be ready for the cutie pie.   Oh, wait, that’s called pregnancy, right?

Where are you in the whole when-to-have-kids* discussion?

*If you are having kids.  If you’re not, you get no judgment from me.  Swear.

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2 Responses to “What’s next?”

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We’ve been trying for a baby for a year and a half now, we made the baby decision before the engagement/marriage decision. We found the decision to actively try does affects things and the monthly disappointments are sometimes hard to face as well, wedding planning has put the plans to rest for a little and taken the pressure off.
We were going to wait to be more financially better off but I don’t think anyone can really say they’re 100% ready and my parents managed like yours not being that financially well off and they were in the middle of a house build when I was born.
I’m sure there’ll always be goals left, the most important perspective to have is to not expect it to happen fast, I’m glad we didn’t wait the few years we were thinking about about as a year and half has already passed and if we find out there’s problems we have a lot of time to deal with them.

We decided — sometime during the week before our wedding — that once we both had “real” jobs (he was finishing up a PhD and working part-time when we got married) our method would be to just “be open.” No “trying-to.” But no “trying-not-to,” either.

Since I was rather rigourously using the Creighton Model (an all-natural charting method) to locate (and avoid) fertile times, it was refreshing to ditch all my charts and not focus on “where my body was at” anymore. If my cycle was late — who cared? If early — well, that sometimes presented embarrassing moments because I can’t manage to remember to keep “items” in my purse… but that’s really my own fault, I guess. The point is, it was freeing. And for women I know who used chemicals to regulate their fertility, I’ve heard it’s even more refreshing because their body is purging itself of foreign substances and getting itself back to it’s natural balance!

Of course, there’s the every-month risk you run by going au natural. But I have to say, it’s been fun! We feel sort-of adventuresome, tossing the cards up in the air every month and letting them fall where they will. Sometimes we just grin at each other and giggle. What will happen this month?! Since we’re not keeping tabs at all, we never know…

It feels a bit like playing rock-scissors-paper with fate. But it sure adds a new twist and zest to, um, the bedroom! And if a baby comes… we know it’s guaranteed that we’ll have at least nine-month’s notice. We planned our whole wedding in less time than that… 🙂


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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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