Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"When Are You Having Babies?"
Aaaaaaaaaah, the most favorite question of every newly married couple that comes from every direction possible. Parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, extended family; you name it, they're asking. Many blogs that I read follow the same evolution; moving in together, engagement, wedding planning, newlyweds, starting a family, trials and tribulations of motherhood. If you read some of the same blogs I do, I'm sure this is not the first time you have read about this topic. I can gurantee you, it won't be the last. However, everyone has a different answer to this question.
So what are we telling people? I pretty much have it recorded on my phone and anytime someone asks, I just play the recording for them. Okay, that's a lie, but it's a damn good idea. Our answer goes a little something like this:
We are currently in the process of paying off our wedding debt. Once we have this paid off, we would like to spend some time actually enjoying the income we have and building our savings before we have to spend it all on baby supplies, schooling, daycare, etc. We are also at a point in our careers where the next few years are critical in moving up and getting to where we would like to be. We are currently undecided either way on starting a family. There are several aspects that interest us, but there are others that aren't so appealing at this point in time. When we are at a place where we feel like sleeping through the night, sleeping in on weekends, and doing whatever we want whenever we want to do it without a second thought is no longer appealing to us, we will think about starting a family.
No matter what your opinion is on this topic, or how the above statement makes you feel, people should really try to keep the perspective that this is a very personal choice and everyone makes their choice for very personal reasons. Right now, we are honest enough with ourselves to know that we are selfish. And that's our perogative.
Many, many years ago, I had everything planned out. I was in a long-term relationship at the time and I saw myself married by 26, first kid at 28, second kid at 30 and then we would be done. After that relationship ended, I really came into my own and realized that I had different priorities and wanted different things in my life. I still kind of told myself that after I was married, I would wait at least a year or two before starting a family. Looking back now, I feel like I was doing what a lot of people do. I wasn't giving myself a choice about a family. I was just going with the "natural progression" that society places on us. But if I really stopped and thought about it and learned from the experience of my friends and family, and took into account all that being a mother entails, maybe it's not in my natural progression. Or maybe, just maybe, I'm not there yet.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good baby fix as much as the next chick. And I am over the moon for my niece. I just know that when she starts throwing a fit, that's my cue to hand her over and peace out. Do I get that being a mother is the most rewarding experience the universe has to offer? Sure. Do I also get that it's the most difficult job out there? Definitely. And I have my friends and family to thank for both of those things. I try to make all of life's important decisions with all of the information I have available to me, and the experience of others is great research.
You're not getting any younger.
You're never going to be ready.
M needs a cousin to play with.
Aren't you dying to know how gorgeous your babies would be?
So-and-so needs a friend
I need a grandbaby
It's what you DO.
All of those things may be true, but to us, they are not reasons to just start a family. My response is usually, "That's great, are you going to pay to raise this child? Are you going to come over and get up with it in the middle of the night or stay with it on the weekends when we want to go out of town? No? Okay great, so then we'll just go ahead and wait on that one." To some people, getting married is just the step that comes before babies. So, in order to get the babies, you have to get married. To me, marriage is finding someone that compliments you well, that you love spending time with, and that you can rely on to get through the good an bad times with. Having a baby changes the entire dynamic. Some people love their partner even more after a baby, others find out that they were never on the same page about things after the wedding and that shows through much more when you have another human being to make a priority.
Every so often the topic of babies comes up between us and we have remained on the same page. I know that JB thinks about carrying on the family name and would love to have his own little science experiment and someday coach a soccer team, and he would be an AMAZING father. And I would be lying if I said I have never thought to myself, "I can't wait to experience pregnancy and have a little human that wants me more than anyone else in the world." But that time for us is not now. And we don't know when it will be. And we are OKAY with that.
Now if we could just get everyone else on the same page....