Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crunch Time

Let me start out by saying, this is probably the hardest blog I have written/posted thus far. My husband and I have been married for nearly three years. I will be turning 39 in October and just about every other week these days, we have a quick check in with each other to discuss where we are in terms of moving into another stage in our marriage- becoming a family. It is crunch time. Most of the time, we reconfirm that we are not ready, nor do we want to have children at this time in our lives. We say that we still want them, but, we are going to continue to wait.

To tell you the truth, I am not sure how long we are going to be able to keep it up. If we do decide sometime within the next 3-4 years or so, I believe we would be truly blessed to have children. I believe I honestly want them, but, sometimes, I wonder if it is just the pressures of society that tell me that I should have them. I look at the life that I currently have – I have a career that I love and a relationship with my husband and friends that is good for me and wonder if I would be pushing my luck to move in this direction that every other woman around me seems to have already gone. Another thing that has made me stop and think lately is that I have lost at least 15 pounds recently and I am hesitant to put that and possibly more back on, because I know how much harder I will have to work to take it off.

My friends who are mothers tell me it is worth it, but, I wonder if it would be right for me. I have to admit, I have actually resisted moving forward lately in my career, because I keep thinking, if I were to take on a more managerial position, I probably wouldn’t feel right having a child since I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her or him. I already work 45-50 hrs, plus another 10hrs each week for the commute. My husband and I spend more money than we would if we had a child and a home with a mortgage. I am pretty sure we could handle the mortgage, but, I would have to shift my priorities quite a lot with a child and sometimes I wonder if I could do this without feeling overwhelmed.

I know it would come easily for me- making the change, but, I don’t doubt that I would actually go to the extreme that perhaps, I wouldn’t take much time for myself or my relationship any more. I would have to work to find a balance for this somehow. I know, each woman who has children who is ready is probably saying the things I have heard a hundred times in the past five years or so… No one ever thinks they are ready. But, my question lately is not if I am ready, but, if I am thinking about having kids, because I want them or because I feel I should want them.

To summarize, I am getting the feeling it’s crunch time. If we are going to do this ourselves we are going to have to make the decision within the next 4-5 years. The only other way we could do it after this would be to adopt and I am not sure we are fortunate enough financially to head that direction. I am not sure I am ready to hear advice about this, but, if you feel you have some wisdom to share, I am willing to listen. Keep in mind this is a big decision, so you may want to approach it with some caution.

5 comments:

  1. I think that you have to decide what is right for you. I know, this is what you are struggling with but consider this:

    You don't have to be a mother to be a complete person. You are already a valuable asset to the world and a family with your husband. So, don't let us or anyone else pressure you into motherhood.

    If you decide to grow your family great! My loving advice here would be to relax. It is a huge committment but really, if I can do it, you can. My best lesson as a mom is to slow down. Balance is found easily if you slow down.

    If you decide not to be a mom and feel maternal pangs later on, you can always mentor or be a big sister or things like that. That is just as important as being a parent. It takes a village. You could be a valuable villager:-)

    Those are my two cents. Take it for what it is worth:-) Either way, I know you will do great!

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  2. Wow. Well, I just started reading your blog. I don't know if I am qualified to give advice. I can only tell you that being a Mom has been the absolute greatest joy in the world. It's really hard to describe how magical it is. You will know when you are ready. Take your time. Your life will TOTALLY change once you have one, so just be patient. You will know when it is the right time : ).

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  3. This is a sensitive issue for many women. I will say, that studies have proven that couples do not feel any happier having children versus not having children. Feeling that society pressures women to have children is a very real issue. I was one of the many women who, since I was a girl, had definite opinions about children: I did NOT want them. I was never really comfortable around young kids, never played with them well, didn't enjoy babysitting very much, etc.

    My mind changed a bit after Kurt and I had been married for about five years. I had really enjoyed working and having fun just the two of us, but eventually, I felt as if I wanted something more. I guess I started to feel as if I wanted to go beyond the two of us, beyond our own needs and wants to a higher level. I was scared to death of becoming a parent, though, scared that I wouldn't do a very good job and fail my child terribly, myself, and my husband.

    But in the end, everything has turned out just fine, and being a parent, with all of my faults and mistakes, has been the best thing I've ever done. For me, what really blows me away about parenthood is that I really feel I have reached a higher nouveau when it comes to love. That may sound corny, but the love a mother feels for her child is so intense; it's brought me as close as I've ever been to experiencing true unconditional love. And for me, that's been a huge deal. I've been searching most of my adult life for greater spiritual meaning, and I've discovered I am more fulfilled in that regard since I've become a parent. It is a feeling that carries across to how I treat humanity, believe it or not. I am more compassionate, kind, and charitable to every single person I meet than I have ever been before becoming a mom. For me, having had this experience of being a parent, it has made me realize that every single person on this Earth is a child of a mother somewhere, deserving of the same kind of love and compassion that I give to my own child. That kind of feeling has been truly life-altering for me.

    Kari, I think Sue is on the money here. But I will add this. I really think you need to face your feelings with brutal honesty. You need time either by yourself or with a neutral third party to perhaps write about or talk about your feelings about children. I am also insuating here that you do this without Ben. No matter what his opinions are about kids, those feelings will pressure you in some way. I think you need to come to a definite conclusion about what YOU want first and then speak with him about it. Of course, you'll have to make the decision together, but I think it's best to be certain of one's own mind. You will probably continue to have a lot of conflicting emotions about this but know that that is perfectly normal.

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  4. It's great that you shared this with us because I think a lot of women are afraid to express their true feelings about this. You're right it could be your wanting to do this because of societal pressures. You know, recently I learned something, maternal extincts are often there regardless of the practicality or true desire to have children. I had my tubes tied and have no desire to ever be pregnant or have babies again, but hormonally I feel like I want to every month. What I had to realize is that as women we'll feel that way, but if we choose not to give into that emotion, that draw, then that's okay too. Good luck and thanks for leaving it open for "opinions," I hope I was cautious enough. :)

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  5. Don't we all wonder the same thing before we decide to have kids or not. I know a lot of happy couples who decided that having kids just wasn't for them, and others who knew for sure that they wanted to start a family. We all have our own opinions on this, and we just have to soul search to find out what will be best for us.
    My husband and I told ourselves that we were going to wait a few years before we had a child, but then one day it just happened, I ended up pregnant. It was scary because we both thought; will we be good parents, do we have the money to afford another mouth to feed? One thing for sure, I knew that it was going to interfere with my working, and it did. But looking back, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Things in life just happen, whether we want them to or not. If it was meant to be it will happen, if not it wont.
    I don't think anyone can give you the answer you seek, you have to find that within yourself. But I'm sure you'll have lots of support from your blog freinds what ever you decide to do.
    Take care!! ;0)

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