It’s funny, but not surprising to me that there’s a lot of chatter about motherhood right now, and I’d like to weigh in about this as well. See Historiann, Dr. Crazy, and Heu Mihi (haha, I like her “AP Credit take on this). It’s like cycles have synchronized! I confess that I have been thinking about this a lot as well, maybe because I’m teaching this or because of this commercial. But whatever. I think it is perhaps, too, because it seems like ALL of my friends are having babies right now. There’s another baby cluster happening. And all of their friends are having babies, too, so every baby picture or comment or whatever on FB is followed with comments by other new moms or soon to be moms, people saying things like “welcome to the club! You’re going to be sooooo happy!” (okay, I don’t buy that one per se. I can’t imagine that new moms are sooooooo delighted to have no sleep and working partners and sore nipples–not anything I’m looking forward to. We see how cranky I get when the dog sleeps in the bed with me! How will I handle children!)
I guess I can say that I haven’t forgotten to have a baby. But rather I am actively NOT thinking about it.
Last year though, I was dying to have a baby. Like I would sit up and cry about the fact that we were in an apartment that was too small for a baby and it’s stuff. And because the J was just getting a GI Bill check for school. And because I was miserable, and I know I was totally looking for something else in my life to focus on that was outside of my job so that I wouldn’t have to think about my job and how much I hated it. Now, even though Tuesday I totally had a FML moment in the morning, and then was bombarded with baby stuff on FB, well, and I was a tad hungover from my complete breakdown Monday night (which was fun actually–some drinks, silly t.v., time with hubby not thinking about anything, but still the result of a pity party and genuine sadness really). But I’ve been thinking about why it is that we keep making plans about when we are going to “try,” and then how I always make an executive decision and change those plans. And while I am over the moon for my friends who are having babies, virtual and all, I realize that I’m not as far in my career as some, so I would like to have my tenure publications locked in before I start gestating because I can always join committees or find some service to do if I’m lacking in that area. Plus, as long as I’m working on publications, I can legitimately excuse myself from obnoxious service commitments apparently. I want to have that squared away.
Obviously, I’m not doing anything until the both of us have money coming in either. there’s no effing way. That seems to be the other piece of the puzzle–two decent or good incomes.
But really, it’s like that stupid Honda commercial at the heart of it–there are other things I want to do right now that getting pregnant would seriously curtail. We would like to do a Tough Mudder this year (provided the J has an income coming in and we can travel), and there is no way I could do that and be pregnant. Seriously. At least not in the shape I’m in now. And we’re looking at the shorter version of that. And seriously, vain as it may be, I want to lose the weight first. And be in shape first. I know I’ve blogged about this before, but I’m not going to actively try to have a baby with my body in the shape that it’s in now. No way. Especially at my “advanced maternal age” (I’m not even sure I have time to discuss that–I’m dreading that actually when the time does come), I want to be fit and healthy. If it happens by accident then it happens, but really, I find it more fascinating to me how much last year at this time, I really wanted to start trying to have a baby, triplets at that! But that now I’m really just not interested. I’m sure the clock is still ticking, but it’s on like some major serious snooze or temporarily unplugged.
I’m not sure though if it doesn’t happen if I’ll regret it though. I think when I have a mid-life crisis I will (although I feel part of what I’m going through right now is a mid-life crisis), but we have discussed adoption if that’s the case. But the J and I haven’t been married that long. And I don’t feel like our lives are really “going” right now. He still hasn’t finished school. He still has no income. There’s still a chance that he could be deployed again somewhere (remote possibility, but still), so I don’t feel like I’ve lived this part of my life yet. This phase isn’t done. And I think what would happen now is that I would regret more the time I would miss with him, having to delay some of the things we want to do until we’re like in our 50s and would resent the kid (maybe not consciously), but I’m more jealous of people who are living their lives right now than the ones who are having babies. I think once I get that part settled, then I’ll have a kid. But really, what’s lacking in my life right now isn’t babies; that’s not what’s making me incomplete. Rather what I’m lacking still is a sense of self, a sense of being grounded in my own life, a sense of having a life, not just scraping by living hand to mouth. Right now I feel like we just go through the motions, that we are pretending to be adults because we still have all these problems that most people do in their 20s–debt from being stupid, no money, no house, still trudging through college. Still thinking about a better time to come (which is part of the problem, too, but that’s another post, you know). We have no stability. None. (perhaps that’s a large part of my anxiety, but still, another post).
Really so my life is not incomplete because I haven’t had a baby. It’s incomplete because I still don’t really have an adult life. I want that first.