So. The conversations about babies have started. I’m surprised it took this long.
I think a lot of it started because we’ve been sort of idly searching for houses but it’s been a difficult process because we’re not really sure what kind of space or location we’ll need down the road, mostly because we’re not sure if we want kids. But think about how much of a difference having kids makes on your house selection: number of rooms, schools, access to programs… and the list goes on and on.
It’s been a difficult process, and one that isn’t even close to over… in fact, it’s barely just begun.
And, honestly, people don’t care much about the house search yet, as long as we find something that makes us happy. But babies? That’s another story. Like weddings, people seem to have plenty of opinions about babies – when you should have them, how many to have, whether you want a boy or a girl (like you can choose), what’s best for you when you’re pregnant, what’s best for your kids once they’re born… that list goes on and on, too.
But here’s the thing. Tim and I are really unsure if we want kids. When we tell people that, as you can imagine, most people think we’ll change our minds, or one of us will talk the other into it, or we’re just saying that to get a rise out of people. Maybe people feel like they can offer up those opinions to us because of that key word in our mindset: “unsure.” We know we’re not ready yet, but we might be ready later, and we might not. We’re leaving the possibilities open.
Surprisingly, however, many more people than offer up those opinions offer up this one: “Shouldn’t you really know by now?” When I hear this one, I’m often taken aback and plagued with self-doubt. Am I supposed to know? Is there something wrong with not knowing? Is there something wrong with me that I’m a woman and babies don’t make my ovaries hurt with desire?
And then I’m plagued by more questions: Is the reason that we’ve added the caveat that we’re “unsure” because we don’t want to feel bad about not wanting babies? Are we feeling this societal pressure so much that we’re keeping our options open because we feel like we should? Should we just come right out and say it: “We don’t want kids!”?
After this onslaught of questions, I usually shake my head violently to clear it of all of these thoughts and then have a long discussion with Tim about it over lots of wine or beer which I can drink because I am not pregnant.
The fact of the matter is, for us (and I do mean us – Tim is actually more on board with the Just-The-Two-Of-Us thing than I am), there are many pros and cons to being parents. We would make really great parents, and our kids would be surrounded by extended family to love and spoil them. When I see Tim holding his baby cousin and running around chasing his under-teenage cousins, I know we would have a really good family. But I also know we have a really good family now, and that there might never come a point where just the two of us isn’t enough anymore. Or there might come a time when we want to share this love with mini-Ashleys and mini-Tims. Or the decision might, at some point, be made for us (you can’t plan everything, you know…).
So, we’re OK with the “maybe”s and the “unsure”s in our life right now, as far as babies go. We are definitely sure that we want to spend the next few years being together, taking trips, buying property, and sleeping through the night. We’re going to put the kid thing on the back-burner for now, and maybe deal with it when all of those other things are done. Just like we dealt with marriage after the degrees were gotten and the bars were went to and the singleness was old. We’re not going to condemn those who choose to have babies or who want them with all their hearts. In fact, we’re so happy for you, and we’d love to baby-sit your bundles of joy. We’re just not sure if we want our own just yet.