IF I WORRY ABOUT HAVING A BABY
AM I STILL CRAZY?
The other night I was laying in bed with my husband. He was already asleep and happily snoring, but I was amped up on some ill-advised late afternoon coffee, so I was still scrolling through Instagram. I don’t remember how I found the account I was looking at, I think one of the National Parks I follow might have re-posted one of her photos, but I found myself looking at the photos of Jess.Wandering.
“Holy hell, she is fit.” Was my first thought. I’m not overweight myself, but I AM increasingly flabby (because exercising is the worst and I suck at ever doing any). There was a time a few years ago when I went rock-climbing 3 times a week, worked out at the Y 3 times a week on top of that, and went to yoga once a week – so everything was really…tight. I went down a couple sizes everywhere, and it felt absolutely great. But that was when I was single.
Not to say I don’t care about how I look now that I’m married, but I definitely care a lot less. My husband and I did some athletic things while we were still in West Virginia – hiking, bike riding, and the like, but we haven’t done diddly squat since we moved back to Oklahoma. I had planned on picking rock-climbing back up, but I don’t live 10 minutes from Rocktown anymore, I live 30 minutes from it. Unfortunately, my husband has a thing with heights, so climbing isn’t something he is itching to do either.
I used to go to yoga with my step-mom and sisters, but the Y they all use is 50 minutes away now. I don’t do well without an accountability partner(s), so motivating myself to drive 30 minutes, to go sweat alone has been…difficult. Motivating myself to drive 50 minutes to sweat, even with people I love, has also not gone well. In fact, it hasn’t gone at all. My pants are starting to get preeeetty tight though, so I might be forced in to taking action soon.
“Wow, look at the places she gets to go.” Was my second thought while looking at Jess.Wandering’s Instagram feed. What do we have…Oahu, Colorado, British Columbia, Yosemite, Big Sur, Portugal, Iceland.
I’ve been to some of those places. Colorado, British Columbia and Yosemite. But I’ve not been to (but desperately want to go to) Portugal, Iceland or Hawaii. As I laid there I started to think, “If we have two kids…I might never get to go to those places. My life would start to revolve around finding babysitters for a simple dinner and movie date. We’d have to be up and out the door early every Saturday morning for soccer games or pee wee baseball. Who is going to drop the kids off at Girl Scouts or jazz class? Can we afford uniforms for the kids for two sports?”
I’ll be ovulating this month around the 13th, and this is our first real month of trying to conceive, so all of these hypothetical situations and questions are starting to become very real. I’ve always been baby crazy, but when I was younger I was 100% sure I wanted a big family (like 5 kids), and I was 100% sure that I wanted to start my big family by the time I was 23-years-old. As I’ve aged, grown, traveled, lived, etc. I’ve become increasingly less certain. Now that I’m 28 I think I just want one kid, maaaaybe two.
So, I woke my husband up, because I started to panic.
I told him what I was thinking, and I asked if he ever had any similar thoughts. “Of course I do, I just don’t tell you about them.”
Oh….well okay then. “That isn’t super helpful,” I replied. I thought for a few minutes and then asked, “So, do you think we’ll be happy with kids, even if it means we can’t travel as much, or at all?”
“Well, think of it this way. What is the good in traveling all around, doing all these cool things and seeing so many interesting places if you don’t have anyone to pass your photo albums and stories down to?”
That’s true. That’s for me, anyway. That matters to me.
Then, this morning I had breakfast with my step-mom and dad, and talked to them a little about this and they had some additional pearls of wisdom. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I know my dad didn’t come up with that, but it’s true. Additionally, your priorities change once you become a parent. There is a very real chance that travelling won’t be so important to me once I have a little cute baby in my arms, especially not if it comes fully loaded with that heavenly baby smell. And if it is, we’ll figure out a way to make it happen. We’ll get creative – we can drive across the 48 states…AND CANADA!! Plus, kids fly for free while they fit on your lap, right?
I don’t want to get sucked in to the delusion of, “You can have it all! The world is your oyster! Just believe and you can do anything!” Because you can’t, it really isn’t, and in reality, it takes hard work to do anything. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some of it! The world isn’t black and white, there are soooooo many different shades of grey. The shades of grey have their own shades of grey – that’s how many there are! We probably won’t be able to take a vacation every other month like we were in our financial prime, but we’ll still take family vacations every once and a while. Family vacations are very common – I assume that is why there are so many movies about them!
Don’t panic if you have these thoughts as well. Some might be incredibly confident about their decision to become parents. Some people don’t second-guess themselves about it – my dad said he never gave it a second thought. But I doubt it happens that way for the majority of people. There are very serious pros and cons to consider, especially if you’ve waited until later in life – you’ve had a lot more time to dwell on these things.
Wondering whether or not you really want kids also does not mean you’ll be a bad or uncommitted parent. It just means you’re smart. It means you’re aware of the potential problems, and your youthful “leap before you look” impulse has died down. It means you’re worried about money, or health or the future in general, and being worried about those things is not bad. It’s only bad if you let it hold you back from becoming a parent. If it’s something that you want – go for it. All those doubts and concerns will melt away once the baby(ies) come. As soon as that tiny hand grabs your finger…who cares…you’re baby crazy. 🙂