The Decision to Wait

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babytalk2

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When Ethan and I got engaged and then married soon after, I think people who weren’t part of our inner circle were curious about the rush.  We were fiances for eighty-five days, and husband and wife just a year after meeting; my imagination went to one place when I considered us from an outside perspective.  I told Ethan, “I bet people think I’m pregnant.”

Ethan already had two nephews and a niece when we met.  I still felt like the baby in my family, even though my step-cousins have kids they bring around for holidays.  I couldn’t imagine being an aunt, let alone having children at that age.  But once we got married, that’s all many people seemed to care about.

Considering where Ethan and I are in life, it’s clear as day for me why we choose not to have (or even discuss) children.  Ethan works ten-hour days and comes home exhausted.  He plans to go to college after leaving the army in 2015, and get a degree to help him find a suitable and stable career.  I stay at home for now and work on various prospects that I hope will turn into a career for me in a few years.  I do not work because we cannot afford two vehicles (i.e. two loans to pay, insurance policies to pay, and gas tanks to fill).  We are happy having Simon be our baby and having the freedom to spend a day in Anchorage without any extra responsibilities.  Why would we mess that up just to have a little human to take care of?

I have a confession:  I cringe at the thought of having a baby.  Seriously.  I don’t think messy-faced pictures are cute (unless they are of me or Amanda), and I don’t hold or coddle kids when I am around them.  I was the youngest for most of my life, so unless it was my Pug dog or my pet hamster Winnie, I was not holding something (alive) smaller than me.  I’m not very good at talking to kids, and unless they are doing crafts or needing a story read to them, I won’t be of much help in entertaining them.  This Christmas when we were getting a family portrait taken with Ethan’s dad’s side, my little niece decided to have a meltdown.  Somehow I was the only one available to help her.  I rubbed her nose with a tissue and tried to slow her into breathing normally, but I was panicked being one-on-one with her.  I was thoroughly exhausted after spending three hours around all the kids, and needed some time to myself afterwards.

And with the world in its current state, is bringing one more baby into the picture helping anyone?  I think of all the school shootings, kidnappings, and terrorist attacks, and I’m amazed that I grew up so normally.  I’m lucky.  My future baby may not be.  I don’t want to be like Charlize Theron in The Road, choosing cowardice over family.  I don’t want to be like Lori in The Walking Dead, birthing a child into a zombie America and relying on raiding grocery stores to find formula and diapers.  Those may be extreme examples, but that’s what I worry about when I think of the future’s children.

I say “seven to ten years,” and that range hasn’t changed even when my age has.  I can’t tell you if Ethan and I will ever have children, if we’ll have five or adopt one, if Simon will be good enough for us.  But I can tell you, I’m happy with where we are right now, and that we have decided to wait.

How did you decide when you were ready to have children?  Would you rather be the cool aunt and forgo children?  Do you feel hesitant about the direction of our world, and consider basing your decision to reproduce off that?  Although we’re nowhere near deciding such things, I do love looking at whimsical photographs of flower children.  These are from Leuie.

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25 comments

  1. Mary Ellen · · Reply

    One thing I definitely know for sure….. when you and Ethan have children, they will be loved and spoiled!!!!!

    1. Captain America · · Reply

      Excuse my grammatic disaster you’re about to see. As the husband I’d like to say I’d love to have children. Who wouldn’t want to have a child with a wife as beautiful as mine. Even thou you say you don’t know how to handle or take care of children, I still think it would be different if it was your own. Not trying to compare a dog to a baby, but ive seen you give simon more attention than some parents give to their own kids, sadly enough. I think when the time comes you’ll be a wonderful mother as yours was to you. I dont necessarily feel like you should cringe at the thought of having a baby, but i completely agree on waiting. We have alot of places to go and things to see before tackling the mountain of insanity. Lets make the most of it while we can. I love you darlin.

      1. Thank you darling. I needed this. I love you =)

    2. I know they will! If our pups are any indication!

  2. it was never a decision or question for me…. i always knew i would have kids, and i always knew i would have two. i think you just follow your gut. some people have kids and some people don’t and that is what makes the world go round! 🙂

    1. And you got a boy and a girl. So wonderful!!!

  3. oh no!!! I typed this whole long comment….and then I did something….anyway….glad its not on your radar…you are too young and have too many things to do and accomplish before….I think to truly enjoy your kids you have to be in the right place…..as for the world being like it is….its always been like this….just different in each decade, century…that is where your family values, views, discipline that you pass on to children come in.

    1. That is very true. Different decade, different worries. Glad you think I am too young as well!!

  4. This makes me smile because my younger siblings hold similar views of “spawning” and alot of the time at family events they are GREAT and engaging with mine/their nieces and nephew. Interesting… 🙂

    1. Hehe, maybe it’s a baby-of-the-family thing!!!

  5. Just pull out Pretty, Pretty Princess and you’d be the coolest mom ever!
    That is if you had girls…haha 🙂

    1. Hehe I’ll remember this =)

  6. I am thinking of the moment at brunch the day before my wedding when my mother-in-law asked when we would be having children. Oh, and then everyone else in my life every day after that. And that stranger on the airplane. I have always known I have wanted kids. I have friends who have never felt that way. I have hit a point where I feel crazy jealous every time I see a mother with her children. I think there is no problem with waiting. I love this article: http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/11/motherhood-mondays-would-you-ever.html and this article:

    1. Right?! EVERYONE asks. I read that article and loved it. But you should read Ethan’s comment above…pretty much sums everything up. I love him hehe.

    2. you noted a great article there chelsea. I loved that when I first read it.

  7. It’s nice to hear your honest thoughts on having children, especially since I share some of the same sentiments. I’m in my late 20s and have no intention of having children, ever. I’ve never really wanted them – despite having a relatively normal childhood, strict but loving parents, close siblings. I’m happy that I have a niece (and another on the way) but I don’t want children of my own for a number of reasons (they’re expensive, the world is scary, my career, ability to enjoy life/ travel with my husband, general selfishness). My husband feels the same way (thankfully!) but it is sometimes frustrating to feel like there’s pressure from others.

    1. Perfectly acceptable! I grew up with childless aunts and they were always so amazing. Selfishness is to be considered…parents should definitely want their children =) Thank you so much for your comment!

  8. We both have always known we wanted kids, but we always see them later in life. I plan to be 30 when we have our first and Dan will be like 34, that gives us 5 years of marriage and both really stable careers before we decide to bring a little one in. My parents waited 7 years to have me after marrying and Dan’s waited 14. We credit their waiting to them having healthier, happier marriages. And 30+ years of marriage from both. But this doesn’t stop EVERYONE in our lives from asking when we will have children and why we aren’t pregnant yet! I admit, we both have baby fever really bad, but all of our friends are pregnant or just had babies.

    1. Awww baby fever! I haven’t had that yet (obviously)…thirty sounds reasonable though!! Thanks for your comment, Staci!!

  9. WOW do I feel you on this. Like, in a huge, enormous way. I think it helps that my parents were married almost a decade before they got pregnant with me, so there’s no pressure from them, but I just have no desire right now to give up my independence, my cheese drawer full of soft, unpasteurized cheeses or the occasional glass (bottle) of bubbly. Sure, we both coo over a really cute baby, but we’re way more likely to hang out with an adorable dog. And I’m okay with that. If, one day, things change, we’ll embrace them. If they/we don’t, I think I’d be damn happy about that, too.

    1. Lena, please, don’t give up your cheese drawer!! Ah, the luxuries of a baby-free life. A decade is a solid amount of married life sans kiddos, sounds smart and amazing. Simon definitely satisfies my need to cuddle something small and warm =) I’m glad this struck a cord with you!

  10. Are you reading my mind? I totally feel you on this.

    A ridiculous amount of people assumed that once Ross and I got married, we’d talk about having kids soon. (Which was weird to me, because we got married at 22, still kids ourselves in the grand scheme of things!)

    I think that it’s so important to be in a steady-ish place when you make that decision. It can definitely be done other ways, but if you have control over it, why not wait to bring a baby into the world until you’re really ready?

    We’re not even sure we want kids, and I think that’s the toughest part. There are days when I imagine all the good things – reading to him/her, having a little “us” – and yet, there are so many days when I can’t imagine bringing a kid into this world, and can’t imagine myself as a parent. I’m going to be honest, there are days when I suck at taking care of myself. I’m not sure I could be responsible for another person.

    1. I know…all the gushy memories of when I was a kid makes me want one of my own. And then I think about the not so pretty stuff, and I’m altogether torn. Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad I’m not the only one in my age group feeling this way.

  11. I don’t know how I’m just now reading this post, but I am…and I am 100% on board with where you’re at.

    I’m starting to get the same sort of questions on my end, being engaged and what not. it also bothers me that people assume that because you’re married, or getting married – that you’re going to reproduce. I say reproduce, because frankly – having a child scares the sh*t out of me, and the LAST thing on my mind.

    at this point in my life, I’m taking it one day and a time (WE ARE BOTH TOO YOUNG LADY!), and hoping the ‘mommy gene’ kicks in for me at some point or another. and although you mention a date range – sometimes I think even that is too much planning you know?

    tough topic regardless – and I think at the end of the day…everyone is different!

    1. I tell my in-laws that as a way to stop all the questions…apparently they still ask my husband about babies. I’m glad they’ve at least stopped questioning me! Thanks for your input, Roxanne =) I’m glad you are of the same mindset as me.

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