Oh Baby, Baby

As some of you know (and as my recent freak-out may have alluded to), Tom and I had spent the end of last year and the first portion of this year talking about and deciding to come off of birth control this summer. When it got to be about May…We changed our minds.

It’s not like we had rashly jumped into the idea of parenthood. We talked it over, we both wanted it, and we finally made that decision. But by May, we both felt like we should wait longer. So what happened?

Well, I really, really, really HATED being a teacher.

Really.

I just wasn’t cut out for it. And also, the hours weren’t like a normal teacher’s hours because I taught preschoolers all day, then I taught elementary school kids when they got out of regular school, THEN I ran the school after the directors left until closing. Every day. Closing was after 6. Tom gets home at 4. We go to bed at 10. And somewhere between 6 and 10pm, we had to fit in my workout, doing errands, keeping the house in order, making dinner, exercising our hyperactive dogs, and spending time with each other. That’s a lot to do in the four hours between, “Honey I’m home!” and “Goodnight, Sleep tight.”

And also, I just hated teaching. Really.

So, anyway, Tom and I have always wanted for me to be a stay-at-home mom someday. To that end, we have always made a point of living off of his salary alone, learning ahead of time to stay within our means so that it wouldn’t be some huge financial change as well as a huge life change when we have kids. So when I was at my old job for many, many hours a week, hating it, I would dream of being at home with a sweet little baby that was part me, part the love of my life, and how awesome that would be compared to where I was. Then, when I left my job, I couldn’t find another one for a while. And then we started thinking, “Well, we had kind of talked about having kids soon. Why not start this year?” And summer became that goal.

And then I started nannying. I watch Will.

And Asher, though only occasionally. I’m not full-time for Asher until August, IF his mom’s cousin Erin gets a teaching job. Otherwise, she’ll keep watching him.

They are both adorable and funny and make me smile. They’ve also been really good for me, because before keeping them, I was dying to have a girl first. Now I couldn’t care less what we have first. I love my job. I could have done it before going to college, the hours aren’t better than my last job, and the pay is actually lower, but it’s something I love. I adore babies. And I’ve got a history of starting out watching a baby in a family and falling in love with that baby and being the parent’s go-to gal for the next 9 years. This pattern started when I was 14. I love kids. I just don’t love teaching them in a classroom.

I watch Will four days a week, and during the time he’s not napping or eating, I can take him on a long walk and/or to the pool to knock out my exercise (and get a tan, heck yes). I can go to the store to knock out errands or groceries. I can get the oil changed in my car. I can get my admissions test done. I can go check out a store for the Friday Favorites (he’s gone with me twice). I can go to the library. I can go let the dogs out if they’re inside. I have done all of those things. So when I get home from work, I am HOME. I rarely have somewhere I have to go because I didn’t have time to go during the day. It’s awesome.

Also, when he’s taking one of his naps…his glorious, typically two hour-minimum naps….I will unload the dishwasher or do his laundry or something to help out. But if that’s not necessary or already done, I read. I do a blog post. I catch up on reading blogs, responding to emails, and checking out coupons online. I can even TAKE A NAP if I’m really tired. I can’t think of many other jobs where this would be okay, but his parents are fine with it. I just sleep with the baby monitor by my face.

So anyway. I no longer feel this intense rush to get into the next stage of life. And, now that I don’t come home miserable every day, turns out that Tom doesn’t either. Another reason is that when I’m at work, I get my baby-fix. And when I’m at home, I get to sleep through the night. I love sleeping through the night. Hmm. Not jumping into life-altering decisions for the wrong reasons turned out to be awesome.

There are other factors too. We want to get our savings up, and it wouldn’t hurt if we could get the rest of the inside of our house painted, and furnished, and maybe get the carpet replaced. We’d love to go on some trips on our own and with friends before having kids.

If God blesses us with a surprise baby, it will be awesome. I don’t mind the idea of being pregnant right now, and we would know that it was God’s timing, which is always perfect. I just don’t mind the idea of waiting either. And as long as it’s up to us…well…not this year.

Have any of you faced this “when is the right time” dilemma? And it doesn’t have to be about babies. I mean…there are so many big steps in life. Have you faced a time when you weren’t sure when you should take the next step?

~Meghan

14 thoughts on “Oh Baby, Baby”

  1. I don’t think people are usually ready for the next stage in life. Even if they feel like they are prepared. So I think “am I ready?” is often the wrong questions. You are never ready. You never have enough money saved or planned enough, etc.

    I think the right question is “do you want to be at the next stage?” Do you want to have a baby? Do you want to get married? Do you want to try to get a new job?

    You do not need $50,000 in the bank to have a baby or get married. You need willingness to move to the next step.

    I had a college economics prof that spent a day toward the end of the class on practical life advice. Lots of things like balance your checkbook, live in your means, subscribe to a daily newspaper, find a non-work related hobby, etc. One of the pieces of advice was just go ahead and get married. Two can almost live cheaper than one, waiting almost never provides any real benefit (when marriage is concerned.)

    1. That’s some good advice. I like this professor. =) I definitely feel that way about marriage. But for some reason, my brain gets tripped up over babies. I think maybe it’s because while it’s something I know I want someday, I don’t want it bad enough now to not feel the need to have all my ducks in a row first.

  2. Well, most people have told me that most of the time you’re not ever ready for a life stage until you’re smack in the middle of it and so far about 90% of the time that’s true, at least for me.

    Still, I try and have a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” rationale for most things. Just to keep my sanity.

    But I totally get ya. I have a long list of things I would like to do while I’m still single, another listen when I’m married and childfree, and then have children before my child-makin’ parts disintegrate. I don’t have a list of things to do while raising children apart from sending them to Montessori and Kumon as soon as they’re old enough haha.

    I dunno. If I truly believed that life after children was somehow better than life before, I would be getting married and attempting for a baby post haste! But I think all of us understand to a degree that child rearing is a sacrifice for the most part for the new kiddo(s) but we feel like (or well, I feel like) it’s an experience that we need to have in order to appreciate life in a certain way. It gives you a new pair of life-goggles. Like the biggest, longest, investment you can make knowing full and well it might never give back (and likely cost way more than you initially intended). Yet if it turns out well, it’s gonna be kinda nice. πŸ™‚

    I’m still at the stage where kids are a thing on the life’s list of to-do’s and not much else.

    Anyway, I have a few friends who don’t have college degrees, probably don’t make how much I make with both their incomes combined, are married, with children, and completely happy. My parents had me in another country and my brother was born here and we were living in a small apartment on top of being in a completely different country with $500 dollars to our name. Now we’re totally fine. Actually, back then, we were totally fine. So, really, at the end of the day the level of preparedness we’ve set for ourselves is probably just all in our heads.

    I still like using my bucket list as an excuse to put off kids haha. πŸ˜›

    1. What all is on your bucket list? I have one that I literally wrote out. But I lost it, so I’m going to make a new one. I have a few things I know for sure though in my head (some places I want to travel, things I want to do…skydiving being one to do BEFORE kids. I can’t wait.)

      1. Its huge but here are some highlights from the uncompleted list:

        1. Travel
        a. Tour of India – 4 weeks
        b. Tour of China (minor) – 2 weeks.
        c. USA Road Trip – 2-3 weeks.
        d. At least 3 mission trips outside the USA.
        e. Random 4-5 day visits to other countries.
        2. Driving
        a. Own a coup-y thing like a Nissan 370z or something
        b. Own a motorcycle.
        3. Second Degree (MBA)
        4. Raft in Chile and not die.

        Some of these things I’d like to do once married so I have a long-term companion to do it with. Some of them I’d like to do before, so that I don’t. πŸ™‚

  3. I agree with Adam- if you have it set in your mind that you have to have all these certain things in order before moving onto the next stage of life (ex. having a certain amount of money in your bank account before have a baby, etc.) you will most likely never be ready. Life is full of surprises and is always changing FAST. If you are waiting for it to be a certain way, it will probably never get there! I mean, obviously, you should be prepared and try your best to plan for those life changes, but I think thats where balance comes in. Jake and I got married before I graduated college, and that was a scary thing! I had to go to school part time, work part time, and get used to being a newlywed. But I wouldn’t change it for the world- we wanted to be together and waiting another year to get married wasn’t in the cards for us. And I graduated and it all worked out because we planned and prepared for that phase of our life as much as we could (and there were still some surprises thrown in there!). All in all, you can only do so much when taking the next step, and you have to let go and let God do the rest! πŸ™‚

    1. We don’t feel like we HAVE to have met everything on our “to do” list before we have kids. It’s just that neither of us feels this huge drive to procreate this year. haha I mean, we were planning to this summer, and you’ve seen my house. You know that wasn’t a driving factor in our decison! haha And our savings weren’t where we wanted them either, but we were still going to try. But then when we both decided we weren’t ready after all, and we decided to wait, we started to see how ideal it would be if we COULD get those other things in order while we’re waiting on that desire to start having kids to return. And so, if we can, it will be awesome. If we can’t…it will still be awesome. πŸ˜‰

  4. We definitely understand Meghan. Jenn and I know we’re not ready and it’ll still be a while but we do feel ourselves getting closer to that stage as we grow older. We thought we were ready for a house last year until God flipped our world around and sent us out West. I think you’ll reach that point where you just know. You won’t feel prepared enough, but God will put the desire in your heart that’s big enough that you’ll just know when it’s the right time.

    1. That’s what we think too. We feel like when we both feel ready, it will be time. Even if the house isn’t done. Especially because it’s likely not be done for many years.

  5. I didn’t really even think about having a baby until I was 27, and then all of a sudden I REALLY wanted one. And now we have our sweet little tiny girl!!

  6. Let me tell you, girl, Brian and I have this conversation OFTEN! He is that rare breed of male that can’t wait to have a baby or two. I’m the rare female who is very wary of starting a family. Brian would love to have one as soon as he finishes his MBA ( or even before), but I want to be financially comfortable first and mature enough. Watching Lainey off and on has definitely taught me that I am NOT ready. I also need to finish law school and have a stronger savings before we open ourselves up to that. I think I just grew up in an environment that was money comfortable and I want my kids to feel that way too, and I know that is a LONG ways off. I’m just glad other people have the same conversations!

    1. Why rush things? If you aren’t ready, there’s no reason to jump into it. Y’all aren’t even married yet! But y’all might end up having to compromise. If he wants kids NOW…maybe after law school but before ALL of law school is paid off? Or do you have a scholarship lined up? That wouldn’t surprise me at all, knowing you. haha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *