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.
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?