I am now of a certain age where various friends/ex-boyfriends are not only getting married but having babies at an alarming rate. While I did experience a couple of friends getting pregnant back in my later years of high school, at 18 I was propelled into the “never-never-land” of NYC, where for 10 years top priorities lay in job promotions and open bars, rather than settling down and reproducing. Now that Butch and I live a much quieter life (where an evening out on the town involves driving down the street to the local biker bar for wing-night), I’ve finally started to read the writing on the wall that 5 years ago could have been written in Sanskrit for all I cared. Yes, I am currently thinking about the possibility of maybe kinda sorta planning to have a baby.
Don’t get me wrong – the indecision in my tone has nothing to do with not wanting to pass on my impeccable genes…it’s more a matter of logistics. Butch and I are recently married, and recent home buyers, which means we have recently acquired a level of debt that neither of us feels comfortable with. But the overall opinion seems to be that one should not wait until they can “afford” a baby, because that day will never come. Which means that I need to accept the fact that although our 1,200 sq ft house may be small by super-sized American standards, building an addition actually isn’t necessary to accommodate up to 3 children, provided they don’t move around too much. The same goes for that luxurious sun deck I wanted, or the trip to Ireland – neither of which is going to happen anytime soon, kids or not. So money is actually not an obstacle, and neither is Butch’s age, my new job (and old ego), or our dedication to a green(ish) lifestyle.
Butch is only 3 years younger than me, but considering I first snatched him up at the tender age of 23, I’ve always tried to be respectful of our age difference and to not to make him feel pressured to take any huge leaps of responsibility that he might not feel ready for. But then again, this is the same guy who, after only 8 months of dating, when I nervously asked him to move in with me, or before moving upstate together when I made it clear that I definitely wanted to get married and have kids at some point, he casually answered with a “yeah, sure, sounds good.” Pshhhh…dudes. Not to mention that he seems to be mentioning having a baby more often recently, and not only when prompted by me (I had to coach him before our wedding last year on the proper response to the inevitable questions of “when” and how “whenever SHE wants them” was not an appropriate answer). I do have a sneaking suspicion that when he says “baby” he means “baby boy,” but I’m sure he’d be happy either way.
I used to think it was micro-management when women over-planned their pregnancy dates to coincide with a certain event or times of year. Now that I work for a non-profit with a very specific busy-season, I totally get it. No way do I want to be about to pop in the middle of July as I join a kayak Trek down the River, corral a gaggle of 30 kids during an outing or plan a major fundraising event. Not to mention, I kind of want to have a baby in October for the sole purpose of throwing a Halloween-themed birthday party every year! Which brings me to my next obstacle: My ego. Anyone who follows this blog knows that it’s usually all about ME. Heck, even the fact that I have this blog brings to light the fact that I assume people are actually interested in my every move. Let’s put it this way – for many years I had staunchly been a low-maintenance “cat-person,” and when we first adopted Fred-dog I went into hysterics the first time he pooped on the bedroom floor. But after surviving a year with our sweet hound, I am proud to say I have developed patience that I didn’t know I had and have even started to feel like I could care for another living thing enough to not let it wander into traffic.
And lastly, I’ve been recently investigating how pregnancy/raising a child could work with this whole green(ish) lifestyle that I promote. I very much want to do things as green(ish)ly as possible, but have been concerned that my deeply ingrained (aka being raised by Jewish parents) penny-pinching will win out over saving the earth when it comes to all things baby. I mean, I love the idea of compostable diaper inserts but how much do they cost and what sort of wild animals will be attracted to my yard if I start building a pile a poo? But then I read one of my favorite blogs, Click Clack Gorilla, and realize that if this low-impact momma can be successfully raising a healthy baby in a wagon-house in the middle of Germany, that I need to seriously calm down. Plus, F that S has evolved since its conception, and could very easily translate into a green(ish) mommy blog!
That leaves a few miscellaneous concerns – neither of us has any family up here and the friends that we make are the transient-sort or are Fort Drum-related (meaning, if they get shipped out, they ship-off), so a permanent local support system doesn’t exist. Also, the new job is actually a new career, and one that I don’t want to “mess up” by going on maternity leave (there goes the ego again)….but in the end, I am a woman of a certain age who now feels like this is as good a time as there will ever be to finally get this show on the road, so once again I need to take a leap of faith and just go for it! Besides, everyone else is doing it…
All the photos in this post are of my darling nephew, Graham, who will be 18 months old when I visit with him in early August!