and changing some life plans…
I’m super excited about getting another dog. I’ve always had two dogs growing up, and I miss having a second dog. I think Satchel will really enjoy having a companion. We are looking at medium dogs so that we don’t have another large dog in the house but I don’t really care for small dogs either. We are looking at full grown dogs because I don’t really want to deal with puppy-dom. I’d much rather avoid the chewing and peeing while giving an older dog a good home.
In order to do that, we’ve decided on some life changes. When we got married, I didn’t want kids. I like kids, I love my job, but I didn’t really want one of my own. As we got older and bought a house, two nice cars, had good jobs…it became the expected thing to do. Our friends began having kids and pressuring us to have them too. Our families started with the expectation that we would have kids any day now. We felt so much pressure to do what was expected and to not disappoint our families. This year I’ve realized some things about myself. I leave so much of myself behind when I do my job every day that there’s hardly anything left for Noah let alone for a child. I spend all day listening to children cry, scream, and whine and I don’t know that I can do that all day and then come home and deal with it at home. Noah wants to go back to school and get a degree he can actually use and we certainly can’t afford to pay for childcare and have him unemployed at the same time. If we have kids now, then we are at the very least putting his dream off for many years and at worst killing his dream altogether. I don’t really care for babies…I’m not maternal. I don’t enjoy tieing shoes and wiping noses or cleaning up bodily fluids. We have a friend who want kids so badly you can see it on her face every time she looks at kids…I don’t. I don’t feel that way. My “womb” doesn’t “ache” when I see kids. Usually what I think is, “keep your germy hands to yourself.” Not very maternal eh? I am happy with my body and I don’t want to lose it. My family tends to get very wide in the hips after having kids…very wide. You can lose the weight, but if your hips don’t go back…there’s nothing you can do about that. And finally, I don’t want to lose my identity. I don’t want “someone’s mom” to be my only identity. I’m not ready for that.
So…for now, we are putting off kids. I’ve called the doctor and we’re determining cost to have my Mirena put back in. If Noah does go back to school, it will be next year. And then he’s got a minimum of 2 years of schooling and most likely 3 to get through before he’ll have a degree so…we’re looking at a minimum of 3 years before we revisit this idea of having kids. I’m not going to deal with having a period for 3 years. I don’t do well with birth control and I’m allergic to condoms (I know, TMI) so…yeah, Mirena back in. I’m just kicking myself for having it out in the first place! In the end, when our three years are up, I don’t know if we’ll try or not. We’ve talked about fostering with the long term intent to adopt and I think we are both much more comfortable with that idea. Noah’s not a fan of infants either. I’m not saying I won’t change my mind, but that’s where my head is at.
What I have to figure out now, is how to be OK with how I feel. It’s blasphemy for a woman to say she doesn’t really want kids and it’s doubly worse when that woman is a teacher. All I hear at work is “When you’re a mom you’ll understand.” Well…sorry…but once your child reaches school age, I spend more of their waking hours with them than you do. I wrangle 30 kids in a public place on a six hour field trip. I have to be teacher, mother, mentor, friend, confidant, and a myriad of other things to your child on a daily basis. I’m not saying that I know them better than you or that you’re not a good parent, but don’t say I can’t understand because I’m not a mom. I’m a mother to 30 (and if you’re a special ed teacher, sometimes 180) children a year. I understand. Give me the same respect I give you. Respect that this is where I’m at right now. Don’t try to change my mind. Don’t smile condescendingly at me and act like I’m missing out on the world’s greatest thing. That’s your choice and you’re entitled to it. This is mine for right now. I reserve the right to change my mind, but once you’re a parent there is no changing your mind. You’re in it for life. Give me some credit for trying to make the right decision for me and my family just like you do for yours.