Speak Up

Friday, April 10, 2009

To B(aby) or Not to B(aby)

I'm faced with one of the toughest dilemmas I've had in several years. I'm ready to start planning a family, but Erik isn't. I feel as if we've hit a brick wall. We've been together since freshman year in high school and married for 3.5 years. I'm 26 years old. I just feel ready. I always knew I wanted to have children, but Erik and I super-planners. When we couldn't afford children with our time and money we put the thought out of our mind. I don't know exactly what is different this time around, but I am ready. I know it's going to be tough. I know my life with change. No more Sunday date nights and getting up at 1AM for my chef. 1 AM will be reserved for the baby. I know my apartment is small, but I'm telling you-I'm ready.

Sometimes Erik is really excited about it too. We talk about furniture, space, names, possible problems and solutions too. But then sometimes I'll say something like.."when the baby comes..." and then he acts like we've never talked about it. I'm stuck! I don't want to pressure Erik, but I worry that if I left the decision up to him, we'd have our first child at 32. I'm not waiting that long. I feel like I've waited long enough and my heart is aching for a child.

I'm realizing now that Erik is going to read this and freak. He'll probably be mad that I'm sharing something so personal. But if I can be honest about my life and share true trials that I have, then this blog will be more authentic. I can't be the only women who feels conflicted about children.



lonestarstudent said...

I feel like I could have written this blog myself. This is such a serious decision. My chef and I go back and forth about it. I am 29 so I definitely feel like I'm ready. Sometimes my chef is on board and other times he acts like we've never had this conversation. It is frustrating.

I feel like I'm ready to have a baby and I really want one. I just have to be honest with myself: I will pretty much be raising a child on my own which is the scariest part.

Anyway, I don't think there is a right or wrong time to have children. But it is a HUGE decision. It sounds like we're in a really similar situation so you can always e-mail me if you want to talk more in depth about it.


Hilary Battes said...

Thanks Jessica, I knew someone would be able to relate to this dilema. I think you said it best when you said there is no right or wrong time to have a baby. Erik and I have been kidding ourselves trying to plan every aspect of our lives, but planning for this baby just isn't working. At this point in our lives a baby wouldn't be a terrible thing-it would be a blessing. But 3 years ago when we were just starting out it would have changed our lives completely. So at least we are in a good spot. We'll see how things go.

Go Erin Go said...

Hi Hilary -

I'm currently pregnant with our first. My husband is a line cook and I realize that, like you, this will be tricky and I will feel like a single mom, but it is going to be so worth it.

I'm 33 and for me and my cook, the wait was necessary. We relocated twice, kind of found ourselves as a couple, got Alan into a new career (from corporate world to ktichen), and a few other things. I am grateful we waited, because if we had the baby before Alan switched careers, we would never have had the balls to do the career change, and he's happier that he's ever been. But that's us, we mentally needed to wait and get where we are now. And now that we're as settled as we're ever going to be, we decided it was time and we were ready.

As we're trying to save for when I am on maternity leave, and prepare for the baby, life continues to happen. The dog got injured, my dad has to undergo cancer treatments, and work is crazy for us both, but that's life. It doesn't make me want to undo this, it is just another element. There's never a perfect time to have a baby, but that's the adventure of life.

You and Erik will figure it out. I don't really know you two, but I have a feeling that when that at-home tests shows up positive, Erik will be thrilled.

Try not to worry too much, go, enjoy Italy!!!!

CDW_Chapel Hill

psa ri said...

I agree with Erin! There's never a perfect time...and sometimes you just have to go for it when MOST things are right. Our twins were an accident but a welcome accident! I think we are really fortunate for our accident b/c there always seemed to be a reason not to have kids yet so we might have waited forever!

Whenever it happens it will all work out one way or another! But definitely for you understand that you will be the major caretaker...My chef is there as much as he can be, but of course it's not as much as I'd like & sometimes it's hard & a little...well, a little lonely b/c you see families w/dads out on the weekend & that's just not in the cards most of the time for us right now...But boy is it a joy when we do get together & I wouldn't trade it for the world. We appreciate the time so much more.

Ashley M. from California said...

As others have said- there is no PERFECT time. I'm 26, my Chef is 28 and we have 3 children (ages 6, 3 & 18 mos) and have been together for 8 years. We met and married during culinary school and I was a Pastry Chef.

Had I kept with the Chef-work myself we wouldn't be able to do it. But I'm fortunate enough to do my job from home and now telecommute.

There have been periods of time where my Chef would go in at 5AM and come home the next morning at 2AM up to 7 days in a row.

The hardest part is being essentially a single parent even though I'm not single. As much as I moan and groan I wouldn't trade having kids when we did for anything in the world.

The important thing is that we make sure that when the Chef is home and we are a family of 5 we make the most of it.

I suppose the perfect time is the time that you find out that you & Erik are expecting. You make it work. You will still be able to have your Sunday dates. Sometimes those dates might just include 3 rather than 2.

Gabrielle said...

I am not quite ready to have a baby, but I am getting there. I even bought myself a copy of what to expect when you're expecting :-) just to be aware.

However, I was very surprised to learn that my chef would NOT welcome a baby at this point in our lives. I always thought he would be the one pressuring me.

It really bugs me that he is against it, even though I am not quite ready myself and do want to wait a few years!

But, as much as it bothers me, I try to not take it personally and just know that he is just being realistic about our situation, and that he would feel guilty for the time he wouldn't be able to spend with his family. (he is going back to the restaurants tomorrow!)

maybe your chef just needs a little more time...