Monday, March 31, 2008

I know they're trying to make me feel better, but...

I wish that my friends and family would discuss the possibility that I might NOT be able to have kids and tell me that is OK. Instead, whenever the topic of children come up I get, "It will all work out," or "You'll have kids," or "It takes some people longer," or some other generic answer that seems to dodge the real issue. And that issue is that we have been trying for 18 months now and nothing has happened.

Yes, I know we haven't had many tests yet to determine what is going on.

Yes, I know the sooner we go in to see a specialist the sooner we will know if we indeed can or cannot have kids.

Yes, I know it may be something easy to fix.

Yes, I know there are lots of treatments out there to help us have one if there is a problem.

But, that is not the point.

The point is no one is reassuring me that it is OK if we don't have any kids right now. No one is telling me that having kids is not the end all and be all of life before we find out if it is or isn't, that there are advantages to not having kids, and if that is what life has dealt us, then that is just fine.

I think part of me is reluctant to go in and find out what is going on with our unresponsive reproductive systems because we may find out that we can't have kids, and then it will be final and our hopes will be dealt a serious blow.

Right now we are still operating on the hope that we can get pregnant. As soon as we find out there is a problem, then our hope is gone. And all the nice, reassuring things our friends and family have said to us will turn out to be just that--only nice, reassuring things.

And THEN they will tell me, "It's OK if you don't have any kids," "Kids are not the end all and be all of life," "There are advantages to not having kids," and "This is what life has dealt you, and that is just fine." And I won't believe them. Because they waited until our possibilities were limited to reassure me that I will still be a good, happy, and productive person in this world without a child of my own.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Not to Have Kids (in no particular order)

My sister recently commented that this blog made her sad. She got me to thinking. I guess I do tend to write on this blog when I am feeling down or frustrated or overwhelmed by all the complicated feelings I have been experiencing while W and I try to start a family. It was not my intention, however, to be a big sad-sack. So, I've devoted this entry to explore the more positive reasons for being without child.

1. No Kids: Perhaps the best (and worst) thing about not having any kids, is not having any kids. I feel this way especially when I visit with my friend Julie when both her 4-year-old and her 1-year-old are having simultaneous meltdowns. Or when I want to do something spontaneous with my mom-girlfriends and they need an hour to gather together the kids before they can get out the door.

2. My Marriage: W and I already have a fabulous marriage. And I can't imagine much that would drastically change our relationship, but I do imagine that kids would change it in smaller, day-to-day ways. Just the amount of time we spend together would obviously be effected. So, not having kids would allow us to keep growing as a couple and be selfish in the development of our marriage.

3. Eating Out, Shopping, Traveling, and Generally Spending Money on Myself: As a young couple in downtown we like to go out to eat and frequent the shops. We both admit that we spend way too much money on food and drink. Our favorite place is Davis' Restaurant and Bar, where our good friend Chris is the bartender and we know most of the regulars. We are there at least once a week, but more often, several times a week. We also like to take small trips to the mountains or coast on weekends. This is one nice thing about not having kids and many of our friends with kids envy our ability to go out when we please and have seen the latest movies in the theaters.

4. Watching Inappropriate Television: I'm an admitted TV junky. The worse it is, the more I like it. So, one nice thing about not having kids is I can watch as many episodes of Celebrity Rehab or The Girls Next Door as I want without having to censor it. Perhaps this one backfires on me a bit, because if I did have kids, I would probably benefit from not watching so much television. Could go either way.

5. Sex: This is probably the main reason my husband would vote for not having kids. It is a concern of mine too. Frequency, quality, quantity, all change after having kids. Without kids, W and I are free to get our freak on and have as much sex as we want, whenever we want.

6. Sleep: This may be in a tie with number five in W's mind. I don't need as much as he does, but I do like to get my full 6–8 hours.

7. White Furniture: Obvious.

8. Language: For those who don't know me very well, I swear like a F*%#ing sailor. It started in the fourth grade. It was my way of rebellion, as I was otherwise a total goody-two-shoes. Peppering my every-day language with the f-word would pretty much have to stop if I had kids. Not a big deal really, but a bad habit I would have to break.

9. My Career: I have to be a working mom. We are a two income household and not much is going to change that. And, I love my job very much. I would not want to give it up. If we have a kid, my work place is super supportive and will allow me to work from home and also bring a baby into the office. But, I know that if I have a kid, my career will be limited in many ways, and I would not excel in the company as quickly. Not having a kid would allow me to really develop my career to its fullest potential.

10. Pets: I have always thought that if we didn't have kids we would have more pets and do more things to help with the worlds animal population. We love animals, and without kids we would definitely be able to do more for our pets. I have always worried about how my beloved cats would react to me having to shift much of my attention away from them and on to a baby.

11. (bonus entry) My Willingness to Sacrifice Myself for Others: This is a great attribute for moms to have of course, but it often happens at the detriment of a mom's own self. I know I would give everything to my child without thinking about myself, 24/7. But, I don't want to loose myself in the process. Without kids, I can be selfish and concentrate on making me the best me there is.