I know there’s almost never a ‘right time’ to have a kid. But there are times that are better than others. And now isn’t that time. As I reflect on that negative pregnancy test from a few weeks back, I really feel that I dodged a bullet. Because while I know I would grow to love another child, right now isn’t the right time. What scares me, is will waiting be the right time, either?
If I am being 100% truthful, I only want 1 child. AND I also want a daughter, and a sibling for Potamus. It’s hard to hold those tensions. The more settled in I am lately, the more I realized that some of my angst of dealing with Potamus this summer was the projection and future-focus of the ‘what if’ having a second and how I was sure I wouldn’t be able to to do it. There was the infatuation with babies (certainly hormonal) that I hadn’t exprienced before Potamus was born, and seeing my friends with babies and this thought ‘oh, I want that.’
But do I want that? Or do I want what I once had, when I held this little human I created, who is now growing at such a rapid pace? I don’t know the answers to that, but Boof and I have been in a hard place relationally/emotionally/physically, and as parents. I think independently we do a good job parenting, but together we aren’t where we’d like to be. And I think that my desire to ‘rush to have another’ has been as a desperately perfectionistic attempt to a) bandaid a difficult situation, b) keep up with the joneses, c) give me more ‘ammunition’ when complaining about my identity/work-load balance/etc.
Even admitting all of that on paper is both cathartic and makes me wonder how many people will stop reading because surely I’m the worst woman ever (next to Miley Cyrus, of course 😉 ). It’s hard to admit that I was rushing in to a situation to try and fix an already hard situation, because we all know that’s the dumbest logic ever.
So I decided to make a decision. Instead of continuing to play ‘Russian Baby Roulette,’ by leaving the decision each month up to condoms or chance/fate/God, I am going on birth control. And I’m not going on the pill. I am choosing the IUD without hormones. It’s both an exciting and scary decision to make. Because I know in my heart it’s the right choice, because it takes some control back on my own body, that feels it’s been subject to every whim and fancy, but it also means a decision has been made. We have decided to not have any more kids. …………….yet.
We will revisit the conversation next year. But even just saying that gets me nervous, because part of holding off means letting go of this ‘dream’ (that I’ve felt very influenced by media/friends/family) of having kids 2ish years apart…3 at most. Because now we’re talking 3.5 years apart at minimum. Probably more like 4.5. And that feels different to me, in providing a ‘sibling relationship’ to Potamus. Feels different adding an infant into a household revolving around schoolish activities. But that’s all getting ahead of myself, because, right now we are done having kids.
I’m looking at it that way because I love having one kid. I really love it. The thought of putting the IUD in has actually let me take exhale, as if I’ve been holding my breath for a really long time. It’s hard to describe, this feeling of contentedness and satisfaction and freedom with a choice. And yet, I’m worried about explaining this decision to others. So many people have opinions and beliefs about waiting for more kids, or what it’d mean to have one kid, but I know what’s right for us. And this is it. For now that is. And that’s what I need to keep in mind.
And, in it’s usual timely fashion, yesterday Offbeat families featured this article entitled 8 ways to help you deal when the time isn’t right to have a baby. I suggest you read it 🙂
How did you decide when/if to have kids (or have more kids)? How did you handle criticism or comments from family/friends? Any experience with the IUD you want to share?