Thursday, August 21, 2014

To Baby or Not to Baby?

Oh, hello.
It's me, Amanda.
I write on this sleepy ole blog when something comes to me that matters. :)
As I get older (and boy, have I been feeling it) I find myself exploring the idea of having kids more and more seriously. '

Truth be told, this whole "talking about having kids" thing is completely weird territory for me. It's no surprise to my close family and friends that growing up I knew two things. I wanted to be a wife and a mother.
I was positive I would be married young (I was hoping for like 17, but...21'll do.) and almost as positive that I would have babies shortly after.

The first year of marriage was killer.
A word to newlyweds- give yourself that year. Because it's amazing to me that once I lived as a wife a little I kind of enjoyed it just being me & my husband. Although, I have to admit...being a Nanny is excellent birth control. So, maybe, I'll recommend that everyone should be a Nanny to 1 or 2 small children full-time, before considering children of their own? Yes. That's my recommendation.

...but as I was saying.
I clearly recall within that first year, gushing every time I saw a baby. If someone was pregnant, I was green with envy. If there was a baby nearby, my eyes were glued to it and I was nudging Kyle to adore that little blob of cute as much as I did.
I remember being in church one Sunday and saw a mom holding her new baby boy- I started crying. In the middle of Church.

But oddly, as the years have gone on- I have gone through other phases of thinking maybe, just maybe, being a mom isn't for me, after all.
I seem to be through that phase now and in the..."Maybe in a few years.." phase.

Aside from the constant pressure of keeping up with all of my baby making machine friends (and I mean that kindly!)- I'm also feeling incredibly insecure about my age. If we follow our tentative plan, I'll be almost 30 with my first.
My Mom was 29, and I always swore I wouldn't wait that long.
And here I am.

I struggle with finding a contentment and peace with where I am RIGHT NOW. There are so many things I want to do before kids- and so many things I don't want to wait for, in order to have them.
Does that make sense?

The most common advice I get is, "Enjoy your time with your husband."  "You're young. No rush."
I know, I know!

The flip side of this topic is a hard one for me to write, mostly because I don't want to offend anyone.
But, another thing that has held me back from pursuing children more seriously is the constant (and I mean, constant..) flow of articles, photos, studies, and personal opinions regarding birth and breastfeeding.

I have to say, and I may not be speaking for any sort of mass, but those articles? Those about what doctors did to so and so and how midwives are better and how breastfeeding hurts so bad but also that "breast is best" and also about the epidural and how horrible it is and that you need to go all natural....THOSE. Are the articles that scare the crap out of me.

I appreciate openness and honesty.
But I respect women who do what works for them and their families and in return, respect other women who do the same thing.

My only request here, I suppose, is that when those of you who are already mothers- are sharing your wisdom across all of facebook, please remember that not all of your friends are mothers.
New mothers aren't the only ones who may be feeling alone in whatever situation they may be in- it's those of us, too, who are thinking about getting pregnant but have constant, awful scenarios rotating through our minds of ...what exactly IS best? Is that going to happen to me? What do I choose?

I know, I know. Then why am I friends with you, right? Or why don't I just *not* read the articles?
Well, because I like you as a person, probably.
And also, I don't read most of the articles.
But the one liners, the photos? That's often all it takes for me to be like...jaw on the floor, eyes bigger than you'd think humanly possible....and doubtful.

I don't really know what this post will do for anyone. Maybe something good somewhere. I hope so! Regardless, I feel pretty relieved to get all of that out there and not just through frantic texts to friends.

High five friends.
It's the weekend!


Danielle Hamman said...

Amanda, obviously only you know what works for you and makes you and Kyle happy. For me as a mom, I'm all over the place when it comes to my kids. I had epidural a with both (I'm not trying to be a superstar and have nothing to prove...and with Noah I felt everything on my right side bc I requested a lower dosage and therefore it didn't stay numb...BUT that was my fault entirely and also a sure reminder that I will never NOT request an epi). That being said, my mom kept questioning my decision for one (she went natural with 4 of us, and had one with my sister and swears she had issues). Anyhow, there are both pos/neg outcomes possible with whatever decision you make, but it's entirely up to you. I nannied before Ben and I married and I love those 2 boys. For us personally, we decided to finally go for it after talking about kids entirely too much. Now, 2 kids in, and it's HARD work. I love my kids, but they can be the most frustrating and irritating little people to HAVE to interact with. They can also be the funniest, most loving little people too. We cloth diapered Alli bc it was cheaper....then I got burnt out with it when Noah was 6mths old. We don't vax but we do circumcise. We encourage lots of fruits and veggies, but have eaten plenty of fast food. Being a parent is whatever you want it to be and if you choose you don't want to be a parent, you have every right to that too and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Trust me, there are plenty of days when I truly miss the "us" before kids....but I also look forward to when our kids get older and we can watch them go to school, make friends, play sports, play instruments, or whatever.

So after my entire novel of a comment, I just want to take all the time you want/need in making the life changing decision to have children. And disregard all the "mom competition" that so many of us fall trap to.

Becky | Apples of Gold said...

haha, I loved the way you ended this after all those serious thoughts with-- "High five, it's the weekend!"
I don't know why but I found that hilarious. =)

You know what I did before having a baby?
I took NO ONE'S advice.
I didn't want to hear it because it completely annoyed me that people craved sharing their own personal opinions so darn much.
Of course, there were some conversations I couldn't avoid. Some people did mean well, but in the end I knew my experience would be my very own, and I didn't need anyone else telling me what to do or not do.

In the end, most of mothering comes instinctively.
Yes, there are things you'll need to ask about, but you've for sure got it in you and we're fearfully made by God to be able to handle all the painful stuff that goes hand in hand with being a mom.

Once, while pregnant in Barnes and Noble, I found myself in the pregnancy section, holding "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I read a few pages and all it did was scare me. There are a myriad of things that COULD happen, but it doesn't mean they WILL happen... I vowed to never pick that book up again. And I didn't. Why would I want to know all the possible things that could go wrong?
So I definitely know what you mean when you say it's annoying when everyone mentions those types of things on Facebook, etc. It really is annoying.

All in all, I know you'd make a great mom, and you'd totally (with God's grace) be able to handle the experiences that come your way.. if/when you decide to have a baby.

And YES, being a nanny is a GREAT form of birth control. hahaha. I SO agree with you on that one!