After going back and forth for days about where to start this blog, I’ve decided on baby talk. You know, the talk you have with your partner about IF you’ll have children, WHEN you’ll have children?
As a new mom I feel a little bit in the in-between. Who am I as a mom?
I like to think I’m the same person I was before bringing a child into the world, but undoubtedly it’s changed me. I now have a little girl whose needs come before my own. From here on out, any decision I make will include her. Um, that’s huge.
When I was pregnant, It was like every mom I knew felt compelled to share their DIRTY, un-edited, sometimes scary birth stories with me.
It bewildered me at the time and I really hated hearing about them. I mean, I was scared to death of labor, and the last thing I wanted to hear about was my co-workers “bloody show.”
Fast forward 2 months PB (post baby) and, not only do I want to hear them all, I want to share all the details of mine too! I guess it’s something you only understand once you’ve been through it.
As excited as I am to share my birth story here (You better believe it’s already written and edited and waiting for me to hit the publish button.), the story doesn’t start there, so I’m saving it for another day.
Today I’m talking about THAT conversation. If you haven’t had it with a partner you’ve likely at least thought about how it would, and should, go. Will it be awkward? Will it be so right that it comes easy? Will you initiate it? Him? Will it be unplanned?
It came up once when we first started dating. I don’t remember how many months it had been or where we were at the time, but I lightheartedly asked if he wanted kids. I wanted to make sure that the person I was going to be in a long term relationship with envisioned a future that was at least remotely close to what I wanted. I mean, if he said he didn’t want kids that would’ve been a deal breaker for me and thankfully not a bridge we had to cross.
It came up again on a drive home from Chicago last year. This time we were talking about a more foreseeable future. Ironically we were in town to visit my new niece. Yes, the first of my siblings to have a kid, my brother had set the wheel in motion.
“I can’t believe my (younger) brother had a kid before me,” I said to Mike about half way home. “Well actually, I can believe it, but it’s also crazy.”
I brought up my age.
“I think we should start having kids in the next couple of years,” I blurted. I was dizzy as the words spilled out of my mouth. It wasn’t totally out of left field, but there was still a tiny chance that he’d disagree.
Mike always thinks about the logistics of everything. He brought up everything from cooking dinner for a family to where my job would take me. As a reporter it’s difficult to predict where you’ll end up next.
“Maybe we should start trying? What if it takes years?”
This conversation had more layers than I ever imagined. We’d been together for six years and for the first time we were getting closer to being in the same place in our lives.
When we met Mike was already a few years into his career as a software engineer. I was waiting tables with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. We were in totally different places in our lives. In some ways it helped our relationship. With nothing holding me back, I didn’t hesitate to move from Chicago to Milwaukee to be closer to him. But over the years it’s also come with its share of arguments. Would we be able to get here. It wasn’t that I didn’t make money working in restaurants because it paid the bills. But I knew that I still wanted to go back to school and I knew I didn’t want to work nights at a bar while raising a family.
“We could conceive while in Europe next month,” I added.
As we sat in a crowded Dublin bar it came up again. We debated whether we should plan a vacation to Italy or start converting our office to a nursery.
We still don’t know exactly when we conceived. But its very possible it was during that trip.
Have you had a similar, awkward talk with your partner about having kids? Share yours in the comments.