How Do You Know???

So this past weekend, although a relaxing one filled with yummy eating, running and hiking, shopping and napping, it also consisted of vocalizing the results of my soul searching.

On Friday, before being let out of work early (yay!), I opened a fresh word doc to pour all my career options if I were to become prego or if I were to wait. Here’s the list in no particular order:

Prego/Have Child NOW:

Going back to work at current job part or full time
Finding a new full/part time job here
Finding a new full/part time job there—move (London?)
Going to school—MFA—teaching?
Applying to law school again?
Opening a business
Staying at home full time; screw work
Moving with family and stay at home

WAIT (do not get prego):

Continuing working at current job
Finding a new job here
Moving, finding a new job there
Opening a business
Applying to school—MFA—teaching?
Applying to law school again

My gut reactions are that I don’t want to go to law school. I don’t know what my business would be and therefore could not open it, but the bakery idea sounds like it could be it.

I like the idea of writing at home while taking care of little Nora or Curtis…

Part of me just wants to see how it goes–why should I know 100% what I’m going to do? That would just jinx it, right?

So…I took out a pad of paper and started making a list of lifetime goals with Bub on Saturday morning. The list looked sort of like this but had a Courtney/Bub column. And we didn’t stop at career, we put down how many kids we think we want, where we think we want our vacation house to be, and yes, at what ages we hope to conceive so as plan out our parenting life.

Parenting life.

Last week I talked to my old college roommate who is due to give birth any day now. When I asked her if she was ready and how she knew she said that she wanted to get her masters, yes, that she wanted to work full time even. But that holding her son in her arms was so much more exciting and fantastic an idea when it came down to comparing that to a cold degree sitting in a frame over her desk.

I understood.

Ladies and gentlemen (or invisible readers anywhere). I think I have successfully planned out how things will look in the future. Though I’m not a mother today, I have heard the words that have been spoken several times to me now: No matter how much you plan for things, things are never quite as they seem and go according to plan. Be open minded.

Now that I’ve peeled away the anxiety of being in a small condo, being five years out of school, wanting to do so much in life and how and if and when I’ll do those things as a parent, too, I’m left with the feelings of concrete and raw “How do you know?” How do you know when you’re ready to be a parent, ready to start seriously trying? Ready. Ready. Ready. Should you have read a book about it? Had an epiphany? What?

I get the ovaries humming sensation when I see an adorable baby, wave back at the little girl across the street, say goodbye to the cute little boy I just met at a get together with friends, but I do not get this feeling with every baby and toddler.

I’m terrified. And that’s what I’m most anxious about.

So for anyone who’s a parent who ever sees this post, please share with me how you know.

Despite my anxiety about this subject in earlier posts, I am truly doing better and feeling like I’m close to knowing how I feel. The terrified part remains…what if I’m not smart enough? Know enough? What if I’m too young, too immature? What if I’m not fun enough? What if? What if?

Someone please tell me something. Tell me anything, even if it’s that I’ll miss red wine too much while carrying my unborn child or that I shouldn’t think I’m too young because hello? I’ve known my husband 6 years, been married for over 1, and he’s ready and I want to be, too.

Please don’t judge me. I’m just trying to figure this out.


One thought on “How Do You Know???

  1. I SO remember this stage. Being a magazine junkie, I seriously couldn’t believe there wasn’t a special preconception magazine out there for people like me.

    I’m 36 now with a three-year-old and a one-year-old, so you can see where my decision took me, but I met my husband when I was 24, so you can see it took us a long time to be ready.

    I just kept feeling like I wasn’t ready to change my life (job with lots of responsibility, long commute, etc.) and I wanted to make sure we were READY, you know, the house was renovated, etc. And then? We just decided it was time to give it a try. And it worked.

    And now, while almost nothing about my life resembles that girl’s life back in 2002, I would never want it back. Not for anything.

    If you think, even for a second, that you want to be a parent, and you can provide, at the very minimum, insurance, shelter, food and love for a being you haven’t even met, then you are ready.

    I think this is why humans have such a long gestation period–it helps us prepare!

    Good luck. It just might be the best thing you ever do.

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