I am an aunt now. Officially and as of July 11th. Her name is Rosie and she is precious at I can’t seem to stop crying.
My husband I lived in Florida for about six months because of his work. We moved back a year ago almost to the day because we wanted to start ‘trying’ for a child in January. It was important that we be around family so our little munchkin have aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas. This little baby was going to be very loved. We were in a great spot financially and emotionally, and then life happened. It crept up under us and we landed on our bums. We were suddenly in a hard spot financially and we were very stressed. Moving from Michigan to Florida to Michigan in the span of six months took a toll on us. Employment fell through and we were homeless and broke and deeply in debt. Being 23 and 24 is scary because it’s mostly ‘what ifs’ and ‘I don’t know’. What if we lose our jobs like we just did, but while we had a kid to support. I don’t know if I could take that level of stress. What if we can’t afford it? I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to afford it. It was no longer feasible to start trying to have a child in January.
Four months passed by, it was now November and things were looking up for us. We were married, employed, back on our own, and just happy. We found out we were going to be Aunt Danielle and Uncle Mike. And my heart broke. We had wanted children together since we started dating and were excited to be nearing the edge, eager to jump in feet first. It seemed selfish to try to have a child when his older brother just found out he would be having his first. So we didn’t. We talked and talked about it for nine long months. Family asked repeatedly when we would have children. My heart ached and I didn’t know how to express into words any of it so we told friends and family that we weren’t sure if we wanted children. We told ourselves we weren’t sure anymore.
I have a rather active imagination and I am prone to convincing myself of how I feel rather than listening to my gut. Needless to say I spent the last nine months convincing myself that I really wasn’t cut out to be a mom. I convinced myself I would have more time to travel, to sew, to craft, to bake, to clean if we remained childfree. We would have more money for all of those activities too. Plus, what if I sucked at it? What if I got into it and I didn’t like being a mom? There’s no backspace button for that. Once you’re a mom, that’s it, you’re a mom. No take backs and no lessening of responsibility. Maybe it’s because I never had a good role model for a mom. Maybe I just don’t know how to be a mom, at least not an effective one.
And then Rosie was born. Mike held her (his first time holding a newborn) and I fought back tears. It came so naturally to him and all I wanted was to be able to experience him holding a baby, our baby, with love like that.
I don’t know what happens next in this story. Maybe we will end up not ever having children. At this point in our life we have a great relationship, wonderful communication, good steady jobs, and money in the bank. Could we have a child right now? Probably. Would it be the right choice? I honestly don’t know. Until it is crystal clear, whatever ‘it’ is, then I suppose it is best to wait.