As I revealed in an earlier post, I want a Baby. I’ve been avoiding the subject both on the ‘blog and in real life but I think now is as good a time as any to go ahead and start talking. Besides, one of my faithful blog readers grilled me on the topic recently, but the office (especially when the boss is breathing down my neck for any of the 12 trillion projects she’s given me) isn’t really the time or the place to get too terribly descriptive.
So here’s the deal…Gene and I are 8 years different in age, putting him at 35. Our vaguely discussed deal was that if we had babies, it would be before he was 35. Well, his 35th birthday was 8/17 and by the end of August I finally felt comfortable to admit that I was having Baby Rabies (pardon the phrase — but surely it’s rabies or something if you spend an afternoon of valuable alone time researching car seats?). Well, that went over like a pork chop in a punchbowl.
Why did I finally feel comfortable? I’ve had minor occurences of the rabies since (per my friend Julie) February. I’d say the first round actually dates back to late 2002 (once you’ve got the wedding pictures, you start thinking about The Next Step). This feeling came in waves — “wantababywantababywantababyNOWWWWW” followed pretty quickly by equally strong waves saying “hey stupid, you like manicures and your cleaning lady and your home office and you’d lose all 3!” But by last month the feeling was not really going away. I was considering ditching the Cleaning Lady (Ole Unreliable, see earlier posts) and manicures are worthless if you have to go home and try to walk two insane dogs immediately after. And the home office? well, maybe I could move my computer to a corner or to the boy’s room.
(Rant: And that’s ANOTHER THING…why the hell would Future Unnamed Baby D get stuck in my 10×10 home office when the boy can barely bother to call his father on his BIRTHDAY but gets the gigantic bonus room upstairs??????)
Anyway: the feelings weren’t leaving. What I needed was to gain the courage to confess these feelings to Gene. My real fantasy was to have Gene say to me in some romantic setting, “I want you to have my baby” but Gene admitted it would never, ever happen :(. His feeling is that if I really, really want a baby we could have one but he’s fine either way. I don’t WANT a father who’s fine either way about our children (!!!). I don’t want ambivalence, I want desire to procreate. And when he says I’d better “really really want” a baby, I think he’s looking for desire to be a mommy on the same level of, oh, I dunno, my friend Julie or an elementary teacher.
So I told Gene at dinner one night and he totally was not into it. Reminded me of giving up all the things I love (manicures, cleaning lady, home office). Which reminds me — WTF would he give up? Bupkis, that’s what. Well, that’s not true. He’d give up ever getting a BMW, which I know is a big thing to him. What I can’t figure out (and here is proof of my skewed views) is how all the other families in our neighborhood seem to have a stay at home mom and no problem taking vacations and buying new cars. How come we can’t do that on Gene’s salary? (note to self: do not tell husband about blog). My theory is that he’s trying to talk me out of having a baby because of the money issue. I also think that he didn’t particularly want to have a kid the first time (shhhh), he’s got 8 years til the boy goes to college and why on earth would he want to restart that clock?
So I just don’t know what to do. As Gene and I have discussed, it would take 2 years to save the money to have a baby (we need to pay off our credit cards and Gene needs a new or at least newer car), plus we’d have to give up things that we really enjoy (he mentioned the satellite dish — I just don’t see that happening). At that point he’s 37 and I’m 29. I don’t think he’s a very good father (maybe it’s just more romantic notions, but if I were in his place I’d keep calling the boy until he called back — the kid is 10, not 24!) but maybe he’d be better as a full time parent instead of this weekend Dad crap. Plus I understand that having children can cause a lot of stress in a marriage, and if we’d really be as strapped financially as Gene suggests, I worry that our marriage wouldn’t succeed. Having a child is the #1 greatest indicator that a woman will end up filing bankruptcy (per the book “The Two Income Trap”). Gene does have the prescence of mind to retort that he’s concerned that NOT having a child could jeopardize our marriage as well. I don’t want to make his life miserable, though, without the things he dreams of (house on the lake when we retire, a boat, a sweet vacation, a BMW) and Gene is not the kind of man from the movies who want all that stuff, have a kid instead, and find fullfillment that way. He’s more of a “Hey, Princess, you’re wearing the down payment for my car on your left hand!” kind of guy.