Life is complicated – and there’s no “perfect time”

Life is complicated. Being in a “good place” is not just an issue of having marital satisfaction, or having it all, or balancing work and family, or having more sex, or mental and physical health… It’s all inextricably linked.

These are all front-and-centre issues on my plate. When I try to address one, I find I can’t fix anything in isolation, but when I try to address everything together I feel overwhelmed.

We’re once again discussing the possibility of baby #2, but there are many things we’d like to “fix” about our lives first (putting our relationship first more of the time, being in a good place with work, not feeling the need to work overtime, wanting and having more sex, being mentally and physically healthy). But every time we try to fix one of these things, it’s a temporary fix. That’s because you can’t address one thing without all of the others. And also, you can’t expect to live a perfectly satisfactory life on all of these dimensions all of the time. I don’t think so, anyway.

It all reminds me of the common expectation we (as Western society) put on ourselves to be married and have stable housing and employment before being “ready” to have a baby. Sure, having all of those things MIGHT make your journey into parenthood easier, but it also might not, and it also might all fall to shit when you actually do have a baby.

So, yes, we would love to have a perfect marriage, perfect jobs, and perfect health before having another child, but what I’ve learned from having one child without all of the boxes ticked is that there definitely is no perfect time. There’s no perfect life situation. There’s benefit to having some financial security, but nothing is certain anyway. Also, we have pretty darn OK marital satisfaction, job satisfaction, and health, for the record.

I don’t know if we’re going to come out of this round of discussions with a decision to TTC again. I’m not hopeful. I’m frustrated by the process – by the back and forth, the hashing out of worries and fears, the conditions and ultimatums. I wish we could just have an accidental pregnancy. An “oops! My dreams came true.”

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12 thoughts on “Life is complicated – and there’s no “perfect time”

  1. YESSSS to all of this!!!! The day we decided to try for a baby one more time I said to my wife “Listen, I think we schedule an embryo transfer, we pretend we accidently had unprotected sex one time and if we are pregnant, great, and if not, it wasn’t meant to be and we stop trying.” Annnddd here I am 33.5 weeks pregnant. I hope you guys try 🙂 And that whole perfect time thing- absolutely not real. I kept wondering if that time would ever come too!! So. Much. To. Balance. UGH! Good luck ladies!! I am rooting for you!!

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  2. I feel you. We are TTC with our first one and I feel like we are both in our 30’s, have jobs, I’m going back to school, working on our credit, but the countdown is ON and pressure is bearing down. But we waited. We did everything right in theory. We met, fell in love, married, and now we are doing the baby thing. There’s no right time.. but there’s time that feels right.

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  3. Personally, if you’re debating this much I would not have a second kid. Not because of a flaw in your marriage or anything – just because kids are really, really challenging. We have three (all through the foster care system) …the third came as a “surprise” and has almost broken us. He’s a wonderful child – he’s not the issue. The issue is we were ambivalent. Now that he’s with us all that ambivalence has morphed into fatigue, stress, resentment over what we want the other to be doing, etc. We’re completely financially stable, own a home, have supportive families, travel a lot, been together for 13 years…all of the things we’re trained to think will make us ready. My new outlook is: unless you’re both full on it’s better not to do it. If later you both are full on you can always have/foster/adopt another child.

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  4. Girl I’m with you there is no perfect timing! I agree the back n forth drives me crazy too… It took years of talking about the when we have kids things and then it took a long time to conceive which resulted in hubby saying I wish we would have started sooner and I wanted to kick him because he is the reason we kept waiting for this or that!!!

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  5. I was super unready for a second, Leah was super unready for a third. We tend to say yes rather than no about most things (except buying a new and larger house because holy smokes the market here is stupid ridiculous…) and I’ll say, it has been wicked hard. And also wicked worth it. So far. I mean, I’m kind of annoyed right now because it’s 130 a.m. and I’m sitting online with miserable heartburn. But overall, yeah. It can work even without being certain it’s the right move at the time.

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  6. I think that it’s coming up frequently enough for you guys that you should probably just dive in and get it over with. You know how I feel – it’s super hard. It was hard the first time. The second time some things got a little easier with experience, some things got a little harder because there is a toddler/preschooler who has many needs. But overall, I know it’s going to be completely worth it. Brace yourselves, know that all the variables are NEVER going to be perfect, but you’re all going to come out okay. There is a huge reward getting to watch your daughter become a big sister, a leader, a teacher, and a best friend. There is another huge reward to see a sweet tiny baby get thrown into the crazy mix and watch the world swirling around her in chaos while she just learns to smile and babble and bat at toys. And your wife will become more of an equal parent in ways, because she will have to – the kids will know they need to go to her more because you cannot possibly be everything to them all the time. Good luck with the decision-making. I know it’s super hard.

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    • Love this. I whole heartedly believe everything you’re saying. Just gotta get my wife over that last hurdle – the anxiety over the unknown. Last night we were looking at Avery’s baby pictures and my wife was saying how badly it made her want another baby. She wants it, she just doesn’t know how to let her guard down.

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      • Yes, definitely. There are some barriers to that option, and we’re pretty good at communicating our inner thoughts after years of individual counseling. If it were free and we had evening childcare we’d do it, but for now we’ll just keep talking it out. I don’t personally have any concerns that I feel are a barrier to having another baby, but my wife’s role in our relationship has always been to overthink decisions so we always make the right decisions.

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  7. Odd input: If you are 33 or older before trying to become pregnant please have a mammogram. Because the odds of a malignancy activating from pregnancy hormones increases and once again I know/knew a wonderful woman who faced terrible news and a choice that is being outlawed in some states. She did have a choice; she choose and her family at her funeral included 1 infant, and two additional children under age 5. She got to choose. But it would have been so very much better for everyone if her medical people had had her get a mammogram prior to the last pregnancy and no choice had to be made.
    I absolutely support your family’s choice about family size and have faith you will act with wisdom. I just hope you will keep writing no matter your decision. These days are exceedingly hard and apt to get worse from what I see and read. You make things better and give me hope, because you are living lives that are based on hope for the future. and thus create a future of hope. THANK YOU.

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