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.”