Last August I made this thread because I wanted kids and my husband, who is a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology, told me he wasn’t ready. Our general situation is kind of tough - we moved out of state so he could attend graduate school, I started my own program too, so we’re both now graduate students and long-distance commuters in a state with no family or connections.
People gave a lot of input - some very kind and some not so kind - but there were so many gems in there I just wanted to thank those of you who spoke from your heart and gave it to me straight.
I made a poor decision that year to take my entire summer break off. I should have known better because I really don’t deal with lack of structure well at all, so I took that whole event really hard given that I was sitting around with nothing better to do than think about having a kid. It really was a major turning point in our relationship because my husband and I both realized that we could not function as each other’s only means of social support.
And then there was this:
This was so, completely, utterly right. It stayed with me. I mean, I’m a Zen Buddhist, I should know this already! But it’s so easy to get mentally stuck in a time other than the present. I couldn’t forget this comment. I decided to stop feeling stuck and start reaching out. I started scheduling in social events on my calendar, deepening and strengthening my relationships here and finding out what opportunities I have right where I am. I started building a professional network, too… I started living here.
A lot of you were right. I am so glad I’m not a pregnant grad student right now! Which isn’t to say that I’m not ready - I’m definitely ready, and probably would have handled it fine, but with everything else going on in my life now, I’ve managed to find a lot of the advantages of being child-free at the moment. I also realized I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to handle everything and keep my husband happy - that in my mind he really wasn’t going to be a part of it. In reality, he should be a major part of it. And if he’s got too many demands on his time right now to be an engaged father, then it really is better if we wait. It’s not about ME being ready, it’s about US being ready.
I do think about having kids often, and my husband has started to talk about it more seriously too, but we’re back to our original plan of adoption and it could be another couple of years before we start that process. It still hurts sometimes to have to wait, but really, I am okay with that. I’ve learned not to dwell on it. When we’re ready, it will happen, and it’s going to be awesome.
So generally speaking, life is good. I’m going to graduate in 3 months, I’m exercising, meditating, cooking nutritious meals every night and feeling better than ever. My internship this year has been off the hook and I’m starting to feel pretty fierce in my professional life. My husband and I have grown closer even though his schedule is even more crazy than it was last year… closer but more independent, if that makes any sense. He has started socializing on his own too. We’ve each started taking more responsibility for our own happiness.
The irony is, I complained about feeling ‘‘stuck’’ just months ago, but now my roots in Philadelphia are so strong I don’t want to leave! These are my people, man!
Anyway, thanks. The thing we most need to hear is sometimes the hardest.