Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Dilemma

My thought process about whether or not I ever truly wanted to have kids was somewhat stunted with my first pregnancy. I just wasn’t able to think about it clearly (I want to say “until now” but I’m not sure that’s true).

When I was seventeen, I made an unrealistic promise to an aborted soul that I would give her another chance to return. Soon after, because of emerging disillusionment about the mothering I had received, I had new doubts as to my own ability to properly mother. On one hand, I had already comitted to trying again one day, but I didn’t have a willing partner, so the point was moot. On the other, I didn’t think myself worthy of a child.

So now that I’m no longer questioning my worthiness and ability (I have a willing partner, and done some healing), now that I have two failed attempts under my belt and the ol’ clock a-winding down, I’m finally looking at the whole issue straight-on(ish), and boy, it’s still not an easy question.

A friend (J.) with a child via an unplanned pregnancy told me that, in a way, she's glad she avoided the whole family planning issue, because she expects she and her husband would have "talked ourselves in circles and would have never known the right answer." I can relate. I really don't know if I'll ever be sure. I don't want to enter into parenthood half-hearted, but I hate the thought of missing my chance. It's a real conundrum.

My husband is no help on this at all, by the way – he continues to say he could happily go either way. If only he desperately wanted a child, maybe then I’d ride his enthusiasm over my own ambivalence. Kids, after all, are so much work. And money. Don’t get me started on money. But on the other hand, I’m kind of glad he isn’t desperate for a kid, because that would freak me out.

As things stand, though, I can’t imagine us getting to the point of ever knowing for sure what we want. Just closing our eyes and playing pin the tail on the donkey, so to speak, may just be what we do, in the end.

One new development: I talked to my husband about taking on foster kids. It's something I've always wanted to do, babies or not, but he resisted the idea. Turns out, he didn't really understand how fostering differs from adoption. I explained, and now he’s kind of into it, actually. Surprise, surprise.

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