This past week baby talk seems to surround me. The holiday’s tend to have that effect. Or more accurately, my family has that effect. Over Thanksgiving Jeremy and I were asked about our baby plans more times than I can … Continue reading
WordPress just kindly notified me that today is my 1 year blogging anniversary!
I started this blog as Jeremy’s second deployment was coming to an end. 75% done, to be exact.
Since then, he has come home and we have been lucky enough to keep him home.
I’ve been thinking more about deployments and the military over the last week. Since Jeremy’s last reenlistment I got comfortable with the idea of him being career military. I came to terms with the knowledge of more deployments. I accepted the inevitability of more moves, of having to transfer my career around the country and not being able to settle down and build our dream house.
But lately, with Jeremy’s recruiting orders seeming unlikely as a result of the shut-down, he could be out of the Marine Corps in as little as 2 years if he doesn’t reenlist again. November 2015 to be exact.
There was a point in Jeremy’s life that he wanted to make the military career. But as we look forward into our future, as we think about having children and the kind of life we want to provide to our children, he seems to have changed his mind about staying in the military.
Plenty of military families have children in the military and raise them successfully. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; but that is not the life that Jeremy wants for his future children.
The idea of not being there for every birthday, for every “1st”, for every soccer game and for every bedtime story, is very upsetting for him. He wants to be there for everything, and to make that a reality he would need to be out of the Corps.
So perhaps as my blog reaches its 3 year anniversary I will be posting about preparing to EAS. I will be sharing our preparations and excitement of moving cross country and settling down in WI. I will be posting about being a spouse of a veteran, a man who proudly served 9 years in the Marine Corps. I will be sharing tips about how to use the GI Bill and taking advantage of the VA loan.
I suppose we will have to wait and see where we take our life!
A fellow social worker and military spouse that I follow posted on Instagram a picture of her new Lexus and her husband’s new motorcycle with the caption of (I’m paraphrasing) “Embracing being a DINK”
DINK being an acronym for Dual Income, No Kids
It got me thinking about my own life, since my husband and I are also DINKs
I find myself struggling to embrace our childless life lately, not because I want to have a baby right now, but because I’m worried that we might not be able to have children right away when we do decide we are ready. What if we wait until we are 28/29/30 to start trying, only to find out that one of us can’t have children, or that it might take years of trying to finally conceive?
A few of the bloggers I follow are currently going through infertility issues, and the whole topic scares me.
I wish there was a way to know now if we can conceive. So I could put my mind at ease and fully enjoy our time as DINKs.
Because there is so much to enjoy. Sleeping in, spending our money on fun toys, taking spontaneous vacations. I want to fully enjoy the phase of life that I am in right now, and not worry about the future phases as much.
My work had a staff retreat recently, during which I overheard a conversation between a few of my supervisors. They were talking about an employee who was out on maternity leave. Before she left they created a new part-time position within her department, and she had expressed an interest in the job. My supervisor said that her comment was “is this your way of saying you want to come back part-time after the baby is born?”, and the woman responded, “no, I want to do both jobs”.
The response to this story was very positive. It was seen that the woman was dedicated to her job and passionate about her chosen career field.
My reaction, in overhearing this conversation, was negative.
I have a negative impression of this woman (who I have never meant), for volunteering to spend additional time away from her newborn baby. I have a negative impression of someone choosing work over family.
I love my work. I spent six years in college, earning two degrees, to be able to do what I do everyday. I am passionate about social work and I want to help people.
I also love my husband. I love my home life. I love my “me” time.
When I am at work, I give 100%. But when my workday has ended, I immediately head home and give 100% to my husband.
So what if I had to chose between work and family? What will I do when we decide to have a baby? Will I give up my career, or will I give up time with my child?
Although I can’t say for certain, since I am not in that situation yet, I plan on choosing family.
But why does my choice being different from another woman’s choice make her choice wrong? Why did I have such a negative reaction to hearing about that woman wanting to take on extra work instead of being with her child?
Her choice wasn’t wrong, it was her choice. She lives her own life, and the choices that she makes are the right ones for her. Just like the choices I make are the right ones for me.
There is not right or wrong answer to the choice of work or family, only different.
But can there be a middle ground? Why is a woman seen as strong, independent and modern if she keeps her career and old-fashioned if she stays home? Why is a woman who goes back to work and put her child in day care seen as a bad mother, and a woman who stays home a good mother?
So lets put aside society’s opinions. Put aside our own personal beliefs. Let each woman make her own choice, and give her the freedom and respect to do so, without judgement.
My cousin posted this article on Facebook yesterday, the title wasn’t very catchy or descriptive, so I didn’t read it. Then another friend posted it on the same day. My rule on Facebook is that if multiple people post the same link, it’s probably good enough to read lol.
So I read it, and I loved it. I’m not religious, and I don’t plan on having children “young”, but I thought it was a very powerful and interesting article.
It reminded me of my view on young marriage, and how society today views marriage as something you do after you’ve “lived” a full adventurous life.
I had never thought of applying that same idea to having children. I plan on waiting till I am in my late 20’s to have children because I want to finish college, establish my career, be financially stable and enjoy a care-free and child-free life. I guess in this particular area, I do follow society norms.
And then I remembered back to my early 20′s and the prevailing culture that said – get your college degree before you have babies, travel a little before you have babies, your body is going to completely change after you have babies, have fun and live it up before you have babies, get yourself financially secure before you have babies. Be a responsible adult and wait wait wait to have those children…
We live in a selfish culture where having children is a huge inconvenience. I mean – how am I supposed to fit in aerobics, spa days, girls shopping trips and “me time” when I have children that need me 24/7?
Many people would say that getting married young causes you to miss out on life as well. And in some ways it does. Once you are married it’s not all about you and your wants and needs, it’s about the “us”. And in a “selfish culture”, that might be something people try to avoid, because it is an “inconvenience” to their independence.
I’ve never viewed marriage that way, but I have viewed motherhood that way. Not that I don’t want to be a parent, but because I see it as a HUGE lifestyle change that will make me give up the life I have now. And I don’t think I’m ready for that yet.
But maybe if I thought about motherhood in a different way, not focusing on what I am going to lose, but what I am going to gain, I would feel differently. I would challenge the norm that society has placed on women.
Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Jeremy and I have been talking more and more about starting our family.
He says he wants to wait 5 more years (we are both 24), but other times he will make jokes about us getting pregnant sooner than that. The more he brings it up, the more I get the feeling that it isn’t as scary of an idea as it used to be for him.
Yesterday, after he joked about giving me a baby if he can get a new Jeep (lol), we had a serious conversation about his future in the Marine Corps.
He is currently in his second enlistment and has 2 1/2 years left on his contract. We had planned on him getting out at that time since he isn’t very happy with his new command and the people he works with. But yesterday he was talking about all the other options there are in the military for him, from doing recruiting, applying for Warrant Officer or MECEP and getting his college degree. He loves mentoring his junior Marine, and I agree with him that he would make a great officer.
I thought that I would have some negative feelings about him thinking about making the military career, since I was so excited about getting out and being a civilian.
But I was kind of excited about everything he was talking about, because he was so excited about it! In the end, I just want my husband to enjoy his career, regardless of if that is a civilian or military career.
This all connects back to babies because I think if he decided to stay in, we would start trying in a year or two (OMG!). The whole reason we’ve been on this 5 year plan is because if he does get out I want him to have the change to go to college, and if we had a baby I know he would want to start working right away to support us and would not go to college.
It’s a little weird to switch my mindset and think of myself as a career military wife. That this will be my life for the next 15+ years. And it’s very weird to think of us having a baby in two years!!! I’m scared, but also very excited. I feel like once I hit 24 my hormones kicked in and now I have baby fever all the time.
But I think we would make it work in the military. In fact, I think we would flourish. I want to be a social worker for the military or the VA, which would be much easier if we were always near a military base. I handle the separations well, and while I don’t look forward to more deployments, I know we can make it through them without a problem.
I would miss getting to settle down and build a house, but I also think it would be fun to see more of the country and get to live in other states.
I guess it comes down to the fact that I am okay with either option, which is what I told my husband last night. I want him to enjoy his career, no matter what that is. I love what I do for a living, and I want him to have that experience too.
So I guess we will see how we feel in 2 1/2 years! Maybe we will end up in WI building our forever home, or perhaps I will be pregnant and moving to North Carolina/Virginia/Japan/etc. 🙂
Jeremy and I had lunch with some friends of ours that we haven’t seen since Jeremy left for deployment. They are currently expecting their first baby girl, so of course the conversation turned to pregnancy and when we are going to start trying. (See previous post for our 5-year plan)
I mentioned that I have thought about having a baby within the next few years before Jeremy gets out so we can use the free medical and then our baby would be 2 or so when he gets out and at a better age for daycare/preschool.
Jeremy, of course, acted freaked out about this lol. But later, when we were driving home he asked me if I really wanted to have a baby before he gets out, that we would need to do it right now if that was what I wanted.
I thought about it, but even though I want to be a mom within the next 2-3 years, the idea of trying to get pregnant right now is still scary.
There are so many things that I want to do still.
Which gets me on the topic that biology needs to catch up with society.
I will be 24 when I graduate with my masters. I went straight to a 4-year university after graduating high school and then on to a 2-year masters degree program.
It will take me another 2-3 years of working full-time to get licensed, making me 28 and just starting to establish my career.
Yet the ideal age to have children is 20 – 35, so if you want to have more than one child, you should probably start in your mid-20’s. Having a baby after 30 is hard; your fertility goes down, chances of miscarriage increase and genetic risks.
But how many women these days are married, done with college and in a stable career by their mid-twenties? How many men are?
“the average childbearing age for women is now 29.3 years of age. In 1968 the average age was 23.” – source
So, I vote that our reproductive system needs to catch up to the evolution of society. Too bad that kind of stuff takes thousands of years lol.
Jeremy and I took a road trip to WI over the holidays to spend time with his family and see our friends.
We’ve gotten to the age (24), where it seems like all our family and friends have babies! Jeremy has a niece (his first one), his best friend from High School is pregnant, his sister is pregnant, our friends from the Marine Crops have a baby and my cousin has a baby! Pretty much everyone we stayed with and visited with is either pregnant or has a baby lol.
And of course, we get asked by everyone when we are planning on having kids because we have been married for 4 years and are at that age.
Our answer = 5 years
Jeremy wants to wait till he is out of the military, so that’s 3 years. He also wants to go to college when he gets out, so that’s another 2 -3 years. He would like to wait another few years so he can get established at a job, buy a house, etc. But that would be 2 more years which would make the total 7-8 years from now and would make me 31 or 32, and I don’t want to start having kids that late in life for medical reasons.
So we’ve settled on 5 years, when he is done with college and we are both 28.
Jeremy always says he is scared of having kids. He wants them someday, but he is scared of the responsibility and is afraid of messing up.
But after our trip home, when we were on our last day of driving, he said that after spending so much time around babies he is actually kinda excited to have kids. He is so great with them, and he loved playing with my cousins little boy (he really wants a boy lol). Playing with the little boy he felt like it wasn’t actually that scary or hard, that he could do it with his own baby someday.
Hearing that gave me hope, hope that maybe in 5 years when it comes time for us to try he will be ready and as excited as I am. Because I am ready. I want to be a mom within the next few years.
But I also want Jeremy to be ready. I want us to be on the same page, because having a child is a life changing responsibility, and it’s one that I want us to make together when we are both ready and excited for that next phase in our life together.