Friday, 10 December 2010
My husband and I have been married for nearly three years. I'm 25, he's 26, and we spent the first three years in Germany, with him away for month-long training exercises on both ends of a one-year deployment. We just got back to our hometown of Austin, Texas, and in a lot of ways, we feel like newlyweds again. It feels like we are just now starting our real life, things are that different.
With this recent move back into the lives of family and friends, a question we get A LOT is when we are planning to have babies. I know a lot of people get offended by this question, and I know that an answer is not really expected - a blush and grin is a more usual response than a straight-forward answer. But Hubby and I have learned to be direct at communicating over these three years; it doesn't make sense to us to not say what we mean.
Our answer is that we want to start trying in about a year. We want a year to ourselves in Austin to enjoy being a husband and wife alone together in a wonderful city, with all of the things we loved to do that we have missed for so long. As Mike puts it, "we want a summer of roller coasters". And drinking when we like, and traveling, and camping, and swimming, and staying out late dancing, and hearing some great live music. We want to experience all of that by ourselves before we bring a kid into it.
But it absolutely floors people. They stutter and stammer, finally settling on, "Oh" as the appropriate response. We wondered why for awhile. We wouldn't mind telling them about our plans and when we hope the baby will be born, and what we want to name it if it's a boy or girl, and any of those baby topics, but nobody asks us anything after we answer their first question so directly.
I have finally settled on a tentative conclusion as to why they seem so surprised: I think the fact that we have a plan, and solid reasons for it, is not the norm. It might be that it's mostly family who's asking, and our families don't usually do birth or family by planning, or logical reasons. It tends to be a surprise, or total emotion (the heat of the moment) that drives most of my family's reproduction efforts.
I guess it's also more common for a young couple to not want to communicate directly with others. They are looking for privacy and it's more fun, I think, to tease those couples. But we just lay it all out, for simple reasons:
- We know that our families will be, and we want them to be, involved in the pregnancy. Not everyone wants this, and there are limits on how much involvement we want, but the fact is that we are a closely knit group, and I know that they will want this child almost as much as we do.
- After spending so long away, and with just the two of us, we have learned how important honest communication is, and that has just become our style. We haven't been able to ever waste time on words we don't mean or can't back up. I've learned that hinting won't necessarily get what I want or need, so I just don't do it anymore.
- We are proud of how well we've brought our life together, and we want to share our plans and dreams with people. We had a lot of thinking time, where we could just list out all of our considerations (what we want ultimately, what time lines are important to us, what goals will be easier to achieve before a baby, etc).
I know that all of our plans may go out the window, and I know that the timing will never be "perfect". But, all joking of roller coasters aside, we really do want a year to adjust to civilian life and to the States again. It's more different than I thought it would be, and harder to get used to being back home than I had imagined. But I read and dream about when we have our baby, and what they will be like as a child and adult. I read mom's blogs and research pregnancy. I'm very excited for when it all happens to me.
Being that this is a blogging site by moms and moms-to-be, I'm sure that there are a lot of you who actively planned the conception of your children.
Did you have a plan? How did people react when you told them about it? And did everything go as expected, or were you surprised?