Internet, I have some confessions to make. I know there have been hints along the way the past several months, but it’s time for me to come clean. These are things that are difficult for me to write about, but they are what’s truly on my mind, so I think I should write about them.
I want a baby.
I want a house.
I want to go to graduate school.
People I know and love have or are doing all of these things. I’m jealous.
I know they say that there’s never a good time to have a baby and that you should just go for it. Well, we’ve got some plans in the works and needed to wait for some things to happen (Dan graduating, for example). I’m just so tired of waiting. Yet I’m not comfortable bringing a new person into the world without a few specific steps of preparation (primarily, two incomes and some significant savings). It’s hard, because every month when I start a new pack of pills a good chunk of me just wants to say Nope, not going to take them. But every month I do. Having only been on the WANT BABY train for a couple of years now, I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who feel that way for a decade or more before they get to be parents.
It’s going to be a while before we can buy a house. We need two incomes for a while. We need a decent-sized down payment. We need conditions to stay as they are for a while so housing prices don’t go back up. And we need a lot of luck.
Graduate school is something I have wanted to do since I finished college. Well, maybe the first year after I graduated I wasn’t interested. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of different ideas and even made some steps toward applying to one program or another, but nothing ever felt quite right. Then Dan got back into school to finish his bachelor’s degree, and my educational aspirations were put on hold (there’s no way we could have afforded for both of us to be in school at the same time). I’ve had nearly ten years to decide what I want to go to school for, and I think I’ve finally figured it out. But what I want to do will take a serious amount of preparation (taking refresher courses, some volunteer work, and some excellent references) that will take a lot of time before I’m even ready to apply. In the meantime, there’s that whole want a baby-want a house thing. I don’t know if grad school will happen (though I hope it does) and I think the idea I have is a good direction that uses my skills, interests and talents.
But I’m scared of all of these things. I’ve always had a reluctance to grow up, and a baby, a house, a master’s degree will all mean significant changes – in my identity, in my finances, in my career potential. This is frightening stuff. Am I ready to be a parent? Am I ready for homeownership? Am I ready to finally get my butt back into academia where it belongs?
I feel so lucky that the dude I married feels the same way I do about things – that the reason we’re waiting for a baby isn’t because one or the other of us is unsure, but that we want to be in the best situation possible. That we’d rather be smart about buying a house, especially after seeing what some of our homeowner friends have gone through. Dan worked his tail off to finish school, to do well, to learn marketable skills so he can have a career he enjoys and not a job he just does for a paycheck (and so, for once, he can be the primary earner while I finally get the schooling I’ve wanted since we’ve been togther). He is supportive, he listens, we talk about our hopes and fears for the future. He’s going to make a great father to our children, and we’re going to have so much fun fixing up a house together, and I know that he will support me every step of the way if and when I do end up getting that master’s degree. These things are scary, but we’re facing them together, eyes wide open, hands clasped.