Wednesday, November 10, 2010

maybe, baby

{Please forgive the vomitous, cheesy-chick-lit-esque title.  It goes down a little easier if you sing Buddy Holly in your head.}

As I, Teller of Convoluted (Yet Hysterical) (what? I'm partial!), Long-Ass Stories (that's my official Cherokee Name, bee-tee-dubs) am hopelessly NOT apt to do, I'll just come right out with it...

{Except, see what I did there? Parentheticals are Teller of Convoluted Long-Ass Stories' best friend.}

... Thinking* About Trying to Have a Baby is a big, exhilarating, pee-my-pants-fucking-terrifying, pain in my ass wonderful thing.

*emphasis on the "thinking," please.

No need to faint and pull up the speed dial just yet (Mom) - I'm talking theoretical. See note above.

Truth be told, babies used to fall into the same category as cooking for me.  {I'll wait whilst you read that old post from yesteryear.  Because recapping my feelings on the contemporary woman and the psychological implications of her culinary endeavors would take away from my 16 & Pregnant television enjoyment.} {Note: There's irony in there, somewhere.} 

Yep.  Risotto and babies.  Liked 'em both.  Happy to enjoy the fruits of others' risotto and baby labors.  No desire to have either in my literal or proverbial oven.  

But, pages turn.  Seasons change.  Risotto becomes something I enjoy doing as well as eating. And, apparently, I begin to dream up ridiculous analogies in order to (not very) cleverly assert maybe a baby would be pretty damn cool.

Hence: The interesting warble of thoughts jumbling around in my noggin right now.  Such as...

Are we ready?

Let's be completely honest here. 

When you get engaged, you're saying to each other "Honey, I love you so much that I'm decently confident I can deal with your bullshit until one of us kicks the bucket."  

When you pull the goalie, you're saying to each other "Honey, I love you so much that I choose not just your continual presence all up in my grill, but also your DNA."  Not to mention "I am so confident in our relationship that I'd like to make it officially impossible for us to cleanly and permanently extricate ourselves from this union."

I've said those things.  In my head.  And outloud.  And I've meant them.  100%.  But then there are the somewhat less vital yet equally worthy of thoughtful deliberation quandaries ...

Have we had enough time, just the two of us, unencumbered? 

What parts of our current lifestyle are we willing to sacrifice?

Am I ready?

Blah blah blah, growing up, I never saw myself as a mother, blah blah blah. Aside from giving that dead horse another good smackaroo, we have...

Am I too selfish right now?

This is a pretty big category - including, but not limited to:
- booze-and-soft-cheese intake
- The Fatness
- sleep
- travel
- "fun money"
- career goals
- spontaneity

See Also: Italy 2011: Wine Fest?  Or Fetus' First Carb Marathon?

Am I capable of giving up a ton of control?

You know what I loved about wedding planning?  That it was just that... Wedding. PLANNING.  Barring torrential downpours, fires, and other natural disasters, you can pretty much dictate every last detail of your nuptials.  That made me happy.  That made me calm. I had an itinerary, and I had people I trusted to implement that itinerary... all I had to do was smile, say "I do," and have a fabulous time.

I hear from reputable sources that pregnancy and babies and children and teenagers and adult children and pretty much THE REST OF YOUR LIFE is not so easily planned.  Things go wrong.  There are complications, disappointments, blessings in disguise.  I know it will be wild and woolly and wonderful, all rolled up in a big ball of crazy.  And I think it will be a blast... but will I need a Xanax prescription to make it through the next 70 years of my life?

Other Crucial Considerations:

Will we become lame? Like, forever?

Will the word's most neurotic terror try to eat a baby?

Will certain family members attempt to swathe our newborn in hot pink bedazzled cheetah print a la a mini-baby-streetwalker?  

Sigh.  So much to ponder.  Thank goodness pinot noir is still a viable therapeutic aid.  


  1. Oh. my. goodness. We are currently in right about the same spot, except we do have two things to wait on while considering whether or not it is baby o'clock yet. Must make sure jobs are secure and buy a house. Seems simple, right? Except every time someone else has a baby or I'm surrounded by kid stuff at work or elsewhere it is all I can think about! Also, I will really miss my wine for about a year. Sads.

  2. Cliche alert: you will never be completely ready for baby. I sure wasn't. BUT, you will be surprised how well your life adapts with them.

    But you will have to give up wine. And some cheese which never seemed fair to me. And that body. Oh I miss my early 20's body.

    But (again) there is nothing more rewarding than your baby's sweet, sweet smile.

  3. I believe with all of my heart that you will be the most wonderful mother ever. I think the answers to all these questions will come with time, probably in the moment. And I'm not just saying that because I've let the idea of you making me one of the most obsessed/fabulous aunts ever marinate for several months now and I'm 100% on board with it. For reals.

    It is scary because for the first time in our entire friendship, we'll be in TOTALLY different lifestages that will be tangible. That being said, it doesn't have to be a bad thing, nor do all the other unknowns and questions that you are having right now have to be answered tomorrow. The good news is, you've picked the right person to procreate with, and you've surrounded yoursleves with people who love and support you all the way.

    I can't wait to spoil the crap out of your little nugget. I love you!

  4. I agree with the comment that you are never ready - when I found out I was pregnant I was scared to death, followed by a few days of "there is no way in hell that I am ready for this."

    I still have some of the same fears that you have, and I won't know the outcomes for a couple more months, but I can already tell you, feeling this kid kick and move around inside of me is pretty damn amazing.

    I also never thought I'd be married, like to have nights in instead of staying out until the wee hours, etc. All of those changed, so why not this as well. :)

  5. you're just never ready. there will always be things you want to do. big purchases to make. places to see. expensive shoes to wear and gorgeous bags to carry. and those things make take a little bit of a backseat, but you can still have both. and still be an amazing parent!

    your dog may drive you crazy for the first time in her life and your in-laws will drive you crazier than ever. but it's just part of the process and definitely not worth delaying YOUR life out of fear of how other annoying people in your life are going to act.

    you and Evs will be amazing parents one day and i can't wait to sing and shout when you announce someday that you are going to have your own happy little elephant! (is that inappropriate?)

  6. Have you considered yet my feelings on the subject?

    Kidding! Kind of! I love Lindsey's comment about the whole life stages thing because OBVIOUSLY I don't think you should take my feelings into consideration, but its weird ya know? Like, when your friends go and do that and then everything between you and your friend is changed just because it has to change and because they have this big huge thing going on that you are so happy for them about, but that you still don't quite get.

    Anyhoo, I will probably end up buying you a baby shower gift before I get around to forking over your wedding gift. SORRY.

  7. Still firmly (semi-firmly?) in the no baby camp. I just can't imagine giving up my personal freedoms. But I love OTHER PEOPLE's babies (and risotto, that shizzle takes a long time to make)!

    Btw, did you enjoy Tender at the Bone (pictured in linked post)? I am having a hard time getting into it.

  8. Forgot to mention (not sure how)... male partner asked me today if I was going to be a lawyer forever or a (yes, it's a quote) "stay at home mommy." There was a follow-up discussion on whether I am too old. AWKWARD.

  9. I'm only in college; nowhere near engaged, married, or having a baby, but this post is absolutely hysterical. And I agree with all of it. I am going to need like at least (huge emphasis) 5 years with future-hubs to road trip, drink too much wine, sleep late, etc. I don't know you, but based on your witty posts filled with all the super fabulous things you do, I have a hard time believing that you could be forever-lame if you had a little nugget.

  10. I am not registered as a follower, but have been reading your blog for quite some time. (I love it and have turned my friends on to it too.) I am career woman, 36 (almost 37 - gah.) My best advice is to get to a point when you are READY - no questions! Then wait one year. You will always have one more thing you will want to do or place you want to travel to - you will be happy for that extra year. I love my little ones to death. They are just the best thing ever. But I still dream of the days when I just came home from work, sat on the couch and read Instyle cover to cover while munching on veggies and hummus.

    The other advice is to make sure you have good support in place. Do you have family within minutes of your house? Do you have friends close by whom have children too? It does take a village - especially if you are a working mommy.
    Just my thoughts! I am sure you will be one fun mom!

  11. Dear Slynnro,

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

  12. LOVED THIS. I always enjoy your long-ass stories.

  13. I'm not sure you can be ready. As my hubs and I are trying to replicate a little bit of ourselves and it's taking much longer than we aticipated (no instant gratification here) I have SO many moments when I think, "you know? I like our life just as it is. Why upset the staus quo?" And, then a week later I get baby fever again.

    It's a vicious cycle, truly. But, you'll know when you "think" you'll be ready. And nobody else can rush you to get there.

  14. Did you read my diary? Similar thoughts over at our house.... who knows?

  15. I could have written this exact post! We are having the same discussions in our house right now. I guess the conclusion we've come to is will we ever be fully ready? I'm thinking probably not. :)

  16. So I'm not the only one with baby on the brain? Good. You really took the words right out of my head and put them into this post. Now that we've returned from Germany where we consumed many liters of beer and several blocks of cheese, the parents and siblings think it's time to start procreating. We (mostly) agree, though there are still reasons to believe we're not (quite) ready. We don't yet own a house. We want a puppy. Good things are happening with my career and his. We want to travel. And so on.

    I'll raise my glass to you tonight and toast to big life considerations!

  17. IMO - once you start pondering these are on the down-hill, slippery-slope to pregnancy! Its just a natural progression ;-)

  18. These thought cross my mind exactly and we haven't even moved in together yet! (coming up in 3 short months! AGH!)

  19. Just go for it! And think about the really cracked-out crazy people who have babies that turn out just fine. You got this. Plus I just love your blog, and I want to read about your blog + a bebe, so maybe that's why I'm in the yes-you-should-have-a-baby camp? I know, selfish. But really! I agree with the "you'll never REALLY be ready" folks. You clearly want to - follow your heart/dreams/ovaries!

  20. I love it - wine fest or carb marathon -- tough choice! ;)

  21. Love this.

    Five months preggo and still not sure if we're ready (and yes, this was planned). We decided we'd never truly be READY, but knew we wanted kids eventually, so let's just see what happens. HA!

    If it helps, my doctor says forge ahead with the soft cheese.

    Also if it helps: pregnancy? Damn good for the blog hits.

    (Okay, I just selfishly want you to get knocked up because your blogging will only get funnier.)

  22. I love this post... we're at the point where we've been married a year and a half and although we're not ready for kids yet, we know it's the next big thing that is coming. Although it's still a good 2 years down the road for us, knowing that it is coming eventually definitely gets the wheels turning.

    Everyone always tells me what everyone just told you, you're never ready! I'm sure they're right!

  23. Have you heard "you're just never ready!" enough? Because it's true, true and TRUE! The questions you raised went through my head almost every day from the time I found out I was pregnant to the time the doctor placed my son in my hubby's arms. It was my daily dose of holy-shit-what-have-i-gotten-myself-into.

    However, totally worth it. Sure, I do still sometimes wish that I could go out and spend a little extra on just me, but truthfully, every sacrificed designer handbag, every passed over summer margarita is worth it when my son throws his chubby baby arms around my neck and gives me a kiss. He gives my every day a more fulfilling purpose, and that is truly wonderful.

    And as my cousin always says, it's truly shocking that the biggest inconvenience you will ever have in your life will at the same time become your life's greatest joy.

  24. It's so funny. . .when I read your menu post earlier this week, I was thinking about how absolutely psychotic it is that I have a certain feeling. . .I'm embarrassed to admit. . .I felt proud of you. It's basically how one feels about a little sister. Specifically: I am a personal chef and caterer. I hope this doesn't sound horrible, but let's just be honest, that puts me in the upper percentiles of cooking skills, right? So usually when I read blogs that only casually mention cooking (i.e. blogs that are not specifically food blogs), I'm usually not there for the food info. I'm there (here) for the entertaining stories and the glimpses of other peoples' lives. But the food? Eh. I'm usually pretty unimpressed, and I really don't mean that to be as snobbish as it sounds. Anywho. I found myself feeling so proud of you this week, because I'm noticing, just from your menu posts, that you've become a really good cook. So much so that I have bookmarked several of your recipes. . .you've seriously gotten good! I thought about commenting, but didn't want to sound cra-zay, but that's how I feel. You can hold your own in the kitchen, I can tell, and I'm so impressed.

    How that ties in today? I guess I'm feeling like there's a theme going on. You seem to be gaining a lot of maturity in those home-focused areas (I know you've had it in spades in the academic, professional, and might we add fashion, arenas for quite a while), and I'm just really happy for you.

    Babies are awesome, by the way. :) I have two little girls, 4 and turning-2-next-week, and just today I said to my husband, "I have no idea why, but I'm feeling insanely baby hungry again! What is wrong with me? Didn't we JUST start sleeping through the night again?" But really, it's the best thing you could ever do, in my opinion. One specific response to your list of concerns: you're right, children make life a little less plan-able. But I've found that even regardless of children, the older you get, the less you can plan or predict what's going to happen in your life. So since you'll have a certain level of unpredictable anyway, why not include the thing that many of us think is the single most fulfilling thing you could do: create a family.

    I'm so excited for you, for the journey you're about to start. You'll be such a sweet mama!

    Uh, by the way, that's my husband's google account I came up as. Just too lazy to sign him out and sign me in. :)

  25. Even after you have a baby you will still be asking yourself if you are ready to be a parent! You'll question yourself constantly (although it happens less often with subsequent kids). Seriously though, you'll never feel completely ready for a baby or the next stage of parenting - but it comes at you anyway. My boys are 8 and 4 (yikes!) and I still look at them each and every day and think to myself - "Wow, I'm a mom and those kids are mine!" We never stopped doing what we loved to do (travel, go out with friends, etc.) when we had kids. It isn't always easy but you make some adjustments and live your life. My four year old has been on mmore airplanes in his first four years than I was in my first 20 years! Parenting is the hardest gig you'll ever have but so worth it. Yes, harder than lawyering - I stopped practicing when I had my kids. I don't regret it. There's plenty of time to go back to work and I do lots of pro bono work now. My only piece of advice: take one last wild and crazy or indulgent trip before getting pregnant. You'll look back on this trip with such a mixture of memories - the last pre-baby trip but the beginning of something so much better!

  26. It's like I was thinking and you were typing.

    We are still very very far from that discussion and actually pondering those thoughts but with all my friends starting to answer those questions with a big "WE'RE READY" I can't help but realize we will have to face those thoughts one day.

    Everyone says "you're never ready" and "there will never be *enough* money" etc etc but I can't help but have the same thoughts and questions you do.

  27. I know that you will be a wonderful mother - whenever you decide it is right! You will not be lame forever. Hey I still know how to have a good time and one of the perks of having a child is that wine (and cheese) are a perfectly acceptable method of coping with the joys of motherhood. And News Flash - you can still be friends with your single friends and your friends without kids. You and I are still friends. Erin said it perfectly, so I will just say ditto.

  28. I wrote a post on Tuesday that was similar in ways to this. After 2+ years of marriage I feel like we should start thinking about babies and that next big thing, but I won't lie, I am loving my lazy Saturday mornings and glasses of wine on Wednesday nights as I watch the CMA's...I need a little more time to just be ME!

    But when I do start to think about babies my ovaries begin to ache just a little. The more and more friends I have who are pregnant or with babies is just making me think about it more. And like others said above, I guess we're never REALLY ready. Are we? When can we be totally prepared for any big change in life? When I graduated I thought I was ready to teach and devote my life to education, but 4 years into it I still feel like I'm getting my butt kicked. But ya know what? I'm surviving and loving my job in the midst of all that. I think a lot of life is that way....

    Beautiful post, friend! Glad to know there are others out there in the same boat as me!

  29. Kate,
    I have been reading your blog for some time now. I looooove this post it pretty much sums up my feelings lately. Love your style of writing and just to answer your question, No, I dont think you will become lame. I look forward, when the time is right, to hear your take on motherhood and all that entails with that sense of humor of yours!

  30. Just now reading this and have to throw in my two cents...

    I guess I am in the minority when I say I 100% do not agree with the "you'll never be ready" line. Maybe those people didn't give it long enough? I felt EXACTLY like you for 11 months. I wavered between we can do this, we absolutely need a baby now and omgwtf are we thinking, there's so much more we want to do.

    One day we woke up and were both on the same page and there were no doubts at all that we are absolutely ready for this. There are times when I feel a bit nervous about how I'm going to handle things when the baby gets here and I wonder if I'll be able to be the fantastic mother than I've always envisioned......but I know we are ready for it.

    The whole list of 99 more things we want to do before there's a baby in the family? We've either crossed them off or can't even remember what they are.

    I say give it time, let it fester in your brain, and one day (not too far away!) you will be ready and you'll know it. You won't have to wonder if you are ready or if you can handle giving up Champagne Thursdays for nine months or soft cheese for the first trimester. You'll know without a doubt that having a little baby elephant trumps all of your own plans, and you're ready for that. = )

    Hope that helps!


happy little comments!