I had trouble sleeping last night. It took me forever to fall asleep, and I woke
up around 3-something and tossed and turned forever trying to turn my brain off
and get back to sleep. Too much on my
This morning, an NPR article about the decision to have
children popped up in my Facebook feed. I
read it because it’s something that weighs heavily on my mind these days. Most of the time, I am so sure of what we’re
doing, but sometimes the nagging doubts creep in. The most nagging of the doubts being
Can we afford this?
What will having a child mean for our marriage?
So it was so fitting
when I read this quote from this blog post on CrookedTimber.org in the NPR article:
Choosing to have a
child involves a leap of faith, not a carefully calibrated rational choice…
Their argument being
that there is no way to make a rational choice about having a child, because
there is no way to know what having a child will be like until you actually
have one. So what we think of as
rational decision-making is actually just us conjuring up a perceived idea of
how a baby will affect our lives, when we actually have no freaking clue.
At first, this made me
feel worse. It goes against my nature to
disregard logic and act on faith. I am
the queen of overanalyzing.
For example, just now
I read a single mention of someone using a fertility monitor on a TTC message
board, and I have spent an hour researching them to see if they’re worth the
investment versus the standard ovulation prediction kits in addition to posting
on the message board to see what others’ experience with them has been. I want ALL of the facts before I make a decision.
But in this case—in the
question of “to baby or not to baby?”—there is no “ALL of the facts.”
There is the
perception that I will get less sleep than I ever have in my life, and the
vague idea of how that will affect me physiologically.
There is the abstract
notion of what it will be like to nuzzle our newborn’s peach fuzz hair as s(he)
sleeps in my arms.
There is the vision of
watching Catch teaching him(her) to swing a bat and run the bases.
There are imagined strolls through the neighborhood on a
beautiful spring day with wife and dogs and stroller—imagined camping trips
where Catch teaches them to fish and I teach them how to roast a perfect
marshmallow—imagined road trips to visit my sister in law at their ranch in
Colorado, and the fun to be had with her horses and ATVs and rolling hills and
There are fears of slamming doors, screaming matches, missed
curfews, and boys we don’t approve of—of not enough time for us to be a couple—of
how we will cope with no privacy and constant interruptions—and the biggest
fear—how we will make ends meet.
It’s all just perception.
We really have no clue. So, if we
are to do this thing—this major, permanent, life-changing thing—we must have
faith, and we must leap, and we must be there to catch each other when we