Mona the Mommy?
My husband and I have debated whether or not we want children for a several years. In the first years of marriage we were discovering each other and developing our careers which was our primary focus. We have been together now for almost ten years and the discussion is becoming more frequent. I also see a rise in his emotional investment in this topic. He didn’t used to be as sold on it like he appears now. It’s something we talk about almost every day now. I am not against the idea of having a child, it’s just I don’t think I’m quite where he is yet. As much as I hate to say it I am pretty contented without kids. We take trips, buy what we want, don’t ever have to cut an evening short because of a sitter. We enjoy life. We enjoy each other. I enjoy my freedom. Yet if I am ever going to have kids I should do it sooner than later because I don’t want to be forty and running the risks involved. I am stuck somewhere in between wanting to go for it and making the call that it isn’t in the cards for us. Can you provide any insights or Micahisms on this for me?
You really do not have to decide right now. You said that you are stuck between the choices of just doing it or deciding that it’s not an option for you. Those are two extreme positions with a lot of wiggle room in the middle you seem ready to cut out. Leave your options open. It sounds like you have some disposable income if you take trips a lot and go out often. Take some of that money and freeze your eggs. That way you can be 40 if you want to and have a baby with your 30 year old eggs (or however old you are). Most of the risks you fear revolve around the age of the woman’s eggs so just freeze your younger ones and then the option is always available for you. With that said, you do need to take the temperature of the room so to speak with your husband. It sounds to me like he really wants kids now and has waited a long time for them. In his mind perhaps you guys have already “been there and done that” with trips and dinners and night clubs and concerts and whatever it is that you have all this freedom to do. Now he wants to be a father and experience that life. That’s pretty normal for a man. And it doesn’t sound like you are totally against it either, you just have gotten very comfortable being comfortable and free. Speaking as someone who has lived both ways—I was 37 when my son was born—the trade-off of freedom and money is WAAAYYY worth it when you have a kid to love and be loved by. The fun that I thought I was having in my life in no way compares to the fun I have with my kid. BUT I really wanted to have a kid. That’s the important difference. You need to search your inner self and determine if you truly don’t want children and if you don’t, then don’t. Just don’t confuse fear or resistance to losing freedom as evidence that you are anti-child. It’s totally possible to want kids but also fear losing your freedom. Ask yourself this, do you ever find yourself smiling at the thought of being a mom and fantasizing a little about the kind of mom you’d be? If so then you’re fine, have a kid. Your anxieties are normal and will melt away once that child is here. But if the very idea of being a mom brings your spirits down or causes you to feel like you’d lose your sense of self and be enslaved to something you’d resent, then do not have a child. There is nothing wrong with choosing to not have children. I know in this world we often look down on people who do that as though they are living selfish lives. But to honestly come to the conclusion that you do not want to be a parent is actually not selfish. Its self-aware and it is responsible. Far more responsible than having a child just because society tells you that you should. So if you opt to never have a child do not let that choice make you feel less than. But you need to make sure your husband is at peace with that. It sounds like he definitely wants children. Some men go many years thinking they don’t and then reach a certain age and decide that they do. If you do not then you both need to decide how you can work around that, or even if you can. However, first things first—freeze your eggs. That buys you time to think and satisfies your husband that the possibility is open while you mull it over another year or two.
The Elephant ( or Donkey) in the Room
For about a year I have been dating someone who is perfect in all ways but one. We differ politically. Normally that’d be a negotiable matter but this election year, no way. We are starting to argue all the time. Heated argue. I find it hard to think of her the same way knowing that she supports the candidate she supports. I won’t get into who is for who because that probably doesn’t matter. What matters is that its changing my view of this person I really cared about.
I understand very well what you are saying. It can be hard. The key is realizing that though you may be different politically, you may not actually be all that different in what you believe in. I’ll give you an example. As a gay man my viewpoints reflect more socially with Democrats because GOP politicians typically cast their votes in opposition of my right to marry, adopt, and be protected from discriminatory business and workplace practices—typically just summed up as “gay rights”. This is something that directly affects me so there is no way I could ever justify supporting the Republican party to myself but I am aware that I feel this strongly because it directly affects me. If I weren’t gay I might not ever even think about how they vote on gay issues. I have friends who view the Republican party in wholly different ways than I do. They view the party as being the protector of their finances and warriors against entitlements and rampant spending. They see Democrats as always costing them more money. That is the issue that relates to them directly. People tend to vote according to what issue they are most vested in. I have many friends that vote Republican who are also very pro-gay rights. They get just as angry as I do when politicians pass anti-gay legislature. So just because you belong to an opposing party does not necessarily mean you two oppose each other. You need to examine what your core beliefs are and what are hers. If they are stratospherically different then you need to end it. Perhaps the election this year has illuminated the differences in core beliefs but I frankly would think that those differences would have already presented themselves by now. Surely the two of you have had deep talks about your fundamental beliefs and opinions on matters well before this election if you have been dating for as long as a year. Or maybe you have been so captivated by her that you chose to ignore her positions on things because you wanted her. It’s been a year now, maybe the attraction has waned and you are starting to observe everything else she brings to the table and you aren’t hungry for it. I say that you literally write down the areas of thought in which you two agree and compare with the things in which you differ. If you find that you believe in mostly the same things and she just chooses a different party affiliation, you can live with that. It just means she has prioritized her list of needs in a different order than you have. If you find that you agree on none of the fundamentals, end it and save your blood pressure this summer, because things will get tense politically this year.
My New Irritating Girlfriend
I’m really into this new woman I’m seeing but there are some things that she does that drive me nuts. I’m wondering if I should let them pass or not. I don’t want to come off as a jerk or one of those controlling guys. What I’m talking about are things like: she leaves her makeup stuff all over my bathroom counter, she puts her trash on the counter above the bin instead of opening the cabinet and putting it in the bin, she puts the peanut butter in the fridge when I like it room temp, she is habitually late by at least half an hour every time, she checks her email constantly. Are these just little things I need to let go or do I need to address them from the start? I do really like her. She’s funny, smart, thoughtful, and very good looking.
If these things bother you enough now to email me they bother you enough to get in the way of your relationship. So tell her. Just be nice about it. Don’t tell her all at once though like a checklist of the things she does that bugs you. Just start with, “could you start putting your make up in your bag when you’re finished with it. I keep knocking it around when I’m trying to get ready?” Or make a joke out of the way you say something. Like, “You do know that I killed that monster that lived under the cabinet when I moved in here, so you can open that door and throw that trash away without fear that he is going to bite you.” The key is to be light about it. Don’t make it feel like a chastising. Although I personally would probably dump her just for the peanut butter in the fridge thing alone. That ain’t right.