Even though I’m only 22 right now, I have sometimes felt “behind” in my life goals. Which is crazy coz I forget that 22 is still so young! Comparing yourself to others is never really a good idea, yet, it’s something I know I do. Not in a “I’m better than you” way..definitely not. But in an “oh..that’s not happening for me yet” kinda way. Which is how I’ve felt sometimes amongst our circle of friends and fam because Kieren and I haven’t started a family yet.
A topic like this can sometimes cause a lot of debate, especially as Kieren and I attend the LDS church where young marrieds stereo-typically start having kids straight away. This is one of those “one does not fill all” situations and the reasons why we aren’t having kids yet are almost irrelevant, this is just me pointing out the struggles that I’ve had and how I’m dealing with it.
SO… I was the last friend in our group of four besties to get married. The three others literally ALL got engaged in the same year and I was like, yeah no worries mate #ForeverAlone lol. So after attending all my friends weddings in 2013, in 2014 when Kieren and I started talking about marriage part of me was like, yes I’m gonna be in the married crew with the rest of my friends, finally!… As well as being super happy to get engaged to the love of my life and all 😛 But, by the time I got engaged in October 2014, my friends were pregnant and were having/had their firstborns. Of course I was super excited for them, nothing but joy to see my friends become mothers and experience the miracle of life…however I could not help feeling left out. Just when I thought I was going to get my circle of friends back, I felt like I’d lost them again.
The distance that got between us was no ones fault, one moving interstate was hard but understandably my friends were busy being first time mums while Kieren and I were trying to figure out how to NOT have Maccas for dinner 3 times a week…we figured it out eventually lol and while there was absolutely nothing wrong with the first year of marriage and being with my husband all the time was bliss..I felt like I had no friends and I pinned it down to being because we didn’t have kids.
At church we had moved into a new ward, Kieren and I were the only young married couple and while everyone was nice to us I really didn’t feel like I could connect with the women who were older than me (not by much!) and had children. Like what the heck were we going to talk about or have in common? So every Sunday for a few months we would attend Sacrament, with the intention to stay for Sunday School and Relief Society/Priesthood meetings…but ultimately leave early. It wasn’t a lack of faith thing (maybe a laziness or a cop out thing..not sure), but even though we were married and adults, we didn’t feel like others saw us as individuals that had something to offer. Looking back now we really underestimated ourselves and did a lot of assuming…well I did, Kieren is super chill always lol I just remember so many Sundays driving home after leaving early again, whinging to Kieren that “because I’m not a mother I can’t…etc etc etc” or “they don’t get US because we’re this or that” ….and it all seems so silly now, but I couldn’t always snap myself out of those thoughts.
Time went on, we’d catch up with our married couple friends and their kids sometimes and I just couldn’t help feeling a bit lost around them. We’d be sitting around the table, each one of my friends with a baby on their lap and me just riding solo. And again, it wasn’t their fault my friends weren’t rubbing motherhood in my face…but you know, I was the odd one out. Sometimes my friends would apologise for talking about mum stuff and what their babies were doing and I’d say it’s fine. Because it was fine, but at the same time I missed how our conversations use to be…like when we’d talk about everything else but babies. I felt like I couldn’t talk about my achievements at Uni which is what my life revolves around right now, and while getting a good grade on an assignment I’d been slaving over was super important to me it didn’t seem as important as a baby learning to walk.
Maybe I should have been more outspoken about what I was doing and that would have lessened the overwhelming baby talk…who knows. But I love my friends and their children and I think that I just held on a little to tightly to how we use to be and had a really hard time accepting where we were now.
Since then I’ve had a few experiences that put things in perspective for me. One instance was the time Kieren and I came across something in a church manual or magazine that was along the lines of “don’t put off having kids because you’re still studying” and we literally stopped and looked up at each other like….omg is this a sign?! We discussed it with Kieren’s parents and his dad put our minds at ease…I can’t remember exactly what he said but it gave me and Kieren the opportunity to remember why we are waiting. And that is because we have to finish our studies. I know 110% that if I left school to start a family I would not return, I know that’s not who I am. Some people do go back to school after their kids have grown up and that’s truly amazing, but that wasn’t going to be me and Kieren so we had to keep doing what we were doing. And that’s OK. This was one of the few times I let myself be alright with waiting because we were doing something now that was going to benefit us and our future family for a long time. The pieces of paper we’ll hang on our walls after graduation will help us provide for our family in the long run.
Another situation was late last year (2016) we were coming home after a traditional Sunday roast with some friends who have 2 beautiful kids that I actually really love… That sounds really mean? haha.. But, I should probably mention that I’ve actually never really been a kids person EVER. Growing up I wasn’t super excited to be a mum..like I knew I wanted kids and I would happily have them but I wanted to do a lot of other stuff before they came, but obviously you grow up and you change your mind. So for me to want kids at this stage in my life is a huge turn around for me. Anyways, we pulled into our driveway and I just broke down crying asking Kieren when were we going to start a family. And my darling husband calmly said to me “why are you comparing our lives to our friends who have families?” and he went on to say that we just aren’t in the same situation as them because our lives are on a different path and that we’ll have kids when we’re ready. My initial response was “omg I’m ugly crying right now please just hug me and tell me what I want to hear” BUT instead he told me what I needed to hear which was basically…chill out you are over reacting.
So I still want kids, we both do, but I’ve accepted that our time isn’t now. Kieren and I have been exposed to a lot of baby stuff for kind of a long time that made me think that I was suppose to be doing what everyone else was doing. (Which is so silly I know!) We were hearing stories about how people came to know that they were going to start trying for a baby and inspirations they’d felt to do so which made me freak out because we haven’t had anything like that happen for us. And it just hit me one day how I’ve forgotten that God has a plan for us and that we just needed to wait…because once a baby comes into our lives there’s no giving it back lol and I forgot that Kieren and I have also sketched out a plan for ourselves that for right now, feels like the one we’re meant to be following.
It took me a really long time and lot of tears to really understand the situation I was in. And I really have very little to complain about it’s so easy to forget that!
Since Kieren and I got together in April 2014 (and it’s now Feb 2017), 8 babies were born between my friends, cousin and older brother, plus all the other baby announcements I’ve seen on Facebook from extended friends and fam. Maybe that’s not a big number, but I’ve certainly had to do a lot of “awwwww that/it’s/she/he’s soooo cute!!” during that time. More so than any other period of my life lol
But it’s OK. I’m good now 😛
My ovaries aren’t aching every time I see a little munchkin, instead I’m reminded of all the things Kieren and I are doing to prepare for that big day. We cut ourselves some slack after reading about the warnings of putting off kids to finish school or earn more money because we know who we are and what we value, and that we’re not interested in harnessing lots of dollars for material things. With everything we do we are mindful of the future and that we need a career to provide income, to buy a house, to make it a home and pay for school…the list goes on. I know that there is no particular order for these things to occur and sometimes kids arrive before you’ve achieved certain goals. I know this because I was born out of wedlock….I was pretty much a surprise for my parents and they chose to stay together (amongst other reasons) to raise me and my brother who was from my mothers first marriage. It wasn’t perfect, and it definitely wasn’t easy but I love and value my upbringing very much. My parents ended up with different spouses, but with everything that went on in my life they taught me to be prepared. Not because they themselves weren’t prepared, but they were able to adapt when life throws you a curve ball. So that’s what me and Kieren are doing…we’re preparing for our future by being the kid-less couple now.
I’m finally OK with that.
Who knows how long that will be for, but whatever that bracket of time is we’ll be busy doing what we gotta do. And I’ll make sure I don’t take my uninterrupted showers and sleep ins for granted 😛 Kieren and I are happy to wait for our friends to tell their kids off at the dinner table mid-conversation and pitch in on bedtime stories…and I’m sorry in advance for all the times we’re going to laugh at kids when they’ve done something wrong instead of keeping a straight face while parents try to discipline them 😛 I don’t leave my friends house feeling sad anymore though, instead I’m just happy I got to spend time with them and their kids.
Often I find myself feeling stressed out that I’m not where I’m suppose to be in life by a particular time, when I’ve really just forgotten that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in time. I need to make the most of it instead of wishing I was in a different situation, because if I’m always wanting something I don’t have then I’ll never really be happy 🙂
til next time…
– Liv xx