When waiting isn’t in our husbands best interests

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That adorable little girl is my niece, Natalie. She’s four now; this picture’s about 2 years old. She is the most adorable little girl who has the funniest facial expressions.

Last night, K and I went to her house for dinner. Her parents are my older brother, Dennis, and his wife, Heidi. We had a good time talking and laughing. Plus grilled chicken and sweet corn on the cob for supper. Yum!

My brother is 38 and Heidi is 25. That’s quite an age difference. Of course the subject of having babies came up. I know Heidi would like to wait a few years before trying for another but they are trying now. My brother doesn’t want to be an old man with young kids. He’d like to be around when they graduate, get married and have babies of their own. So Heidi defers to his wishes when it comes to planning the timing of their second.

We kind of have the same situation at our house. Because we knew there would be problems conceiving, we started trying six months after dating. K was 36 and I was 26 at the time. I think the idea was to have two before he turned 42. Now, after four years of trying, I am 31 and he’s 40. I want to take a break, work on my education and a career so we could be on better financial footing when we have a baby.

That would take about four years though. K doesn’t want to be an old man and with the struggles we have conceiving, he could be fifty before we’d have a baby. He wants to play with his kids, teach them to hunt and fish and not need a walker to go to his children’s high school graduation. So we continue trying because we have a timeline.

The only reason I’ve been thinking about this lately is because so many people keep telling me I have years to have a baby. I may have a good nine or ten years but my husband doesn’t. Well, physically he has ages but is that fair to a child? Frick and Frack’s grandfather married a woman who is the same age as their mother. They have a seven year old daughter together. He will be 82 when she graduates high school, if he’s even alive by then. My brother and K don’t want to be in that situation.

So, when there is a gap in ages, sometimes your idea of when the right timing for a child has to be adjusted to fit your spouse’s schedule instead of your own.

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My Role in our Family

My husband and I chose together that I should quit a job that I loved and found very fulfilling to work part-time. I tried to stay home full-time but we found that if I work about fifteen hours a week, it gives us a bit extra money for luxury items.

I enjoy being home more. I plan the evening meal for our family, clean, and make sure the laundry is done for the day. I know many women who think that I should demand that K do his share of the housework. I disagree.

When I worked full-time, K and I would both come home tired after work. We’d both try to sort out the house, make sure a load of laundry got done and cook supper. We would do this together.

By the time we finished getting all the household chores finished, we were exhausted and often too tired to do anything with Frick and Frack besides veg out in front of the television. K and I had more arguments and just got on each other’s nerves more.

About six months before we married, I quit my job as a pharmacy technician. We discovered that with one income, we didn’t have much money left over for extras. Neither one of us wanted to save for six months just to take the boys to a baseball game.

So I took the part time job I have now. While our kids don’t get a vacation to Hawaii or Florida every year, we do have enough money to take them overnight at a hotel occaisonally. We spend much more time with them now.

K also is able to come home to a clean house and supper ready to be cooked. We are both able to relax together and enjoy our evening, which we never could before. We do more than just sit in front of the TV ignoring each other. We play Scrabble or Yahtzee. We go for evening walks or play basketball in our driveway.

I never thought that having less money would mean greater happiness in our family. We do more together now that K and I have more traditional roles in our marriage. I believe that a wife should be a helpmeet to her husband. She should be the nurturer and caretaker in the home. If that means K is happier when he comes home to a clean house and supper is already planned, I am doing my best to be his helpmeet.

Most importantly, we’re making memories with our children. I know they won’t look back and fondly remember that we bought all their clothes from the mall or got them every electronic gadget. They will remember K teaching them to hunt, playing games together and sitting in the grassy field cheering the Timblerrattlers to a win.

I know that the 70s were important for women. It allowed them to realize that they didn’t have to cook and clean and raise babies if they wanted to have careers. But the important thing to remember is that it allows you to choose what’s right for your family and you.

I know in a few years, I will once again go back to working more hours. We want to be completely debt free in ten years. A major part of that plan is that I will go to school, get my degree and get a better job. But even then, I will still work as few hours as I’m able to. I’ve decided that my family and home are more important than anything else, especially money.

I find this works best for our family. It may be different in yours. I believe that you have to find what’s best for you and yours.