Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m 31. I have been with the same guy since my junior year in high
school. We were separated for college and grad school, but lived
together ever since, in NYC, London, SanFran, and now Portland. The
only reason we ever got married was when we moved to England,
where our status affected so many things. I’m a psychologist; hubby is
a banker. His employer has paid for all our relocation and many other
benefits. But all the moving around has affected my career. I now
have impressive credentials, but I am also ready to start a counseling
practice and settle down in one place. We bought a lovely home for
cash (hubby is frugal and wise). He’s saying, it’s time to start a family.
OMG! We’d agreed since high school: no kids. I feel a lot of pressure
to put my professional life on hold again, though he claims he’s ready
to leave the world of banking and become a house husband, or work
part-time from home as a consultant. I feel like his decision came out
of nowhere and I have very little time to decide something that’ll affect
the rest of my life.
Tick Tock Tick Tock
Dear Tick Tock:
You are absolutely correct that having a baby is not a choice to be
made lightly, quickly, or to appease another person. If you are going
to parent, you need to be 100% on board, and enter the process with
an open mind and heart. Right now, you are not qualified to mommy,
though I suspect that would change if you actually had a child.
Fortunately, your clock is not ticking as quickly as you fear. Many
people have healthy babies in their thirties. You and hubby have more
than enough time to have long, deep, sincere, and honest
conversations about your respective careers, finances, and prospective
parenting roles. The one thing that is not negotiable is having or not
having a baby. It’s an either/or decision that you have to embrace
fully if you go ahead, and he has to forgive fully if you do not.
You’re the professional counselor. Do you believe in the process? This
sounds like a situation you two should engage in with one another,
and then get a clear-minded, objective third party to help you resolve.
The list of candidates should not include relatives of any stripe, who
are likely to have strong and biased opinions. I suggest you not
discuss this with any of them until you are clearer unless you want to
be campaigned by more folks than your husband.
PS. I know a rash of newborns and not one of the parents isn’t
beaming. But I also know many happy people without children. Take