Focus, Time, and the Brevity of Life

There isn’t a day that goes by when I lack a sense of overwhelm and impending doom. That’s just my style. A lot of this is knotted up in a series of paranoid internal monologues that repeat ad nausem echoing off the corners of my mind.  Yet there’s some reality to the panic. Time isn’t a fake out. It’s this real, visceral, constantly moving stream of invisible life force which makes our bodies wither as the clock of the world ticks on with or without us. Time is the most real of all – because you can’t make more of it, once it’s gone it’s gone.

Today I visited two of my good friends who are both now parents and either my age or younger. A few friends back on the east coast have had their second children already. And I’m turning 31 in a smidgen over a month. The reality is that given my PCOS issues it’s going to be challenging to have kids of my own. Yet today I want them more than ever. The longer I wait the harder it will likely be. But when is the right time? My career is finally starting to take off. If I were to have a child now I don’t have the foggiest how I could also work my job. Well, it would surely be impossible to commute four hours a day and fly at a moment’s notice as a new mother. But would I even want that as my toddler grows from 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and enters his or her own childhood without a mother around?

Clearly I’ll have to work if/when I have kids. I never though I wouldn’t have to and it’s fine to be a working mother and all. I’m fortunate that my boyfriend is more than willing to be a stay-at-home dad. Still… I just worry about waiting too long. I know, I know, it’s not the end of the world if I can’t have kids, or if I only have one child… but I just want two or three children. Probably two though I feel like three is a good large enough family without being too large. And while that’s a nice thought the likelihood of it happening is shrinking by the day.

So my boyfriend and I should be getting married in spring 2016 when I’ll be 32 and a half. I mean… that’s getting old. Let’s just say I have trouble getting pregnant because I probably will. IVF clinics won’t even seriously consider you for treatment until you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year with no luck. So that gets me to 33-and-a-half. And who knows if I can get pregnant or how fast – even with the best treatment out there. And that treatment is expensive and can quickly burn through the savings that I’m working so hard to build up so I can afford what happens after I have kids.

With this scenario I’ll be lucky if I’m pregnant by 34 and have my first kid at 35. I really would like at least two kids if I’m going to have one. But then that leaves me at being a new mother at 35 going on 36 and knowing that I need to try immediately to have my second kid… all while being the breadwinner of the household and attempting to not only keep my job but grow in my career and move into a serious management position. I just can’t make sense of it. It all makes me think that if I actually do want kids – the logical thing to do would be to say screw “marriage” (which I’m not sure makes sense anyway due to the tax penalties) and just start trying to have my first kid now. I mean, that would suck in terms of work, but it’s not like I’d get pregnant tomorrow. But if I start trying at 31… that leaves me eligible for IVF at 32… and that timeframe just looks a whole lot better. If I have my first kid at 33 I can have my second at 35 or 36 and if I decide I do want a third then I have time for it, or at least I can just have two without feeling incredibly rushed.

I just think it’s so crazy how fast time goes by… and how judgmental I’ve been of all the girls who got married young and had kids in their 20s. That’s what the uneducated people do, I thought, brushing off their happiness with a reminder to myself that I’m getting my shit together first, saving up a good amount of money, preparing myself to be ready for kids. Well, it might not be too late yet but time is definitely running out. My 20s disappeared in the blink of an eye and my 30s will surely be equally as fast paced. With the amount I plan to work and focus on my career it will be easier to forget to focus on the things that matter in life and just running ahead blinded to the truth.

The whole marriage and wedding thing is just for show, what really matters is family… a family that I maybe already have waited too long to have, or at least one that is going to take a whole lot of headache and heartache to make possible. And I’m terrified of that journey that is to come.

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4 thoughts on “Focus, Time, and the Brevity of Life”

  1. Weirdly, I’m feeling a bit like this too. T’s younger brother just had his first baby and they are over the moon – it’s so lovely to see. Personally I wouldn’t want one in their situation, but they seem happy, and it’s sort of hard to take the practical line in the face of their happiness.

    But heck, even THEY are probably better placed than we are right now since they don’t have one unemployed partner. Sigh.
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  2. There’s a quote which said “if you wait for the perfect moment to do anything, you’ll never achieve anything”. If you want kids and your boyfriend feels the same way, try now. Why wait for a marriage that you vehemently opposed as an antiquated idea in an earlier posting.

    1. To be fair to my boyfriend he’s waiting to see some behavior change in me around my ability to keep our household organized (my ADHD makes this quite hard so I’m focusing on getting better at this right now) and I’m a little concerned with his lack of motivation to seek out a higher-earning job or to pick up more contracts now to enable him to continue a stable consulting business should his one main source of income fall through. We need to work both of these things out before we really seriously think about trying to have kids. I think it will take us a good year to get to that point anyway. I know he’s waiting on me to show change and would be planning to propose in ~6 months if I do. I’m SO torn about marriage. On one hand I’d love to marry him (assuming we can work these issues out) because I can’t see myself spending the rest of my life with anyone else… and I wouldn’t mind a party to celebrate such couplehood success with my friends and family… however, waiting and knowing that the longer I wait means it will be harder to have the children I want makes me so scared. That said if I got pregnant today I’d be equally scared because I don’t know how I’d be able to maintain my job and be a new mother. My goal is to work at my job two years and save up enough money where if needed we can live off consulting money and keep my savings in the bank to grow w/ compound interest so I’ll still hit my goal of $2M in retirement.

      1. Good luck to you whatever you decide. I’m sure you know, but think of the worst case scenario of making a decision and also of not making a decision to pursue something at a certain point in your life. And then choose the better option for you. This has worked for me in my life when making any difficult choices.

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