Okay, it's cliche. Ha, human reproduction is cliche... how cliche of me to say that.
But seriously, I've wanted a child for about two years now. It's not been the time, so the Dude and I have not been trying. We're still not trying. We won't be trying for the rest of the year. I need time to save monies. I want my full allotment of parental leave, which means 55% of my pay for 35 weeks and that means I need a nest egg to draw from.
I think we've mostly been holding off due to the Dude freelancing and not being married. I really didn't want to have a baby with someone unless that initial commitment was made first. Call me traditional. In fact, in many ways that's one of the only traditional things about me. So now we're hitched and the Dude has steady work and a reliable paycheque.
So I'm in the place where starting a family feels right.
And yet I want to travel more. But I don't want to squander the last of my most fertile years. The leading cause of infertility is being too damn old. And no one knows if their eggs are kaput till they try. I don't want to miss out on motherhood, and I already know it'll be unaffordable to get medical help. So it's unwise to wait too long. I'm 30 years old in nine months. Biologically, that is the beginning of a likely decline in babymaking ability.
I also want to write my novel. This, I'm doing. I've made decent headway. I'm on chapter 10 and 19,000 words. I feel like I'm actually doing it. My character is someone I like, my story is not exactly writing itself, but it is flowing, and I'm having a good time with it. It's a goal I set for myself this year, to finish a book, so I could focus on starting a family without regret that I didn't use my time more wisely before I had a baby.
I'm realizing that my desire to have a child of my own is and always will conflict with my other dreams in life: being an author and travel. I keep thinking about it, and while I enjoy the financial security of work, and the health benefits and pension (thus ensuring a comfortable old age), it's not a passion for me. My work is something I take pride in, but it's a small facet of who I am. What I do for a living is simply what I do to pay my way in life, not who I am.
I finally admitted to myself that all I care about is writing and raising a family. Creative fulfilment and a satisfying home life. Being me and enjoying love. Simple. And now I'm finally making steps towards living that life. No more floating. No more wondering about what I should be doing. Now I know.
I've spent my 20s doing a lot of thinking, some travelling, reading, learning and sorting out how I felt about everything I cared about. But the big questions of how you want to live and what you really want to do are huge things that sometimes you never really figure out. I had a moment of clarity recently and all the noise suddenly fell away. I was never going to feel fulfilled through a profession or job. I can continue doing my best, earning a cheque and feeling satisfied about a full day's work, and then focus on my real life when I'm done.
It was the separation in my mind of my job and what is at my heart that really made the difference for me. It was seriously liberating. I feel like I have a plan and a sense of purpose.
I feel like I'm ready for 30. Almost ready. I still have nine more months.