Thursday, May 07, 2009
the kids rant
The Boyfriend (or rather, the Fiancé) has started a new job this week. In the process of getting to know his co-workers, he's (apparently) had to talk a lot about his relationship with me, and had to justify a number of the choices that we've made as a couple. The biggest one, of course, is our decision not to have kids right fucking now. (I should probably also add that there's been a lot of consternation over our decision to get married two years from now, and not this year or next, from quite a lot of people--friends, family, and otherwise.)
The Fiancé, when asked, told his co-workers that kids are part of the future, but unlikely to happen in the next two or three years. Why not? said the co-workers. Because we can't afford to have kids right now, said the Fiancé. That's stupid, said the co-workers. You should just have them--everything else will just sort of fall into place.
So then the Fiancé came home and asked me: Do you think that's true?
It is true, I imagine. For some people at some times. Waiting for more money probably sounds foolish to a lot of people--once you start down that path, is there ever really enough money to have kids? The people the Fiancé was discussing this with live on household incomes of about half what we make combined, he said, so why couldn't we make it work? (Can you tell that I'm the primary breadwinner and billpayer in our household?)
Why not? First, these people are eligible for support from the government that we wouldn't be because they make so much less than we do. Second, these people haven't just purchased houses. Third, these people don't have a combined $50 000 in student loans that need to be paid back. Fourth, these people don't work on ten month contracts, and have two very scary months where there is relatively little income. Fifth, these people have very different relationships than Fiancé and I--while we've been together for nearly 5 years, we've only lived together for one, and the other four have been long distance. We need (and deserve) time to figure out US together. Sixth, neither of us wants kids right now, and it irritates me to no end that I need to justify that to people.
We will have kids when we are ready to have them, and when we want to have them. Why is that so hard for other people to understand?