Subject #1: Money
Seriously, does anyone in my social and professional cohort (this means you, blog readers) ever feel you have enough of the stuff? I look at our tax returns each year and the gross income reported there looks pretty attractive to this recent grad student. But we live hand to mouth in a very special middle-class way. Meaning: we're comfortable month to month, but if I didn't have the safety net of my family, I'd live in sheer terror that we'll be living on the street within a month if one of us loses our job.
Subject #2: Career
What do I want to be
But I didn't get a raise when I transferred into this job, and there's little hope of me seeing more than a cost of living increase each year, unless I move into a job in a different pay bracket. And you may recall I was offered another job (unofficially) on the same day I was (officially) offered my current gig. Well, that job is now officially posted and I've been encouraged to apply. If I do apply, there's a good chance I'll be offered the job, which is with Fantastic Mentor. The pay scale is higher than that of my current position, and the title is "associate director" instead of "coordinator," which will look much more glamorous on the old CV when Mr. Trillwing finally decides he's had enough of the heat and declares we must move from this town. The day-to-day responsibilities of the job are slightly less interesting than my current one, but the people are just as fantastic and the big projects associated with the job are pretty damn interesting to me.
Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself: too many ifs. If I apply for the job. If I get an interview. If I get offered the job. . . Would I be a bitch for taking it only a couple months into my current position? I suspect yes.
Subject #3: Family
Career and money angst bring us to family angst. Mr. Trillwing and I love Lucas. But the little guy just about killed us that first year (literally--the sleep deprivation and pain and stress were unbelievable, of a magnitude we did not anticipate). At the same time, we're both talking about how it would be nice for Luke to have a sibling.
But the house we're in now isn't big enough for another kid, unless he or she shared Luke's tiny bedroom, which of course is unfeasible in the first couple years, with the night waking and all. And I took a looooooong time to recover from childbirth. Plus I hated breastfeeding and its attendant agonies: thrush, mastitis, engorgement, leaking, public displays of nipple wrangling.
But if we could magically have a clone of Lucas as he is right now--a mostly easy-going, healthy, well-adjusted almost two-year-old, I'd jump at the chance.
Adoption is sort of a possibility. However, Mr. Trillwing himself was adopted at age 14 months, and we suspect many of The Ways In Which He Is Messed Up come from those early days of neglect at the Catholic orphanage. If we did go the adoption route, we would have to go through through public agencies where the expense wasn't too high--but so many of those kids are special needs children that we just don't have the energy or resources to care for. And then there are the transracial adoption issues that would arise because the available kids in this state tend to be children of color. I'm game for a transracial adoption, but I suspect I'm very naive about all the issues surrounding them.
Of course, we could just as easily birth a special needs or physically ill child. Which then puts us in an awkward position: do we have a third child to increase the odds there will be someone around to take care of adult child #2 if we should become incapable of doing so? I recall all the furor around parents who conceived another child to be a bone marrow donor for the first, and I suspect there are millions of other parents who have special needs kids who have decided to have another child to help take care of an older sibling.
Do you see the kind of (probably needless) obsessing I've been doing?
And then I think, well, life is pretty good right now. Maybe an only child is the way to go--after all, caring for just one puts significant strain on our marriage from time to time. But then I try to imagine life without my own sibling and I get all weepy.
Plus: tick tock tick tock. I'm 32 years old, and I don't want to push the childbearing envelope by being pregnant past age 35. (Yes, I am a control freak in this arena.)
And what if we couldn't conceive as easily the second time? Would we go whole hog on the fertility treatments? Do we need that kind of stress?
(Obsess, obsess. Freak out. Obsess.)
It doesn't help that many of the local moms in my birthing cohort are pregnant or have recently birthed their second children. I don't feel any direct peer pressure (I'm not around other moms much, to be honest), but I wonder if everyone knows something I don't about child spacing or fertility and age, or is keeping from me some other Big Secret About Second Children.
So there you have it: my recent bloggy silence explained. In general, I'm well and happy, but these thoughts are always lingering just at the edge of my consciousness, if not occupying it completely.
I've probably asked this before, but for those of you with children: How/why did you decide to increase (or not increase) your family beyond one child?