I am at the point in my life that I want to decide whether to have kids. In a logical sense, I am able and capable of having children. But I'm not completely satisfied with having kids merely because I can. So I am curious how people, who had the luxury of deciding, decided on having kids? Why should I grow my family?
This is Offbeat Home's archive of People posts.
"Homeowner", "renter" or "squatter" – whatever the label, these occupants take the Offbeat wherever they go.
I joke with my friends that I am a "part-time wife" because, for about half the year, I live with my husband and two cats in Boise, Idaho. The other half, I spend in Kalamazoo, Michigan working on my Ph.D. in English. This is a temporary situation, but it does raise a few eyebrows, and like any non-traditional living arrangement, it presents its own challenges.
My husband and I have been married for two years now and with him being active duty, he is gone for months at a time and in a demanding and high-stress work environment. Naturally, as you might expect, the fullness of our sex life dissipated. I was feeling neglected and dissatisfied with the few times we did have sex, and never seemed to have a constructive conversation about sex, until now…
My partner and I are atheists, so I feel a little confused when some of the über-Christian marriage advice resonates with me. I've been reading it because I enjoy reading things that make me think about our relationship and how to keep it strong. But all of it is supposed to be "Christ-centered." Do I really have to be a Christian or otherwise spiritual to have a strong connection to my partner? Do I have to pray to a deity in order to be a good wife and build up my husband? Should I convert in order to save my marriage!? (Okay, I'm exaggerating.)
My morning routine revolves entirely around my family. Most days I don't bother eating breakfast, or making lunch for myself to take to work, because I am too focused on taking care of everyone else. While putting everyone before me can be considered a commendable trait, there is a part of me that realizes that there is a real issue with never allowing myself the opportunity to be important.
Maybe it's because, save for a handful of first and second dates, I've been single for five years and used to making my own way. Maybe it's because I'm in inching towards my mid-thirties and my perspective has changed. Maybe it's because he and I work in the same field and, therefore, the same income bracket and I have a rough idea of how much he makes. Or maybe it's just my strong sense of independence and feminist ideals… Whatever it is, I suddenly find myself in a position where after half a decade of buying my own dinners and buying my own drinks, I have a man buying them for me. And having a man buying them for me feels, well, odd.
For years, my mother accused me of testing people and trying to see how far I could push them before they left me. She was right about that much, but she never saw the why. And neither did I. Because I was too afraid to admit that terrible truth and to give up the pleasant fiction I had created about my mother. But, like all realities, it was true whether I admitted it or not. And, eventually, even I could no longer pretend and my house of cards crumpled to the ground, leaving me alone, naked of all pretense, and cast out by my mother.