When you are dating someone for a while people start to ask when you might take that next step. Then once you are engaged people ask you when the big day is, then once you are married the question turns and becomes "when are you having kids?" These kinds of "what is next in your life" questions have always scared me. What if my answer is wrong? what if I say something and then plans change? What if I'm not ready? what if I am and people think I'm moving too fast? There are a million things to think about with every step we take. Back in 2011 one of my goals was to get engaged. Yeah, I know, it's kind of a weird goal to have - but Silas and I had been together for 5 years and I was finally at that point where taking that next step was excited rather then scary. It took me a really long time to get there and honestly I can't say that most of it was actually my own fear of commitment. I would say most of the fear was based on others, on if they thought it was the right time. Just typing this out I can see how stupid that is- but at the time I was worried. I knew that my friends and family would support me and be in my corner no matter what but that didn't stop my wondering if they really thought I was doing what was best. Once we were engaged that no longer mattered to me at all, everyone seems happy for us and I was happy enough that no matter what anyone else said I don't think my happiness could be contained. Now that Silas and I are married the next step is kids. We both want kids. We both are thinking sooner rather then later on the grand scale as we don't really want to be 60 when they graduate. The question is when? When has it been long enough since the wedding? When are we ready? When will we feel financially ready? Well, the rumors that I hear are you will never really be ready for kids. Which is fine- I know that pretty much no matter what it's scary and it's rare that people wake up saying "OK, today I'm ready to have kids". I would say a few months ago I did have a minor one of those wake up and feel differently kind of days. I realized that for the first time I was more excited about the idea of having kids then I was afraid of it. Thats a big change for me. Yeah I babysat when I was in middle school for the kids next door but I was never a super 'kid person'. Don't get me wrong I do love kids but I have never been the one who walks into a room and gravitated right to the baby. I wonder how much of that was fear? Fear, once again, that someone would read into it and think I wanted kids now, or would see that maybe I'm not great with kids. It's sad that I actually let that fear affect me as much as I have. I worried that ,just after we were married, when we spent time with friends who had kids that if I was too excited to hold the baby or play with the baby that people would think I was ready to have kids, or that I shouldn't be ready or whatever they might think. I cared more about what other people thought and often held back my excitement to avoid getting that "you're next" look or even worse having the conversation that goes along with it. Having children is such a huge step, and something that is so personal to the couple that talking about if I was or wasn't ready was a conversation I wanted to have in the privacy of my own home with my husband before being asked in a room full of people cooing over the newest baby. I wanted to sit and talk to Silas about our ideas, our fears, our hopes and the planning of our family.
I am not what anyone would consider a private person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm happy to talk to a stranger for hours about anything and everything. I don't really hold much back at all so this fear I have struggled with over the past few years is so foreign to me. I've been afraid to let anyone know how I really feel about marriage and family when it comes to MY life. Well I think that's changed- I think I'm finally in a place where I feel comfortable and confident in what I want - enough so that I can say, out loud, on my blog that I'm excited to have kids. That Silas and I are talking about it more and more. And although we are not trying yet, we are talking about when we might and thinking about all the things that will change and how we want to plan and deal with those things. We want to have a family and I think the first step to celebrating it is to say it out loud. We want to have kids and we are excited about it. There is no set time line and no actual plans but the fact that I'm really excited about growing our family and confident enough to say it out loud is a huge step.
Next step- health insurance.
And since every post is better with a photo I thought I'd share one of my favorite photos from last summer's family session with one of my favorite baby girls of all time- she is one of those babies that has made me more excited about kids because she is just that awesome!