Family planning. Not so much a topic of discussion as a minefield.

Thank you ever so much for tuning back in. Though it’s Friday and the sun is shining and it’s summer and everyone is feeling the lightness of a fantastic mid-week July 4th holiday, I’m gonna hit you guys with a heavy topic, family planning. Yup. It’s on my mind. I can’t escape it. Look at me. I’m 33, I have a nearly 3 year 3 month old and I DON’T have a second kid. I don’t even have a second kid on the way! Don’t be fooled by my belly. I always look like I’m the midst of my first trimester. Nope, Mirena IUD firmly in place. I’m a straight up grandmother’s nightmare. People ask me “so when is your next one?” or some other variation. To which my response (only in my head) is something cruel and knife-twisting (like when are you getting your bunny ears pinned back? K – that’s obviously totally censored. I’m allowed on the Interwebs).

Really, I do thank you for all your concern, but I’ll handle this baby/family thing on my own.

You know what’s even worse than the “so when is your next one” question? It’s the question of your first one, because it supposes that we women are in complete control of our bodies and our fertility. Thankfully we have a good amount of control over our bodies – and we use this to prevent birth. Seriously, ladies, from the time we first had sex until the time we decide to try and conceive, we actively work hard and pray not to get pregnant. As soon as you want to get pregnant you realize how foolish you were back then, because as soon as you want to get pregnant all you think about is “what if I can’t.” Well, that was me at least, I’m a little obsessive. As soon as it was “my time” I looked around and noticed everyone was pregnant. Celeb magazines featured fabulously dressed famous preggie ladies. In the family and among family friends it was “so and so is expecting.” I was sad because I felt like it was everyone but me. This sadness was short lived. I was lucky.  I got pregnant very quickly.

As Liron incubated I got a ridiculously irreverent calendar that I put on my wall at work. It was one of those “Goodnight moon? How about goodnight cocktail.” kind of books. I thought it was funny as hell. It was, is. I showed it to a guy around the corner, flipped through the months, had me a big laugh. He played along. But about a year later after his wife gave birth he shared that she had struggled  to conceive. Now I know he was being merely gracious looking through that calendar with me. I’m sure it was painful for him.

Me, I’m the queen of guffaw. Open mouth, insert foot is not a new concept for me. But after having my own child and knowing of friends and family members who struggled or struggle, I’ve tried to adopt the “don’t ask, but please tell” policy. I don’t want to ask you anything about family planning – whether you are trying to start your family or have an other. Or, if you’re all done. I want to know because I care and family is an interesting topic that I could go on and on about. Heck, I blog about it. But I want to be respectful. I’m not perfect and sometimes a comment can fly out of my mouth that hurts your ears. For example, when someone has a few kids in quick succession I usually take the opportunity to make a joke. I advocate the Mirena IUD (love it), or I get this incredulous voice and ask if it was planned. Now, for me it’s funny, but for you, maybe not so much. Oops. Bygones. You know my heart’s in the right place.

Back to my family. So glad you asked. I love Liron. I love being a mom and I love having a family. But, at the age of 3.3, her sleep is still awful. We’re often tired, exasperated. And there are other challenges that any parent knows about. Health scares, medical appointments, school concerns, etc. And this can take over your life. I’ve always believed in siblings. I think they’re important and add so much. But I do sit up some nights literally mourning the loss of my family ideal (between 2-4 kids) because I just don’t know if I can do it. I really want to (well, at least have 2, forget 4. That was crazy talk.). And at the age of 33, I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I have time. Yes, the spacing between Liron and any hypothetical sibling is much bigger than I would have ever planned before I became a mom. But then again, what did I even know before I had a kid? Not much, apparently. So please, it’s good to care, but when initiating the topic of family planning, be careful, be gentle, and ask yourself if it’s really appropriate. That’s just me.

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