We’re broke, like most of the 99% these days. We have a house we couldn’t sell before moving to
which we rented out until a sociopath squatted there for almost a year until we
evicted her. That adventure drained our savings and left us borrowing money
from family and living off of credit cards. Then no one would rent it once she
was gone and the repairs had been done. We stopped paying the mortgage several
months ago, choking on our Midwestern sense of duty, but unwilling to move back
or borrow more money. Now we’re in the short sale process with the Bank of
Darkness, also known as Wells Fargo. We go back and forth about whether to just
move back. What’s right? What’s responsible? What’s best for our daughter? What
feels best to our souls? Basically, it’s a dual between Midwestern practicality
spiritual self-fulfillment. Someone other than me should write a dissertation
Amidst all of this indecision and financial strain, we have been fighting, mostly about everything but sometimes about other stuff. We cry (mostly I cry), we harden in fear and anxiety, we vent our overwhelm on each other, and then remind ourselves we’re in this together and we’ll be okay. Up and down and back and forth, around and around we go. We break the cycle, and then more Wells Fargo bullshit rears up to clobber us with cloven hooves.
Then, in the eye of the storm emerges a question so asinine it is hard to believe: Should we have another baby? Folly! Madness! Outrage!
My spouse is ready. As with Baby, she believes things will fall into place and work out. It’s true—they did. We didn’t know how we would afford things and do it all, but we did. Because of my fibromyalgia and CFS, I feared my body would fail all of us. It hasn’t, though it’s been worn down. We’re not getting any younger. We want Baby to have a sibling with whom to complain about us and possibly share a therapist.
There are many “howevers,” however: first, we have no money, no space, no time, and little energy. Few emotional resources, little sex, lots of fights. Don’t even get me started about overpopulation and guilt about not adopting (which we definitely cannot afford). We have sperm on ice from the better days, having known we might want to try and wanting the same donor. Further down the wormhole is another ridiculous question: Do I want to have the baby this time? Another blog entirely.
The trump card is that there is never a good time to have a baby. Someone about to have his second child told me that when things are perfect, you don’t want to ruin them, and when things are hard, you don’t want them to get harder. It’s a bomb going off in your life no matter what.
So, if parts of our lives are already exploded and we’re sitting in the rubble of finances and stress, is it a good a time as any? Is it better to continue on with what we want despite our circumstances or is it better to accept life on its terms and say, “Uncle”?
First world problems for sure—we’re lucky to have a place to live, a healthy child, and a deep commitment to each other. We are grateful, and then we feel sorry for ourselves when the bills arrive. Breathe in, breathe out.
At some point, people make this decision. People as lower-middle class as we are. Do they just forget about the retching and heartburn? The constant painful fog of the first few months? Believe the money will work itself out?
Maybe we should just stumble in to the clinic, poke around, and hope for “an accident” like our hetero friends have. Maybe I should quit my Hamlet-y whining and just get on board already.
Bill Cosby said this: “Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.” So maybe we double-down on the irrational, hope for the beautiful, and hang on tight. And start selling plasma.