because i can’t count on my hands
I knew once we announced our pregnancy, the questions would come like raging rabbits in search of a garden.
“How long are you going to breastfeed?”
“Are you going to get an epidural?”
“Have you started shopping for maternity clothes yet?”
“Are you going to find out the gender of the baby?”
Contrary to what the tone may imply, I enjoy questions because questions urge dialogue. I get to hear people’s stories, what their personal experience has been, and what they wish they would’ve known or done differently. So in this way, questions are good for me, because they force and encourage me to think and listen.
On the other hand, the questions can also be intimidating and anxiety-ridden. And the one that has ignited the most anxiety has been:
“What are you going to do about work? And daycare?”
This question implies, of course, that I am going to continue working full-time, and that my child will inevitably be in daycare. This is a fair question, as I have never really spoken about dreams of being a stay-at-home mother. I read an article recently about Yahoo!’s CEO who planned on going back to work within weeks of labor and delivery. Then I read another one about a woman dealing with similar questions and issues, taking a less-demanding job so she can be with her family more. It’s a discussion that isn’t short of opinion or experience, and for me, it’s one I don’t take lightly, and feel too conflicted about to jot off a simple, “a + b = c.”
But our short answer is: we really don’t know.
In our short 14 weeks of pregnancy, we have talked about every option, envisioned (and budgeted) each scenario. We’ve asked people we respect and admire the decisions they made, why they made them, and what they would do differently if they could. All had different answers, but very similar theme: do what fits your family.
This conversation is loaded with theory, identity, family, sacrifice, etc. No decision comes without significant loss and gain. So I ask, in the midst of our wandering, that you be gracious to us. We are trying to figure it out. We don’t know. We are full of lots of questions and very few answers. And we are settling in being okay with that for the next six (or so) months. I find myself saying more times than I can count on my hands, much like Jehosophat in 2 Chronicles 20, “God, I don’t know what to do. But my eyes are on You.” And something tells me that’s kind of the theme in parenting.