Growing up, I always thought I would go to college, get my degree, and get an awesome job.  Then I would meet someone, probably through work,  fall in love, and get married.  The idea of a children was so far down the line as to be this distant afterthought to everything else.  We would each be major wage-earners, a DINK family enjoying the good life.

What happened?  I met Southern Honey my senior year of high school, went off to college and did the long-distance thing for two years.  Junior year I moved in with him and spent the next two years juggling jobs, an internship, classes and my honors thesis to crank out my degree/  We got engaged and a couple of months later, I got my current job; two years later, we got married and I found myself less than three years into this position and ready to start a family by the time I’m 26.

I’m not sure where this surge of “Oh my gosh, I want a baby!!!!” came from, but it has made the past six months or so really interesting.  Before Christmas, having a munchkin was simply a general future goal we had.  Then we decided to start trying this year, and things changed.  I started doing some research, and I started feeling things that were completely unanticipated.

What I really wasn’t expecting about the whole situation was the almost overwhelming desire I found myself feeling  not to leave our little one with a daycare provider early on in his or her life.  The intensity of that emotion completely baffled me.  I mean, we aren’t even actively trying for a little one yet, so we’re talking at least ten or eleven months in the future, yet I found myself getting upset — I teared up over it once or twice! — about the idea of leaving my (hypothetical) six- or eight-week-old child in daycare while I go to work.  I was having separation anxiety from a being who doesn’t even exist yet outside my imagination.

I’m not sure how you can have separation anxiety from a hypothetical, but I managed it there for a while.

By the time I got that under control, Southern Honey had come to the realization that maybe he didn’t actually want to be a police officer.  We agreed that if he did not make it through the application process, he would be the stay-at-home-parent once the baby arrived.  That led to the second unexpectedly ridiculous emotional surge of mine: jealousy.  If anyone was going to stay home with our munchkin, why couldn’t it be me?

*rolls eyes*  Never mind point A from above, that I’m the primary breadwinner and still would be if he were a cop.  It was completely irrational, but it was there.  I didn’t say a word to Southern Honey, though.  He had enough on his plate with the fitness tests and the interviews; I did not want to burden him with it, figuring I would get over it.  Sure enough, it passed.

Southern Honey didn’t.  He made it to the final round of interviews — in the top fifteen out of almost 175 applicants — but wasn’t accepted.  So the plan now really is for him to be the stay-at-home dad, keeping a couple of night shifts a week, and he’s so excited that it’s absolutely adorable.  I think he’s going to be a fantastic dad, and I’m grateful that we won’t have to go to daycare from the get-go.

The good:

  • Having a post-partum game plan in place, even knowing that circumstances could change in the next year, means one less thing to worry about at the last minute.
  • I did a pretty good job of holding some totally irrational emotions firmly in check.

The bad:

  • That jealousy.  Where did that come from?

The ugly:

  • I turned into a quivering mass of emotions PRIOR to the hormone flood.  Completely unexpected.
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