On being lucky

It was a rough week last week. Mike and I both individually questioned if we were doing the right thing (for me: working with a baby; for him: getting a PhD), and after talking about it in detail for a few days, realized we both needed to suck it up and that our current path was by far the best one. Neither option is particularly easy, but it’s definitely what we want. Seriously: could you imagine me as a stay at home mom right now? Yeah, me neither.

The freak-out did put things in perspective for me. We are a young couple working on our chosen careers with a new baby. We make enough money to live comfortably and get whatever we need for us and for Lou. We have family members – specifically, both of our mothers – who are more than willing to go WAY above and beyond to help us so that we have trustworthy, free child care. We live in a family-friendly city and state, we have a fantastic baby-mobile that we didn’t have to pay for, and we have almost every baby contraption you can think of to make our lives easier.

I received an email from my sister this morning that pushed me even further into the “you need to get over yourself and be grateful for what you have” camp. My sister has a great life right now – married to a fabulous lady, living in Brooklyn and working at her dream job, and generally living a pretty enviable life. But she doesn’t have any of the things I mentioned above, so when she and Katie start trying for a baby, they have some serious obstacles to navigate. It made me cry to think of the additional steps they have to go through just to get pregnant, not to mention things I take for granted (like my mom as a nanny or being able to drive to Target to buy formula) aren’t going to be a reality for them. This particular part of her note broke my heart:

“We admitted that if it gets too rough, we both want to move back to Texas. We decided that we’d rather raise a kid in a gay-unfriendly environment, and I’d rather give up my career, than to have someone else raise our kid(s), you know? But WOW, that’s hard to imagine having to choose.”

Earth to Shannon: get a grip.

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