Jane Birkin with daughters Kate Barry and Charlotte Gainsbourg
(in which I can only dream that I make motherhood look as hot)
Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail
This has been lying in my drafts folder for a week. I was stressing about our current lease running out and having to scurry and find a new place to move into. Our families have also been telling us to consider buying something more permanent just so that we can get out of funnelling our money into thin air every month.
To cut the story short, Joel and I ended up extending our lease to buy ourselves more time. I could not cope with the pressure of leaving our apartment. I tried to put myself into the motions of mourning the years spent here — to quit looking back and to start moving ahead. It was so hard. I know we shouldn’t be “throwing away money” and I know we should be looking for bigger space but my insides kept kicking and screaming. Real estate hunting in our neighbourhood is an intense process that requires all the smarts and resources you have, and frankly, scaling from a studio to a big one bedroom or a moderately sized two bedroom is expensive if we want to stay where we are.
And I don’t want to leave. This is the first time that I’m proud of the life I’ve (we’ve) built. Our apartment, no matter how tiny it is, is my home. I get that in an ideal world, we should be scaling up. At the same time, Joel and I are first time, small time business owners with no inheritances or angel investors to speak of. Translation: no savings, no nest egg. It’s a choice that we would do all over again but it’s been hard recognizing that along with that choice means foregoing a lot of traditional milestones. Extending the lease has been the breath of fresh air that I needed and I’m learning to just stop it with all these unnecessary expectations that are being foisted on us (a lot of it is unintentional and people/culture do mean well though — a lot of these voices that chime in just don’t have any clue about our reality).
Because we’re now a growing family, we have to explore alternative ways to make this happen. We still don’t know how we’re going to fund the birthing. We have some vague idea about where to place the crib and all the baby things in our bedroom. As a whole though, I cannot say I have enjoyed the trappings of what a traditional pregnancy seems to look like.
There haven’t been spa days, babymoon plans, or endless baby showers. I’ve been forcing myself to fit into my current clothes and I refuse to buy a maternity wardrobe. The other day I tried to make an Excel sheet listing all the things we’ll be needing but I gave up because it was all too much and I needed to reflect on what an infant’s bare essentials really are.
I still also work late at night because we have to keep making money. I hate that I do — no, I despise it. I haven’t been putting my foot down because of my anxieties, but I will now. I haven’t allowed myself to think about caring and devoting my full attention to the baby because of this.
I’m so scared — scared that we’ll be so unprepared and unfunded, scared that I’ll be an asshole parent because of that, and scared that I won’t be able to handle all of this and will be wailing much louder than my child will.
I understand completely why some people opt out of parenthood. I really do. I waited three years after I got married to even consider children and I could’ve easily done another three, even another three after that.
I’m 5 months pregnant this week and I’m starting to feel the curious bubble popping sensation that suggests that the baby is moving and flailing in my belly. I don’t expect anyone to believe me, but sometimes this little person moving around and letting me know he/she exists washes everything away. I know I can be an idiot for thinking this way, but the small chance of raising someone who can do life/humanity better than I ever can is enough to keep me going.