I’m trying to simplify the decision-making process by breaking things down into small, manageable questions. Our current strategy is to focus on what we need now without worrying too much about what our future needs might be. This approach seems to be working: we’ve tackled two issues already.
First, about baby number 3. We’ve decided not to proceed with that plan. Let’s see what we make of our newfound freedom; let’s venture into this next phase of our life and see what we can do with it. IF we decide later that we do really want to add to our family, and are willing to go back to those baby years, we can try at that time. There are certainly plenty of women having babies in their early-to-mid forties and there’s always the possibility of adoption if we want it badly enough. I just don’t think deciding to have one now because I’m feeling pressed for time (reproductively speaking) is such a great move. And there are things I’m excited about trying now that I’ve got more freedom.
Second, about our living situation. We asked ourselves: What is the biggest issue right now? That’s easy – space.
When we first moved to this apartment DD was a toddler (low physical energy, focussed) and DS was a newborn. Living here was easy and good. But now, 3 years later, I’ve got a son bursting with “boy energy”. It’s all about throwing, smashing, and breaking right now. It’s crazy! And the two kids can’t get away from each other when one needs a break, so there has been some bad fighting between them. Getting out to do “fun things” has become a chore because I no longer feel I have the option to spend a day at home nesting and baking muffins, kwim? We don’t spend much time out and about in our neighbourhood (except to go to the playground and back) because DS always falls asleep in the stroller (and that means he’s up way too late) so he’s on foot and that totally limits the distance we can go, and of course doing errands is an exercise in insanity (picture trying to rush through the drug store to get toilet paper and diaper wipes while > 40lb son is having a tantrum because he doesn’t want to go down that aisle and I have to try to carry him while he is thrashing around, while balancing a shopping basket over one arm and DD is ranting on about wanting a treat….). I now get my groceries delivered and do errands when DH is around to watch the kids. The benefits of urban living are not being felt that much these days.
So we need space, and we don’t need a “walk everywhere” neighbourhood. We also don’t need alot of access to homeschooling programs because the kids are still very young. We don’t need access to alot of other children because my daughter doesn’t do well with too much socialization and my son is currently on a mission to bitch-slap every child under the age of 3 that he encounters. The best situation is inviting friends over, but currently we have no room for that. Finally, we want the flexibility to move if we decide we hate it in our new locale, and also flexibility to adapt to the children’s changing needs.
From all this an answer emerged: rent a house with a fenced-in yard, go to a rural area that is within commuting distance from the city but maximizes space and minimizes cost. We have 2 choices for location: the Valley (as it’s known around here) or that-island-I-keep-talking-about. We’re going to closely monitor Craigslist and other sources of rental info, and see which place yields a suitable home first.
Meanwhile, we continue along with Plan C, socking money away (we’re already off to a great start and DH was right – it’s rather exciting to watch that balance grow; I’m quickly getting over my impatience to own a home) until the right property to buy comes along.
There, now wasn’t that easy?