Me and B are in the midwest for the week. We have no way to watch TV (his parents have a big one, but they are always watching sports and poker games and lots of stuff we have no interest in), reading and going on the computer all the time gets old, so mostly when we are out here we sit around and talk to each other. Inevitably Serious Business (TM) comes about when we have this time to just talk to each other for days in a row. Last time we were out here, we decided to get engaged for reals (we had been talking about it for months beforehand, but it was here that we decided to start to tell people and to set a date).
This time around our serious business (tm) has focused on two topics: Getting a dog, and having a child.
First the less life-changing confusing thing: A dog. I was never much of a dog person. I far prefer kitties, as I can leave them alone for days, and not worry that they will starve or pee all over the apartment. But B loves dogs, and had one as a child, and wants to get one. And over thanksgiving we hung out with his sister's dog (which inspired a post about dogs that I'm not going to bother to link to), and have been hanging out with the dog this week as well. And I'm starting to come around. I think I would even like taking a dog for walks, getting out of the house a few times a day, even though B would be in charge of most of the dog-related things.
We are thinking we may start looking for one when we get back home. We still like the beagle idea, since B likes smaller dogs and I like bigger dogs, and a beagle seems like the good middle ground that we both would like. But it would have to be a quiet one, and most arn't. Most likely we will check out some beagles from petfinder and also just go to a shelter and see if there's any dog there that we like (beagles or otherwise).
Then there's the scary life-altering thing: We have been discussing having kids a lot lately, since with my career, around next spring/summer would be a pretty convenient time to get pregnant. If we didn't have a kid now (and by now I mean getting pregnant next summer and having the kid in Spring 2010), we realistically would probably end up waiting until I got tenure (which would be 8 years from now if all goes on schedule- I'm 26, so I will be 32 when I get tenure).
On the one hand, it would be a good time now, I think we are both responsible enough, and we can afford it. We both very much want to have kids. I don't know that I would want to spend the next 8 years without any kids.
But what is making me hesitate is that I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up my lifestyle. Not that I go out getting drunk every night (I don't even drink), but I like the freedom to take off whenever I want, have random adventures, stay out late (although honestly I only go out like once or twice a month at most). And of course all the other freedom's you give up when you have a child. I don't know if I'm ready to do that or not.
Also we are getting married in May, and have only been together 2 years at this point (our 2 year anniversary is in 2 weeks). Am I going to miss having that time just to ourselves if we have a kid right away?
So how do you know when you are ready to give up on your own 'childhood' (or young adulthood, whatever, you know what I mean)? Do you just know? Or does nobody feel ready until way after you already have a child, and is that normal?