I've never said I was all that good at adulting. I just do it and, many times, I'm not that successful at it.
The whole birth control thing is a case in point. It's a really tricky topic, and what doesn't help is that no one ever talks about it. Why are we so private about it?
The reality is, many of us women in our childbearing years are either actively trying to get pregnant or we're trying not to get pregnant. Finding myself in the middle—you know, the "Uh, well, whatever happens happens" deal—just doesn't work with my life at this time. I just had my second child and, for now, we're good. The whole "having more kids thing," even? Well, meh. It's hard to have baby fever when you're already sleep deprived. I love my two babies more than life and all that, but the thought of bringing another child into this world when we're not ready terrifies both myself and my husband.
So we need birth control.
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It seems simple, except that birth control is anything but simple. Personally, I find the options to be too invasive, too uncomfortable, too painful or just not practical for long-term use.
Listen, as women, I think we should make whatever birth-control decision we think is right for our minds and bodies. It just so happens that I'm not a fan of the popular options: I don't like birth-control pills (nor will I remember to take them). I'm not comfortable with an IUD, shots, patches or rings. Yeah, girl, I know they work. And I've heard all the tales from my girlfriends about how much they love their IUDs and the shots that make it so that they don't even get their periods.
Now that we're in a place where we’re pretty sure we’re done having children, what happens next?
Nope. I'm not interested. None of this is OK with me.
Which is why I'm likely the only woman in my group of friends who uses condoms along with natural family planning.
Are you laughing at me? You probably are. I always get this look when I tell people that I track my cycle and use that as birth control. They think it's wild and unreliable. But, as someone who was able to conceive and prevent births with these methods, I should say that they've worked for my husband and me. So far.
Now that we're in a place where we’re pretty sure we’re done having children, what happens next? Do I seriously have to go through tracking and wearing condoms for the next 20 to 30 years of my life? It’s not something I’d want to do, and trying to convince the husband to have a vasectomy? Let's just say potty-training a toddler is easier. It’s a topic that keeps popping up in our home, but I just can’t get this man to make the appointment.
I didn’t think I’d be here, still, at 31 years old. For some reason, I thought I’d have this all figured out by now. I can’t NOT think about it, because family planning is so incredibly important for our financial and emotional well-being. I don’t want to take this lightly, but I also don’t want to be in a situation where we’re both like, "Uh-oh.”
I'm still not sure what a fertile mama should do.