Monday, January 30, 2006

time is not on my side

(or, The One Where Vivi Possibily Reveals Too Much)

This morning I checked the ANPE website for new job announcements, like I've been doing twice a week since the beginning of the month. I plugged in my criteria with "anglais" added, in hopes of finding a bilingual admin position. I got two hits, and one seems interesting enough to warrant sending in a resume and hand-written cover letter, which is the norm in France. This one doesn't specify that a photo is required, which is also not unusual in France, but less and less so, so I don't have to copy and paste the black and white photo already saved in the computer to the resume before I print it out. This will be second resume mailed off this month. Later this week, I have my six-month review at ANPE with a counselor who will want to know what I've been doing in terms of looking for a job. Steph thinks I should ask him about finding a "stage," or internship, which doesn't pay but can be put on a resume.

All of this is really great. I'm making positive moves towards finding a job, something I have been wanting for ages. I really miss working and interacting with other people. But there's a voice in the back of my head, telling me that I need to be working on another project - starting a family.

If I had my druthers, I would happily wait a year or two before even thinking about starting a family. I would like to feel more comfortable with the language, have some extra income coming in, feel a bit more settled. However, there are two factors that I have to consider. The first one is my age. I wish I could tell you that I was a blushing young bride of 25, but the truth is that I was 31 when we were married and I'm going to be 33 this May (that's the 23rd, please be sure to mark your calendars accordingly, thank you, mgmt.). Statistically, every year we wait, the less chances we have of achieving a natural pregnancy. The other thing is my medical history. I already know that, with PCOS, I will most likely have a difficult time getting pregnant naturally and we should really start trying as soon as possible. In fact, this subject was the last one I had with my mother before she died, and I'll never forget her pleading with me, "Please, Vivi, start trying as soon as possible! Don't wait until it's too late!"

On the other hand, I agree with Steph that it would be nice to have a little extra padding in the bank before starting a family. We live comfortably, but certainly not extravagantly, on one salary. We can't travel as much as we'd like, but we can afford little extras like a couple of books or DVDs when we want. As much as I like this apartment, it would be a tight squeeze with a small child and we want to be a two-salary family before we make the next step we'd like to take, which is buying a house - though I have to admit that when looking for a new apartment last fall, I definitely was keeping in mind the idea of having a small child with us in our new place. Yes, it's true that the French government gives expecting mothers and families with newborns a stipend, which will certainly help but in my mind it's just not the same.

So here I am, sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm not necessarily looking for advice, just talking outloud, as it were. But these are the thoughts that are weighing heavily on my mind these days.

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