This photo has re-energized me to write about the topic that makes me the most nervous: motherhood. I shared it on Facebook this week in a jocular context, knowing full well the truth it holds for me and a fair number of my peers, who struggle with the question of kids now or later… or… never?
I’ve started writing about the kids issue a million times by now. But I never finish, because I don’t know quite how to say what I want to say. I’m not sure I even know what to say in the first place, as I learn and evolve. Most of the material out there is either overly defensive, or too funny, or too angry. Nothing has authentically spoken to my own feelings on the matter. The conversation about women choosing not to have children is relatively new still, and it’s a tough balance to strike.
I have not made any solid decisions one way or the other. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But, as a married woman in her 30s, the pressure to decide weighs upon me all the time. Will I… or won’t I? And why? Of course, as a married woman in her 30s, I have to explain myself. I shouldn’t have to, of course… but we aren’t quite there yet, societally. And I know full well that people wonder. Continue reading
I know about 8 women right now who either just had babies, or are expecting them by the end of the year. My Facebook newsfeed is riddled with baby updates – “It’s a boy!”, “Here’s my 16 week baby-bump!”, “Arrrghh omgdjkaiej#kaei&x NEED sushi!” and “Ready to pop!” Images of expensively decorated nurseries are springing up all over my Pinterest boards (among expectant moms and non-expectants alike.) Conversations at social events 99.9% of the time turn to babies or pregnancy, and of course, there’s the increasing barrage of “you’re next!” whenever I smile, nod, and question my way through these conversations.
I feel like most normal women in my situation would start getting maternal urges, especially with all these cute pictures and warm n’ fuzzies the new parents gush about. How bad is it, on a scale of 1-10, that I’ve barely experienced a single twinge of it? I’m not old, but I’m not young either, and I don’t feel anywhere near ready to be a mom. And yet, I am aware that I don’t have all the time in the world to procrastinate on the issue, either. I went to visit a friend’s newborn last night with Chuck, and I felt so uncomfortable trying to hold him and support his wobbly, gooey little head! He was a sweet and easy baby, but I didn’t get any warm n’ fuzzies myself…
I feel like I will eventually want one. Family is a beautiful thing – I want one. And, I do admit that I have a running list of boy and girl names in the Notepad app of my iPhone (I love names.) I think I just want to skip the baby part… post-potty training, post spewing bodily fluids everywhere… Luckily, Chuck isn’t pressuring me to have one yet. Both of our parents are urging us to wait. Socially, however, the pressure is everywhere (oddly enough!) Plus, the more I learn about the process – from the first trimester through those terrible twos – the more I am turned off in general.
Is it bad that I find pictures of kittens (and puppies) way cuter than pictures of babies? Is it bad that in real life, I find kittens way cuter than babies? LOL. Ugh, I am a lost cause.