I’m not one of those girls who longs to have children. I’ve never felt that motherhood is my calling in life. I have nothing against those who do feel that way, but when I look at my dream life, the number of children in it varies day to day, if they’re even there at all. I don’t remember being obsessed with baby dolls as a kid, and I was never much for playing house. Not to mention, the thought of giving up wine for nine months at minimum feels like a life sentence.
When I was younger, I was convinced that I would never birth my own children, but rather give a loving home to all the kids without one, and adopt until my pockets ran dry. Then I grew up and thought about not having children at all. Then I grew up even more, went to college, learned about social work, the foster care system, the adoption process, etc. and realized that maybe I wanted to have my own children first, then adopt if I happened to have spare change leftover.
Maybe I’m afraid of change. Maybe I’m afraid that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Maybe I’m scared of feeling that overwhelming, instant love that everyone talks about. Or maybe I’m just afraid to make such a permanent decision. No matter the reason, I still find myself unable to make a concrete, definitive choice on whether to have kids.
According to the latest reports, the average age a woman has her first child is 25.2, so at 27.6, I occasionally hear that ticking clock. Despite telling myself that there is no rush, no one size fits all life plan, I still can’t shake the constant feeling that I need to make a decision, and I need to make it now.
The problem is, I can’t make up my mind!
Every now and again, be it the sight of a newborn baby, the laughter of a young girl playing outside, or just walking past the clothing aisle where all the adorable baby outfits are, I find myself thinking “Man, that would be nice…” Sometimes that lasts for a fleeting second, and sometimes it lasts long enough that I swear I can feel my ovaries fluttering inside of me, and I start daydreaming about baby showers, booties, and blankets.
Maybe I’m too open – sharing my life dreams and opinions with friends and family, telling them one day how anxious I am to have kids, then the next day telling them that I’m not sure if I want kids at all. But trust me, I KNOW that I can’t make up my mind! When I’m holding your newborn and say “I want a baby…” please take it with a grain of salt, because as soon as it cries or spits up, I’m probably going to smile it off, but silently tell myself “See!? You don’t want this!”
Then, thirty minutes later when the baby has been fed and burped and is nestled in your arms, holding your finger and starting up at your face, I will find myself thinking, “I want to snuggle my own tiny tot!” This internal (sometimes external) battle happens DAILY. It’s a struggle, hence why it’s called a battle.
For now, all I can do is apologize for being so wishy-washy, tell my mom to take her time on that baby blanket she’s knitting, savor my time with my nieces and nephews, and tell myself that it’s a women’s prerogative to change her mind. When or if the time is right, I will be sure. Because as people often say: when ya know, ya know.
Or will I? Since they also say “You’re never really ready…”
Geez, here we go again…