Yes, it’s a double post day for me today.  I apologize in advance  because this one will be different from the norm for me, but I need to get something off of my chest. A post of Alissa’s a few months ago really resonated with me.

I recently found out a good friend of mine is expecting.  I am quite happy for this couple, believe me. However, it does cause me angst, as does any news that any of our friends are expecting.  I feel like there is then this unspoken question in the air around me, like “So, Terri, when are you going to decide to have a kid?”  And some people bluntly (and rudely, I may add, just come out and ask me this question point-blank.)  You know what? I DON’T KNOW.  And I resent how society tries to make people in my situation feel as if there is something wrong with me because I’m 36, and don’t yet have kids. Not everyone thinks that changing a gazillion diapers a day is nirvana. Not everyone at my age wants to completely let his/her life revolve around a baby every waking moment.

Another person that I know who recently found out his wife is expecting said to me, well, if you think you might be ready to have a kid in a year or two, then you should start NOW. Don’t wait. Um, yeah. I don’t think so, and while I didn’t say anything to this person at the time, I REALLY RESENTED that.  I didn’t shove my opinions on him, why did he feel that he had the right to do so to me?!

I’ve also been told by a good friend, that maybe it’d be best for me (because of the angst the subject gives me) to get pregnant when I am not really planning it. AGAIN, NO, respectfully, I disagree.     I am a planner. I will want to plan it – I do work in academia, after all, and I will want to make sure such a big decision is made with a lot of knowledge behind it.  I also don’t want to have to deal with something that may happen by mistake.

 I don’t want kids right now for a few reasons.  Yes, people say if you wait until you can afford them, you’ll never have them.  Has anyone out there taken a look at the economy?  Has anyone read the book, The Two Income Trap, by Elizabeth Warren? Because here’s the deal.  I cannot afford to take off from work and just stay home to raise kids, nor do I WANT TO. That doesn’t make me any less of a person. That’s everyone’s individual choice if they want to do that, and I”m sick of having it pushed on women that we need to do that, or our kids will be raised defectively or something.  While my husband makes a good salary, we could not afford to pay for our house and my student loans and everything else (and believe me we do live below our means), but we could not do it only on his salary.  We have finally gotten to the point where we can pay off our one credit card every month, and can save for the inevitable day when our cars die (they’re both now 11 years old.)  I want us to have some money set aside in case everything is not absolutely perfect with the kid, which believe me, I realize can happen, especially if you are over 35.)

We cannot save money on day care costs by having our family take care of a kid, NOR WOULD I WANT TO.  I feel like our parents out there should enjoy being grandparents, without me asking them to be the disciplinarian of our would-be kid.  Some folks we know do have their parents watch their kids, and that’s fine if that’s what their parents want.  We wouldn’t even have that option even if we wanted it.  My mom lives 4-5 hours away. My father-in-law has Parkinsons, and my mother-in-law has her hands full taking care of him and the house, etc. My dad and I are not close, and he lives many states away.

My friend is finding herself dealing with morning sickness all the time.  I asked my husband if he thought she minded or resented the baby for it. He said, “no, I don’t think so, since she wanted to get pregnant.”  Here’s the thing –  I think I would resent it, and would feel like my body has been taken over by some alien being, and to me, that sends a clear signal that I should not have a kid, at least not right now.  If I want to wait until I’m 37 or 38, then you know what, that’s my choice, and I HATE being made to feel like less of a person for thinking that way. WHEN I become a mom, I want to be really ready and be eager for it to happen.  Not when I’m feeling pressure to be like everyone else.  Right now, I look around and see people popping out kids every two years, and I think, ok for them, but for me, I am just not there yet. 

Women are having kids older lately, and they’ve been born healthy. My boss had twins her first time around, and they are both healthy, happy kids.  She was almost 40 when she got married (for the second time.)  She seems content with her choices.  

I watched the Sex and the City movie with my husband last night and was happy to see the character of Charlotte was able to run while pregnant, since “she had already been a runner.”  My running is definitely not something I would want to give up, for longer than necessary.  And that’s another thing, I’ve had people shove their opinions on me, of “oh, you’d get rid of  your pets if you had to, or you’d give this up , if you had to.”  This has usually happened at baby showers, etc., and it makes me want to slap them silly.  When it comes to things like babies, people need to keep their opinions to themselves. They need to stop asking childless couples when they’re going to start having kids, and then looking at them as if they are defective because they don’t have them yet.  I’ve had a few people say to me, “it’s ok, if you don’t want to have them ever, you know.”  Why is it that those people are in the minority?

I could go on for a while longer but I’ll stop here. For the record, I do admire those parents out there who seem to be able to do everything. Also for the record, I think my family members know this, but it goes without saying how much I love my nieces and nephews, and I’d give my life for them if it came down to it. They’re amazing little humans, and I can’t wait to see how they grow up, and what they become.

I should be back to my normal, more positive self again by tomorrow.

Anyway, thanks for reading and letting me vent.  I do wish everyone a Happy New Year.

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