I Don’t Get It

Sep 23, 2009 by

I’ve been writing this blog in my head for about 3 months. I still don’t think I can quite articulate my true feelings on the matter, but I’m going to try. What’s a blog for if you can’t fill it with all kinds of overly personal, TMI material? πŸ™‚

How do you (as a woman) decide you’re ready to have kids?

This may seem like a simple question to some of you. I suspect those of you who find it so simple are also people who have known for the vast majority of your lives that you wanted to be a mother. That must be nice.

I, on the other hand, have spent the vast majority of my life thinking it was a good possibility that I’d never have children, and I’d be ok with that. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not hate children. They are not at the top of my “fun things to do before you die” list, but I don’t hate them. Hell, the fact that they’re even ON the list is a huge step.

My supposed distaste for children, babies in particular, doesn’t exist. It never has. Had you asked me about it 10 years ago, I might have disagreed, but only because I didn’t understand. Look, no one is that excited about screaming, crying, throwing up, pooping your pants, and being incapable of self-preservation, whether we’re talking about in infants or adults.

What I admit still confuses me regarding infants (and likely always will!) is not even the actual infant. It’s the psycho women around them. My entire life, I’ve seriously believed something was wrong with me. Why? Because I, unlike the psychos mentioned above, do not have a big O every time there is a baby within a 50 mile radius. I don’t get it.

It seems like society expects you, as a woman, to be OBSESSED with all babies, all the time. I’m just NOT. Sure babies are cute, but I don’t spend every waking second thinking about them. I love my nieces and nephew, but I’m not dying to create one. When it happens, it happens, I just don’t get the craziness.

My family is really big on roles, probably unknowingly. I was always the “book-smart, no common sense, baby hater.” My sister was the “street-smart baby lover.” Then I quit my job to help my husband on the farm and, presumably one day stay home w/ our imaginary children. My sister ends up having a baby around on a semi-regular basis and can’t stand it. Go figure. Take those roles and shove them right up your ass, family. SICK OF IT.

I thought I had my bases covered. We all know that the night of your wedding reception, the questions start. “When are you going to have kids?” “How many kids do you want to have?” “Why do you want to wait a year?” Nosy, intrusive and overall inappropriate, but it happens. It’s as if they’re all hoping and praying you’re already knocked up so they can start planning for the next major life event. Meanwhile, you spend half the time wishing you WERE pregnant so everyone would shut the hell up.

Not me, no no, I had all the answers. Of course I did. “I can’t get pregnant now,” I’d tell them. “Our maternity insurance doesn’t kick in until May.” This means I’m off the hook from your stupid fucking questions. Only, I recently learned it doesn’t mean that at all, as my mother somehow figured (wishful thinking, perhaps?) that May=March and has been “telling all her friends.” Not exactly sure WHAT she has been telling them, but she’s telling them. Apparently, I’m just supposed to be knocked up March/May 1st.

Yet, in the midst of all this supposed desire for grandchildren, my entire family makes fun of me. I say we will have kids sooner rather than later, and they laugh and say I’ll be the most obnoxious mom in the world. Why? Because I will love my child and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. SOUND THE ALARM!!!!! THE HORROR!!!!! So, maybe I don’t know all there is to know about child rearing, but I’m fairly certain love and pride are sort of steps #1 & #2. What is so wrong with that? My own GRANDMOTHER, who I love and cherish dearly, told my mother that whenever I have kids, mom will have to move in with me for weeks because I will be so clueless and helpless. Again…I kinda thought that most new parents (not just moms!) don’t know every single thing there is to know (how could they?), and you figure it out as you go. I didn’t think you were supposed to be humiliated and ridiculed! But, they’re all really desperate for grandchildren. Figure that one out. Sure seems tempting to get involved in that shit storm, doesn’t it?

Back to my original question. How do you (as a woman) determine the right time to have children?

If it weren’t for my wonderful husband, I know, without a doubt, I would likely remain childless. This isn’t because he wants kids, or I don’t, or anything of the sort. It’s because he is the only person on this Earth that I feel comfortable with as my partner in becoming a parent. He doesn’t think I’ll be a shitty parent, or make fun of me, or think my questions/reservations are silly. He’s not in a hurry. WE LIKE OUR LIVES. So how do you decide to give up the carefree, financially stable, traveling freely, AWESOME lifestyle? For diapers? For the Goofy Ridge educational system?

I keep hearing, “oh you just know.” Bullshit. I don’t buy it. Maybe someday I will look back at this and laugh. Until then, I call shenanigans!

I keep hearing, “well we’re not using protection, so if it happens, it happens. If not, then ok.” Shenanigans! You’re not using protection. That means you’ve made the decision to have children, because that is what happens when you have unprotected sex. Just ask the parents of the millions of “surprise” babies! πŸ™‚

I keep hearing, “isn’t it the same way you made the decision to get married?” NO! First of all, there was expensive jewelry, a big party and an awesome tropical vacation involved in my decision to get married. (JOKING, people, relax!) But seriously, getting married meant spending the rest of my life doing the same things I was already doing, with someone I loved. It didn’t mean extra financial stress. It didn’t mean waking up every 2 hours. It didn’t mean shelving my vacations and shoes for braces and college tuition.

I look at all the parents out there, parents who I think are doing a great job. They are self-less. They would do anything for their children. How do you become that self-less? Does it just happen when they hand you the baby? I am not self-less.

Maybe I’ll never figure it out. I told Adam there’s a possibility I might have to be drunk, or tricked (though it would be pretty hard to trick me into not using the ring, since it’s kinda all up in my business!), maybe drugged. Again, not because it isn’t something I want to do, but because my mind keeps warning me of all the things that change (everything) the second you get pregnant. Maybe I should just stick with Bella.

Can anyone help me?

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  1. Anonymous

    Girl… we need to talk! (And we did a little about this at the Cards game.) You didn't say anything that I didn't say to myself over and over. Some people know it's time, and some will never have that feeling. I, for one, never had that feeling that it was time. It just happened, and I wouldn't change it for the world. But most of what you're saying sounds completely normal to me because I felt the same way. The best part about the way you're feeling is that if you do decide to have a kid, you'll be so pleasantly surprised that you'll be fine. You are already anticipating the worst so it's hard for you to wrap your mind around the good things about parenting. Trust me… and feel free to email me! -Angie S. @ angie4567@yahoo.com
    P.S. Then when you finally have a kid, all people can talk about is when are you going to have another? Seriously folks… lay off!

  2. Nikki

    I have to comment on this post. I TOTALLY understand what you are saying. I have heard all of the questions about "When are you going to start?" etc, etc. Only those questions came about 6 months before the wedding when we were told by my in-law cousins (who most of them have at least 1 child and have never been married) that if we were married in Sept. 2008 we would have a baby by June 2009. HELL NO!

    Another instance came from my MIL who thinks that she NEEDS grandkids right now. Really? Right now? AND not to mention she thinks that they will be the go-to grandparents. Need a babysitter? They'll do it. Problem is that their house is too dirty and she snoops through our things when they're at our place. YEAH – that REALLY makes me want to have kids right now.

    I agree that if you have chosen to not use protection anymore that yes you have made that decision to start having kids – it is only a matter of WHEN that will happen. I have some friends that already have kids and to be honest, I like my life. I like being able to stay up late and not have to sleep when a baby sleeps so that I can get any sleep at all. I like that I can go out to lunch and take my purse and not a diaper bag, bottles, toys, carrier, extra clothes, etc. I'm going to lunch not on a mini vacation.

    Yes, we want to have kids. I actually want 3 – Chris wants no more than 2 but we'll see (haha). I love kids. Hello, I'm a teacher. BUT do I need to have them now? No. No matter when we decide to have kids we're still going to love them just as much at that time as we would if we had them now. If anything, waiting will help us financially prepare and be ready for that (seriously) life changing decision.

    If all else fails, do what I do when asked about having kids: You know what, we are not having kids for a VERY LONG TIME. That, for me at least, has help shut up my MIL at least in my presence. Best part is that my mom knows all this and just knows not to ask.

    I have little cousins that I help take care of. Those are my kids. I've only been married for a year and at the time of all of the questions, we weren't married yet. Please let me live my life the way I want to first. When we're ready and it is all said and done, we'll let YOU know when we're expecting.

    Great topic!! πŸ™‚

  3. Lauren

    Thanks so much for the positive comments! I feel better already! People can be so stupid and insensitive about things like these. I wish more people in media/society would publicize opinions like ours. Women need to know that it is ok to have their own opinion about children, whether they want them, don't want them or can't have them. Those of us who can't have children deserve better than having to constantly answer ridiculous questions. The living conditions of my uterus are no one's freaking business.

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