What If The Grass Is Green On Both Sides?

October 25, 2011

Some people feel that there is no greater joy in life. Some want and cannot have. Still others have zero desire. My feelings are a mix of all three and therefore leave me in a constant state of confusion.

For the past 12 years I’ve held a strict anti-baby policy. I realize they can be cute, funny and well behaved. I’ve even been emotionally moved by the things a child has done or said but I suppose that, overall, I keep a pessimistic view of them. My distaste starts in the womb. The entire concept of being with child doesn't appeal to me. I don't even like the word p------t, in any variation, or any other words associated with being with child. Most people view this as a beautiful time or a joy of life. How do I see it? Cringe-worthy. Yet when someone tells me their news I smile, say congratulations and ask all the right questions. I’m not so strong in my own beliefs that I won’t celebrate for someone else.

I think my feelings stem from two things. One, my fear of failure in that I barely take care of myself, how on earth am I going to take care of a kid; and two, the fact that from 13 to 17 it was my job to baby-sit my younger brother and sister. Everyday I came home to watch them. I did baths, dinner, story time, learning to walk and talk, playing at the park, etc. In essence, I feel as if I’ve “been there, done that”, yet I do not feel robbed of the experience of someday becoming a parent.

Because of my feelings I’ve been told everything from, ‘maybe you shouldn’t have kids’ to ‘you’ll change your mind someday’ and ‘wait until it happens”. As usual people are trying to project their baby-loving views on me. During a casual conversation in a store a perfect stranger asked if I was married or had kids and I said that I did not. She asked how old I was. I said 25. She then had the balls to say, “you’re a little behind aren’t you?” After 12 years I think I’m pretty sure of my feelings, even though I acknowledge that they can change.

And change they have. I went from a strict no thank you to a more acceptable, ehh. In a nutshell, if I have them, fine. If not, I won't cry about it. Some women feel the desire to be a mother. They get baby fever. I don’t feel it. If you were to ask me why I want kids I'd give my reasons but then counter-argue that I don’t feel cute clothes, baby naming and my curiosity of their looks constitute a green light to procreate. Will I be a parent someday? Probably but I still I remain indifferent.

As my 27th birthday comes next month part of me feels that ‘someday’ should get moved up on my life to-do list. But even that feeling has me on the fence. I don’t want to start having kids at 30 but I am in no way ready economically or personally (my relationship is 2 months old) to have them now. This is the way I see it: If I have kids at 30 I have a 10 year old at 40, a 20 year old at 50, etc. Say my kids have their own later  in life (30s range), if at all. So now I’m a grandmother in my 60s. Fine, still young by today’s standards. But am I going to be there when my grandkids graduate school or get married? Who knows. And I think deep down that bothers me. My grandparents were a huge influence in my life and it pains me that they’re no longer here. Add in the fact that I have a small family and therefore kind of want a medium sized family and I’m all fucked up.

As I proofread this it seems my feelings have changed yet again but I’m not sure I know how to explain them. I want them but I’m not ready? I feel that I’m going to miss out? I’m still indifferent? I really don’t know. I suppose the most correct answer would be a combination of the three. I will go on record saying that I am officially ok with the idea of having kids someday. I guess the only thing that can be said for sure is that I know there's time and I’m not getting off this fence any time soon.

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  1. :') Made me tear up a little. OK, maybe that's just the pg hormones talking. ;)

    You would make a great mom if you choose to do so. If not, you'll be the most awesome aunt. Either way, you DO have plenty of time to make this decision. I never wanted kids. Honestly. Look at me now! Guess how old I was when I had Ryan... 27. Just sayin'. I read this and I bet you could find something along the same lines from a journal entry somewhere in my earlier twenties. Just like you said, the thought of having to care for someone else when you can barely take care of yourself is oh so true! I felt excactly the same way. Everyone told me I would just change, and I did. Life before Ryan is such a distant memory. I couldn't imagine going back to "that life".

    BTW, you can and do totally take care of yourself... and others as well. You are protective of people you love and what better trait to have as a mother? :)
    <3 ya! :)