I’ve been thinking a lot about babies.
Partly because my best friend just had a baby. And when I mean just had a baby – I mean, this morning. But it’s been nine months of me knowing she’s was pregnant, to watching her grow, to seeing her excitement, and to finally seeing pictures of her perfectly perfect, 7 pound baby girl.
But it’s also just because I’m almost 29. And everyone around me is having babies, and I feel this unspoken pressure. Thankfully, my family respects my privacy, and no one asks me nor pressures me about children.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel pressured by society.
And let’s be realistic – my parents would love to be grandparents. They are already, to my bonus child. I could see how thrilled they were to have him around for the holidays. And who wouldn’t be thrilled with this? As my father in law says, grandchildren are your reward for not having killed your own children.
But I’ve never been the person that dreamt of marriage, or babies. My best friend was that person. She is perfectly suited to be the world’s best mom. I am not. If I am ever a mother, I will be more like… a mediocre mother. A mother who just scrapes by.
It’s not that I don’t like children. They’re cute, and adorable, and their innocence is endearing. But all the snot. And colds. And lack of hygiene. And attention. And never being alone.
I really like being alone.
Plus, it kind of seems that I need to choose, at this point, between having children and having a successful career. I know, at some point, that I can have both. They are not mutually exclusive. But certainly, it is much easier to have a successful career without children.
There are times that I think that maybe that’s a reason I should have a child, or children. I’ve never been one to take the easy road, so why stop here? But certainly that’s not reason enough to have a baby.
My hormones definitely want children. I see babies and my uterus talks to me. Whatever motherly instinct I was always sure I never had pops in, and I want a baby so bad it hurts. These are days I run to my husband and beg him to impregnant me.
And yet, inevitably, a few days later I change my mind. “I want to go back to school,” I tell him. “Let’s wait a few more years – or ten.”
But, realistically, how many more years do I have? Sure, people have had children much later than my 28.5 years, and very healthily. But will I have the energy to have a two year old when I’m 40? What I wait too long and risk my child’s health? Will I carry the responsibility of waiting too long forever as a guilt hanging over my head?
All of this would be fine – except that, honestly, truthfully, I’d like to go back to school. Again. But yet I still have some reservations about that. What if I’m not smart enough anymore? What if I’m not accepted? What if I’m the oldest person, or the dumbest, or I can no longer live up to my 4.0 GPA expectation?
And who could ever do both – go to school while having a baby? I mean, I’m sure it’s possible, but it certainly wouldn’t be ideal. Do they even accept people into PhD programs who have children? Of course I’m sure they do – if they didn’t that would be discrimination. But honestly, is that even feasible?
So there are times that I think I need to rush and have a baby now, before I apply to school, or just wait until it’s over. But of course, there’s always the possibility that I change my mind. That I decide not to go back to school. That I decide not to have a baby. Or that I’m not accepted into any programs, or that I’m unable to have a baby. These are things I cannot know. These are things that I’m not meant to know.
All I know is that, mothering would not come easily for me. Which is not to say I think I would be a bad mother – I think I would do okay. Certainly I wouldn’t win any mother of the year awards. But I bet I could raise a child to be decent. A good person. Intelligent. Independent. Creative. Ambitious. Reflective. These are the gifts I could give to a child – not necessarily the capacity to be a good parent, or patience, or motherly instincts.
And yet I think these are worthwhile things to pass on. I mean, if I get the opportunity. If I choose to take on the opportunity. If my body allows me the opportunity.
There are so many decisions to make, and yet so much that’s still out of my control. These are the thoughts on my mind as we inch closer and closer to a new year.
Perhaps this will be the year I decide to have a child.
Or maybe not.