I think…

I think a lot of what I spewed forth the other day on my blog (thank you for the encouragement and kind words) had to do with my indecision over a very important issue in my life. 

I am a decisive person.  When I want something, I know right away.  I don’t dicker over buying a car, I just know which one I want and go buy it.  Not that I don’t haggle over price, I do, I’m cheap, but I know what I want and I go after it.  When we bought the house, once I knew which one we were going to get, I didn’t want to wait, I just wanted it.  I want a pair of shoes?  I can’t wait until my next paycheck like I should, I must.have.them.now.

This is all fine and good with me.  Noah indulges me and I’m slowly getting better about saving and waiting.  In fact, just this week, I put off coloring my hair b/c Noah need some stuff for his bike for Bike to Work Week.  And now I have to wait like two more weeks to get it done.  Possibly four.  See?  I’m getting better.  Anywhoodle.  With all the talk in blogland and in my “real life” about babies, the idea of having a child has been on my mind.  I know I know.  Not a decision I have to make right now.  Don’t judge and don’t tell me that I have loads of time to make that decision.  Not helpful.  I know that I have time to make that decision and I know that I have time to change my mind and I may very well change my mind, but don’t tell me that.  I already know.  It doesn’t change the fact that I feel this intense urge to make that decision and until I make that decision (at least for this present moment), I will continue to feel stressed, tired, etc. 

The problem with this particular decision is society.  And you people.  Everyone is all gaga over having a baby.  Everyone talks about how their womb aches and their brain goes mushy every time they see a baby.  Me?  Not so much.  I started have baby thoughts in HS.  I somehow knew that I wanted to be a mom and would be a good mom, but now was not the right time.  Then I went to college.  I never want kids!  Never!  That was my new thoughts and since Noah didn’t want kids, we seemed to be a good match.  Next I became a teacher and stuck with my never wanting kids feelings.  Part of me is afraid my child would be special needs.  And while I am a special ed. teacher and I know I love my kids, I also know that I could not deal with a special needs kid at home after I had just worked with special needs kids all day at school.  I do not have enough patience.  Do not.  And thinking about my child having Autism or Cerebral Palsy?  I can’t even imagine.  It’s not that those kids are less somehow, it’s just that I have worked extensively with kids with those types of needs and I know what it takes.  I know how hard it is.  And I know that I don’t have it in me to do that.  So that’s part of my fears.  The other part of my fears is that bi-polar runs in both of our families and there is a strong genetic tendency towards it.  I don’t want to inflict that on our child.  And the main reason?  I’m selfish.  I NEED a peaceful house after my day at work.  I NEED alone time.  When you have a child, your WHOLE LIFE CHANGES!  This is what scares me about our society.  We have become a very ME centered society.  And people don’t realize what a huge impact a child will have on your life.  I have seen our friends Mike and Kim with their newborn.  I can’t imagine being the amazing wonderful parents that they are, and I don’t want to be less than that.  But the pressure.  The pressure is everywhere.  It’s ever present.  My friends are getting pregnant, online friends want to be pregnant and talk about it incessantly (it’s your blog, talk about it all you want, I’m not mad, it’s just hard sometimes to read about it).  There is their consensus in society that if you don’t have kids, it’s because you can’t have kids and people feel sorry for you.  My parents, Noah’s parents, my grandparents, they all expect us to have kids.  I’m an only child.  I’m an only grandchild.  If I don’t have kids, it’s like our family line will end with me.  That sort of makes me sad.  And I just feel this overwhelming judgement.  People ask me when we’re going to have kids and I don’t feel like I can say never.  I feel like I have to say, “Oh, we’ve got time.”  When I don’t really mean it.  But if I tell people that we don’t want kids, they look at me like there’s something wrong with me.  Anyway, as some of you readers know, I went through this brief two week period where I tried to convince myself that I wanted a child.  We made a mistake, my period was late, and I panicked.  I started to think about what I considered my worst case scenario.  I figured that if other people make it work, we could too.  But in my heart I was feeling this loss.  The loss of my future with Noah.  And I fought against it and told everyone I know how badly I wanted a child because I thought if I said it enough, it would be true.  But it’s not.

Just being able to admit that I don’t want children, makes me feel better.  It makes me feel like this weight has come off my shoulders.  I may change my mind in the future, but I really don’t think I will.  And it doesn’t mean that I’m broken.  I love kids.  I do!  I’m a teacher!  I’m the first person to ask if I can hold the baby.  But I don’t want one of my own.  Maybe ever.  And that’s Ok.  I can be the cool “aunt” and hopefully godparent who has lots of money and a big cool house who gives the best presents and holds the most fun sleepovers.  But I can also travel, have a nice car, have three dogs and lots of room, because I don’t have the financial burden that is a child (among lots of other great and wonderful things).  Why did I feel the need to add that?  I guess I’m worried that you all, and my parents and loads of other people will think that I don’t like kids.  But it’s not true.  I just know that I’m not a mommy.  And that it doesn’t mean I’m broken.  And it will be OK.

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7 thoughts on “I think…

  1. Alright, apparently this is where all the good scoop happens when a new hot male actor appears on the scene.

    And kudos to you for knowing what you want and don’t want. I think too many people feel the pressure to conform to society and do everything just like everyone else and in the end, they’re not happy.

  2. The reality check is that you no longer get to be selfish when it comes to having kids, you’re absolutely right about that. And it’s not just with time and things, it’s with the smallest details – like going to the bathroom without some one joining in.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting kids. I didn’t for the longest time and neither did my husband. Then, we changed our mind, had two kids, and got bitch-slapped with reality. (Yes, I do love my kids, it’s just life consuming!)
    It’s your life, you have a right to feel any way you want about it!

  3. There is nothing wrong with not wanting kids. There is nothing wrong – and many things right! – about knowing who you are, what you want, what you can handle, and all of that. Other people’s expectations are just that – other peoples. You should just concentrate on your own (well, and your husbands)

  4. I can totally understand why you feel this enormous societal pressure about having children. It does often seem that we are all on this straight like conveyor belt of college-job/grad school-dating-marriage-children, no getting off, no choices. But that’s just not the case. People are lazy, and so they assume you’re on the “default” trajectory toward familyhood.

    I feel this way because I’m in the “when are you getting married?” stage of the conveyor belt, and even though I want to eventually be married to AS, I’m sick of answering the question. Just like with you, it is a LAZY question. People see me and think, “OK, Laurel has been in a relationship for 3 years, uhhh…. MARRIAGE?” Never mind that I have grad school plans, a serious running hobby and interesting daily observations, people go for the easiest, default assumption.

    I think the only conclusion we can come to is that people are LAZY and, therefore, stupid. Hang in there with the judgers.

  5. It is ridiculous that we live in a society where you have to feel guilty over a decision that just involves you and Noah– and none of them. I’ve heard it called the motherhood mandate before… how society is so judgmental of women who don’t want to be mothers.

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