I’ve always thought I would have children.
Like in the “first-comes-love-then-comes-marriage-then-comes-a-baby-in-a-golden-carriage” kinda way.
I mean, when I first had ALL-ROUND-ACCESS to the INTERNET (university), I couldn’t really think what good things I should use the internet-and-it’s-googling-powers for and so somehow settled on baby names. Yes, I literally had sheets of paper taped to my wall at university – a pink highlighted sheet, and a blue highlighted sheet: with all my favourite baby-googled names. (This is not a joke – you may ask any of the girls who lived in res. with me.)
It’s kinda like I created my own anti-boy radar without even knowing. My dad would’ve been proud.
I can’t remember if The Warr was around in the era of the baby-names-lists or not – but if he was, he clearly passed the test.
So where was I?
Ah yes, deciding on the names of my unborn children.
It appears that I’m at that relationship-status/age where everyone is wondering (asking) when we are going to have children. I’ve seen many Facebook posts etc on how annoyed women get at being asked all the time what is going on in their uterus/utera/uterai. To be honest, I’m not really all that bothered about what people ask me. But I just don’t think that the answer I have for them (hmm../not sure/ maybe/one day?/I think so) is really the one they are looking for. Or let me be even more ambivalent in this and tell you that I’m currently on both sides of the fence.
Here’s the thing: HOT DAMN, I LOVE my life. I love the work that I do. I love that I get to hang out with Warren in the evenings. I love that we get to explore together on the weekends. I love that we get to spend time alone together. I love that we can spontaneously decide to go out for dinner on a random Tuesday because “it’s a wine night!”. I love that if we wanted to we could take a sporadic weekend trip to Paris. I love sleeping in (actually I love sleep in general). I love that if I want to go to a yoga class, I can literally JUST. GO. I love that if Warren is fed, if I am fed, that is all we need to worry about. I love having money to spend on Warren, and to spend on myself (call me honest). I love the feeling of freedom and being able to do literally anything I wanted to, right now, if I wanted it. (Actually, right now – so perfectly timed, I am currently listening to a father upstairs shouting at a screaming toddler who is clearly VERY over today – just to give an image of my current milieu). I love that I don’t have to ask anyone else to relieve me from looking after someone. I love having my body to myself, I love where I am with my physical yoga practice and I love how my pelvic floor functions. I love that I can plan my day and it can go, pretty much according to plan. I love the dynamic of our relationship as husband and wife. I love being able to shower when I want and being able to wee without spectators. I love not being tied down and I love having the feeling of freedom.
Before I run myself into the box of being “anti-children” – let me just say that I LOVE children. I love babies and I love hanging out with kids. I find toddlers just adorable and I love the learning processes that are involved and the ways that we as “grown-ups” (lol) can help to shape a child’s world view. Trust me on this when I say that if we were ever to have children – I would totally be THAT mother that throws prize-winning-Pinterest-worthy-parties in the ‘NAME OF LOVE’. All of that excites me terribly.
Of course, it’s very difficult to have this ‘public-debate-with-myself’, without ever knowing what it’s really like to actually have children. Yes, I have baby-sat, au-paired, taught toddlers/children, pre-teens, etc – but I (obviously) have never had my own children. This does make the debate extremely difficult as it’s a bit like proclaiming that “I LOVE French fries! French Fries are hands down the best junk food ever!!” – when you’ve never ever tasted Pizza. Although here is the problem where this analogy breaks down:
Let’s say one day you decide to be adventurous and order that Pizza!
Even if you get 3/4 of your way into that pizza, if you decide you don’t actually like it any more – you can very easily just send it straight back to the kitchen or push your plate aside and decide that you don’t want to ever be involved with Pizza again.
It doesn’t *quite* work the same in the baby realm.
And the problem is that there is no way you can get a refund on that bébé or send it back where it came from. (Well, you could try – but public services would probably get involved and there’d be a lot of explaining to do).
Everyone who is a parent deserves a gold star because I
know can only imagine, what a demanding role it is. The thing is, even if secretly you did really actually feel like having children was a teensy bit of a regret – one could never actually openly, honestly say that – because, WELL. They are your CHILDREN!!!! And you love them!! (Obviously!)
I have absolutely NO doubt that babies bring an incredible amount of joy and an indescribable love that I can’t quite yet comprehend. I am fully aware of how much your life will change once you have children. Change isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just a thing. And in this case it’s the complete unknown. Perhaps, the actual scary part is the idea of changing some things (our relationship dynamics, my business, extra finance pressures, my time, a sense of freedom, my body) that are currently functioning really well into something that we really have no idea what to expect.
But then again, I’ve just compared having children to eating pizza – so I’m possibly not quite ready to procreate just yet.
Many parents have told me that having children is the best thing they’ve ever done. Interestingly, there is a tendency for men to be a lot more enthusiastic about this, than women. Don’t get me wrong – mothers also have a lot of enthusiasm about it – but just a little more… um… exhausted-enthusiasm.
There is baby happening all around me right now. (Call it age, call it relationship status). We have had the literal suggestion of “just remove the goalie and see what happens!” (man comment). Maybe we are in fact just over-thinking the whole thing, but if Warren and I do decide to have children I’d like it to be initiated through conscious choice as I believe bringing and supporting a new life into this world is not *quite* the same as a virtual soccer game. I mean, I am all for just letting things happen naturally – but I think, if possible, the decision YES or NO should come first. I once asked an anti-baby friend what her reasons for not wanting children were and she replied with something along the lines of, ‘I’d rather get to my 60s and regret NOT having children, than have children and regret them.’
* * * *
So yes – there are a lot of feelings (clearly) going round in my head about if having children is a definite thing we should do (I mean, I think so!). Or rather: if it was only a feeling that tripped the green light, it would be a no-brainer. But I feel that just as any relationship does not function based purely on feelings alone, raising children is a commitment (much more than marriage these days) that I don’t believe you should enter into (if you can avoid) just because you feel like it.
I’ve asked many different people (expecting parents, hopeful parents, new parents, old parents, grandparents) this same question: What is the purpose of having children?
Answers to this are completely varied. For some, it’s about giving grandchildren to their parents, continuing their bloodline. For others it’s about feeling close to their partners or families. For some it’s the joy of watching a child learn and grow. And others it inspires them to live better lives as example. Another common reason has been the idea that every generation evolves and is more evolutionarily developed than the one before it. Supposing this, another purpose of having children is for the evolutionary development of our species to higher forms of intelligence. (Part of me does want to debate this in saying that perhaps the evolutionary development of our generation (with all our “evolved intelligence”) is to realise that the world is already WAY over-populated as it is – but that’s a whole new blog post).
The other side to this coin is actual biology. I’m writing all of this not knowing if it is even possible for Warren and I to conceive. Perhaps I might feel very different (“I NEED A BABY RIGHT NOW!!!!!” *sobs*) if I was suddenly told that having children was totally off the table – perhaps not. I don’t know. (#aroundtheworld?!) Age is a factor, of course it is – we all hear that TICK TOCKING. (For the record it is a particularly loud tick-tocking when one is the only baby-less-couple in a crowd of
chaos young families. But then we go home and have a bottle of wine and talk-shit-until-we-feel-like-it and forget about it pretty quick.) It is not a joke that three times in the last week I’ve had a conversation about the option of freezing my eggs. (Once with a person that I met 30mins prior). AM I AT THAT AGE ALREADY?!?! (Answer: yes).
I’m pretty sure that Warren and I would be good parents – (LOL!!! Doesn’t every single person who has never had a baby think they will be the BEST. MOTHER. EVER). But like, if I’m honest I do think we’d handle it together pretty well (thank goodness he will be the strict one). The narcissistic part of me is desperate to know what a baby with Warren would look like (green eyes I’m guessing and hopefully Warren’s teeth). But as I marvel in my mind at how wonderfully beautiful my non-baby is I suddenly get hit with the feeling that ALL THE GOOD EGGS ARE ALREADY GONE (panic) and what if we get stuck with a baby that is NOT. CUTE?!
I think there is a LOT going on in this day and age (for women particularly). There are career goals to smash, independent business-lady-vibes, the world to travel, places to explore – many of which generally wasn’t as readily available to our parents. They just got on with it and babied themselves up – and filled their days with love and joy and baby-milestones and chaos. Now days we are kind of expected to DO IT ALL. I don’t think there will EVER be the “right time” to have children so I suppose it has to be something that you want enough to let everything else take a backseat for a little while. Or maybe you don’t have to let having a baby dictate the way you live your life? I’m not sure.
So anyway, I have totally gone off on a tangent and forgotten the entire point of this blog post –
No, that wasn’t it.
Although I could always put the proceeds into a baby-fund.