Friday, May 17, 2013

Married, 30yo, mother of zero

What happens when you are in the midst of or moving through some very significant things in your life?  You get lots of questions, advice and other fun things to make you talk about personal things you don't even know about yet.

I'm in that, "Have you guys talked about having kids yet?" phase. Sure, it is a natural question. You get married, you buy a house, you have babies - period! That is the order of things and happy parents can't wait for you to join them on the baby side.

The problem is that for some people, having kids is an easy, no-brainier; others not so much. The first group is usually overrun with women, but still, it's the 200% certain group of "there is no other option" that can be intimidating.

What about the rest of us? What about those childless women who are teetering between kids or no kids? Now, I don't have a baby, but I respect those women who have babies, toddlers, teenagers or grown children (I am a grown child and my mom still has a lot to deal with). However, those of us in my boat have it rough! The constant barrage of questions. The silent judgement - we can hear it! - from others who want to know about our family plans. When we say "I don't know" it doesn't mean we don't know, it means I don't want to talk about "it" whatever "it" may be.

I have heard and witnessed new moms, and mothers-to-be receive lots of unsolicited advice. But so do the childless who choose not to explain their personal plans to everyone.
"It's good to wait" "You  will know when you are ready" "Don't wait too long" "If you do want kids, how many do you want? You have to have more than one!" "Having one is the best" "Don't have kids!" "In my next life I'm just having fish" "Kids ruined my life" "Having kids is the purpose for life" 
Oh my goodness! 

I had a very heart-warming moment with a colleague recently. He is probably late-fifties or so and never had children. We were talking and something came up and he mentioned how he doesn't care for kids and I laughed (if you knew him, you'd laugh too) but then he said something that I appreciated. 

He said that people like me have it rough - those married women, of the baby age, but without children. And, without us talking about it, we knew that we completely agreed and appreciated each other for understanding. It is hard being where I am. Because I'm not even sure where it is that I am right now.

Please understand, those of us in my group don't get mad at someone when they pry into our personal lives like this. Hell - I probably ask people things like this too - "Hey you - you lady who has been with the same guy for 3 years - when are you getting married?"

But we may not want to talk about it. Imagine how someone feels when asked "why don't you and your husband have any kids" when that woman has been trying for 10 years to have a baby, is on treatments and cries frequently because all she wants is a baby. It is DEEPLY personal and some women are comfortable talking about all of it, and others are not. Just think about how excited, confused or even nervous about a recent positive test a women may be when you want to ask that question. It isn't a life step we are all required to take, it is a lifelong commitment. From the moment you decide you want a baby, you become someone new. You become a mother in training. It is a VERY big deal and a very big and important decision to some women, more so than just flipping to the next chapter.

As for me...we are constantly in training for the next big or small step in our lives. We don't know anything for sure other than we love each other and love the life we have right now, in this very moment. We are happy and if that happiness grows to include more with our family, great! If it doesn't, we are no less happy and no less a family than we are today.