Saturday, January 22, 2005

Too Young for a Baby?

This whole post was spurred on by a comment I was going to leave here:

As a disclaimer: I am not against those who have children; I'm against the pressure on me to have children. I don't intend to offend anyone with my post.

I'm turning 28 pretty soon and am childless and know what you are talking about. I want kids sometime in the future and we're talking about it, about starting to try in about a year and even though I am thrilled at the prospect of being a mom I am also scared out of my wits. I'm too young to be a mom. I feel like a kid myself yet, but I know seeing my age makes some people think "Why are you still waiting?" All of my co-workers are older than I am and all have kids and make me feel bad that I have a social life and buy new purses and and shoes like it's nothing. There are some days I feel completly like SJP's character, Carrie, in Sex in the City , with the exception that I am a little bit more settled (have a husband & a house.)

I have co-workers asking me "When are you having kids? You know you aren't getting any younger." Gee! Thanks for reminding me. I never felt old before this year. It's like the closer I get to 30, please need to remind me of that fact. The good thing is that all my co-workers are older than me and I can remind them that they are still older than me.

But then I get the comment from a co-worker "What's wrong? Are you guys having trouble conceiving?" WTF? The dude that asked me that was someone I had only been working with for a couple of months. I tell him that we are not even trying and are still in the practicing stage and aren't quite ready yet, as we are still young. He then goes on to tell me that all of his adult children (who are younger than me) have babies and that I am not getting any younger and I should think about starting soon.

But you know - things change with a baby. Like right now I would not be able to put the amaretto creme liqour in this morning's coffee (or even drink my occasional cup of coffee while being pregnant.)

Yes, I am getting older and people are reminding me of it. My MIL even gave me a Sweet Potato Queens Book (which is a whole other post, as I am still analyzing why she gave me this book as a present anyways) and it's a constant reminder that YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER! But I am just turning 28! I am not there yet, and I am not 30 either.

I had a conversation just yesterday with a co-worker who is 36 and unmarried and at her last gyno appointment they brought up that she is not getting any younger and does she want to make her birth control permanent. Apparently, there is a new method that does not require surgery in which the fallopian tubes get plugged up and prevent you from getting pregnant. She totally freaked and was like, "Wow! I know I am nearing 40, but permanent birth control. I am not sure I am ready to give up on the idea of being a mom in the future."

Now, next Sunday I am going to a baby shower for a co-worker, who in her mid-30's is having her first child and was just married 9 months ago. I am already prepared for the questions of when I will be with child.

On the positive side of becoming pregnant - I can blame my continued weight gain on the pregnancy rather than own up that I just don't work out enough, have a pretty sedentary job, and enjoy sinful & rich foods.

I see how much kids change the lives of my friends - for good and for bad - and well, I see how they cramp the styles of the childless. I think I just got used to my life the way it is right now and don't want to change anything quite yet. I still have some childless memories to enjoy.

But until then I am sure there will be plenty more personally invasive questions about my child-bearing status, more not-so-subtle hints from the MIL, more constant reminders that I am getting OLD, and more guilt trips that I buy stuff for myself. Luckily though, I think my mom is even less ready to be a grandma, so the pressure is not coming from her. She seems to avoid the conversations about us having children, although I know with my youngest sister's wedding & shower happening this summer I will get plenty of questions from aunts & cousins asking when we are having children and reminding me that I have been married for almost 4 years (although, silently I will be thinking that I chose to plan out my life more, pursue a career and become financially stable first rather than trap a guy, make mistakes, and be forever and continually strapped for cash and have to depend upon my parents to financially support my unplanned or naively planned family.) (Wow! That was a load off.)

So, I am sure I am not too young to have a baby, but I am not too old either and it will happen when we are ready or when God thinks its about time (& if that happens, then we will be ready.)


Alison said...

Yes! That is how I feel. I have friends (with kids) who are pressuring me to have a baby. Not to get married, but to have a baby. WTF is that about? I'm sure if I had a child out of wedlock my grandparents would have strokes and disown me. I told my mom about the latest expecting friend because she knows her (or knew her) back in the day, and she says "Don't you get any ideas. I'm not ready to be a grandma yet." Thank God there's not pressure there. And the only coversation I've had with her about the prospect of getting married was, "if you and Alex get married, you can't get a dog because he hates them." And I said, "oh, we will have two dogs anyway."

I've decided to block it all out. I'm going to be happy for my friends having kids. Even the ones who quit their job, get pregnant one month into their new job and whine to be about how they won't qualify for paid family leave because they haven't worked at their new place of employment for a year. But I'm going to have to come up with a comeback that doesn't cause me to lose my friends ("I'll get married and have kids when I'm economically and geographically settled instead of at a time when doing so will drain me so much that it sucks away at my will to live until there is nothing left" won't work) when they ask me those dreaded questions: "Where's the ring?" and "When are you going to be a mommy?"

I'm not getting any younger. Whatever.

Alison said...

P.S. Did the MIL get you the Big Ass Cookbook or the Guide to Men? Either way, that's insulting/confusing.

Lame Shrill Owl said...

Big Ass Cookbook.....Which isn't as much as a cookbook as it is a book of stories about getting old and remembering what it was like to be young.

Trudy said...

Nice to know I'm not the only Mother out there not ready for "GRANDMADOM". I had all my children before 30 and for me that was great and would probably do it that way again. But......... times have changed and people are not ready, mostly financially, to have kids at a young age. So in short, just do what feels best for you, maybe that means not having any children at all. Better to be childless than to bring children into the world because others think you should. Just because some people go gaga over babies, doesn't mean everyone should. Although I think babies are cute and cuddly, I'm not going to ask my kids to hold their babies and hog them like so many GRANDMAS do. When I get my turn that'll be fine and THANK GOD they get to go home with Mommy and Daddy!

Kinky Phanie Gates said...

I totally agree with you. I may be 4 years younger than you, but the pressure on me is unbelievable. I have only 3 friends who are not pregnant or do not have kids already. I bet in a year or two it will be down to 2 friends. Never mind the pressure from all my friends to have a MIL was pressuring me even before I was married to her son. I love that I can just go home after work and relax and not have to worry about anything. I love my life right now and a baby would change absolutely thank you!