I recently flew home to attend my brother’s wedding and in the 3 weeks that I was visiting, two of my friends told me that they were between 8-10 weeks pregnant, and I had to visit another 2 babies that had been born in my absence. Being in my early thirties, this should come as no surprise, both to myself and to those around me. There seems to be this breeding buzz that affects almost everyone at our age, whether you want to or not and before you know it, it’s a feeding frenzy – when the majority around you is behaving in this instinctive way, you tend to follow suit.
But how much of this is instinct and how much of this is peer pressure? Now don’t get me wrong – I think babies are cute despite their constant pooping and crying and insomnia at the most inopportune times. The idea of creating something with someone you love, building a family, loving and nurturing this helpless ball of blubber is actually a nice one. It’s their smell and their chubby bums that do it for me. But what is it about the very personaldecision to procreate (or not) that suddenly becomes everyone else’s business? I spent a good ten minutes (maybe 15) at my brother’s wedding being chased around the dancefloor (and bar area – the white wine made this conversation bearable) by certain family members asking – no, harrassing me about when I was going to start trying. This relative of mine actually told me that it was my DUTY to have a baby. “This isn’t about YOU” she said. “This is about your Family. Think of your parents.”
I have done a lot of thinking about this. It’s hard not to since everyone around me seems to be popping them out at a ludicrous rate. And I can see the appeal. Really, I can. But how about the appeal of not having one? Being the auntie that swoops in when the parents need a vacation and having a laugh with the kids? The woman who has extra cash in the bank because she hasn’t spent it on nappies, baby furniture, a station wagon, football uniforms, music lessons, and can therefore give amazing presents to the little guy/girl (or herself)? Um….here’s a good one. Sleeping In?? Oh, how about this classic one….having more than one vodka martini at a time? Or the one that is true birth control to me – potentially f**king someone up so permanently and irreversibly because I might be unfit to be a mother?
I am not saying that I’ve made my decision to have or not have children. But I want to weigh out the pros and cons of both options. Sounds pretty unromantic, I know, but it IS my life. And it’s not like I can return this thing once it’s born. But I also recognize that I am not getting any younger. And I know that saying ‘’I’m just not ready’’ is a moot point because when is one ever ready for children and the permanent way in which they completely and totally alter your life? And every full moon, the thought of sacrificing an animal for the fertility Gods and having one too many rum and limes and throwing on sexy underwear and throwing caution to the wind with my husband does cross my mind, but it’s fleeting (well, the animal cruelty part. Game On for everything else!)
The Baby Debate is not over. Not by a long shot. And you would probably laugh if you saw that right beside my liquor cabinet is my Folic Acid. In the meantime, dear Family, I love that you want me to create a bunch of mini-me’s but please…Give me some Space to get knocked up Accidentally on my Own accord, eh?