Four hundred and ninety-four

The baby taboo

I don’t want children.  I do want children.  I regret having children.  Children are hard work.  Your baby is ugly.

There are so many things you are not supposed to say when it comes to babies, depending on who you talk to.  Career people and partiers in the city often think it’s crazy to give up your freedom and want children.  My mother would tell you having kids is the best thing she ever did and that it’s crazy not to want them.  There are many religions and scientists who believe our purpose on this Earth is to procreate.  Talk to one of my dates from date month and he’d argue that there are too many people on this world already and bringing another one into it is only harming the environment and the Earth further.  When I was a kid I used to say I’d adopt, because there are too many children out there without loving homes.

I have babies on the brain, as you can probably tell.  I spent the past few days at a cottage with three beautiful babies under a year old and their amazing mothers.  I love each of them and I had a fabulous time, but it also made me think, do I want babies?  What if I decide I don’t?  Will my mother disown me?  I can think of people in my life right now who would be upset if I decided to have children and those who would be upset if I decided not to.

Recently I read an archived article in The Globe and Mail entitled ‘I really regret it.  I really regret having children’.  It’s about a woman who regrets having children, thinks other women shouldn’t, and wrote a book about it.  It is more information to add to my full head of facts, opinions and anecdotes regarding babies.  I’m 32 years old and I should be thinking about these things, right?  It’s going to be too late soon enough and I have to decide what I want to do.  The blog partially came from a desire to find a partner to have children with, and now I’m not sure what I want.

I’m sick of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do and say.  Some babies are ugly.  That doesn’t make them any less special or valued.  And that’s only in my opinion.  It’s okay to want to have children in the city, and okay to not want them in the suburbs.  It’s okay to do things your way and not listen to everyone’s conflicting advice.  And it’s okay not to know what you want.  I definitely am not putting having children off the table – I know I would be a great mom – but I’m just evaluating my life and my future goals.  I want the option open for now, but I also want to be able to choose the no-kids option.  And I hope everyone will support me either way.

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7 thoughts on “Four hundred and ninety-four

  1. Lindsay, thanks for another great, honest post! I never really had to wrestle with this in my “adult” years – I married my wife when I was 20 and she 23 with a 2 year old from a previous relationship. I just knew that I loved them both and wanted to spend my life with them. Now with 3 more sons (yup we did TRY for a girl lol), I don’t regret giving up the freedom of being single or childless in my 20′s. I look at it more as an amazing exchange – I traded the wild life for a wild adventure having 4 sons.

    For you, I won’t be one to tell you what to do. You’ll know in your heart was is right for you. If your heart is aching to be a mom, then do it. If it isn’t now, but you think that years from now your heart will ache that you didn’t, do it. Or wait, and even if your body says no, you can always fall back on Plan A from childhood and adopt. There ARE so many children out there who do need the love of a mother.

    At least you’re thinking about it… That matters for a lot.

    • Thanks Barry. I’m sure your life was pretty “wild” with four sons. But I’m sure in a really great way!

      I’m definitely thinking about it, and go through many phases where I’m aching to be a mom, and then thinking maybe it’s not for me. I guess I just have to make the decision with my partner and live with the consequences, either way. And be adaptable. It would have been much easier had I made these decisions when I was in my twenties!

  2. I totally understand and agree with people needing to mind their own business. I think it is so wonderful when people know themselves enough to realize what is or is not for them regardless of society’s expectations. I say “brava” to those who know they do not want children. I have had come across people in my lifetime that made that decision and I am like, you are so right. Please do not have children. Unfortunately I believe that article that you referenced is terrible and not a good example of people needing to make their own decision. I plan to post a mouthful to this woman, because as a mother of a two year old, there is no greater joy. And you better believe that, despite planning and purposely having my child (with the dutiful sex and all), I had my initial moment of anxiety; of, “why did we do this now”. Yet, now I am just so happy. There will always be extra exhaustion, more worry, days where you want a break, but never regret. And truthfully, I think if people are on the fence, they should not have kids because those are most likely the people who will regret it. For me, there is no greater joy!

    • I am so glad you are happy. The article I posted was definitely an extreme. I couldn’t imagine ever regretting having children if I did have them. I have heard many people say there is no greater joy. I guess it just comes down to personal decision and/or dealing with what comes when it does. I know I would love my kids to death and be a great mom, but I also worry I would have to sacrifice all that I am for them and that worries me. I think I will know when the time is right to make the decision and go with my gut. I won’t make the choice to have kids unless I really know it’s right. Thanks for the input :)

      • It’s good you are so self aware. You will sacrifice a lot, but what you said makes me think. “Sacrifice all that I am”…Once you become a mom, who you are changes. Your title changes, your state of mind changes so who you are now will not be sacrificed because that person will have gone away and you become more. Certain personality traits still remain and no matter what happens with the kids, that somehow remains untouched. When you go out with friends or are at work, you’ll have to remind yourself you still have kids (at least I do) because you still have that part of your personality that has always been there and it’s kind of freaky. I think that’s the best part. When I am on my way back home I totally get excited that I was able to enjoy time expressing those old personality traits and then get to come home to a wonderful child. Good Luck, whatever decision and keep the interesting blogs coming!!!

      • Thank you. I like how you describe the duality of your personality. I’m learning that you can still be yourself and be a mom at the same time – that it doesn’t have to be either or.

  3. I completely understand as I thought I was the only one like this too, wanting to keep it open to be or not to be a mother as it is quite complicated though seemingly simplistic at the same time. Thank you soooo much for posting this. Love it!

    Pink.

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