As most of you who follow this blog know, I've had a desire to have kids for a long time. In fact, I thought I would have had them by now. However, a number of factors from spending most of my life poor, to not wanting to have kids the way my parents did (as teenagers with no real education or life set up) made me super aware of every action that could or would lead me to that life.
I was hyper-aware of how easy having kids would be when I was younger (If I had known how hard it would be for me to get pregnant back then, my life may have been very different) but growing up watching my parents struggle to provide and survive was enough to make
In my mid-thirties I realized that what I had wanted as a child wasn't what I wanted anymore and so I stopped thinking about having kids, a house and the perfect life that most people strive for. I started trying to figure out what I wanted in life and how to get it. I'm still working towards all of that and building what I want but, over the last couple of years, I've watched as my friends have babies (even some who I never thought would have children) and it's made me start rethinking this having kids thing.
I've struggled over the last couple of years as I explored IVF treatments and sperm donors, and I find myself still asking a bunch of questions like
Why does this matter to you so much?
Why do you want to be a mother?
Is it fair to bring a child into this world when you know he or she will only have one parent (because I'm not currently in a relationship I would be doing this alone)?
Is it wrong to deprive my parents of having a grandbaby to love?
Do I want to have a baby for the 'right' reasons?
Can I financially afford to raise a child?
Will I be able to give up the life I have now (because if you don't already know, your life changes massively when you have a kid)?
As well as 100 other questions that I don't fully know the answers to. I grew up around babies, I know how hard it is, I know what it's involved. I understand how my life will change if I make this choice. I also understand that the clock is ticking. I'm 38 now and my window, if I really do want children, is very quickly closing.
I don't know ultimately where I will fall in this whole struggle. I don't know what my outcome will end up being. All I know is every day I am reminded in some way or another that I am going to have to make a solid choice soon one way or the other.
I'm reminded when I see cute baby clothing.
I'm reminded when I hear about another friend who is pregnant.
I'm reminded when I meet people whole don't have children or when I meet ones who's first questions for me is "How many kids do you have?".
I'm reminded when my mother brings me cute little botties she had someone make because (in her mind) I will have kids at some point (and btw I will end up with twins, just FYI).
I'm reminded when I sleep until 9 am and wake up feeling like a million bucks (because I know that is not what happens when you have kids).
The struggle is real.
Challenge of trying to figure road whether or not to have children it's hard.
For most people having kids is simple they get married and try to have a baby. For me, it's not that easy. For hundreds of people, it's not that easy. Some people never get the chance to ask themselves these questions. Some people simply wake up one morning and find out they're having a baby. For people like me, in the situation I'm in, with the luxury of being able to ask myself these questions, I'm constantly debating what choice is the right choice to make.
The desire I have, the pull from the core of who I am to have a baby gets stronger with every passing day but I don't know if that pull will win out over the reality of my life at this point.
One of the amazing things that happens when you start to build a life based on your own personal happiness is that you start to debate within yourself how much of the choices that you're making in your life are based on your own personal happiness, or based on the happiness of those around.
For now, I'm choosing to press the pause button. It's an option I know I won't have for long but it's the only option I can make today. It's the only one that makes sense to me without being able to answer some of those other questions. I know I'm not the only one having this struggle. I know that I'm not the only 38-year-old single woman who is thinking about starting a family, but I also know it's hard. It's hard to find people to talk to who understand my point of view. It's hard to find people to talk to who know what it's like to be in this position, but most of all, it's just hard to think that even though I may want this, I may be out of time to be able to have it because I've waited so long to decide. So for today, I have no answers but who knows what tomorrow will bring.