I understand that this ‘feeling’ doesn’t necessarily hold bearing on whether or not you’ll ever have children, or that you won't become a great parent regardless, but I believe women are primed, by everyone from their mothers to the media, for the expectation of feeling some inclination towards motherhood at some point. We’d constantly being fed messages about how we should feel the desire to have a baby, about raging hormones and dreams of motherhood. So, what happens if you don’t feel any of that? When do you know it's the right time, or any time? On the other end of the media spectrum is the crazy, single, childless wild women, the spinster, the cold-hearted bitch. With cats. And a career.
The internet is chock full of essays and articles profiling those who choose not to have children, who make the conscious decision and grand declaration with their partners to steer clear. Conversely, there are more than enough articles extolling the virtues of motherhood and children. I’m not into any of it. I want to read about those in my shoes, who have no fucking idea. Who feel like they should want children by now, right? Who have a partner they know would make an amazing parent, but are left doubting their own ability to care deeply for something other than their spouse/partner... and cats. What about those of us in the middle who just don’t know? Chris is far more comfortable around kids than I am. He’ll easily drop to the floor to play with a friend’s kid, while I’m left rigid, offering a stiff “hello there” and maybe a handshake or a painfully awkward hug. It’s embarrassing and I immediately become self-conscious about my behavior. Our families are, thankfully, not pushy on the matter.
The one thing that’s given me pause lately is this image and caption from Humans of New York. “The full human experience.” I love this. I loved reading even just a small excerpt from someone who wasn’t sure but consciously decided to do it anyway, simply for the experience of having done it.
So, that’s where I’m at. I’m curious, do you have kids? Have you always known you were destined for parenthood? Are you unsure and caught in the middle like me? Do you not give a fuck and just own it?
Image of us and out "baby" by Mandy Fierens