Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

You guys had great responses to last week's Thursday Thoughts. So, let's stir the pot a little more this week.
I don't remember ever saying when I was a kid, "I want to be a mom." I always wanted to be an athlete or someone smart or Princess Lea. But not a mom. I didn't babysit to make money; I had a job at a country club. I would say I have compassion but not really empathy. My sister on the other hand was 180 degrees in the opposite direction. She loved pets, had a gazillion friends, and babysat all the time. I went to college and got my engineering degree. She got married and had her first child two years after high school. I'm 32, been married eight years, and am childless. She's 29 and has four, FOUR, kids!!!

When I was in my 20s there were times when I thought I wanted to start a family. In 2005, Dave and I talked about it seriously, but then I got laid off and it obviously was bad timing. In 2007 we actually tried to get pregnant but it wasn't in the cards. I took it as signs. And I knew I definitely wasn't ready because of two things: (a) I was in Bible study when the pastor said the purpose of marriage was to produce children and (b) my OBGYN told me I was getting older and I shouldn't miss my opportunity. Both of those instances pissed me off so much (because I don't believe either of them) that (a) I haven't been to church in three years and (b) I didn't go to the OBGYN for three years.

Now that I'm in my 30s I definitely feel like my clock is ticking and time is running out (I've set a 35 year old limit), but that doesn't necessarily mean I actually WANT a child. I know A LOT of people who are pregnant right now. Part of me is jealous, part of me wants to scream, "What the hell are you doing?!"

When is the right time to have a child? How old were you? Did you think you were ready? What are your thoughts on people who decide not to have a child? How would your life be different if you had a child or if you decided to never have children?

Lots of food for thought today....


ADC said...

You know we are kind of in the same boat. I am 32, been married for 8 years and iwth no kids. And pretty much all of my friends do have kids. They look at us like we are odd and mostly think it's because I am career oriented which is not really the true at all.
We do want kids, or shall I say a kid (as I think one would be enough for us) and if I do have kids I hope I will have them by the time I am 36. But both Shaun and I are seriously thinking of adopting instead and giving a child that needs home a good family home. I have never imagined myself not having kids but also I am not really sure whether I am a Mom material.

Spie said...

As a mom of four, I can attest that there is never a "good time" to have a kid. There is always money, job, or some other stress that rears its head and shouts "NOT REALLY A GOOD TIME!!". I always knew that I wanted children and Mr. Spie and I started having our kids in our early 30s. I just always felt that pieces to my life's puzzle were missing.

As for people who do not have kids, I always joke and say that I made up for them (as I have two girls and two boys), but everyone has their own life puzzle to put together and their pieces do not match mine.

Michelle said...

Oh boy, I remember that Bible study (and you talking about that OB/Gyn appt)! Now, don't get mad at me, ;-)(and maybe this isn't even what you meant), but I don't think he said kids were the ONLY purpose of marriage, just one of them. Also, I think that's a valid interpretation of Scripture, considering the Bible always refers to children as a blessing and that the barren women felt cursed. HOWEVER, I've also heard the interpretation that we are to be willing to "parent" in other ways, not necessarily by bearing biological children or adopting. Anyway . . . on to your actual questions ;-) when I was a kid, I always figured I'd be a mom, then there was a time in college when I didn't think I'd ever want kids, and then once I got married, I could hardly wait. I agree with Spie: there's never the "right time" or enough money! ;-) I was 30, 32, and 35. I think (within reason, as in, at least graduated from h.s. and not 60 years old) any time can be a good time, because it's on-the-job-training. It's really hard, and yet really wonderful, as well. I would probably have a lot more freedom (in some senses, but in some not, as I'd probably be working full-time outside the home) and definitely more money, and yet I'd be missing out on so much. I don't quite understand the feeling of not wanting kids, because, obviously I wanted to have them, and yet I can see how if you want other things out of life, how not having kids can help you attain them.

M said...

I am in the exact same place as you (though married for only 1 year). Im 33, and an aunt several times over, with friends having babies all around me. Right now, I am the only one of my crowd sans children. My family used to think it was weird, but now they just srug and say, "I don't blame you."

Although my husband has slowly moved towards the "I want kids" team, I am not on board with the idea either. I am a great aunt, but I have never been maternal. I have limited patience, like to sleep and value my private time above most other stuff. But yet...I don't want to be 40 or 50 and regret not doing it. I ask myself, "But is not wanting that regret enough to have a kid?" I do know - from watching everyone else - that it really does change everything, and right now, I'm not ready for things to change. I feel that, after seven years of grad school, I was always a step behind everyone in the Life Department, so I am still working a few things out.

My husband and I negotiated that we would at least start to "try" after next September (when I am doing my next Ironman). That way, it still gives me some time to wrap my head around it, I get to do another big race before life potentially changes drastically, and we can be married for another year.

Andrea said...

I am going to be 33 next month and I still do not want children.

Just this weekend, a friend of mine looked at me, with all seriousness in his face, and said, "are you going to make a baby?"


I looked at him and said, "with who? you???"

Even when Paul and I were married, only once during those 10 years did I want kids. Then he got laid off, then I got into triathlon, then well, we got divorced.

I LOVE children, but I do not want to be a mom. Does that make sense? It's less about the kids, and more about me. :) I'm too selfish.

I will say, I'm definitely the minority here, but I'm okay with that.

Stef said...

When I was in my early 20s I assumed that I would have kids. At least two. I wanted kids. But there was no man in sight that was even close to marriage material and there was no way I would consider having kids alone. I didn't "want" them that badly.

By my late 20s I could feel the kid "window" closing. My career was taking off, I had a bunch of single friends, I could travel and do whatever I wanted. I liked that.

When I was 30 I met Glenn. When I was 35 we got married (he was 37). Both of us were crystal clear that we did and do NOT want kids.

7 years later (I'm now 42) we live very happily with six pets. These pets fit perfectly in with my nurturing side (I do have one and it's always been there) yet at the same time we can make arrangements for them and take off for vacations and not worry about it.

No WAY would I be able to build my business and truly chase my dreams the way I want to if I had kids. The very thought of having kids makes me cringe -- they would demand more of me than I'm willing to give.

In that respect I echo Andrea. I am SELFish! I take great care of myself and the family I've chosen to have. I would not change a thing!