I want to start blogging again. So, I’m gonna.
Here’s the thing, though…I don’t know what to write about. It’s not so much that I think my life is boring – quite the opposite, actually; I love my little life. But I guess I think READING about my life would be boring. I very much enjoy the things I do, but my interests are literally, like, stuff I buy at Trader Joe’s and Target, going to the YMCA on Saturday afternoon, eating food, and taking the occasional trip here and there. With the exception of travel, I do basically the same thing every other non-child having woman my age does (and a lot of the same things women WITH children do, just minus the kiddo).
This feeling is likely a symptom of a larger issue: I’m getting to the age where I feel a little defensive about not having children yet. It’s not so much that I feel like I’m being judged for not being a mother, but I do feel like people with children sometimes view my life as a little trivial. At the very least, I’m finding that Jeff and I have less and less in common with other people our age who do have children, and it’s kind of isolating.
To give a bit of background, I’m 32 and Jeff is 35. We got married last August, so we’ve been married for just under a year (but we’ve been together for 9). Over the 9 years we’ve been together, we’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not we’ve wanted children at all. I won’t speak for Jeff, but I’ve personally never been a person who gets particularly excited about kids or feels comfortable with them – I don’t usually have the desire to screech with excitement when I see a child, or hold other peoples’ babies. Playing with kids doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t know what to say to them. Even when I was a kid, I was pretty much a tiny grownup – I was an only child until I was 12, and I always insisted on sitting at the grownups’ table at holiday meals (and was almost always obliged). I never really liked doing “kid” stuff (with a few exceptions, of course). I was never really into cartoons.
Don’t get me wrong – I love our friends’ kids. Especially our close friends’ kids. They’re cool little people. They say the funniest things. They’re smart as hell. But when it comes down to it, I still don’t really know how to talk to them, and I definitely don’t know how to assert myself with kids and usually end up being their slave (which sounds ridiculous, but I’m terrified of making kids cry). So I’ve always had doubts about parenting, although I’ve always realized that it’s different with your own kids. I went from not wanting kids AT ALL when I was much younger (my late teens and early 20’s), to not really wanting them, but not ruling it out in my mid-twenties.
Then a few years ago, something inside of me shifted – probably some combination of hormones and a change in lifestyle. I no longer had much interest in doing things that you can’t do when you have children (staying out until all hours of the night, sleeping in until noon, partying until I’m blacked out, moving around at will), and some things started feeling…not bad, but kind of empty. Things like holidays and trips to museums and parks felt like they’d be more meaningful and fun with a little one. When I thought about the future, I started picturing our little family with the addition of a couple kiddos. I started feeling a little bummed out thinking about Jeff and I growing old without any kids or grandchildren to come visit us. Not to say at all that anyone else SHOULD feel bummed about this – it’s just the way I started to feel on a personal level. Since Jeff and I both have pretty small families, the thought of growing our own little family started to feel more and more appealing, and like it would make things a whole lot less lonely.
All of this is to say that yes, we do want children. However, at the moment we’re perfectly happy the way things are – we love hanging out with each other, we love the freedom of being able to travel anywhere we want at the drop of a hat, we love our free time, we love having disposable income. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still a tiny bit apprehensive about changing what’s already a really great thing. However, we’re (let’s be honest – I’M) getting to the age where timing is becoming a concern…I’m not panicked by any means, but I do know that I’d ideally like to have two children, and realistically speaking, the timeline in which to do so safely and practically (at least for us) is shrinking.
So we’re going to start trying soon, and as much as it probably sounds like I’m dreading it, I honestly couldn’t be more excited. Even though I do love the way things are now, I really do feel ready to be a mother – starting this new chapter in our lives just feels right. But we don’t know how long it’ll take to conceive – it could be a few months from now, it could be a year from now, it could be never. You never know. And while I feel prepared for the possibility of never having children, it does feel like a pretty isolating future – a lot of our friends already have children, and most of the ones who don’t currently have children plan to start families within the next few years. As accommodating as our parent-friends try to be (and as accommodating as we try to be with them), it’s just difficult, at least at this stage – most parents with young children just don’t have time to hang out without them very often, and they don’t typically want to deal with everything that comes with hanging out WITH them, at least not with people who don’t have children (which is completely understandable, although I do love spending time with the little dudes and dudettes). They tend to want to talk about parenting a lot, and we don’t have much to add to the discussion. It’s no one’s fault, but it can be frustrating and lonely.
As usual, I went off on a tangent – this was supposed to be about writing, ha! I know that this is a very personal subject and I don’t need to spill my thoughts on having children or not, but it feels good to share. Anyway, I guess I’m back (take that with a large grain of salt). Thanks for reading, and here’s to hoping for some miraculous stroke of creative inspiration (haha)!