Hello my darlings. What a beautiful day it is, the sun is shining, the sky is clear blue and there is blossom on all the trees. I however, am sat up in bed wearing a bright turquoise neck pillow that's giving me, what my husband refers to as, "smushy face".
That's right, I am suffering from an evil stomach bug and am feeling ever so sorry for myself.
But let's press on shall we?
Today I'd like to talk to you about this bizarre obsession everyone seems to have with putting a baby in me.
Recently married ladies of the internet, is this happening to you too? Whenever I talk to a friend or member of my family lately and say the words "guess what?" or "ooh I have some interesting news" Everyone immediately interrupts me and says, "YOU'RE PREGNANT."
When did my life suddenly revolve around having children? I can't even tell a decent story these days without people magically launching a baby in at the end.
Apart from being terribly annoying, it also makes me feel very sad about the fact that I find that they're doing 2 for 1 on tubs of caramelised onion houmous a "guess what" worthy sentence.
Don't get me wrong, I love children and babies are adorable, I just don't feel ready to start producing them yet... I've only been married for 6 months!
So why do I feel as though I am disappointing people when my big news isn't that I'm pregnant? Or that my next big life goal is more in keeping with my career and not growing people inside my body?
Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of online quizzes lately: "Should I have a baby?", "Am I ready to have a baby?" and reading articles like, "7 Terrifying Things They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy". Apparently I'm quite vocal about my fear of getting pregnant too. My sister in law is super pregnant at the moment and apparently, whenever we talk about the delivery, I shudder and express some kind of terrified sentiment about childbirth and playing host body to a tiny, growing human.
I had no idea I did this, but it's got to the point where my mother in law has started saying, "well, if you don't want to do it, you can always adopt".
But that's just it... I don't want to adopt right now. I don't want to do anything except sit in my pyjamas, play with my husband and have a Nutella sandwich. Is that so wrong? I read an article somewhere about how this sentiment is synonymous with a lot of women in my generation, whereby we just feel like we have so much more to do before having a baby. So why do I feel guilty? Or as though not wanting to be a parent right now makes me selfish?
Don't get me wrong, I am aware that, having just turned 30, my biological clock is pounding away like the Tell-tale Heart but I don't feel that this should be the reason I bring another person into the world. It's so much pressure, Internet. I mean, what if Bob and I do wait for all the right reasons and then run into problems further down the line; would it be our fault? Should we pre-emptively strike now, while the proverbial iron is hot?
What do you do when biology is telling you one thing and your instincts another?
There is no easy answer to this.. there never will be. What certainly doesn't help though, is the constant and deafening expectation from others and the assumption that the next thing I ought to achieve should be procreation.
Perhaps this is a generational thing. I remember my mother in law saying something along the lines of, "Well we all had to do it, why should you get off so easy?" Of course, this was said in jest but there is a resounding truth here. Ultimately, every other married woman I know either had or was having children when they were my age or younger; (putting aside for a moment that Muslim and Jewish marriages are underpinned by producing the next line of little ones) even the secular couples I know with children all started their families when they were younger than I am now.
In a world where even the medical profession refers to pregnant females aged 30 and over as "elderly mothers" it's hard not to feel the pressure.
In actual fact, I think my mother is the only woman I know who started having children at 31 and had me when she was 35. But even my mum is convinced that me being a bit sickly when I was younger is down to the fact that she waited so long. Regardless of the fact that she made some great life choices, she is still plagued by the "what if" biological female guilt monster. That same little "I told you so" voice that I am fearful of now; the one that apportions blame and tells you when you have failed as a woman.
It's one of the most complex and loaded conundrums women of my age have to face. Being married in your late 20s/early 30s and not planning a family right away has become a position one has to defend and explain. I have often been made to feel as though I am squandering something and being selfish; or am just outright asked, "Don't you like children?"
No one cared enough to probe this intimately into my sensibilities when I was in a relationship with my now husband. But the moment we married, the gloves came off and it became a case of when and why and what's wrong with you.
I'm not sure where I will land on this issue to be honest and I'd be lying if I said I'm not having difficulty reconciling it in my mind.
I can't wait to have babies with Bob.. Just when we are ready.. Why is that so bad? Or anybody's business for that matter??
At this point though, the willfully defiant, stubborn mule in me just might wait until I'm 80 years old and some hideous looking Gollum creature crawls out of my hooha, covered in cobwebs and scares all the busybodies away.
That'll learn you.
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