Confessions of a childless late twenty something

Watch out, it's soap box time! I realize this post may ruffle some feathers - but I have to get it off my chest. Please know my intentions are not to offend anyone in anyway.

I have been finding lately, the first time I meet someone, perhaps in a work situation or maybe even in a personal situation, that I'm usually asked if I am married and if so, for how long. The next question almost always is - oh and do you have children yet? And when I say no, I get that look that says "well what are you waiting for? You've been married four years! Get on with it!" I even had someone in a work situation I felt that went a little too far once and was like "well are you going to have kids? When?" I felt was overstepping the lines a bit. It does however, make me think.

I mean clearly, I am a women of childbearing age who is getting past that "newlywed" phase of marriage, so I can understand why I get these types of questions. And actually, I don't think it would even bother me as much if it weren't for the simple fact that it is something I do think about. I struggle with feeling ready - in fact, it's quite an ongoing battle in my mind. And until I can work past it - I am not diving into anything. I am simply not ready and I worry sometimes if I ever will be.

I never thought I would be this way. In fact, it's a bit of a little secret I have that about three years ago I had a horrible case of baby fever - I seriously thought I was ready and we even started making plans - but as the saying goes "we plan and God laughs" - Nate ended up losing his job and the more time went by, even after he was employed again, the more I realize and know it would've been a huge mistake to have jumped into it at that time. I wasn't ready. And I'm still not. And I feel ok with that - except that I feel like society feels otherwise.

I have friends who have children already and I love all of them. I am enjoying watching their kids grow and I couldn't be happier for them. I have other friends who I know are planning for and trying for children and I find myself hoping along with them that their turn will come soon and I know I will love watching their children grow too. I have nothing against any one of them. They may be in a different place than I am, but I respect them and as I said, I'm happy for all of them. I sometimes wish I was in that place, but I know better than to push it with myself.

Nate is extremely supportive as he pretty much feels the same way. He would've gone for it those three years ago if things had worked out differently but he too is relieved in a sense that it didn't. I am not going to lie, we have even had conversations about the potential of not ever having children. I don't think that is a likely scenario, though I think some folks in our extended families believe it could be for some reason just because we haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet. But I will be honest, we have talked about that possibility. And such thoughts terrify me to my very soul which is why I still believe in my heart of hearts that I am meant to be a mother someday. I just don't know when someday is right now.

I know you can never physically or even mentally be totally ready for this type of life changing thing. But for now I want to keep working towards feeling ready. I just wish I wasn't feeling so judged about it. I have time. And right now what is working best for us is taking things one day at a time.


Jes said...

I am totally with you on this one! Kudos for writing all of this!

Gina said...

I can see where you are coming from. It seems like as soon as you are married, the next question is when are you going to have children? I think it's wonderful what you and Nate are you doing. You are happy where you are at in your lives and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone should be like and people should only have children when they are ready to. A very insightful post my dear.

simplicity said...

People are so stinkin' nosy, aren't they? Don't worry about it Beth, as someone who started having kids at age 24 (which I don't regret for a second but life circumstances are diff over here...haha) I didn't get those questions then but now I get the "are you having more?" If so, when? Etc, if not, why not? And it's ridiculous! Good for you for waiting until you and Nate feel like it's "your" time whenever, if ever, that may be.