This topic is one I have struggled and debated over covering for so long. I could discuss my mental health all day long, write a how to article on anal fisting without batting an eyelid, hell I got my fat ass naked and posed for photographs without so much as a second thought. Yet the subject of babies leaves me pondering, wondering, questioning and wanting to run away and hide. I want to go on record and state I am absolutely not judging anyone elses choices hell if you want 0, 2 or 200 children I am beyond thrilled for you, I fully believe that you should make the choices in this life that will bring you happiness.
I have to be honest here I don’t know if I want a baby.
This is a sentence I rarely say aloud. Why? because I’m usually met with a tyrade of why I should want a baby and why my own excuses for not wanting one are invalid. So here we go, for the very first time I hope to articulate why I’m unsure about having a baby.
I’m Selfish! (It’s not a bad thing)
Yep there you have it I said it! I like my time to be my own. I have worked so very hard to build a life for myself that is full of wonder and joy. I make my money in a job that I love, so that going to work isn’t taxing, it challenges me, motivates me and inspires me. The work I undertake outside of my 9-5 also makes me ridiculously happy. I join campaigns to help change the world in some small way. In short I have created a life I am in love with. I would worry that I would resent the tiny human I create for changing my life. Will I still love my life as much if I have to dedicate my time to another human. Will I continue to be as creative, will I continue to challenge myself and my environment when so much of my time is channeled into the development of another. Of course I can continue on working, writing and being an activist- heaps of people do it, that isn’t my concern. My concern is that my ability to participate in my own life will be diminished because I have chosen to have a baby.
I struggle with the notion that it’s my job as a Woman!
This one is surely no surprise to anybody. I can’t cope with the idea that anything in this life is prescribed because of your gender. There’s already so many “shoulds” for women however the baby one seems to be the biggest should. It seems to be a given that as a woman you should procreate, I mean why wouldn’t you? The idea that you might not want to or be seen as unsure is unnatural. Now if people learn that you have fertility issues or other medical reasons people tend to back off a bit. If guys don’t have children they are bachelors, off running their empires until such time as they choose to have a baby. I know, I know men aren’t faced with the same biological constraints as women when it comes to procreation but they also aren’t faced with the judgement.
I experience enough body politics thanks.
As an Irish woman I am ever uncomfortable with the notion that the Irish government have more of a say over my uterus than I do. As a fat chick I get heaps of comments about the concern for my overall health. Strangers are very concerned for my health and how my physical presence is setting a very bad example for people. My tattoos also upset people. Yep the art on my skin causes mass concern for people. Won’t somebody think of the children?? So can you imagine if I did decide to get pregnant? A Fat, Tattooed & Pregnant Lady!! Concern trolls everywhere would cream their jeans!! The inappropriate touching of my belly, suddenly everyone being an expert on what I should/ shouldn’t do, not to mention what I should wear! I’m not sure if being treated like a human incubator is for me.
What if I don’t like them?
The thought of what kind of tiny human I would help create fills me with dread. Sure it might be a lil hell raiser who’s life’s mission is to smash the patriarchy- that could be pretty cool. But what if it was a staunch catholic, pro lifer? What the hell would I do then? Is it possible to have unconditional love and affection for a tiny human who embodies everything you despise? What if they are just a person I don’t like very much? Will I spend my time arguing with this person and making both of our lives incredibly miserable? Who has the kind of time for that much negativity?
What if I have a partner who will only stay with me for the sake of them?
The very thoughts of it makes me want to vomit. The idea that my partner could be having this romantic tryst with another, have found their bliss and the only reason they are staying by my side is for the sake of the children. Like I am some consolation prize in the family lottery. I refuse to accept anything less than being a priority in my partners existence. I’d them just fuck off and leave me heart broken than for them to simper around me and tolerate my presence because I procreated with them.
I’m a natural… apparently!
Don’t get me wrong babies are cute. Particularly when they belong to people you love.You love them so of course you are going to love the little person they have made. I ooh and aaah and make all the acceptable noises because they are adorable. Of course they are nature designed them that way so that we wouldn’t get the urge to put them in a stew, thus ensuring the survival of the human race. I pick them up, I talk nonsense with them, I love buying tiny clothes for them and giving them cuddles- but I do the same thing when I meet dogs in the street. I’m just an affectionate individual in general. Does this mean I want to take home random dogs, does it mean I pick partners to keep for their cuteness, should I have a baby cause I’m naturally affectionate….. answers on a postcard.
Your work involves working with teenagers and helping them make positive choices, so you’re already like a mother!
Errr no, no I’m not. I am a trained professional. I have studied long and hard, educated myself and practiced my craft so that I may gain employment in an area that inspired me. They didn’t hand me the job for being most mammy like. I earned it. I earned it through hard work, dedication, creativity and constant personal and professional development. You can become a parent by accident, it’s much more difficult to have a career by accident. So we’ve established that I like my job and that I’m good, so why wouldn’t I want to do that all the time? One of the reasons I like my job is because I can encourage someone to be a positive person, to make decisions for themselves that will help them achieve their best life. I also get to send them home after!! If they act the dick, are rude, disrespectful, threatening or un-cooperative I can ask them if they are choosing to leave or choosing to participate. If little Jemima has a shit fit in the supermarket I can’t just declare her to be Tesco’s problem now and head away home. I love the work I do with young people but I do enjoy sending them home too.
I feel awful for people who want a baby and can’t have one.
I can’t even imagine what it must be like to want something so badly and not be able to have it. To yearn for something from the very depths of your soul yet for it to be beyond your grasp because of biology or any number of factors. It’s horrendous, awful and unfair. The things peoples bodies have to endure to even make this a chance of a possibility doesn’t bare thinking about. They are incredible people and I’ll be honest I feel like a right bitch for even having a debate about this subject when right now there is someone who wants this so badly they would do anything for it. I’m not sure why it affects me so deeply but it does. I just can’t imagine that kind of hear break. But there ya go I am undecided and I feel awful about that fact because people out there are not undecided and I feel guilty for having the option and not utilising it I guess.
Then there are times when I can absolutely see myself having a baby:
When the object of my affection is playing with a child or cooing at a baby.
Oh be still my fluttering ovaries! Is there anything in this world cuter than the person you adore lavishing affection on a tiny human. Seeing them play with the tiny person and be completely silly and adorable. It makes me want to say Let’s do it let’s have a baby.
You can bet I love tiny clothes. Every day would be dress up day for the tiny human. Yep I would use them to defy stereotypes and how people define gender. Totally selfish but it’s my imaginary baby and I’ll do what I like with it.
I would teach it to love itself entirely.
If there was to be a tiny human in my life I would like to fill it with love, light and positivity. The world can be such a shitty dark place why would you ever want to add to that kind of negativity. I would like to fill my tiny human with all of the good things to help shield it from the awfulness or at least to help them to be better prepared for it.
What if the person I love, wants a family more than anything?
What then? How do I choose between their happiness and my undecidedness. How do I tell someone no because I am unsure or give them a half a yes because I can’t say no? Will it change our relationship? Will the relationship change as either of our bodies changes? Will we still have time for each other? Will be be less inclined to champion each others dreams and pursuit of bliss in favour of more practical ventures. Will surprises and romance no longer be a factor? Or will we grow and experience a kind of love we never thought possible to experience?
What if I make the wrong choice?
Will I regret it? Will I be sorry that I made my choice? Will it be too late to change my mind? What if I never experience it or what if I do experience it and hate it? I can’t very well hit return to sender and send it on it’s way. Sorry tiny human I’ve had my thirty day trial and quite frankly you’re a bit demanding. Ta Ta
What if I never had a choice to begin with?
I have PCOS which will inevitably make conception more difficult. It could also make it impossible. What if I make my decision and mother nature has decided otherwise on my behalf. What if I leave it too late? What If I can’t afford or don’t qualify for adoption? What if the thing I wan’t most in the world is just not going to happen for me. How will I handle the first No I can’t challenge or do anything about?
I wish I could wrap this article up in a neat little bow and present its conclusion to you. Unfortunately I can’t. I have no committed partner with whom I would choose to procreate, I am not nearly financially/emotionally stable enough to consider making a tiny human. I am also nearing the mark of 30 which for some may be considered far too old to even attempt it.
So I will leave you with this, on discussing this article on Facebook, the lovely Evelyn- Tattooed Mommy Extraordinaire gave a movie quote I love.
“Having a Baby is like getting a face tattoo, You’ve got to be committed!”
Right now I’m not ready for that type of commitment, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready. One thing is for sure and certain, when I do decide, I’ll probably blog about it.