Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cuz I'm just a girl (blogger)

If I had to classify myself in the blog world, I'd say I am on paper what I am in life - adventurous at heart but cautious in practice, a bit of a flirt, a very small amount rebel, sincere, sometimes witty, de vez en cuando boring (self criticism is so much easier in another language) and always, always looking for something I can't quite put my finger on. Many of the blogs I'm drawn to, and those by women especially, are the much the same (with added humor and/or insight!). I think it's the sincerity that is most important to me - both in my writing and in the blogs I read.

I bring this up because for a blogger like myself, there are an array of topics that are almost sure to be broached: love, heartbreak, family, frustrations at work, the importance of friends, what challenges us, and babies. Babies you say? But of course! What gal who is closer to thirty than she is to twenty doesn't have to address this at some point or another - whether she wants to or not?

As I read the horror stories of other single and/or childless women I tend to thank my lucky stars that I have been spared most of them. I have very few, if any, people in my life who greet me with such gems as, "Still haven't found Mr. Right?" Thanks to siblings who have blessed my parents with ten grand kids, there's no pressure from them to introduce more kidlets to the world. Enough of my friends are still childless that I don't face parties in which I'm the only one that's there for the cocktails and not Bongo the Clown. Still, baby talk does creep in in the scariest of ways from time to time. Social pressure might be bad, but biological pressure is a hell of a lot worse.

I was reminded today that regardless of whether I have found Mr. Right or not, my body may not accommodate starting a family once I finally get to a point where that's wanted or logical in any way. As much as I'd like to shout, "ya right! My mom was 37 when she had me!" it's true: your body makes this decision for you. Some women can get pregnant easily at any age, some women can't get pregnant at all, and some have a hell of a lot more chance in their twenties than they do in their thirties.

Which of the above categories do I fit into? Which do I want to fit into? In honesty, I haven't a clue. But as my future plans now include a grad program that has me graduating and ready to embark on an entirely new career at 30 - I suppose as reluctant as I am to start thinking about this, I probably should. It seems pretty premature given my naked ring finger, but it's harder and harder to ignore that whether I'm ready or not for what lays ahead, if I want to be prepared, I need to start planning. Ugh.

*Do yourself a favor and google images for "babies" - it's kind of terrifying what comes up. Also - I think the image that I chose will only be funny to people who know me in real life.

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Blogger Indiana James said...

Trust me, from what I see at work and in my general travels, sometimes people have kids way too early for all the wrong reasons. I don't think the age number should decide when and if you have a child, but the emotions and commitment shared between the two parents (obvious physical limitations considered).

At the rate I'm going, It'll be a while before I meet a sensible girl that knows what she wants so building that to the point where kids are a serious discussion topic is a long way off. I too love kids and I know I want to have them but I am not going to sell myself short of my aspirations to have them. Kids need every chance you can give them so why not start with clear conscience and full attention.

8/21/2007 11:44 PM  
Blogger utopia said...

u echoed exactly my thoughts. don't even know when the right time is. but yeah getting married early just so it is the perfect biological age to have kids is ridiculous. think ppl who marry to early miss out on a lot.

but the prospect of being single at 40 is a little unnerving. no one to come back home to.darn!

8/22/2007 2:49 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

It must be the "Megan" thing we have in common because the Megan I was in my late twenties could have written this post nearly word for word (except my mom was just about 28 when she had me). When I was 28, I had just applied to various PhD programs throughout the US, finally ready to embark on the dream I'd had of it for years. I wasn't dating anyone, but I worried about being 31 when I finished the program (I was determined to finish in three years). Only one friend was married and was pregnant, so I didn't have the pressures of other friends with husbands and babies, but I sure felt the pressure of my age. Then, tragedy hit my family in a major way. Ever facet of my life changed in one morning. I moved back to my hometown (Riverside), and quit my life as I knew it to be there for my parents (and them for me). As the letters rolled in over the course of the next several months from the grad schools to which I had applied, I realized that I was going to have to turn down the acceptances because life took a different turn. It was a horrible time in my life. But I just turned 32 this month. Life is completely different. I'm still in Riverside (though preparing to finally leave), working in a field I never dreamed I'd love, and just this year finally beginning to get over that family tragedy. My age hit me hard this birthday. The last few birthdays had me oblivious and numb to time and age; this year I fully realized all that has passed me by. But you know what? It's ok. I am ok with being 32, very much single, and very much childless. I'd always assumed when I was younger that I'd be married with kids by this age. But it is honestly ok not to be. I can say totally truthfully that I'm at peace with not having kids. If I do, they will be a blessing; if I don't, I have blessings in other ways. I feel at peace with it all.

(Though, to be totally and completely honest, I still have moments when I think "I want one" when I hold a baby. But then I babysit my cousin's kids and as much as I love them, I long to have my tubes tied. Go figure.)

8/22/2007 8:32 AM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I was going to leave a thoughtful comment, and then that clown baby made my ovaries start shriveling and I had to go lie down for a while.

8/22/2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

James - very good points. The challenge of course is that for women sometimes our bodies make the choice for us - whether we're ready or not. Of course, maybe those of us that feel deep down we're not ready when are young have bodies that will accomodate that...

Utopia - exactly! I do admit I get jealous of people who have managed to have their single time, find the right person and start a family in a way that feels natural to them, but won't leave them geriatrics by the time their kids graduate college.

Megan - thank you so much for sharing your own experience! I imagine it has been a hell of a ride - but I believe you when you say you are happy where you are. Your journey has taken some twists and turns - and if you end up having kids, these will be the things that contribute to how you raise them and prepare them for life. And if not - well it sounds like you're like me, you have plenty of relatives with kids to give you your fix and then thank God you're going home with no one to put to bed but yourself :)

MG! - I couldn't resist :)

8/22/2007 12:42 PM  
Blogger Airam said...

I'd rather not think about it. I already know that I won't be having kids until I'm in my 30's (because unless I get pregnant NOW, then I will be in my 30's). I'm estimating that I will be mid thirties. There's nothing I can do about that and I'm not going to try and meet someone (or force a relationship) just so I can have a baby in the "safe age" zone. If worse comes to worse and it's too late for me, then I'll just adopt. I'll be a parent either way!

8/22/2007 2:07 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

M - I have no doubt that no matter what you choose to do in your life, it will be at the right time, for the right reasons, and it will work out, because it will have come from your heart.

8/23/2007 4:38 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

That is so freaking scary. The baby pic -- not so much for the actual photo, but for the fact that someone would do that, man people are weird -- and the thought of having children right now, or of planning for that eventuality. As much as I'd like to have kids "someday," I think of that more as an abstract concept than as a part of my so-called five year plan.

Still in it for the cocktails.

8/23/2007 8:32 AM  
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