Saturday, June 2, 2012

First comes love, then comes marriage,

And we all know how that ends.

"comes the baby in the baby carriage."

I get that the psyche of our society is so ingrained with this ideal that we just assume people getting married want to have children. I also totally understand that the same society has made asking the couple, especially the woman, when those little bundles of perceived joy will start arriving an acceptable question.

But, society has not given the questioner the appropriate responses to "I don't know." Or, "We aren't ready for kids yet." Or even, "We haven't decided if we want children."

Because here is the thing: YOU may think my significant other and I would make great parents. YOU may think that I am getting old and past the age for having children. YOU may also think that one of the foundational reasons to get married is to have and raise the next generation. YOU may think that the joy of having a child or children of one's own is an experience that cannot be surpassed by any other in this life. YOU may even simply want to see what our mixed ethnicity baby would look like.

Truthfully, I am not sure I would make a great parent. I live in this being that I am and I know my strengths and weaknesses, I know how impatient and selfish I can be, and the most unarguable reason, I am not sure I WANT children of my own. Your vote of confidence is appreciated, but I know the real me and I have to raise that child. You get to go home and shut the door, forget that I have a kid who constantly needs things, wants things, etc. The kidlet is my responsibility and that is the biggest, most encompassing responsibility ever. EVER.

Telling me I am getting too old or that I need to decide soon because that window of opportunity is closing fast is a reasoning thats actually 100% counterproductive. First, I don't ascribe to getting worse with age and second, I am in my early 30's, for crying out loud! I don't need to hear all the studies of why it isn't safe to have kids as you get older, blah, blah, blah. I KNOW. I have read them myself or had them recited to me by a well meaning heart, but running out of time is not a reason to have a child.

My reason to marry my Hubs had very little to do with procreation. I love that man, heart and soul. In all the billions of people on this planet, somehow, there is another being that is as quirky and odd as I am, another one who gets my humor and knows that one can never have too many books.

Here is a secret about me: I honestly never believed I would get married.

Not because I wasn't lovable or any of that. Simply refer to my reasoning about making a great parent. I wasn't sure I would make a great or even a good spouse and I also was very hesitant to make the concessions to even try. Every day I count my blessings that the Universe had other plans for me.

I have also already raised 3 kids, not to mention the countless teenagers I worked with at the boarding school for at-risk youth. My brother and sister are 9 and 10 years younger than me and 15 months to the day apart. I was there with my mom through nearly all the stages of their growing up. I love them and am proud of them both in a way that goes beyond being the big sister. I am invested in them differently. I did the diapers and the crying and the feedings, the terrible twos, the potty training, the first days of school. Then my family had two wonderful girls live with up for many years, one was in her early teens and her sister was a baby. I was there for that too. I have laughed and cried and loved in many ways like a mother and I know how powerful those bonds are. If I feel this way for these kids now, I can only imagine the depth of feeling I would have for my own. That is not something I take lightly.

There are a million reasons to have children. And there are just as many reasons to not. I am also not saying that you shouldn't ask for fear of offending someone. People need to stop being so sensitive. All I am saying is be prepared for the person to say, "I don't know." or "We haven't decided about kids."or even, "We don't want children."

I know this was a long ranting post and if you did bother to read through, thank you. I am not really expecting anything from anyone by writing this. I have just felt recently that I avoid my blog because I don't have something creative to share and this blog being solely about creative projects isn't all I want this blog to be about. This is where I am going to be me, honest and open, good or bad. I will still share projects and other bits of life, but there are going to be times when I say what is on my mind. I hope that my readers will stick around for the journey and even hope that they will share their thoughts and feelings if inspired to.

Hugs,


8 comments:

  1. Lora, thank you for a powerful and honest read. I think that too many people have children because it is expected of them. Then there are so many that have a bunch of children that aren't adequately cared for. Kudos to you, whatever you decide.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I understand where you are coming from. My hubby and I married young and weren't ready for kids. I actually had a woman ask me why we didn't just live together if we weren't going to have them. Seriously??? And why does everyone think that they get to decide how you run your life anyway? "Are you going to have one?" "Are you going to have another?"

    I asked a lady in our church who has 9 children when people quit asking. She said when her youngest turned 2, people were commenting that it was time for another one!!!

    So apparently it never stops... and you are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good for you not only saying how you feel but knowing yourself. That's a huge thing...to know oneself. I applaud your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  4. People seem to expect the kids to start coming ~1-2 years after getting married. It's crazy! I say down with the "socially acceptable norms"... decide what's right for yourself. I support you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You and your husband have to decide what's right and what works for your family, what everyone else has to say about it is just noise. Kudos to you for ignoring the noise!

    ReplyDelete
  6. AMEN & Cheers to that! Just because women have ovaries and a vagina does not mean that all women want to have children. Ya I have two kids but I don't walk around with a T shirt on that says, Hi, I have a Vagina... It's for making babies! Pfh. I wanna know where it says on my marriage certificate... that once we are married we are to start making little us's. I wanna know where on my birth certificate it says, "Congratulations! You are a girl and you get to make babies and darn socks your whole life!" Pfh.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, Lora...this is so well said. I love that you are strong in your feelings, know yourself, and aren't afraid to say what you are thinking. You are an inspiration and so amazing. I'm glad we are friends and I've missed being in touch with you. Sandi Smith

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just found your blog and I love your honesty. you don't always find that nowadays.
    I am a fellow thrifter and will definitely be following along.

    ReplyDelete