A few weeks ago, Mr Pea brought up the topic of having children. He had realised I hadn’t had a say whether or not I want to have children, and he wanted me to have that say. He said “You are it for me, and I choose you, whether or not we have children”. It was very sweet of him.
He’s right. The decision to have kids never felt for me like it was a decision. It was already a done deal.
On our second date Mr Pea made it clear he wanted kids, and I wanted to be with him enough to respond with “I am open to it”.
I am not thrilled about the idea of having children – it all just seems too scary and too huge a responsibility. But knowing that’s what I signed up for, I related to it like getting my period. It was inevitable and would happen whether I like it or not.
It’s also what’s expected and regularly asked, being married for almost three years. No one ever says to us “IF you have kids”. It’s always “WHEN you have kids… “.
It’s what other women my age do.
It’s the natural next step.
So I go along with it. The conversations about what it would be like, what we would name them, who would babysit. The conversations at work about who’s going to get pregnant next. Replying with my auto generated response “Yeah, we are planning to have kids, just not now. Maybe next year”
All the while all I can think is, I don’t want to spend the next how many years of my life doing dinner, bath time, bedtime routine. Miss out on sleep. Spend weekends visiting kiddy places. Become grumpy. Sand. Sticky fingers. Spilled food. Messy room. Dirty carpet. We definitely will need a new couch. Poop. More poop. Sickness. Vomit. Driving them to sports.
Then I look at the mums who seem so fulfilled. They do what they love, they’re out there kicking goals. And I think, hey, I could be that.
I also look at women who don’t have kids, and they’re doing what they love, they’re out there kicking goals. And I think, hey, I could also be that!
I weigh up the pro’s and con’s in my head, imagining life with and without kids. It would break our parents’ hearts. Mr Pea will make such a great dad. We could have so much fun. What if I regret it later. I felt the same way about marriage and couldn’t be more wrong, maybe this is like that.
Then it dawns on me that whatever we choose, it will be okay and we will be happy. I’m not in a rush to make my mind up, and that is not the purpose of this post.
I am writing this because it’s an area of my life where I have been pretending it’s all fine and handled, when in fact I am uncertain and scared. Uncertain about what I really want – I have wanted certain types of men or relationships which were no good for me, so I know that I want or don’t want isn’t necessarily the thing that’ll make me happy. Scared of letting people I love down. Scared of losing who I am and what I have right now. Scared that any change is going to ‘ruin’ my life. And I wanted to set myself free by acknowledging it.
More importantly, I am writing this because I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way. I think there are others out there that are as uncertain and scared as me, and even more scared to talk about it.
Well, I am pulling out some lounge chairs, making some coffee, and I am saying let’s talk about this. Whoever you are, I’d love to hear from you.