When I was single, everyone was asking me if there was “anyone special” in my life. When I was dating, everyone was asking about “the big question”. When I was engaged, everyone was asking about wedding plans and where our honeymoon would be. Now that I’m married, I’m somewhat shocked to find that all of those cliches about baby pressure are surprisingly true.
It’s only been two months since the wedding, and I’ve already had multiple people ask me if I am pregnant (because I was home sick with a stomach bug), whether I wanted to have kids soon, and when Colby and I were planning to start a family. It seems as though everywhere I turn people are pregnant, having babies, or trying to get pregnant. If one day could go by that I didn’t have to think about BABIES, I would be a blissfully happy girl.
And a lot of the conflict I’m feeling stems from the fact that I do want babies. If I woke up tomorrow and found out that I was pregnant, it wouldn’t be the devastating discovery that it would have been five years ago. I do want a family and I do want to eventually be a stay at home mom. But while there are some days that I feel like, “Hey, babies sure are super cute, maybe that would be fun!” those days are by far outweighed by the days that I feel like, “Hey, babies sure are super cute, thank God I don’t have one of those to deal with right now!”
I don’t know why I’m feeling so overwhelmingly pressured about this. It isn’t as though my mom or hubby’s mom is calling multiple times a week asking whether they’ll get to meet their grandchildren before they die. Hubby seems perfectly happy with our mutual decision to wait until at least our next assignment before introducing miniature people into the world. And for chrissake, did I mention yet that we’ve only been married for two months??
The only conclusion I can reach is that this pressure is spawned by my ridiculously competitive nature, which OH MY GOD, is not a reason to have kids. I don’t feel like I need to compete with other people specifically, but with Mother Nature and convention. It’s like the mentality of an 19th century Jane Austen heroine has been embedded in my brain. I have my education, I’ve dabbled in the world outside of my parents’ house, I’ve found my Captain Wentworth, and now it’s time to start popping out babies. I want to be the best at what I do, and if that means having babies is the customary next step after getting married, my brain is screaming at me to get busy woman, we don’t have all day here!
On top of that, I have this horrible and unfounded fear that when we do decide to start trying for a baby, we’ll find out that one or the other of us is not so well equipped in the fertilization department. And what if it’s too late at that point to do anything about it? And then I spend the rest of my days wondering why I spent so much of my life trying SO HARD not to get pregnant when I could have been more effectively using my time.
(Right now, Hubby is screaming into his pillow in terror.)
But the thing is, I want to be able to decide at the drop of the hat that I want to see the Vegas strip. I want to be able to spend my money on frivolous shoes that I really, REALLY don’t need and a new party dress that I’m sure to find an occasion to wear. I want to be able to go out and get deliciously drunk and not worry about finding a babysitter. I want to use our spare room as the exercise room, or guest room, or office, not as the nursery. I don’t want to spend my days listening to a screaming baby, disciplining a mischievous toddler, or grounding a rebellious teenager. I don’t want to get fat.
I know that I’m not ready for babies, so why is it that they invade my every thought? Please tell me that this is perfectly normal and this too shall pass. And how do I know when I really am ready to have a baby or when it’s just a passing fancy that I will totally be over in a matter of days?
I swear. If there is absolutely nothing going on in my life to angst over, I will turn anything into a total drama fest, won’t I?