A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Justin’s and my future children and what I hope our acceptance of them will be like.
“Our future children” is a phrase that has rested on my lips ever since Justin and I started dating when we were 17. As a child, I pretended to be a mommy with my dolls. The names for these poor children have gone through many, many revisions.
No matter what phase of my life I was in, from kindergartener to teenager to college student to now-adult, children have always been part of the equation. Planning and preparing for them. Idealizing and hoping for them.
Last Monday, Justin and I took a much-awaited trip to Durham’s new Denny’s (we live an exciting life). On the way home from dinner, I confided in Justin something that had been bothering me lately.
“Some days, there is an actual physical ache in my heart that we aren’t pregnant and that I’m not any closer to having a child,” I lamented. “But sometimes,” I confided, “the idea of motherhood scares the shit out of me. It’s the last thing I ever want to do. And both of these feelings can happen within the same week, even from one day to the next.”
Justin admitted that sometimes he feels the same way. He said that some days he thinks he’s ready and is going to come home and tell me we can start trying. Then other days he wonders the thought that started this epiphany for me…
Would it be so bad if we didn’t have kids?
Well, would it?
We pulled into our parking lot and checked our mail. In it was the latest issue of Justin’s Time magazine. The cover, having just finished the above conversation, left us speechless.
Was this a sign? ‘Cause I believe in those.
After this was almost literally dropped in our laps, I began reevaluating the part of the equation I always took for granted.
What IF we never had any children? Despite how badly I’ve always wanted to be a mother, I began looking at things from the other side of the fence.
We could do anything we wanted. If we wanted to get out of town one weekend on the fly, we could.
We would always have money in the bank. And with both of us working, there would ideally be a lot of it. (This also segues into the idea of me working/not working after the child is born and the implications thereof.)
You know those parents at restaurants who have loud, obnoxious screaming kids and they do nothing about it because “It’s a baby, what do you expect it to do?” We wouldn’t be those.
We wouldn’t have to go through the terrible 2s, puberty, or any other hard life stage.
Our house would always be clean (for the most part – at least not kid messy).
No scary pregnancy or labor worries.
We wouldn’t have to spend 9 months worrying about a miscarriage or other complications.
And that’s just a few of the things that have been running through my mind over the last week and a half.
Now, call me crazy – but doesn’t some of that sound really, really nice?
And I get it, if we did have children none of that stuff would matter and we would just adapt our lives to the children and suddenly our needs wouldn’t matter anymore, and blah blah blah. I know what all the baby-supporters are going to tell me. Because at least every other day, I tell myself these things too.
But the other days, where all of the above seems to outweigh the option of children, I’m kind of gunning for a child-free life. There are plenty of married couples out there who never have children. Granted, for some of them it isn’t a choice, but there are others who do choose not to procreate. Maybe Justin and I are one of those couples.
Maybe we aren’t. I don’t know.
It just really took me by surprise to hear my inner monologue actually considering never having children. For the longest time, the vast majority of my life, really, there wasn’t another option. It was just the next step. Get married, have babies. Name babies great names. Be a mommy.
It was that simple.
Now it isn’t.
I’m excited/scared/nervous/anxious to see where this new road leads. Will it split off Frost style and I have to choose? Will one road just simply become the one I feel most comfortable on? Or, will one road be chosen for me? Who is to say?
For now, I’ll just take comfort in knowing that either road is good for me and that the babies’ current names are really bitchin’.