There’s a certain camaraderie amongst bloggers. I read you. You read me. We comment. We forgive long bouts of silence and grammatical errors.
When I was wedding planning, I relied on many blogs and bloggers to help get me through the process. Blogging helped me feel less alone in the process since my mom lived nearly 7 hours away and my MOH was across the country with a full time job and two kids.
I still read and follow many of these now-married brides both publicly and as a lurker. It’s been a little over two years since I started writing this blog and reading many, many other blogs. What’s interesting about these blogs now are the conversations going on. The conversations are about the babies. I cannot tell you how many of these women, now married for over a year, are pregnant, talking about getting pregnant, or who are showing off their little, pink and wrinkly newborns.
Once again, in the process of life, I am taking the road that does not seem to be the norm. *sigh*
And let me just touch on this topic a smidge - about taking a different direction. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything the “right” way. I’ve tried, but I mess it up all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever had the maturity that I’m supposed to have in jobs or life or whatever. I stayed in college an extra year to get an extra degree in Costume Construction Technology (yes, that’s right) while my friends were graduating and taking “real” jobs and/or going to grad school. I moved to California and worked for Frederick’s of Hollywood as an assistant buyer of crotchless panties while these same friends went to work for IBM and Deloitte Touche and KPMG. They got married while I was getting drunk at a club. They bought houses and I rented. They made money and I scraped along.
Now, in terms of a career, I finally found my niche and kicked ass. However, I have this feeling that many of my friends still regarded me as a loose canon, “She’s our artsy friend.” I honestly have no idea how they regarded me, this is just my impression.
So I’ve always felt like I‘ve been many, many steps behind everyone. I assumed that would be the case when it came to my marriage. The Candyman and I got married and I was 39 years old. We talked briefly about babies and decided we’d talk more about it after we’d been married a year. A year came and went and the baby talk was still just idle conversation, occasionally a little stronger on my part after too much hot sake at the sushi bar. The reality was that the conversation wasn’t happening in the way that I think those conversations are supposed to go.
I guess I imagined intimate talks in bed, snuggled up to The Candyman, whispering over the future family-to-be. Or perhaps a more logical approach – a discussion of finances and timing and house-size over coffee at the kitchen table. Or perhaps an idyllic chat at the park as we watched kids and toddlers play on the jungle gym.
Nope. Not one of those conversations has ever happened. It’s more like this:
Me: Should we have a kid?
The Candyman (lounging in his leather chair, watching Jeopardy and drinking copious amounts of V8): Why would we want to do that?
Me: I dunno.
The Candyman: Me either.
Or sometimes like this:
Me: Do you want to have a baby?
The Candyman: Sure.
The Candyman (raises an eyebrow in anticipation): Does that mean we can go have sex right now?
Me: Never mind.
Me: I don’t know about this whole baby thing.
The Candyman: Me either. Fuck it. Let’s just keep our money and spend it on ourselves.
Me: Yeah. Babies can be expensive.
The Candyman (popping another can of V8): Yeah. We don’t need expensive.
So you see the level of intensity in these conversations, no? We’re focused. We’ve got a plan. We know exactly what we’re doing.
And that’s how I feel about having a baby: meh. And I don’t think I’m supposed to feel “meh.” Couple “meh” with the fact that I’m FORTY ONE and I’m just not so sure about any of this baby business. I never played “house” when I was a kid. I had Barbie and the Barbie Dream House, but my girl was ALWAYS solo. I never even asked for a Ken. I’ve never dreamed of having a family, the white picket fence (though oddly, we have one of those) or any other traditional living scheme. It just never came up in my head. I have never, ever longed to be a mother or a mom or anything other than a cool aunt who buys both educational and totally inappropriate toys.
But the reality is we’re getting down to the wire in terms of actual, physical pregnancy. My clock has never been one to tick in a way that I ever really heard, but the wrinkles on my forehead are LOUD ENOUGH, thank you very much. Yet I don’t have any strong emotions one way or another towards having a child. My body nor my mind screams out at me to conceive. I do not long to parent, join a play group or re-learn Algebra so that I can help my kid limp through it. None of these things appeal to me. At all.
It’s almost like we’re making this decision by not making a decision. It seems too hard and somewhat final to stand up and announce, “We’re not having children!” Instead, I think we’ll just continue to cruise along and see what happens. Sometimes I see this approach much like I do other aspects of my life: too many steps behind everyone. Lately though I’ve been trying to look at my life in a way where I compare myself less often to “the norm” and judge myself based on what I really want. The problem with that is figuring out what I really want instead of chasing after something that simply doesn’t fit.
Please tell me I’m not the only person out there who thinks this way. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with not having kids, right?
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