Well, alright, this is a first. I honestly have no idea how to start this post, but here’s hoping it gets smoother as we move along. Why is it so challenging? Because it’s about babies. I’ve taken to this blog a few times with thoughts and progress on what I, well, we have wanted to do.
Nope, we don’t want one. We changed our minds about having a baby. Nope, wait, we’re going to adopt. Maybe. What the hell do we, more specifically, I want?
I have friends who were sure they wanted to start families, and they did. Others have been adamant that they don’t want kids and live their best lives. I hear and see both sides of the coin all the time, but I rarely hear about people who are just not sure.
When I was younger
When I was younger, I always thought I would be a mom. I wanted to have three children and have it all. Well, what I thought having it all was. So I used to play house with my friends, where I’d pretend I was married and took care of my Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.
It was always part of the plan. And that plan, for some reason, had me having children in my early 20s. But as I got into high school, I started to question the whole early 20s baby thing. I still thought I’d be a mother, but now I was thinking mid-to-late 20s.
I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I had a child, so pushing the timeline made sense. I know, weird thinking for someone as a teenager, but I always looked to the future to deal with my current situations.
The tides starting to shift
My early 20s were a mess from a mind and body perspective, which I’ve discussed in other posts. But when I found Peter, I could see all those hopes and dreams for a family come to life.
We didn’t want to have children right away, especially as I went back to school to pursue PR. But after that, I thought maybe it was in the cards for us. But after being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and having three miscarriages, I just started to shut down. Maybe it just wasn’t for us.
So, I threw myself into my work, volunteering and going to school. I thought I was OK and didn’t need a child. I mean, not to toot my own horn, but I was thriving. I was winning awards, loving my job, and following my passions without a care in the world.
Peter had also realized that we weren’t going to have children and completely switched off that part of his brain. It just wasn’t for us. We were meant to be dog parents and nothing more. And, for the most part, we were OK with that.
But I continued to have that nagging feeling. Something was missing.
This nagging feeling kept getting worse. I found myself crying and hoping that things would change and I’d find myself pregnant. I tried to talk to Peter about it, and to be honest, it caused a lot of tension in our relationship for a while. But, again, the poor guy had thought we were on the same page about children after the third miscarriage and had switched to think about our lives child-free.
On the other hand, I kept flipping back and forth on what I wanted. I kept asking myself questions like:
- Do I really want a child?
- Do I just like the romanticized idea of having a child?
- Would my child be burdened with the same psychological issues I have?
- Would I be a good mom or Peter a good dad?
- Can I change my lifestyle to adopt to it?
The more Peter and I talked, the more we thought adoption might be the best avenue for us. So I started my research. Looking into what it takes, what we’d need to do, and what to expect from the process. Just doing the research helped me soothe my feelings of emptiness. Finally, I thought this could be something for us in the next few years.
And then it happened. The pandemic hit, and I stopped my research. I became overwhelmed with working from home, the isolation and all that came along with the rapidly-changing pandemic. My respect and admiration for parents everywhere skyrocketed even more. Being caretakers and teachers while still working full time just seemed like something I could never do.
So I flipped back to not wanting children. But still, that little nagging feeling of what if remains.
So, what now?
I’ve taken to this blog a few times to talk about having children – both for and against it. So, where do I stand now? I still have those moments where I wish I had a child, but I find myself realizing more and more that it’s just not for me. Do I think I would be a wonderful mom? Yes. Do I think I could give up my current lifestyle? No.
I love being able to do what I want when I want. I love that my fur babies sleep with us in bed and are silly and sometimes rambunctious. I love that I can travel for work and speak at conferences. I love my life. I’m thriving. And I don’t want to slow it down.
So, instead, I’ll support my friends who have children. Need a babysitter? I’m there. Need help with homework questions? Send them my way. Need more hands-on deck to manage a birthday party? I’m a phone call away.
But I think for me, my children will be my fur children, Agnes and Edith. They give me all the love I could ask for, and they have made our family complete. But, will I always have that nagging feeling of what if? I think so. And I’m beyond fortunate Peter will always let me talk through it, even when there are tears, and I don’t have the answers. Knowing that he and I can talk about it, even if it’s me just needing to say, “I want a baby, but I don’t want one too.” Knowing that he’s there to support me and us and be open to those conversations means the world to me.
I guess this post was more for me than anyone else. I wish more articles talked about this flip-flopping on having a baby, rather than simply being focused on being certain either way. But for now, I guess this will have to do.
I’d love to hear from you. If you have children or don’t, what helped you make that decision? Did you always know what you wanted? Or have you also flipped back and forth with this decision? Tell me in the comments!
Until next time!