You know what is one thing you are absolutely not supposed to talk about as a single girl? Babies. In fact, not only are you not supposed to talk about them, you probably shouldn’t think about them or heck, even look at one, because if you do, you are the crazy single girl whose biological clock is ticking.
Well, I’ve decided that’s silly. I think the time has come to stop pretending that having a baby isn’t something we’ve all been thinking about for years, no matter where we are in the process of preparing for parenthood.
For me, as a single 27 year old, it is suffice to say that I have conflicted emotions when it comes to child-bearing. On one hand, the mere thought of caring, supporting and paying for a defenseless human being is enough to make me want to chug a handle of jack, turn up the Kesha and dance naked on a table. On the other hand, I watch the way my friend absolutely lights up around her beautiful newborn and can’t help but think, I want one!! I would love to love anything in this world 1/8 as much as she loves that child.
But the reality is, there is no way I am ready to be a parent tomorrow. (Um hi, I am about to move to NYC for fun and adventure). And yet, even though I know I am not ready now, I am petrified of being 33, single, and having to deal with my biological clock tick-tocking all the live long day. That does not sound pleasant.
So, what to do? Is there any way to prevent such a dire situation in my future?
Well, bad news, I have yet to come up with a foolproof way to avoid this. (Helpful, right?) But I have compiled a few tips I use to deal with the whole baby situation and I thought I’d share in case you too are feeling conflicted on the topic.
The first realization I’ve had is that we have to stop judging ourselves if we aren’t in a “ready for a baby” place. Having a baby has to be on your time frame and your time frame only. No but, really. Do your best to ignore the pressure, even when it seems like it is coming from all angles, including surprising ones. Take my mom for instance. I never expected my mother, who has raised both of her children to be completely independent and career driven, to have such major grandma fever. I’ve am constantly hearing about how her friends on Facebook are sharing pictures of their grand kids, or how after 30 my eggs will be less viable, or how she’d like to be a young grandmother, etc…. And while she always prefaces it by saying she wants me to, “do it in the right order,” the inference is, I should get with the program.
But as we all know, it isn’t just coming from our moms. Babies are everywhere. They are all freaking over my Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and they pop up in just about every conversation with my married friends. It’s enough to make any single lady want to freeze an egg or two…
But alas, I’ve realized that allowing all this baby fever to get to me isn’t helpful and all I can really do is focus on where I am at right now. Yes, I can absolutely picture a time where I will want nothing more out of life then to stay in on a Friday and sing my baby to sleep. BUT, if I really check myself, I can tell you there is no chance in hell that that time is now. Let’s look at the things that make me happy right now – shopping my ass off, weekends with friends, making out, the occasional party with celebrities, exercising like a maniac and kicking ass at work. Are these the hobbies of someone who is ready to be a mom? Nope. And that’s OK because that is where I am RIGHT NOW. So every time I start to feel the pressure, I just remind myself that just because others are in the “ready for a baby” place, doesn’t mean I have to be.
The second lesson I’ve learned is, don’t let your conflicted baby feelings make you stupid. I only just recently realized I was doing this, and the realization of just how dumb I was being totally freaked me out.
You see, over the last few years D and I stopped using condoms. Why? I have no idea. We never really discussed it and the switch was odd since we were both well aware of the fact that I am not on birth control. For awhile, my only real explanation is that we must both be morons. But a few months ago, I started to really question myself, and I realized that there was more to it.
You see, back in September, I was late. A good 3 weeks late. So late, that I actually told D about it and we had to have the, “what if I am pregnant?” talk. And so late that I had plenty of time to think of ALL the ways my life was about to change. What I realized is, there is no way I could handle being pregnant right now. But I also realized, that there was a teeny tiny part of me that would have been relieved if I was. Crazy, I know, but hear me out. Worrying that I may never get to be a mom causes me some pretty serious anxiety. And even though I don’t want a baby now, I suspect that I subconsciously thought an accidental pregnancy would at least mean I wouldn’t have to worry anymore…
As soon as I acknowledged this thought process, I was able to put the kibosh on the whole situation. While being pregnant now would relieve that anxiety – pretty sure having D’s baby would come with about 4,000 new reasons to be anxious. So, from that moment on, I vowed to have a more honest dialogue with myself regarding babies. Yes, I for sure want a baby in the next 10 years. But no, I do not want a baby now. And most importantly, I never want a baby with D.
So not only did I stop sleeping with D without a condom, I stopped sleeping with D altogether. Being honest with myself about my baby feelings gave me a lot of clarity and empowered me to keep my eye on the prize. If I do want to have a baby someday, then this is the time to be out, giving quality guys a chance… Not risking getting pregnant by a guy who I know doesn’t have the slightest desire to be a dad.
The bottom line is, when it comes to babies, there is still a lot I have to figure out. But the one thing I know for sure is, stressing about babies isn’t a problem us singles have to face alone. In fact, baby pressure is one of the few things singles, couples and marrieds can all empathize on, because no matter where you are on the path towards parenthood, you are feeling pressure until you pop one out. So when I feel the anxiety creeping up, I’ve discovered that I actually have a large pool of people I can talk to. And these people often understand exactly what I am feeling and usually make me feel pretty good about where I am in the present. Sometimes, that’s really all you need.
So that’s how I deal, but what about all of you? For the ladies out there, are you already feeling the pressure and do you have any tips on how to deal? And for my guy readers – do you guys get pressured too? I’d be super curious to know.