Before I begin, this is not me having a rant about people that DO decide to have kids in their late teens or early twenties. I’m a ‘live and let live’ kinda girl and I know some amazing mothers that had children young and have fantastic lives and kids as well.
When I was younger, say 17, I thought that I would have kids by the time I was 25. Married, sorted and a mother…by 25. It seemed like such a long way away and I thought I would be grown up and mature by then and would have done everything that I wanted to do. That, however was not the case. I moved to Coventry at 21 and started to build a new life; new friends and finding my feet took priority and even though I was in a long term relationship at that point, kids were not on the cards. A year later, we had bought a house together, but still children were not discussed and a year after that, we had gone our separate ways.
Time for another new start and being single and 22 I think you will agree, is not the time to grow up and make big life decisions. I went wild instead, out every night, drunk more than sober and got a new job in a restaurant. Supporting yourself on minimum wage is hard enough, let alone thinking about adding mouths to feed. I couldn’t have looked after a goldfish at that point let alone a baby.
A few months later and I’m in a relationship again and this one ended up being a long term one; five years to be exact. He was adamant that he did not want children, not now not ever and I struggled with this for a long time. Being told that children are not an option if you stay with the person you love makes you think about it more than if it is a decision left to chance. Would I be happy to never have kids or would I wake up one day, too old and egg-free and resent him for not giving me a baby when I had the chance…..or would I look back and not be that bothered? It’s not a question that you can ever answer. No one knows what tomorrow will bring and there are no guarantees that you will end up having babies with someone else if you do end this relationship and try for another. It wasn’t the reason why we split, but it was definitely one of the reasons that made me question our future in the first place. I do believe though that being told that I couldn’t ever have children made me kinda want it a bit more, as crazy as that sounds!
Finding myself two years older than my 25 year old age limit, and newly single again, I did spend a lot of time questioning my life and one thing that kept coming back up was children. Do I want them? What would be my age limit if I did want them? Who would I want them with? Lots of questions and none that I could answer. The one thing I did know was if I had really, truly wanted children, and I mean enough for it to be a game breaker, why hadn’t I fought harder for it? Don’t get me wrong, there have been many MANY arguments in my past about this very subject, but I am a girl that ultimately gets what I want, so why hadn’t I pushed for this when I was with a guy and had a good income and had ticked all the boxes that ‘normal’ lives are supposed to have ticked?
And the answer was simple; I wasn’t ready to have kids. Not then and not know.
I have a fantastic life. I come and go as I please. I sleep in, go for dinner with friends, spend my money on myself and am in the process of making some amazing memories with my boyfriend. If you ask me what I like most about my life its my freedom. Apart from work, I can go and do whatever I want, whenever I want. Don’t wanna come home for two days? No problem! Want to spontaneously take Mark for dinner and a movie; give me 20 minutes and it’s a reality.
I have holidays to exotic and crazy destinations on my ten year calendar. My Pinterest boards are filled with expensive outfits that I will one day be able to afford; my wish list consists of Michael Kors watches and converse trainers. I read blogs about sex and relationships, festivals and music.
My friends with children have Mumsnet.com bookmarked on their laptop, children’s plays and activities on their iPhone reminders and seem to all be constantly bidding on baby clothes and buggies on eBay. Most of them with new babies talk about nipples and breast feeding and poop. Ask them if they are free to come out, and most of the time they reply that they regretfully cant as they have their kids that night. That is not for me.
I would like to take a moment to say that NONE of these women seem sad or annoyed about this and they all relish being mothers and do fantastic jobs at it too. My point is not to say that MY life is any more or less fantastic then theirs. My point is that I, at 29 years old, am still not ready for that kind of commitment and responsibility and that I am not ashamed of this. Ask me if i would rather stay in or go out, it is still go out. Every time, without fail. I have people saying to me all the time ‘So, you’re not planning on kids yet then?’ or ‘Ahhh don’t worry, you still have plenty of time’ and it enrages me. They seem to think that I was just simply too busy, or forgot to have children and that now they have reminded me that I am still biologically capable, I can go right ahead and do it. Cheers for that!
Every woman should be able to take a look at her own self; her maturity level, her willingness to give up an enormous part of herself, and make a personal decision on when she thinks she is ready to be a mother – NOT have a use by date stuck to her womb that says if she has not managed to splat out a child by a certain age then she is a freak or, worse USED UP AND PAST IT.
Ask me today and I see myself not having a baby until my 30’s are over. There is still so much I want to do child-free before I bring a baby into my life. Ask me tomorrow and I may tell you I can’t ever see it happening for me, and I think, until my answer is the same, no matter when I am asked the question, I am making a responsible decision by NOT having a baby.
I spent a lot of my 20’s finding my way and finding myself; now that I have, I want to spend my 30’s enjoying the fruits of my labor, and I’d like to think that by the time my 30’s are nearly over, I will be a much calmer, more rounded version of myself that would be a good mum, if I decided to that is!
I’d like to know about you..are you in your 30’s and have just had a baby or did you have one young? Have you experienced people thinking that you are weird because you’re not broody yet?