Simple Kind Of Life
When I was married (and in love with karaoke) I sang a lot of songs by No Doubt. The one that this post shares a name with, Simple Kind of Life, was one of my favorites. There was something about the line, “I always thought I’d be a mom” that resonated with me. The fact that Mother’s Day just happened combined with my current fascination with documentaries (specifically those about pregnancy & childbirth) and how much time I have been spending around my nephews and my pregnant best friend, has bought my own personal feelings on motherhood to the forefront.
My feelings regarding motherhood have evolved quite a bit as I have matured. While our culture would suggest that women become more desperate to marry & procreate with each passing year, time has had the opposite effect on me. While I am most definitely aware of my own personal biological clock (and have even heard it ticking – quite loudly at times), I don’t feel as if I must have a child in the near future – or maybe even not at all.
I have always been curious about being pregnant. Strange? Maybe but it’s true., Part of me thinks it must feel so…alienlike to know there’s another human being growing inside you. On the other hand, what a fucking miraculously awesome thing – to grow a new life within your own body?! WOW!!! And labor? It sounds absolutely terrifying and horrifically painful – although part of me would very much like to be able top say that I used my body what it’s ultimately made to do – give life.
Growing up, I always wanted children. My maternal grandparents were each one of TWELVE! My father has eight siblings and my mom has five. Yes I come from a VERY large family – and I am ok with that (even grateful for it). All this family around made it feel like Sis & I had been slighted in a way because we only had each other. So I decided I wanted four children. I decided this in high school when I knew little of what being pregnant means and what labor & delivery is really like of course 🙂 My ex husband, BDNF, also wanted a large family – we even had them named (Cole Robert, Olivia Grier, Alan Bradley & Corrinne Hope). I look back now and I am incredibly grateful, given the eventual collapse of your marriage, that we never got around to starting a family. I think he would be an adequate father – but I’m glad it won’t be my offspring that either prove or disprove that theory.
Then there was Ginger. When we dated I was more obsessed with my ability to become a mother than with my actual desire to do so. I was coming from two HUGE upsets in my life (divorce & a diabetes diagnosis) and my excitement over the upcoming birth of my first nephew was building. All of a sudden I felt like I had to a.) make sure I was capable of having children (my diagnosis was still so new I didn’t know what, if any, hurdles it presented in my quest for children) and b.) get to it before my life turned upside down again (aka – before it was too late). He hadn’t ruled out having children but he wanted to wait until he was financially secure (which shows just how unprepared he was. Even I know it’s next to impossible to be “ready” for a child in ANY way – let alone financially. You’re never wealthy enough to become a parent – you always wish you could afford to give your child MORE.) I don’t think he would have been a bad father per se, but I believe he had some unreal expectations of fatherhood – such as we would have a little boy who would grow up to worship him & follow in his footsteps. I also don’t think he was the partner I was looking for in terms of parenting – someone who would help with midnight feedings and diaper changes. It would be an all glory no guts kind of thing for him.
And now I’m 30. My sister has two kids and most of my friends have begun to at least talk about starting a family – if they’re not pregnant or parenting already. Babies are everywhere! I’m in the most healthy, stable relationship I have ever imagined. It appears to be the perfect situation for baby itch to manifest itself. But with every passing day I realize how much I enjoy my freedom. For instance, I can get a text on a Thursday night inviting me to a party on Friday and instead of worrying about babysitters, the biggest decision I have to make it what kind of salad to bring.
And of course there’s always diabetes and it’s complications and repercussions. Plenty of women with diabetes have healthy pregnancies and “normal” deliveries. But what if I’m not one of those? Diabetes is hard work NOW – just caring for me and with a lot of help from FF. Could I physically & emotionally handle the stresses of pregnancy? I don’t know. Of course no woman entering into motherhood for the first time knows without a doubt the answer to that question – it’s simply that for me, diabetes throws a whole new twist on that unknown.
Both my sister and my mother have enthusiastically offered me the rental of their wombs – but I am simply not interested (although I am very appreciative for the offer!). Call me crazy, or even selfish perhaps, but a large draw for me in becoming a mother is being responsible & accountable for the life of my child from the moment of conception (despite how that last sentence sounded I feel it necessary to let you all know I am pro choice). If I decided motherhood is something I would like to take on and after weighing the pros and cons it’s decided that carrying a child isn’t in the cards for me, I would absolutely consider and pursue adoption.
I know some of you are reading and thinking, “what does she know?!”While I’ve never battled with infertility, I’ve always felt that a child didn’t have to be biological to be mine. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting your own biological child (so many blogs I read with people who have to wrestle that awful infertility monster. I never judge those people for wanting so badly to become parents “the old fashioned way” – as long as they don’t judge me for not feeling the same). Or maybe I get pregnant “accidentally”, in which case my questions are answered and my decision is made. I know life is capable of throwing some major curvebals and while I like to think I am prepared for whatever life sends my way, I am not naive enough to think that’s actually possible. These are my general feelings, at this particular point in my life, on becoming a mom.
Given the fact that I am in a stable & committed relationship, I should probably let you know that these feelings are not mine alone. FF & I talk about babies as often as we have conversations about marriage – which is to say, frequently. We both come from similar places and know how quickly feelings on a given subject can change. Therefore it’s important to check in often on big issues in a relationship. Clearly marriage and children being two of the biggest issues, they’re discussed at length on a very regular basis. With that said I have no doubt that much like in every other way, FF is the man I am supposed to have a family with – should the road lead us there. He will be the kind of parenting partner I have always imagined. His strengths overcome my weaknesses and vice versa making him what I consider to be a perfect partner for me in every aspect imaginable. The quote from the No Doubt song finishes by saying, “You seem like you’d be a good dad.” I obviously feel that FF will far exceed good – but only time will tell if we’ll ever know for sure. So a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there who know what it’s like to place another life above your own. I admire you. XO