I have always assumed that children were in the cards for me. It’s what you do. The urge to be a mom took quite a while, and to be honest I’m still a little unsure. For a while my husband and I have been on opposite sides of the fence for the baby topic. He didn’t want them, I did. Then we flipped. I didn’t want them, he did.
Despite whatever our answers were it always felt like everyone was waiting until I hit the big 3-0. Apparently, a magical switch will flip and when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st of 2018, I will wake up demanding that my husband impregnate me.
It’s not that I don’t like babies. Around my mid-twenties most of my friends were planning for babies. Though these friendships I learned a lot about pregnancy and childbirth, shudder. It became a lifestyle. My husband and I began spending more and more time around young children, we were involved in baby discussions and were delighted to watch our nieces and nephews grow from babies into adorable little humans that call us Uncle and Aunty. However, my enjoyment for these little rays of sunshine ends almost immediately when they throw a fit (which is rare).
It’s just that I’m a woman of a certain age, married, and my mothe— everyone wants to know when I’m having a baby. And, I mean everyone. My extended family. My friends. My coworkers. The random employee at the bank helping me change my last name on the account. Everyone.
It’s almost a defense mechanism to immediately grab a beer or glass of wine so no one has a second to wonder if I might be pregnant. Don’t even get me started on the baby traps. Someone will bring their super-adorable six-month-old around and everyone will watch to see who among the women will battle to hold the irresistible infant. It’s also important not fawn over the toddlers crawling at my feet. And, I certainly do not coo over babies in public. Except for every once in a while, when there is a particularly sweet one — then I will whisper to my husband oh-so quietly, “I want that one.”
I’m human. I do have baby fantasies. After all, my so-called biological clock is ticking — I can hear it loud and clear. My mother reminds me every time we speak and my father-in-law is counting our days married until we make the baby announcement. It makes me wonder if my mother was right? Maybe I should have listed a crib on the wedding registry.
All that aside, when I do have a quiet moment alone, I like to imagine all the fun things I would do if I had a child. I daydream about weekends in the park with my husband and our son (yes, my fantasies are gender specific). I picture trips to zoo and summers at the beach. Our family of three will be snug and cozy and sweet and loving. We’ll sing silly songs and share lots of hugs and inside jokes. I won’t be a supermom, but I will love the heck out of my kid and do everything in my power to give him a happy childhood.
Of course, since this is just a dream, there are no dirty diapers; there’s no exhaustion from lack of sleep or worry over the price of preschool; there are no fevers or coughs or runny noses or vomit. There is no ugly reality.
These are secret fantasies, though. I don’t usually share them with anyone. (You know, except for now. To the internet.) Because, once you begin talking about babies, the floodgates open. It’s instantly assumed you want one — maybe you’re even actively trying to have one.
To be clear. At the moment, I am not trying to have one. And I am not pregnant. Sorry, mom.
This is just the late-night ramblings from someone who is staring at the six new school photos she received with this year’s Christmas cards.