It should come as no great surprise, what with all the baby-having going on around me, that I should reflect on my personal role in the chain of life, procreation, and continuing the family name.
My position is the same as it always has been: profoundly ambivalent. I could honestly go either way. And my position on my position is that this sort of life-changing decision should really have some sort of whole-hearted verve behind it.
Enough people in this world have babies with a kind of meh, why not? or Whoops! Looks like I’m having a baby! attitude. Due to the extremely fortunate circumstances of my birth, I have the luxury of this being an actual choice.
I am thirty-five now.
And although I have this sort of constant underlying hum of an awareness of maybe sort of probably wanting a kid of my own one day, occasionally amplified by events such as watching folks around me do this very thing, I just haven’t felt the overwhelming TUG yet.
Also, let’s face it, I am just now coming back into full cognizance after years spent in a self-induced haze. After a year and a half, the anaesthesia is really only just beginning to wear off. Who knows what urges I have actually been suppressing all this time?
And then there are the basic truths I know about myself and how I like my life to be. I love being alone. Truly, madly, deeply.
I have had periods in my life (much of them recorded herein!) when the isolation was so intense that I was kind of silently keening inside, but I am talking more about those cherished stretches of time when I can just be alone with my thoughts for hours at a stretch, reading, knitting, cooking, hanging out with my cats. Like today.
What with my husband and me having such conflicting work schedules, I am actually able to pretend for long stretches of time that I live alone, albeit with an invisible housemate who leaves dirty dishes and socks all over the place. Despite the hassle and grumpiness that this unfortunate tendency evokes, I really enjoy maintaining the illusion of a solitary life.
I love going joyriding around the back roads of Cape Cod all alone, walking the winter beaches, sipping coffee alone in coffee shops, buying dinner for one every night at the grocery store rather than stocking up with a week’s worth of groceries every Saturday.
When I think about having a baby, I alternate between thinking that I could just bring her/him along on all these solitary adventures and thinking that I would just have to kiss them all goodbye forever.
There are also the more mundane worries, like how little money I can spare for another person, how I don’t have health insurance, how my tiny house is really only big enough for two people whose schedules don’t overlap too much.
I realize that those can all be overcome. You decide to have a baby, you get your act together and get that health insurance you’ve been putting off buying, you try to get a raise or a better job, you put away some money for either a new home or an expansion to this one.
You make plans. You do things that wouldn’t necessarily be your first or second or top ten choice of things to do with your time and resources, because you are no longer the one calling the shots.
Also, I hear there is a lot of pooping involved.