1+1 doesn’t have to be 3
Look at my blogroll. Most of it is mom-blogs, journeys of adoption, fertility battles, different children, huge families. I guess it might be hard to believe that I am childless and planning to stay that way for a while. Not very surprisingly, then, I was asked about children again today. Here are some of the most common ways I’ve been asked that before:
- ‘I want grandchildren!’
- ‘So when should we expect to see you expecting?’
- ‘How about little ones?’
- ‘I heard you’re pregnant!’
No kidding about that last one. That was about the most popular thing to say to me when I just got married. Somehow, people assume that you don’t get married when you’re eighteen unless there’s a reason for that growing in your belly. You are commonly expected to fall in love, live together, sleep together, use flavoured condoms, get an exotic pet. But marriage? That’s for adult folks.
And then, when they are finally convinced that you got married because you actually love each other, they start trying to fit you into the next stage of their stereotypes: a family is only supposed to be complete when there is a kid. Therefore, naturally, we must be planning one in the nearest future. And people don’t hesitate to ask us about those plans whenever they feel like it.
I am a little tired of saying the same things over and over again: I am not ready. My husband might be, everyone else might be – but I’m not. I have issues that I need to sort out before I even start to think of bringing a whole new person into the world. I am not ready to commit. I am impulsive and irresponsible. I am afraid of pregnancy. I feel utterly unsuitable for parenthood.
It is still strange for me that I’m not alone anymore and never will be. That I always need to act with regard to the feelings of a particular human being. That I need to control my wishes and behaviour for someone else’s sake. There are so many things I can’t do anymore, and miss doing, that I don’t think I’m even physically capable of taking on any more restrictions right now.
This does sound harsh, but no, I don’t view my husband as a hindrance. Nor do I view children as inhibitions. I’m not child-free, I love children and want to have them one day. Right now, though, I’m just scared out of my mind. I am also angered by the hard time people are giving me without even intending to, just by being a little thick – and the even harder time I’m giving myself.