A few weeks ago I got onto the topic of children with someone. After talking about their kids for a bit they asked me if I had any kids to which I laughed (too loudly) and said no over and over again. The person said I had a pretty extreme reaction and the first thing I wanted to say to excuse myself was that I’m too young to think about having children when I realized I’m not anymore (instead I excused my reaction by saying I was missing some parts to the children equation, which is also true but not as interesting).
I mean, I’m twenty-five which isn’t a super young age to have kids. I see people my age or younger who I used to go to high school and university who are married and have kids now and seeing that makes them seem older to me somewhere, like they are “adulting” more than I am, like I’m still a child.
Let me make it clear, I’m not bashing on people who have children at my age and I’m not saying I want a baby right this second, only that it’s strange to compare where I am to some people I know and how different our lives are. I know I want children someday, but it isn’t something I’m obsessed about, it isn’t a countdown for me.
It’s weird to think that sometimes when people look at me they’re wondering if I’m a mother. Is it just my age that makes people think that? I am expected to be a mother already? Is that just what some people see when they look at women of a certain age, that they’re mothers? Suddenly my age has made family and babies and motherhood more important than they were (and when you’re a woman it almost always feels like a constant nag). Suddenly it feels like there’s a timeline.
I don’t want a timeline. I don’t want a countdown.
Which, of course, is easier said than done because there unfortunately is a countdown that is nothing personal, it’s just biology. And I’ve seen how that biological clock has affected so many women, the fear it instills. I’ve seen and heard of women who talk about not wanting to be “old” when they’re a mom, who rush into relationships so they can have children while they’re “young.” Like once this clock reaches zero we explode, are nothing but a mess with no more purpose. And while having kids young in rushed relationships might work for some people it doesn’t work for me, though of course who knows what could happen in the future but typically I’m not one to rush into things, children or otherwise. If I were in the story The Tortoise and the Hare I’d be the tortoise hands down, slow and steady wins the race. I’m not in a hurry for things; they’ll happen in their own time.
Except of course biological children can only wait for so long.
And I hate that these are decisions that circle at the back of my brain, old ingrained fears from society that I’m trying to shake off. While children are definitely important to some women, and to some women may be the most important things they have/do in their lives I know that won’t be me. Not that I won’t love my future children with all my heart of course, but I’m going to do other things, have other things and accomplishments that make me happy. And as I’ve mentioned before, being a wife and mother will not be the thing that I’m defined and remembered for in my life.
And again, I’m not trying to downgrade that because it is for some women and they are perfectly happy with that, and good for them for that! I just hate that society still dictates this wife and mother image as the end goal for women, what women want and should strive for. How many women are there that are convincing themselves that that will make them happy when it might not?
So no, children are not in my immediate future, but that isn’t a bad thing. Until that day I’ll mosey on slow and steady finishing whatever race tracks I end up on.