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Normally I’d save this post for my super secret blog, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to have a discussion with people outside the 5 lovely ladies that are allowed access to read. This is going to be somewhat long, but I promise it’s not rambly.
I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts about this all week. I hinted that something about babies was mulling around my brain in my post on Tuesday, but didn’t address it. A whole lot of my friends are having babies … it’s what society says someone in their mid-to-late-twenties should do. Some of my friends have even questioned why I’ve not yet thought about having babies. Seriously? I can’t believe that they thought that was an option for me at this point.
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Trust me. I’ve thought about it. And by thinking about it, I mean that I’ve put a lot of thought into me being a mom. No I’m not pregnant, but I want to talk to you about WHY I am not pregnant and don’t plan to be any time soon. Moms: Please don’t take offense to anything I am going to say. These are MY reasons for waiting, and not judgement on others who have had children when they were younger OR when they didn’t feel quite ready. And definitely no judgement on my friends with new babies. Being a new mom is ROUGH and I can’t even begin to think I have a clue what it entails, which is part of WHY I am not becoming one any time soon.
I had a discussion about a year ago with a co-worker who was quite a bit older when she had her son. She talked about why she waited and I realized that I agreed with most everything she said and that I should quit stressing out over getting married and having babies NOW because my uterus is going to dry up (it’s not. Women have perfectly healthy babies well into their late 30s and early 40s).
Being a mom is a career. It’s not a job. A job is something you can leave without consequence (other than not having a paycheck). The word “career” indicates a larger commitment that requires strategic steps and growth to maintain and succeed. Careers require specific skill-sets, training and knowledge of the daily required tasks. They also require an aspiration to continue to grow and move forward. Granted, I realize you can change careers, but in this case I would liken that to the type of parent a person needs to be based on the needs of a growing child.
Being a mom is not a career I am ready to undertake because:
- I’m not settled. I live in an apartment with my boyfriend, my dog and our roommate. Though we technically have an extra room, I can’t imagine letting my dog in that room by himself let alone having it be a child’s room. We pay rent. I’m paying off student loans (only 6 more years left, thank you). I could decide to move halfway across the country to follow a dream or follow my boyfriend on a new job opportunity. I’m probably going to move 3-5 more times before settling in a location. Oh, and …
- I’m not married. I know I don’t have to be married to have a child, but I would like it that way. I would like to have a fairly lovely wedding and would like to pay for a big chunk myself. If this is a me and Mark situation, remember that Mark doesn’t have a full-time job yet. He’s not even done with school. I’ve been focusing on paying off my debt (school loan and car) and making some larger purchases/traveling since I’ve built my savings account back up. But saving for a wedding? Not in my plans right now.
- I have so much more I want to do. This is where I’m sure I sound selfish, but hear me out: If I have a child and am not able to finish some of my life goals OR am working on these big dreams while being a parent, I won’t be able to give everything I want to give to my child. I would want to pour all my knowledge and guidance into a child. I want to further my education, travel, run another marathon, and take a few risks — all things I wouldn’t dare do if I had children.
- I’m 27. Twenty-seven is young. I am still figuring out what kind of person I am. I’m 5 years out of college and haven’t started my grad degree. I want a grad degree, but am questioning what field I would like to study. I don’t know where I’d like to settle (geographically). If I don’t know these very basic questions about myself (and about my significant other), how could I provide guidance to a child?
- I have issues. We all have issues, but it’s highly likely to pass along some of these issues to a child if they aren’t properly addressed. I need to work on my body image, anger management and anxiety. Studies have shown that people with mothers (or female role models) with body image issues typically suffer from them as well and are more likely to develop an eating disorder (case in point). And I seem to remember from some of my college psych classes that anxious parents make for anxious children as well. Until my issues have been properly addressed to the point that I can control them around a child, I’m not ready to be a parent.
There are many more little reasons why at 27 I have not had or even thought about having children, but these are the big ones and they actually cover the smaller reasons (like giving up my body — that goes along with body image issues and being anxious). I would also, selfishly, like to be in a situation in which I can be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) at least 3/4 of the time, which actually goes along with reasons 1, 2 and 3.
And who’s to say that once I’ve fulfilled all these requirements that I’m going to be ready to be a parent? I may never be. And I (we) may decide not to be parents. The point is that these are decisions that I and my significant other get to make. Society doesn’t get to decide when the appropriate age is to get married, have babies or when to make any other major life decisions.
Thanks for sticking with me on such a long post and a somewhat touchy subject! I think you all know that if I do have a child, this is how he or she is going to feel someday:
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Moms: What made you decide that it was time to have/adopt a child?
Natural mothers: Was it a planned decision? Do you feel you have been able to give all you want to give to your child?
Non-moms: Why have you decided to not have children (yet)? Was it even an option for you? Do you feel fulfilled?
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Hi there. I'm Calee (pronounced CAL-e). If that's too hard, just call me Cal. Also known as chimes or the chimes. I'm 28ish, a designer, a runner, a self-proclaimed fitness queen, a craftster, a foodie, a music snob — some might call me a hipster. Here's the unabridged version.
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