There’s been an influx of baby talk hitting the front page of my Facebook stream lately, and I don’t like it one bit.
Now don’t get me wrong, I actually adore my little niece and nephew in laws, and I’m fascinated by my close friend’s little ones – but I know those kids as, well, little people.
En masse, cute as they may be, they scare me. And what scares me even more: mums. (Disclaimer: in case you’re reading this mum, I don’t mean you – like I said, en masse.) To be more specific, mums who seem to only talk about babies. On one hand, I admire their dedication and obvious devotion to their little ones, but on the other, I must admit I’m slightly worried that their single mindedness may actually be more aptly termed “obsession”.
That aside, I guess what’s really been gnawing away at me whenever I see another of my friends announcing a pregnancy, birth, or child’s birthday is that it serves as a stark reminder of what I don’t have: a child of my own.
Thing is, I still don’t feel ready to have a kid (I have enough trouble getting myself dressed in the morning if I’m being honest), and I love the life I have. It’s horribly selfish, and completely irresponsible – the better half and I have no mortgage, no car, no debt…actually the only things we own are bed linen and a multitude of electronic devices (because who doesn’t need an iPad, small laptop, big laptop, personal phone, work phone and work laptop?). We go out to eat whenever we feel like it, we stay out as late as we want, we go on multiple holidays a year, go on occasional shopping sprees for disgustingly disposable fashion, and get up at whatever time we can be bothered – well, I do, then I wake the man up whether he’s ready or not because I get bored (see what I mean? I can’t even entertain myself!).
But whether I’m ready or not, I have a good many people constantly reminding me why I should be thinking about starting a family. Not least of which is my steadily increasing age (don’t be fooled by the youthful Asian looks, underneath lies the cholesterol choked insides of a woman well past her child bearing prime). Or to quote my mum “you’re not getting any younger, you know”.
Logically, I know they have a point. From a biological perspective. And you often speak to people who apparently never felt ready to have a child but made the decision to jump into parenthood regardless (this declaration is usually followed by “and once you’ve done it, you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!”). But when I really think about why I should start trying to make a baby soon, it boils down to this: fear of being alone.
I don’t see myself enjoying having a baby now. Yet, when I think about myself when I’m older, and probably not quite so mobile, I see a picture of me serving up huge family lunches, the house being full and noisy and overflowing with family bickering and laughing, all mixed up together.
Is it wrong to consider having kids so that you can grow old and have someone to sponge off? So that when my eyes go to pot, I can ask someone to come over and reprogram the sky box? So that when I finally lose my license, I can guilt someone into spending more time with me “after everything I’ve been through for them” just so I can con them into taking me to the supermarket?
The irony of it is, they’ll probably, like me, go traipsing off around the globe and end up living on the other side of the world – once again leaving me alone, damn them! But unless I try, I won’t even have the option of nagging them to come home, right?
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