I spent a good portion of my life assuming I would one day get married and have children.  I used to think about it all the time.  I’d picture myself as a happy cheerful mom, standing in a spotless kitchen, holding out a plate of fresh baked cookies for two adoring perfect children.  I never thought I would be one of those women who’d say “I never had a desire to have children.”   Oddly, it turns out I am. 

When I was a senior in high school I was already on the “get married and have kids” track.  I was dating a good Catholic boy who was diligently working on a business degree from UC Berkley so he could begin his climb on some corporate ladder, marry me and have children.  He was completely devastated when I hit age 21 and broke up with him because I decided I wasn’t ready to settle down.  Looking back I’m impressed at how mature I was to know I was too young to get married.  At the time I just thought it was because I wanted to hang out in bars more.

A few years later my friends started getting married.  The getting married part seemed like a great idea, but then they started having babies and I thought they were crazy.  (The ones who started having babies on their own  were outright ludicrous.)  Sure, I was in a relationship at the time as well, and I talked a lot about getting married and having babies, but not right now.  Marriage and babies were still far off in the future and certainly not with that guy.  Turns out that guy was…well that’s another blog post. 

Then I hit my 30s.  That guy was out of the picture and my friends were still having babies.  Some of them were kind of smug about it and I started getting wistful.  The babies were so cute and I started to panic that I may never have one.  I was meeting plenty of men who wanted to get married and have babies but yuck none of them appealed to me.  The only guys I seemed to like were…well that’s another blog post.  

The panic lasted for a few years and then started to fade away, right about when the babies started growing into children.  My friends weren’t smug anymore.  Now they were tired and stressed out all the time.  Turns out that having children is a lot of work and there is not much time to be baking plates of cookies in spotless kitchens.  The children are far from adoring and perfect too.  Turns out that children are individual people with their own personalities and problems that parents have to deal with on a constant basis. 

Now I started to be the smug one and my friends began to look wistfully at my life.  I got to take long baths whenever I wanted in a bathroom, which was attached to an entire apartment that I got to myself.  I got to spend Sunday mornings drinking coffee and reading for hours on my couch.  I still thought about the possibility of having children, but now the assumption was gone.  Apparently there were other ways of living and I was currently doing it.

By the time I got married I was 37 years old.  I’d realized by then that maybe I too, never had a desire to be a mom or have children because whenever the opportunity presented itself I rejected it.  Turns out that having children was just a fantasy that I enjoyed daydreaming about.  The truth is, I never wanted that to be part of my reality. 

Leave a Reply