14 June 2009

A realization I didn't think would come so soon.

When I was a little girl I did a lot of playing house, as many little girls do. During kindergarten (Side note: I’m embarrassed to say I JUST learned, via spell check, that I’ve been spelling that wrong … forever. I thought it was GARDEN not garten. WTF?) a lot of playtime was spent with the little kitchen play set in the classroom. Sometimes we were even able to conscript boys to play house with us, making them our husbands. And of course there were dolls involved in playing house, because being mommy was a lot more fun than just making pretend dinners.

Even playing with Barbies turned into playing house. Barbie did have a little sister & of course there were the Barbies that came with babies. Then when I had a better idea about pregnancy, that’s when pillows were shoved up my shirts & I “delivered” babies. Somewhere in all of that play, I figured that when I got older I would have a family. Clearly all of us playing house had these expectations.

As I got older, my expectations changed. I decided that I wanted to adopt children instead of having my own. There are so many children who are given up at birth or orphaned somehow. And not just in third world countries, but here in the United States too. I dreamed of adopting a child, taking them in & giving them the love they need & deserve.

Then my expectations changed yet again. When I was a sophomore in high school I decided that I want to pursue a career in human rights. The more cases I worked on, the more I read about human rights defenders who were put in danger &, in some cases, their families being put in danger. I decided that it was one thing to put my husband through that, someone who could make the choice to be with me knowing that’s what I want to do, but it’s another to bring children into that when they have no say.

And the longer I sat with those thoughts, the more of an aversion I had to motherhood. As much as I love kids, I would get nervous whenever a cousin had a baby & I was asked if I wanted to hold them. Somewhere in my mind, my decision not to have children made me think that me + babies was a bad idea. I wound up getting over that, especially when my mom started dating her boyfriend. He has a granddaughter who was a newborn back then (& a grandson now).

When the above mentioned grandson was born, I got to hold him just a few weeks after he was born. He was so tiny, so sweet, & had that wonderful baby smell. After they left that day, the baby smell lingered & I found myself wishing that he was still there. I started having a biological response to holding a baby, one that left me with a certain longing I had never felt before. I was conflicted because this feeling was so different than the decision I had made not to have kids. I knew that my body was saying I want to eventually have kids, but my mind was still in the same place it had been before holding him.

Now … well, now I’m admitting that things have changed. I’m admitting that I DO want to have kids some day. What brought this revelation about? Recently I met up with “someone” who I have feelings for. While we were out, there were some kids. I was just hit with this desire to have a family. So, there you have the reason for this drastic change. The knowledge that making a family with someone you love, that seems like the most amazing thing in the world.

Soooooooooo, there you have it. And now? Now that my mind has caught up with the biology? I’m going insane! I got together with one of my friends & we talked babies. One of the mommy bloggers I read just had a baby yesterday. One of my cousins just had a baby this week. The books I’ve been reading have to do with kids. And today I saw the above mentioned baby who brought out this biological response. (He. Is. So. Damn. Adorable!)

This realization is so intense that I can feel it, feel the desire coursing through me. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve finally admitted it or if it has more to do with that “someone”, but it’s true all the same.

Seriously, this has gotten so out of hand that I’m even coming around to the idea of PHYSICALLY HAVING A BABY. Something that has never, ever appealed to me. I have a huge aversion to pain & the more I hear/read about pregnancy & childbirth & afterward? NO THANK YOU! Yet, for some reason … it’s becoming appealing. Please, someone commit me for my own good! I still want to adopt, so now I’m all “Oh, I can adopt AND give birth!” I don’t know who this person is. However, I do know that now whenever I’m told that I’m going to be a good mother I won’t have to shock people by telling them I don’t want kids.

In the back of my head I figured that I would change my mind. I just didn’t expect it to happen this soon. Not at all.

My question is, when did you know that you want/wanted to be a mom or dad? Did you go through a similar limbo between options, or did you know all along?


  1. All I really have to contribute is that I think I'm the only person on the planet with a vagina who finds nothing appealing about "that baby smell." Also, once I was playing with a balloon or a sweatshirt or something stuffed up my shirt and my dad, who was on the phone with my mom, who must have been away at the time, reported to her, "Emily is playing mother-to-be" or something and I never admitted this to anyone before, but actually? I was just playing Jewish woman smuggling stuff (not even kids—maybe a puppy?) across the German border, so...does that mean my childhood instincts were more human rights than maternal?

  2. Emily you are so NOT the only vagina that doesn't find that "new baby" smell any more appealing than "new car" smell! I was usually the only girl among boys and the last thing they wanted to do was play some sissy game of house! I've always known I didn't want kids(despite everyone's conviction that I would change my mind). I like other people's kids and decided I'd rather be the fun aunt! (like I had growing up!)

  3. I can't remember not wanting to have a kid. I've had my daughter's name picked out for as long as I can remember. Though I'm not gonna lie, the pain scares me. I'm horrible with pain. You might get texts for that too, with me cursing life, hating whoever put me in the situation I'm in, etc. Will be like graduation, but more drugged. ;)

    Side note- um, kindergarden is kindergarten?? I was always told the best way how to remember how to spell it was to think of kids in a garden. Was told this by a TEACHER. LYING LIARS.

  4. @luv4svu I'm relieved to know I'm not alone! In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably add that I do see myself having children conditional upon finding a guy I can tolerate (or who can tolerate me) long enough to make him a father and on the fact that I probably won't like the way they smell. This sounds like it could turn into a Darwinian nightmare . . .

  5. I have always wanted to be a mother. Sure, I've always had other career goals, but being a mom has trumped them every time. And as I have grown, and as I have gone through the life experiences that I have, that desire hasn't changed. Now that I am engaged, and 7 months away from getting married? It's like the biological clock is ticking SO DAMN LOUD. I can just SEE the baby fever right in front of me. It's killing me! Curt & I secretly want a honeymoon baby but realistically, the timing isn't exactly the best. I need to finish school, but he isn't getting any younger. We'll see what happens. I'll put it this way-- We're not preventing but we won't be trying at that point either. (Come January 31, 2010)