Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Bun in This Oven

I’m getting that ache again—it began a couple of years ago when my first nephew arrived.  Amazingly, it went away when we adopted Vinnie—but two years later, and with two new nephews (one arrived last month and the other is coming in April), the ache is back and in full-effect.  I know what this all too familiar feeling really is about and that my rapidly-approaching-30 body and mind are telling me—I need a new puppy!

Kit and I have been married for two and a half years, and we repeatedly get asked, “So, when is it going to be your turn?”  “When are you guys going to have little ones?”  And I remind them that I already have a little one—he’s permanently 15 pounds, potty trained, and the authorities have no problem with me putting him in a crate when I choose to leave the house without him.

I adore my nephews, cousins and my friends’ children.  I love holding babies and feeding them; I love the feeling I get when my cousin’s little girl squeals “Jewwie!” and runs to give me a big hug when I see her—she even named one of her dolls after me!  But I am completely petrified of the incredible responsibility and expenses involved, and that’s nothing compared to how scared I am to think about molding an actual person into who they will become.  I thoroughly enjoy visiting with friends and family, loving the little ones and spoiling them however I can, then going home for a nice, quiet nap. 

At 28, I still don’t see myself as someone toting around kids in a minivan, and I don’t know if I ever will.  I like being able to do what I want and when I want to do it.  Some people would say that is selfish, but I prefer to think I am just being honest and true to myself.  I think it is better to know this about myself and what I want, rather than giving in to the pressures of society and having children merely because it is what I have been programmed to think I am “supposed” to do.

I often worry about things like, what if I finally come around and decide I do want children, but I have waited too long to have them—and no one will let me adopt one because I am too old?  And how long do I need to feel like I do now, before I admit that this is it—I’m never going to change my mind about this.  I could what-if myself to death, but for now, I am content with my life and how it is set up.  I try not to worry about it too much.

Kit and I have discussed getting a new pup this spring, and I can hardly wait to go to the shelter and find the perfect one to bring home.  I look forward to seeing how Vinnie reacts to having a live-in playmate, and letting him help me teach the new pup what he already knows.  Call me crazy, unconventional, non-traditional—but I think the kind of mom I am meant to be, is a dog mom.

7 comments:

  1. We get the same question. I alternate between telling people my wife is barren or that I have lazy sperm. Tends to shut down the questions then

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  2. I know what you mean, but then I feel like I should stand up for people like us who are either undecided or have chosen not to go down that road. This was not a quick or easy decision for us, and I don't appreciate being made to feel like I am a lesser person for not wanting children of my own. Yes, it would be cool to see what they looked like, or whose personality traits they would develop, but that is hardly justification for having them. Also, I do not think I would be a good role model. :)

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  3. Being a parent is crazy-hard work. Given the rational reasons you've expressed, I don't blame you one bit for your decision to delay having children or to not have any at all.

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  4. Imagine single me at 33 with those same thoughts and feelings in your 5th paragraph.

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  5. I think you are so right - you have to follow your own path and ignore all the "aren't you going to" questions. It seems like we put so much pressure on each other to conform to a certain kind of life. And I hate that the choice NOT to have children is often treated as if it's somehow not a choice to be respected in and of itself. To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes - you know you're making the right choices for you and you alone when everyone else thinks you're crazy (not that you're crazy, but you get the point!).

    Hooray for living life your own way, hooray for thoughtful consideration of major life choices - and hooray for birth control! :)

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  6. It's more selfish to go ahead and have kids when you know you don't want them than to not have them at all.

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  7. I'm sure you know how seriously I considered this, and I applaud you for searching yourself and making responsible decisions.

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