I was at a friend’s party, and at one point in the evening I found myself sitting with a bunch of other women. Most of us had met before, but none of us knew each other well. Somehow, I have no idea how (I was chatting with someone about something else) the conversation got down to a one-by-one Q & A: Have you ever been married? Do you have kids? Are you interested in getting married/Having kids in the future? And before I knew what was going on (so that I could politely walk away) someone said, “What about you?”.
So I answered, Never been married. Don’t have any plans to in the future.
Which, as always, required explanation (if I’d said yes, I wouldn’t have had to explain). I said that I don’t feel the need to marry, never have. But if I met a guy and loved him and wanted to be with him and HE wanted to, I would. I have nothing against marriage. I just don’t see it as important, FOR ME.
And then I was asked, “What about kids?”
And I said No and that I was 40. To which someone replied, “what does that mean?” And I said, If I really wanted kids, I would have had them by now.
Which wasn’t the smartest comment, but I say stupid things when I’m stuck talking about things I don’t want to talk about.
So, of course, someone pointed out that 40 isn’t that old and women have kids at 40, and older, all of the time. And so I acknowledged that and said something like, Yeah, but for someone who wants kids to wait until 40 is just poor planning. Or something equally stupid.
Not that there isn’t an element in truth in that. If I really wanted kids. If having my own biologicals were important to me, I would have done it by now. And I do think that waiting til 40 is kinda poor planning. But I also understand why there are millions of women who do it. Sometimes other things get in the way.
Here’s the thing, though. While there is an element of truth in that statement (and I’ve mentioned this here on the blog, before, I just don’t bring it up often) it’s not really my truth. Not my whole truth.
I found out, when I was in my early 20s, that it might be hard from me to have kids. I didn’t freak out at the time, because it seemed so far away. Kids were something I wanted after I established myself professionally. And then, when I was 35, I had a very serious and detailed conversation with 2 of my doctors (the specialist who keeps me healthy-ish and my ob/gyn) and I found out exactly what it would take. I can’t just “get pregnant”. It would require medical intervention. And it would mean me getting very sick because I’d have to stop taking all of the medicine I take daily to be healthy.
I got that info and thought about it for a while. At the time I was in a relationship and I thought… maybe. And then I realized that my desire to have a child wasn’t really that great. That maybe I needed to concede that my body wasn’t made for breeding babies.
I didn’t take it off the table until this past year, though. I kept it as a maybe, thinking that if I fell madly/deeply in love with someone and he really wanted to have a baby with me that I’d do it. As long as I was sure that he’d be there for me.
But now that I’m 40, well, it’s off the table. I don’t think I could physically handle it.
Wow, this was way more than I wanted to say on a Monday morning. But I hate glib half-truths.
So here’s one final thought – life is about choices. One of the biggest: make the best of what you have or spend your life being angry about what you don’t have. I choose the former.
Tags: babies, marriage, truth