Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Just Have a Baby

I’ve got a couple of stories for you, today. Well, a couple of snippets that work together. There’s this woman I know, a friend of a friend I haven’t seen in ages, who’s pregnant. I’m so happy for her, especially since the last time we saw each other she was telling me that she was desperate to have a child, and her doctor had told her it wasn’t going to happen.

Here’s her story (roughly): She’d been with the same guy for about a decade. She loved him and wanted to marry him and have his children. He knew this. And… nothing. Year after year she waited and the relationship went nowhere. All of her friends wanted her to dump the guy and move on (for many reasons) but she couldn’t/wouldn’t. I last saw her right after her 40th birthday. She’d recently gone to her doctor and been told she’d waited too long and was pretty devastated.

Well, sometime in the last year, the guy broke things off. And rather than chasing after him and begging him to stay, or waiting for him to change his mind, she immediately took herself to a specialist and started IVF. She got pregnant on the first try. Now she’s blissfully happy and preparing for life as a single-parent. Which, I think, is pretty damn awesome.  She’s getting to do what she always wanted, which is to be a mom.

The second story is one of my stories.  I was at a wedding, a couple of weeks ago, seated in between my and an aunt. Now, I don’t know what passes for polite conversation in other people’s families, but in my it’s completely normal to be grilled about marital status and reproductive choices before the first course arrives. Which is what happened.

My dad made a comment about a cousin being next in line to get married. Which made the cousin clearly uncomfortable. So I told him to back off, that she was young (mid – 20s) and had plenty of time. At which point he said he didn’t understand “single, girls.” I made a snarky comment about him just barely tolerating me. Then, my aunt said something about it not being too late for me. Which I know she said to be nice, or something like that. But I couldn’t let it lie, and said something about maybe never getting married and that being OK, too.

At which point my aunt said, “It’s OK if you don’t get married, just have a baby.” Which, for my family, is a pretty radical statement.

I went on to tell my aunt that I wouldn’t be having kids and her response kind of shook me. She said I needed to, and then something about kids being there for you when you get old. Which is true, sure. But there are a hell of a lot of years of being there for your kids, and working hard to raise them right before they’re there for you where you get old.

Anyway, I thought it was vaguely interesting.

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18 to “Just Have a Baby”

  1. Single Girl says:

    Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I was the victim in one of these conversations. ‘Hurry up! Not too late! How could you not want to be married with 2.5 children? You’re too picky!’ Blah, blah, blah. Singles in solidarity! -SG
    Single Girl recently posted..Touch MeMy Profile

  2. Annie says:

    Oh, good God, can I talk to your auntie? Number one – being raised by an abusive alcoholic mother who now is in need of care, I can tell you – having kids so they can take care of you in your old age is NOT a good idea. Off spring will fight over who has to take care of you and the care isn’t going to be really good… what an awful reason to have kids!!

    And two, as a very old mother myself, the last thing I want to do is put my own children in that position… I’ve given them all permission to drag me off into the woods and leave me there if they think I deserve it…

    and by the way, I was a single mother at 43, not easy but I have no regrets at all… he’s in college and enjoying life…

    I may be struggling with what to do with my life now that my kids are grown and have lives of their own, but ..don’t have kids so they’ll take care of you. It won’t work for anyone!
    Annie recently posted..Stepping outMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Like I said, I was really shook by her comment. There are a million good reasons to have kids (and just as many, as far as I’m concerned, to not have them) but having kids so that there will be someone to take care of you when you’re old is not one of those good reasons.

  3. I think “your kids will take care of you when you’re old” is a fallacy. There are a lot of elderly people who have kids … and still have no one to take care of them because the kids live too far away or are wrapped up in their own lives. Good for you for rescuing your 20-something niece from that uncomfortable conversation…
    Dont Be a Slut recently posted..In Case You Missed ItMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m always surprised to hear my dad talk that way, because he’s really been pretty cool with me. But then, I didn’t give him much choice.

  4. Lennie Ross says:

    I guess it just goes to show, you never know if it’s too late until you try! That guy sounds like a real scumbag, a decade!?

    But alas, this story still has a happy ending :)

    Lennie Ross
    Lennie Ross recently posted..This Ones On MeMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      I think there are a lot of men AND WOMEN who stay in relationships for years, even though they know they’ll never want marriage and their s/o does. This guy is a jerk, for lots of reasons, but she knew who he was a long time ago. She chose to stick around and be not-married.

  5. Mel says:

    Yeah, then what happens when those kids you’re “supposed to have” have zero desire to take care of you?

    I’m on the NO KIDS PLAN. I am also a person who has no plans to take care of my parents because they somehow expect it. And yes, I know that’s considered incredibly selfish of me in most social circles. But if you ask me, it’s as horrible a reason as, well, any (for me) to have children.
    Mel recently posted..PT- Luxury CondomsMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      I don’t think it’s necessarily selfish. Families are complicated and people don’t have any right to look at other people’s families and cast judgment.

  6. Kat says:

    It bugs me when people ask me about marriage and kids. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be married. I never really desired to have kids. Now that I’m 40 who knows. May be I’ll marry. May be I won’t. I’m definitely not having kids.

    I think it’s interesting that people assume having a kid means someone will be there to care for you when you’re old. My parents had 3 kids. When my dad was sick/dying I was the only one “there” to help my mom. When my mom get’s old and needs care guess who’s going to end up being there for her. Me. If something happens to me first, the only thing that will be there for her is my life insurance payouts.

  7. Renaissance says:

    It is awesome for the woman who went to the fertility clinic and actually had her baby. Woman/Mother rocks! It’s too often that men show women that they are simply not useful or needed. And each woman deserves her own way, based on her choices. The single career woman without kids sometimes is so much more happier than the married woman with kids!

  8. I think the woman who chose to have a baby on her own is very brave. She has this huge desire and is willing to make big sacrifices to make it happen. My married with kids friends often say things like, ‘I don’t know how single moms do it’ and that frightens me because I’d love to have kids, but at 37 with no partner I really am beginning to wonder if it will happen, and if am I BRAVE enough to try to have and raise a baby on my own without the help of a partner who lives with you and shares 50% of what it takes to run a household, pay bills and raise a kid? That story tugged on my heartstrings a little bit.

    • Liz says:

      I have a lesbian friend who went the sperm donor route and, at 35, got pregnant on her first try. She doesn’t have much money saved and lives in a city where she doesn’t have family, and she works full-time, but thus far, she and the baby seem quite happy.

      That said, I couldn’t do it. I know myself enough to know that I need my downtime after a long day at work. Also, I did some soul-searching and realized what I really wanted was to meet the right guy, fall in love, get married, and then have a baby. I didn’t want just the baby alone. I’m 41, btw, so I’m coming to terms with the fact that biological kids won’t be in my future.

  9. JRC says:

    Reading the first part of your post reassured me about my plans. I am a 22 year old that has only had 2 short relationships. To be truthful, I don’t even really care much for dating. It is to the point that my family stopped asking me about the possibility of there being a secret boyfriend. Anyway, I don’t really picture someone in my future but I’ve always loved children. So it is good to see other women pursuing their desire to become a parent even without a partner by their side.

  10. JRC says:

    Oh just to clarify. My plan is for several years in the future. I don’t plan to bring a child into my hectic life unless I can fully provide and care for them.

  11. Kiersten Krog says:

    I think that women should be able to make their own choices about whether or not they want to have children. It needs to be something that a woman really wants and has the time and energy to put into her children. It’s something that you decide in fifteen seconds it’s something that you should think about for a long time. I personally want to have children really badly and I know that I will make a great mom, but that is how I personally feel. I don’t think anyone should force you to do something like get married or have children. I know I would be angry if someone told me that I shouldn’t have children. I can make decisions for myself and no one should tell me what to or to not do. I support your decision and I’m glad that you aren’t letting your family affect your decision on whether or not to have children. I also think this is a very great thing for your friend. I’m very happy for her and glad that even at that age she could get pregnant. My mother had me when she was 38 and we have a great and strong relationship :)

  12. Beth says:

    This happens to me quite often at family gatherings as well, which are (sometimes thankfully) few and far between, as we’re all spread out across the country. I’m in my mid 20s like your cousin is, and yes, it’s uncomfortable when people assume that you want the house with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids, blah blah blah. The way I see it, however, is that for the foreseeable future, I’m just fine and dandy living my life, my way, with my big Great Dane mix fur child in tow. Because, hey-since when does anybody else have the right to say what you should be doing with your life?

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