there should be an ointment for that
I’ve been reading Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and I’ve reached the part about babies. She’s got a chapter on why you should have a baby and why you should not have a baby. There’s even a chapter on getting an abortion.
In less than 2 weeks I’ll be turning 30 and I guess this is the period in my life where I’m supposed to feel the “baby itch”. Frankly I am in no position to be itching for caring for another human being. Not itching for a full grown one that is potty trained and self sufficient. Definitely not itching for one that demands all my time and effort and has to poop and pee in a diaper.
But that’s not to say that I don’t think about it.
Most of my friends in Sweden have children. Some people that went to high school with me have children. My family have certainly voiced their opinions on me reproducing.
I’ll admit that if I didn’t get divorced (There. I said it. I’m divorced.) I would still have those periodical moments of insanity where I would like to have a human being growing in my uterus. There’s been a few times where I’ve sent Fredrik SMS containing, “I want your baby! Just not now.”
I suppose I would consider reproducing if I was in conditions that I find fitting to reproduce. I was in love, feeling the love returned and in (relatively) stable economy. A person that had half my DNA would be plausible.
But now I wonder how much of this “baby itch” has to do with social pressures and traditional thought.
For example, here was my situation.
After I informed my mother about our intentions to get married, she started to let her imagination run wild.
Actually… when I first moved to Sweden, my grandmother would suggest to my mother than I have a baby. My grandmother’s plan is that I have this baby, send it to her to be cared for while I finished my education. My youngest cousin was getting to the age where she didn’t crave my grandmother’s attention, so my grandmother was feeling a bit redundant.
Anyways. Back to my mother’s plans.
She used to tell me:
“You’ll finish your university education. Get a real job. Start having babies.”
I would wonder where my trip to Vietnam/Australia/South Africa/Southern US/etc. would fit into this plan.
Since the divorce, she’s reconsidered this plan.
Now I’m not the most obedient daughter but that’s not to say that there are certain things in my life that I do and have done that might have been as per instructed by my parents/family/people of authority. Things like being a good person, doing my best, setting goals and what not. Basically being subjected to certain expectations that are perhaps not my own. But that’s not to say that I would rather be an asshole and half ass everything.
I think that having children is one of those expectations that I get subjected to. I’m “supposed to” want to pass on my genetic material.
These days, women are “supposed to” have it all, as Liz Lemon from 30 Rock would say. I’m “supposed to” have a career. I’m “supposed to” be successful in this career. I’m “supposed to” land and marry that guy with success and great hair. I’m “supposed to” bare his children and pass on the list of things they’re “supposed to” do. I’m also “supposed to” continue to be successful in my career but not more successful than my husband (Don’t even try to tell me that this mentality is not true.).
I’m supposed to have a case of the supposed to.
I’m down with having a career. I’m down with being successful. I’m even down with the guy with success and great hair. I’m a bit iffy about the children thing. Although I’m not going smash it with an iron fist ’cause in previous experience, if the conditions are right, I may want to mix my DNA up with his.
Then I was thinking the other day…
Right now I have been accepted to 4 colleges for their dental hygiene program. It’s a nice boost to my ego. Especially after how miserable I was feeling about my education in Sweden. Should the 3 years in college go well and I continue to ride the high of success, I do believe that I would like to continue my education and become a dentist. I would be DR. Chan. But that also means an additional 5-6 years of schooling on top of my 3 years of college. I’ll be 40 when I am DR. Chan.
Where am I supposed to find the time to mix my DNA with someone else’s?
EVERYONE knows that there are complications to having children after your mid-30’s. Not to mention the fact that I’ll be retiring when my child is only in their 20’s.
My grandmother said to me the other day, “The best time to have children is between 25 and 30.” Am I supposed to point at the next guy I see on the street and say, “You! Get those pants off! We’re making a baby!”? That’s slightly more plausible when if the present moment was 2011 when things were going terrifically well for Fredrik and I. Now… not so much. I can’t even imagine co-owning a cat with someone.
So what does that mean?
It means that I’m would need to choose between DR. Chan and reproducing.
I suppose I could get lucky, fall in love and receive love from someone who is willing to assume a lot of parenting duties while I work my ass off in dental school. But as far as doing it solo, it’s one or the other. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m not placing any bets.
I once said that I would not like to be childless because of certain reasons. Like I would not want to be childless because I chose to be in case I regret it. I would not want to be childless because of a preventable illness, like I got an STI that messed up my insides when I should have just used a condom.
Now I’m dreading the possibility of being in that position to decide.