In thinking about babies and how I’m “supposed to” want them… I was wondering if guys ever get the “baby itch”.
I’ve been asking around. Some say yes. Others not so much. One person said that men will look at the logistics of having a baby. Another said that men are good at ignoring that feeling.
You would imagine that as a living organism, a male human being will at some point also feel the urge to pass on their genetic material. Perhaps they are better at ignoring it or hiding it.
I think this is something that requires more investigation.
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.
I haven’t died. Obviously.
I’ve just been trying to cobble together some sort of normality. Life is a work in progress.
I started eating fortune cookies last summer. Well… I’ve always liked fortune cookies but not ALL fortune cookies. I didn’t like the ones that were slightly lemony.
But I was visiting my aunt in Missouri during our “thinking” period when I got this fortune.
I was not thrilled. Actually, I said, “Oh fuck off” rather loudly in the kitchen of my aunt’s restaurant.
The second one was slightly better although at the time, I had no projects in mind.
I was looking forward to this one. Well… sort of. Not everyone I used to be friends with in the past are people I’m interested in reuniting with.
Although I must say that I’m rather happy about the result of this fortune. Well done fortune cookie deity.
I brought back a bunch of cookies from my aunt’s restaurant and this was the last one.
Then I bought a bunch from Bulk Barn.
There were less fortunes but it’s nice to be complimented from time to time.
This one just makes me sound like bottled water.
Is this mean I’ll end up with another musician?
Oh wait. It’s not THAT far fetched. But I seriously don’t hunt them down. They find me!
I’m taking it as a reminder to start a RRSP once I start working for real. Whenever the hell that might be.
I’m really into this one. Although at the present moment my travel plans are: Detroit, Niagara-on-the-lake, Vegas and (possibly) Kansas City. Not very exotic but I suppose these things are subjective.
I got the last 2 from the guy I’ve been working for.
So the boys and I have been in Canada for almost 2 months.
2012 has ended and I’m slowly trying to piece together something that would be considered my life.
I’m waiting to hear back from the colleges I applied to but I believe that I’ve got most of that sorted. Shouldn’t be denied a spot because I forgot to submit something.
I’m still looking for a suitable job for the time being but I’ve managed to get some work with this guy I used to work for.
Things aren’t perfect but they’re better than a month ago.
The boys are settling in. They’re also getting along with my family. My mom’s been taking care of them while I’m trying to live a non cat lady life.
I haven’t been able to do much cooking since my kitchen is still in Sweden but I’m hoping to get SOMETHING done.
I made an apple pie for a friend a couple weeks ago but it was definitely not my best work. I was a bit embarrassed. Told him that I’d make him another pie to make up for the first pie.
I’ve been taking baby steps. Made mash potato for a shepherd’s pie the other day and helped out with making chicken enchiladas.
In a couple of days, the cats and I would have been back in Canada for 1 month. It’s a whole bag of mixed feelings. Mostly perplexed but what can you do? It’s like buying a bag of party mix that’s mostly pretzel. For some people… it’s a win. I’m not that big of a fan of pretzels… although if they were those Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels…
A friend of mine brought a bag of Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces to the cottage. They were good. They were really really good.
It’s not easy to start from scratch. This would be my second time and I can assure you that it didn’t get easier. But one should always look on the brighter side of things. I choose to appreciate the fact that this time, I don’t have to try to learn a new language or a new system. I’ve become a bit rusty in certain areas but the basic knowledge is still there.
At the present moment, I’ve placed all my bets and **hopefully** will not come out empty handed.
On a side note, the cats did very well on the plane ride from Stockholm to Toronto. They were making such pathetic cries at customs. Poor Milo’s voice was hoarse for the first couple of days. He quickly found himself a safe hiding spot under my bed. Ull was a bit grumpy for the first week and would be mean to poor Milo but now he’s back to his normal happy self. Both cats have been such troopers.
I’m thinking about taking that mixed bag of feelings and beating it like a piñata.
Most people would be surprised to know that Scotch eggs have nothing to do with Scotland. Guess it’s like how Scotch tape has nothing to do with Scotland either.
I recently played baker at my work ’cause our resident baker was sick. One of the things I baked was the Scotch egg. I was rather proud of my Scotch egg ’cause I did some tweaking that produced a Scott egg that didn’t have overcooked yolks.
I reduced the amount of sausage meat as well has double ground half of the sausage meat to make it smoother to work with. After doing some research on how others make Scotch eggs, I went with Heston Blumenthal’s method of rolling out the sausage meat between 2 pieces of plastic.
The result was a Scotch egg that didn’t have that green yolk and a delicious ratio between egg and sausage meat.
Since we don’t have a fryer at the shop, we bake our Scotch eggs. I proclaimed myself as the queen of Scotch eggs after my coworkers agreed that I came up with my awesome Scotch eggs.
What I’d love to try is Masterchef Australia’s Adam Liaw’s Scotch eggs, made with minced prawns and quail eggs.
Here’s the link for Blumenthal’s recipe: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/heston-blumenthal/scotch-eggs-recipe
It’s been a crazy couple of months.
Long story short, I’m currently getting ready to move back to Canada.
I’ve lived in Sweden for 5 years and in that time, I daresay that I have grown quite a bit from the naive 24 year old to the naive 29 year old. I don’t regret a thing and now I’m looking forward to the future.
I told a friend the other day that she shouldn’t be sad about my situation, I’m going back to a place where the sun shines not only in the summer but also in the winter, where Tim Hortons is not more than a few blocks away, where my relationship won’t be questioned for it’s legitimacy, where things like my appearance and my comfort of Swedish (language and social etiquette) won’t be limitations.
In Canada, I can be 100% me. So I’m not sad to move back to Canada at all and I certainly don’t consider this as a failing. I got to live in another country for 5 years, learned a new language and met some of the most amazing people.
Now I’m just focused on getting things sorted here and daydreaming about the things I’ll do once I’m back in Canada.
“…we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!”