Wednesday, February 03, 2016

On babies...or a lack of babies

It appears to be baby season at the office.

In the last week I've heard "baby," "pregnant," "expecting," and "maternity" more times than I care to count. Sure, I'm beyond excited for these people, and it's always cute to see pregnant women waddling around the office -- they seem happy. But it all just makes me feel old.

At 25 years old, I'm not necessarily old, but I'm old enough to have had a few children by now. And some of my peers do have a few children by now. 

We've only been married for a few months, but according to society's timeline, children are the next box to tick off. But what if we're not sure what we want? It seems like an awfully big risk to take if we're not even sure what we want out of life just yet...Even if we are already halfway through our 20s. Gulp. 

At 25, I feel like I'm in this awkward gray area -- I'm married and old enough to have children, but I feel like the timing isn't right. But at the same time, I feel like my age is fighting against me; as I'm getting older, so are my parents and grandparents. Surely they want to be involved if my husband and I were to have children. If we wait too long, what happens?

But then again, if we have a baby just to please other people, who's to say that we'd be happy at all?

I guess I could see it going both ways.

Maybe we're just a statistic: people our age are having children later in life, (if at all.) They're saddled with more student debt than their parents, and they aren't doing as well finding high-paying jobs. Plus, it's not as if we need to have six children to take on some duties on the family farm.

Some people in my generation are getting married later, too. Times are changing, but there can still be a pressure to stick to the "old fashioned way of doing things," and that means checking off the boxes as you go.

I wouldn't say that we've been pressured to have children. The comments and teasing has started, but it doesn't feel like actual pressure just yet. Meanwhile, we get older and my husband and I still feel as "neutral" on the topic as ever. Sure, we're family people, but we don't have a "need" to have children right now. (I do tend to change my mind a lot, but you never know.)

I guess what I'm wondering is, will that feeling eventually come? Or does it just never come for some people? What happens if we never get the urge to want to start a family? Will the people closest to us be disappointed in us? Or will the desire come one day as a complete surprise?

4 comments:

  1. Not everyone is meant to have children. And that's OK. It's a HUGE life change and a big decision. My advice, unsolicited as it is, is for you guys to enjoy being married for awhile. If you're supposed to have kids, one day you'll just know. One thing is definitely for sure though - if you're not sure you want children, you probably aren't ready for them. Oh, and if you do decide you want kids, don't do the whole "waiting 'til we're financially ready" thing. You'll never get there, haha.

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  2. I think the feeling will come (if it's going to). 25 is so young still! I got married at 28 and had my first baby at 31. Felt perfect to me but was "old" and "late" according to everyone else! You'll figure it out, enjoy married life in the meantime! :)

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  3. Our daughter is 26 and has been married for 3 years, as time goes by she gets less inclined to have a baby. I don't want her to have one for us or from social pressure - she will know if and when the time is right and I'm sure you will too. Enjoy married life without all the pressures of babies and children - once they come along you can't give them back (or free to a good home either!)

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  4. Oh man, Jessi. I've gone off on this subject myself... I posted "Announcement" with an ultrasound picture and wrote about how I'm not pregnant, so stop asking... you won't believe how many people still said congrats.

    It seems folks are always worried about others "what's next." They feel like it's perfectly normal to ask and assume that you're ready for whatever they deem is the next step. Ugh. I could go on... enjoy your marriage. Enjoy each other. Don't stress about what anyone else thinks you should be doing with your life. Live you now. You'll be fine :)

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