It seems everyone around me is either pregnant or two days away from being induced into labor. And I don’t mean strangers. Instead, I am pointing the finger to my friends, my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love a baby (Notice the singular version of the word). What kind of person would you be if you didn’t look down onto the face of a newborn infant, its cheeks puffed out, all rosy, it’s bare head covered in no doubt what is the creation of a first time grandmothers failed attempt at knitting a beanie, and not feel the need to say, “Awwwww, he/she is so cute!”? You’d have to be soul-less not to have some kind of reaction, right? I digress.
What I mean to say is that people my age, some a bit younger, some a bit older, are all now starting to have families and at an age, to me, which seems so young. Or is it? Have I lived in NY for so long, the land where career comes first and where the distractions, endless in nature, force you to put your “clock” on the back burner? Or, is it that my generation have brainwashed themselves into thinking that our real lives don’t begin until age 30? Or, is it really all relative? Relative to time and place, person and relationship, condom no condom. Is there really a time when deciding to have a family is really right?
To me, looking in from the outside, it seems as if my loved ones are all in a place, save one whose pregnancy was a bit of a shock, where they were emotionally prepared to have a child. They planned it, they prepared for it, they saved for it. And when the time came to have it, they were, in all aspects, comfortable and glistening with the glow of new found parenthood. It seems easy, effortless. Almost as if the word PANIC hadn’t once crossed their minds. No hyperventilating about giving up any social freedom that you might of had before you added a plus one or even giving up on small pleasures such as waking up at noon, or to the serene sounds of chirping birds, to the smell of freshly brewed Dunkin Donuts coffee. I realize that I’m being a bit over dramatic, but this is my panic attack on paper. To me, it’s not that easy. It’s not something that I could ever decide overnight or even in a year. It’s not something that I could ever consider without considering the things that I would have to give up. And while I know that sounds selfish, in reality, it really isn’t. Lets be honest. Who doesn’t think of having a baby and not thinking about what they will have sacrifice in order to do so? It’s really not as black and white as people would think it to be anymore. Sure, 50 years ago before women’s lib when a woman’s place in society was in the home, so they were taught, it was expected of women to have and raise as many children as possible. But now, with the world as our oyster, it’s not as simple. We have opportunities, endless in possibilities, that forces us to reconsider what it means to reproduce. As it is now, having a child means reverting back to an era that we fought against. Sure, we can work around it; hire a babysitter, go to a daycare, work from home, but then your plus one suffers. Theoretically speaking, it’s a vicious circle. We’re brought up to believe that we can have it all. Be the editor for Vogue and still manage to have a perfect family life, a house in Rome, Paris, and New York. But realistically, we come to find out that we strive for what we want only to find out that we have to decide if what we want is more important than family. It’s a weird feeling, betrayal. While I am happy that my mother told me that there was no limit to what I could do, I feel upset that I wasn’t prepared for the fact that I would have to make the decision to give it up to have a daughter and to tell her that she could be President only until the time came for her to have a daughter. Seems sort-of like a double edge sword, don’t you think?
At 25, I realize that I still have to time to decide when I want to have children, but this fact doesn’t make it any easier. Really, how young is 25? Young enough to backpack around the world, but old enough to begin making decisions about what it is you want your life to become. Part of me says not to stress, live each day, and attack things when they come up. The other half says that I need a plan, an agenda to follow so that I stay on track with my life. When did it happen that people my age started having young life crisis’? Oh yeah, now I remember, when we were told that the sky was the limit. And that’s not even true anymore…