I recently came across Jessica of andiamo’s post about why she chooses to be childless. I found it interesting, and well written, and it made me think about my own situation.
When my sister brought E home, it kicked my biological clock into high gear. When G was born, it made me husband hungry. When E was born, it made me baby hungry. My mom says that at least I’m doing it in the right order, but still, life would have been better if I had, you know, done something about being husband hungry three years ago.
I’m trying to align myself to a life without children. I’m still (barely) in my twenties, and know, realistically, I have ten years or more where I could have a baby. Still, I feel like if I don’t have a child by the time I’m 30, I’m not going to. As I turn 29 in a few months, have no significant other, and very little of the self confidence needed to go out and find a mate, that’s probably not going to happen. Yes, I know that technically, I could do it by myself, but, I think women who choose that route are nuts. There is no way I’d want to be a mommy without any help.
At the same time, I wonder at the practicality of having children. Take my dogs, for instance. The lady who I got Max and Lulu from used them as a breeding pair. She couldn’t handle two kids and two+ dogs all begging for her attention, so Max and Lulu came to live with me. I don’t have room or money to care for puppies, even if I could sell them at a profit later on, so I planned on getting Max and Lu fixed as soon as possible. Well, a week before Lu’s appointment, she had an accident, and was rushed to the animal ER. While the vet was checking her out, she told me that Lulu had a luxating patella (a loose kneecap) and it was probably congenital. In the time between taking the dogs home, and Lu’s accident, I was beginning to waver on the ‘no puppies at my house’ policy, but I believe that it is irresponsible to know about stuff like Lulu’s knee, and still keep breeding her.
So, here’s thing is, my Mom has hip displaysia, and, although I haven’t been diagnosed, I probably do too. Combined with my mental illness, plus my family history of epilepsy and type 1 diabetes, not to mention my weight, I wonder if it would be irresponsible to knowingly pass those genes on to my own offspring. I know how depression has taken over my life since I was a child, and how hard day to day life can be, and can’t stand the thought of my children facing the same struggles. I also know that the depression will keep me from being the best mommy I could be, even with the help of medication and therapy. I get bad headaches frequently, and they are made worse by stress, noise and lack of sleep. I’ve spent enough time around kids to know that they are made up of stress, noise, and where they go, a lack of sleep follows. And I haven’t even begin to talk about the anxiety that always comes from the noise and confusion of being in a room with more than one other person…
But even with all this, the instinct to preserve the species goes on. I want children. I think I can be a good mother, if I could be a stay at home mom–I don’t do well when I try to divide my life into separate categories, such as school and work, and I don’t think I could work, at least full time, and still be an effective parent.
I know I shouldn’t worry, that things always turn out the way they were supposed to, and generally for the best. It’s 1:30 am as I’m writing this, and I’m at the too tired to sleep stage after a rough day. But, I’m a worrier, it’s part of who I am. If I could stop worrying, for even a minute, about the things I can’t control, I know I’d be ahead of the game.