Baby on board?

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No, I do NOT have a baby board, but my sister is having one on Friday (Woohooooo!), and as previously discussed, I live in America’s heartland, the buckle of the Bible belt, land of waving wheat and procreation.  Or so I always thought…

I have always known that I wanted kids.  Well, maybe I should rephrase that, I have never questioned whether or not I would have kids.  To me, it always felt like a given — you grow up, you get married, you have kids.  I’ve kept lists of potential names for them since I was ten years old.  I never envisioned my adult future sans children.

In light of this seemingly black and white view, I also never considered the possibility that my friends would not have children.  I vividly remember a conversation in law school in which Mrs. Preppy stated that she didn’t know if she wanted to have kids and Mrs. V proclaimed that she and Mr. V definitely would not have children.  This was the first time in my life that any of my friends even mentioned the idea that they would not have children.  It sort of blew my mind.  I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with choosing not to have children, but I never expected my nearest and dearest to make that choice — why this never occurred to me is really an unknown.  I suppose I thought everyone else just felt the same way I did about it.

I read an article recently about why more women are choosing not to have children, and it posed a really interesting question — Why do you want to have children?  Honestly, I don’t know that I can articulate a specific reason for you, or more appropriately, for myself. Should I have them just because I want them even though I don’t know why I want them?

My friends who do not want children or who seem to be on the fence about having them can usually tell you at least three reasons why they fall on the no-kids side of things.  But I, who has wanted children for as long as I can remember, can’t really pinpoint why I want them? Well, that’s a little scary.  And if my friends aren’t going to have any kids, do I want to be the one who misses out on the fun adult things they get to do because I have kids? (Not that I think having kids means giving up your adult social life completely, but let’s be real, there are serious priority changes involved in having a family.)

As much as it alarms me that I can pinpoint why I want to have children, I still know that I do.  I have no idea where it comes from — society, hormones, religion, my family, TV, etc. — but there is a desire deeply ingrained in me to have children.  To hold them and love them and raise them and teach them and be taught by them.  But I also know now that having children isn’t for everyone.  The reasons for not wanting to have children are just as valid (if not more so) than my reasons (or lack thereof) for wanting to have them.

Do you want to have kids? Or not? What are the reasons you do or don’t want to procreate?  Does it surprise you to learn that some of your friends don’t want to have kids?

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