Monday, March 23, 2009

I Wanna Re-Set My Biological Clock

March and April are the big birthday months in my family. The past two weekends have been all about parties for "the boys" since two of them turned 40, and well, you couldn't ignore the other one.

Next up is me. 3 weeks from yesterday I will be 34. Not a terribly momentous age, but still it gives me pause every time I think about it. You see, 35 is a magic number. It's that number that means that you're entering the danger zone if you ever want to have children.

And yes, if any of you have some quizzical glances at your screen because of that comment, I don't blame you. I'm sure I've indicated more than once on here that I don't want children. And I mean it. But you know, being told that it's risky to have one in a little more than a year? Well, I'd be stupid not to ponder that just a little bit.

For as much as I've been kinda whiny on here about my single state, most of the time I really wouldn't have it any other way. I am independent, and kind of eccentric. I like my own space, and I really don't want to ever be accountable to anyone for even one moment of my time.

However, as much as it's quite easy to have a baby without a husband or even a boyfriend, it's just a wee bit gauche to do so. And hard. And since I like my sleep and my money and my time, I'm still pretty sure that I don't want one anyways. I sometimes enjoy my visits to babyville. Other times I don't. So I certainly wouldn't want to live there full-time.

But. What if I change my mind? What if I feel this way mostly because I don't have a vision of anyone helping me with it? Eccentric? Yes. Making up imaginary boyfriends in my head? No.

And I'm sure that this exact same post has been written a million times by a million different other women in their 30's, but you know...whatever- that means it's topical.

And it's not like I don't get it. I do resent that from the women I know who have babies. Even my very best friends have gotten that superior and knowing look on their faces around me. Like I couldn't possibly understand what it's like to be a mother. I can't know what it's like to create life. To give nourishment to another little creature from my breast. To have someone love me unconditionally and be completely dependent on me to keep them happy and safe. To feel the weight of responsibility that falls on a person knowing that they are tasked with the enormous job of making this person a happy, moral bearable member of society. To feel the fear that you might screw it up. The anxiety when they're sick. The longing when they start to grow up and become more independent, yet at the same time, the pride that you've given them the tools to do so. I've obviously never felt that level of exhaustion coupled with inexpressible joy.

Clearly I don't get it at all. Le sigh.

And yes, a part of me does have a biological clock. And while I wouldn't say that it's ticking, it does give a tiny little chirp every once in a while.

So I wonder. Am I being lazy and irresponsible for not actively seeking out a partner? What if I have serious regrets when I hit 40? What if I start beating myself up for not begging everyone I know to set me up with all their single friends? What if I kick myself for not working the internet dating circuit more relentlessly?

Am I being naive for hoping that it happens in a less contrived way? For having faith that somehow if it's meant to be, it will happen? Or is it a case of the universe only helping those who help themselves?

And do I really want to kill myself to do this in order to satisfy some clock? To work at finding a willing sperm donor when I'm still not sure- but based on the idea of "but what if I have regrets?"

Ugh. I kinda resent all men who can keep fathering children until death right now...



Chief Rock Chef said...

For a lot of people the best babies are the ones that you can cuddle and then hand back!

Parenthood is great, but only if you are sharing it with a great partner (IMO, of course!). I was totally against having children until I met my wife...

Jen said...

I hear you loud and clear, Princess. This could be me writing the exact same sentences. . . It does get a bit complicated when you meet that "right" someone though.

We both said "no kids". The husband changed his mind. I cried, "false advertising", but in reality, I really wouldn't mind a wee little one running around myself. We might be headed in that direction in the next year or so, but - BUT(!) I'm 37 & you're right. Pregnancies can become more complicated if you even get there.

So, so, so much to think about.

I have no advice. I just feel you and your thoughts. . . .

Anonymous said...

I heard my clock go tick after I read an article about how hard it is to conceive, but that was 5 yrs ago and so far no tock.... Plus we have plans for europe that dont include baby

Anonymous said...

Having decided early on that I didn't want to have children, I did feel my clock ticking when I was your age. Because up until then, it was my choice. I don't think I liked when it was taken out of my hands - not so much the not having children part. Just the part where it wasn't up to me any longer.

delmer said...

>>Even my very best friends have gotten that superior and knowing look on their faces around me. Like I couldn't possibly understand what it's like to be a mother.<<

Fathers get those same looks. Sure, we didn't eject anything from our wombs ... or do any breast feeding ... but let me tell you, I was one hell of a labor coach!

That's got to count for something.

And, let's not forget, I could get the Pampers down when they got pushed way in the back on the high shelf.

Princess of the Universe said...

Chief- Great- so that's an argument for going out and finding a partner asap!

Jen- Oh, I bet you'd have the most precious little baby...

MDA- didn't we learn about the sperm's fight to fertilize back in grade 11 Bio??

Suze- that's exactly it! I don't like that it's not MY choice anymore!

Delmer- I guess you're right, fathers are in a similar boat...

Becky said...

I had my daughter when I was 20. Found out I was pregnant when I was 19. I was so not prepared in any way, shape, or form to be responsible for another life. I was (and still kinda am) selfish. Then, 4 years ago, I had my son.

I'm a firm believer in that if its meant to be, it will be. I also tend to think that the grass is always greener on the other wonder I have so many issues:)

Try not to get wrapped up in the things that you can't actively control. And enjoy what you have now. I'm also willing to ship you my 2 kids for the weekend if you want ;-)

Random Musings Of My Life said...

So just to "one up you" try being married for 5 years and not wanting kids.

Yep people look down on you. Tell you things like "you'll regret it or my fav "give it a few more years"

I will be 32 this year. And yes we are not having kids. Like ever.

I think I agree with Suze though, about it being taken away...

Its a tough choice

Princess Pointful said...

It is funny how this starts becoming such a worry for women, even those who are generally pretty grounded in their decisions. For one thing, that dreaded line we've all internalized now, that 35 is the magic date when things get complicated, makes everything feel more dire. I'm still a ways away from 35, but when you consider I still have a PhD to finish, then he has to finish his, then find jobs, and I would like to get married first... gah. 35 suddenly seems a lot sooner.

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