at the end of this month, i'm headed to nashville to visit a close friend who recently became a mother. i've had acquaintances, or people i've stayed friendly with over the years have children. but this is my first close friend to become a parent - as in i'll probably know this child 20 years from now. and another close friend is a few months away from becoming a father (hurricane sandy baby, making it's debut in july!) and then another close friend called me this week to tell me that she and her husband are going to start trying to get pregnant.
which, as a sidenote:
i love the phrase "trying".
it's basically a socially acceptable way to say you're
doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well.
it makes the 15-year-old in me giggle really nervously.
but i digress.
it was this last piece of information that really set me off. made me a little nervous. made me break out into a little sweat. for as long as i've been alive, i've had zero desire to become a mother. nada. zilch. so many women around me (and on the internets) say they can't wait to become mothers. they've known since they were little girls. it's always what they wanted to do. and, naturally, this often led to people telling me that i would change. that once i met the right man, i would see, i would feel it. that once i got older, one day i would just wake up and want to become a mother. and, i'll tell you what. there was one day when i woke up and wanted to become a mother. it was another 100-hour work week, i sobbed whenever i got ready in the morning and, with no end in sight, i thought that maybe i should get knocked up so i could get three months off due to maternity leave. and that's when i knew it was time to quit my job. and promptly went back to having no interest in becoming a mother.
yet as i've gotten older i have distinctly noticed a yearning to have a family. having a family appeals to me because i like my family. i have fun with my parents. i have fun with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. i like the support they give me, i like hanging out with them, i like the guidance they try to provide me. i think i'd enjoy that. i think i'd enjoy watching my child grow up and become an adult. i KNOW i'd enjoy celebrating christmas with a child because finally someone would be able to match my unbridled joy.
so...how do i reconcile these things? what does it mean? i wonder if it's because i'm afraid to be pregnant. i'm afraid of having a sick baby. i'm afraid of "ruining" my body (because it's just oh so hot). i'm afriad of pooping after childbirth (it seriously sounds horrifying). but all those are fleeting. except, well, except for that sick baby. i genuinely think having a child is the biggest risk someone can take in life (and applies to anyway you may have a child - naturally, adoption, etc.) bungee jumping, skydiving, climbing a mountain - to me they all pale in comparison to having a child. and like any risk, the rewards are just as great as the dangers. we can do all the "right" things, but sometimes cells mutate, DNA gets screwed up. or later they may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. it scares the bejesus out of me when i think of it, and it also gives me the greatest rush. so it may be that that holds me back, more than the other fears.
all in all, when push comes to shove, i think i'll try to have a child one day. but still, i just wonder how to equate my feelings. when people ask me if i want to be a mother i still say...not really. but i do want a family, i tell them. take it how you will, i tell them. those two things are one in the same, yet they feel so different to me.
and how about you - have you always wanted to be a mother? if you're a parent already - how did you arrive at that decision? do you have no interest in becoming a mother? let's hear your take on all of this.