Growing up I always saw myself as a mother. Motherhood I felt, was an inevitable obligation and was just something that happened. At one point in my teen years I distinctly remember wanting at least 8 children. That number drastically dropped as years went on. I’m really good with small children. I started babysitting at 11, was an after school tutor by 13, a camp counselor at 19, and a nanny by 20. I’ve worked at day cares, and in elementary schools. I know nursery rhymes by heart, songs and games and have an entire collection of children’s books just in case my friends bring their kids over to my apartment. I like kids. The first time I had sex was traumatic in every way. After that, the idea of me becoming a mother had so much of that trauma wrapped up in it I had resolved that it wasn’t something that I want. It’s still not something I can say I really want. Today this is just on my mind, it’s making me sad, and now I’m confused.
Maybe it’s because I’m ovulating. Maybe it’s my age – though I am not professing that the biological clock is a real thing – I know several women who have zero desire and have never had a desire to be a mother. Having a vagina does not overpower having a brain and free will. I’m saying that for me , personally within my journey, in high school I had planned 30 to be the year I started having kids. (Not that anything else has gone according to that plan – or should have. Otherwise a 15 yr old girl would have planned my entire life and that seems insane.) I did watch Bridget Jones’s Baby last night as well. A couple weeks ago I was sitting on my couch with a guy, we had gone out late and it wasn’t really my scene, so we came back to my place so I could change into long basketball shorts and take my makeup off. We were watching a hotel makeover show when he mentioned how nice it was to have someone to just stay in with. I agreed. He started to talk about his wants and needs in a relationship and what he hoped for in the future and I chimed in with my own.
“How many kids do you want?” he asked. This question always makes me roll my eyes a bit. Mostly because of the hidden assumption that I’m a woman so therefore I must have a deep burning desire to grow a human being from scratch from within me and push it out of my vagina at some point. That wasn’t the question. The question was how many times did I want to go through that process.
“I don’t think I want kids. I used to. I guess I like the idea of motherhood but in actuality, I’m not sure how kids factor into my life.” My answer confused him. And then it upset him. Silly me I thought we were having a discussion. I wasn’t aware that I was being interviewed as a potential host for his future spawn.
This incident is playing in my head right now. I really resent expectations. But is that why I don’t want kids? Because it’s expected of me to want them? Wait, do I want kids? Why is this even relevant right now? A couple years ago I found out that I am a carrier of the BRCA2 gene. My doctor started talking to me about preventative measures, I had my fertility tested – I’m fertile myrtle but the overwhelming urgency of it all – I just shut down. I have a hard enough time just dating – let alone planning my reproductive future. I dismissed it entirely. Also – it’s very possible I have unresolved anger at my birth mother. I know so little about that situation. I know she had two older children. I know that she is/was white. I know that I am also black. I can’t help but feel like maybe that’s why she gave me up – maybe I didn’t look like the other kids, she had an affair or whatever. She knew I was going to look different so she traveled two states away to have me in the middle of nowhere and give me up for adoption. I am very grateful for the family I have now and was raised in. However, it does piss me off that my white birth mother would very selfishly drop off a biracial child in an area where the population is 98% white. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional or even cross her mind the difficulties I would have to encounter. White privilege had screwed me over from the beginning.
I guess I just have this feeling that it’s kind of now or never and I know I’m not ready. And I don’t see my life going in a direction where I could be or will be ready anytime soon. I feel like this decision has been made for me and it makes me sad. I am sad about it. I love my life very much. I have a fantastic job that I’m good at and love. I have the freedom and means to do whatever I want to do. I am plenty loved and cared for. Today just seems very final for some reason. It feels like a closed door and that is humbling, even if it was a door I wasn’t sure I wanted to ever walk through. I guess I just got used to it always being an option.