Just when I think I’ve accepted that I’ll never have kids, I get pulled back in.
Most of us are taught that life is supposed to go a certain way:
grow up –> get a job –> get married –> buy a house –> have children –> retire
Of course a lot of that is just social conditioning. That is the path that some people will take, but it isn’t the path for many others, and that’s fine. The important thing is that each person does what is best for them. It’s important to first figure out what you really want, then find a way to make it happen.
I’ve thought a lot about what I really want, and I realized that I really do want children. I don’t feel the need to own a house (though I still feel the social pressure for that) but I really do want to have kids. I’ve watched many close friends have children in recent years, and as fun as it is to be an auntie, it makes me ache for motherhood. [This picture is me as an auntie.]
The idea that I won’t have kids isn’t new. Between my actual physical problems which would make pregnancy difficult (I’d have a lot of bed rest, I’m sure), the PCOS which would make conceiving challenging, the trouble I’d have caring for them, and the genes I could pass on, I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t have kids. Well, I mostly decided it. I mean, I thought that would be the case. I guess a small part of me always held out hope that things would change.
Watching my friends go through it, I try to focus on the bad parts. Pregnancy does crazy things to a woman’s body. Babies are all about sleepless nights and disgusting diapers. They complicate your life. They cost money. Who needs it? Life is easier without kids. And a few years ago was one thing, but now I’m about to officially be in my mid-30s, so it’s not like I could get pregnant for much longer anyway. I can’t imagine being able to adopt kids with my health problems, and again, how would I care for them? No, I simply won’t have kids. That’s all there is to it. [Of course, it’s always possible that I’ll marry someone who has kids from a previous relationship, but that’s a bridge I’d cross when I came to it, and I’m definitely not counting on it.]
In the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of research about some treatment options for my health problems. There’s no cure, of course, but for the first time I can imagine that things could actually improve a lot. My energy could come back, the pain could decrease, the nausea could mostly go away. If that happened, I’d want to date again, and maybe I wouldn’t be so worried about letting someone get close to me. Maybe I’d finally meet someone to marry. I also read about fixing PCOS. Maybe I’d even be able to get pregnant easily. If I really felt better, and was in a solid relationship, maybe I’d have kids….
I caught myself in that train of thought and it was as clear as ever: I still want kids. I don’t want to want them. I’d love to not want them. Call it the biological clock, call it social conditioning, I don’t care what you call it. I want kids.
It’s very unlikely that I’ll ever have children of my own. I’d love to avoid kids altogether, to forget they exist, but of course life doesn’t work that way. Health problems have robbed me of a lot of things that I’ve managed over the years to accept. I never had that great feeling of invincibility that I’ve heard most teenagers have. I had to work twice as hard in school because I couldn’t write. I’ve lost relationships and avoided starting relationships. I’ve lost jobs and missed out on great career opportunities. And I won’t have children. I hope that one day I really can accept that.