I just got married. Just, as in, got married a little over three months ago. The day we got engaged, it became absolutely necessary for everyone we met to ask us when we were having kids. We weren’t even married yet. Apparently, the second he puts a ring on it, my ovaries are open for business. Except they’re not.
I was completely anti-kids from the second we got engaged until a few days after we got married. The story behind how that began to change is sweet and a little twisted. We’ll get to that. Every time someone asked about procreation, I got nauseous and sweaty and confused. I felt like they were nuts for asking a 16-year-old to have babies. Then I would remember that I wasn’t 16 anymore and that everyone naturally assumes that you spawn as soon as you make it legal. It’s not that they’re wrong. It just felt wrong for me.
I would tell everyone that we didn’t have kids, but we did have puppies. The main reason? “You can put puppies in boxes, but people get upset when you do it with babies.” This was entirely true. We are both incredibly busy with this huge transition to adulthood, and babies need, like, TONS of attention. They cry and refuse to tell you why. They rely on their parents for everything. They grow out of their clothing very quickly.
And they smell.
I felt like not wanting kids right away made me a bad woman and a bad daughter. My parents made it clear that they were only paying for this grande affair of a wedding so that they could get grandkids out of the deal. I knew I would have to provide them eventually, but right away? Eek. My figure deserves a little more notice than that. The pseudo-feminist in me said that I could wait decades if I wanted! The Betty Crocker in me said that if I was going to bake so many cupcakes, I should have babies to eat them.
Now, three months later, I stand at a very strange place. I think I want all of those things, and soon. I think I want them tomorrow. Maybe even today if they don’t mind giving me enough time to get home and straighten up the living room. It raises all sorts of questions and issues and confusion and hyperventilation and awkwardness and things. Just things. So many things.
I’m not the only woman who has stood on this precipice knowing that life is about to change and not being sure what to do next. I was so vocal about being uncomfortable about kids that it feels silly to say anything to the people around me. They’ll check my temperature and send me for thyroid studies. These thoughts change, well, everything. They make previously important things meaningless and other unconsidered things totally critical. They open up questions that I never thought I would ask. How many kids? How soon is too soon? Do we convert the guest room or the office? These conundrums take my formerly very un-cooing heart and turn it into mushy mush for things I never thought I would be interested in.
Two roads are diverging in a concrete jungle, and I thought I wanted the one less traveled by. Now, I think I want the one most spit up on. And it just feels weird.