Fair point. Well made.
The answer is, of course, that I changed my mind about the whole kid having thing. Though of course, don't get me wrong, the idea still terrifies me at times.
I was the person who for years said, "I will never have children. I don't particularly like them and I don't feel particularly maternal and I don't yearn to have a child. I firmly believe that humans can lead perfectly fulfilling lives without children."
And now you're expecting me to say, "but then my biological clock started ticking and suddenly I couldn't think of anything but babies!"
But actually, that's not how it happened at all.
I still don't particularly like most people's kids. I still don't feel particularly maternal. I still don't yearn to have a child. I still VERY firmly believe that humans can lead completely fulfilling lives without children. None of that really changed.
Leading us back to the initial question: what the hell am I doing having a baby?
Well, a couple of things... For one, I married a man who had always wanted kids, and who will be a wonderful father. That alone, however, is not sufficient reason for me to change my stance on procreating.
For another, I spent a few years living amongst friends who had children, but who still managed to be people with identities outside of parenthood. People who continued to accomplish things that mattered to them outside of raising kids and who traveled and adventured with kids in tow.
For yet another, my brother (closest to me in age and perhaps even more reluctant to procreate than I ever was) had a baby, and that baby was adorable and awesome. This changed a few things for me. It made me realize that I like some babies (and a couple of close friends' babies helped with this as well) and that if my brother, who never really wanted kids, found it fulfilling and worthwhile (which he does) then I probably would too.
Finally, the thing that clinched it was that I thought about it for a very long time and analyzed my reasons for not wanting kids. Lots of them were solid. But the strongest one was that I simply didn't want to be a "mom." Yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn't that I didn't want to be a "mom" in the sense of producing offspring and teaching them about the world. A number of aspects of that appealed to me (which is why I enjoyed teaching for so many years). What I shied away from was adopting the identity of "mom." I didn't want to be "mom" before I was "Virginia" "writer" "adventurer" "world traveler" "athlete" etc. I didn't want mom to become my sole identity.
So what finally made me decide the whole thing might be ok, was realizing that it was up to me how much of my identity I hand over to motherhood. I could hand over as much or as little as I wanted, be damned what society expects, and there was no right answer. Some women embrace "mom" as their first and foremost identity and that's great. Others simply add it to a long list of identifiers and let it play an equal part and that's great too. There is no right or wrong way to do it. There is only the way that you do it.
Don't get me wrong. I know that this whole thing is going to turn my world on its head, and do so in ways I cannot, at this moment, imagine. However, I also know, because I've seen it done, that when the dust settles it will be up to me how much of myself I give over to the identity of "mom" and that whatever I choose will be the right amount.
I got all philosophical on us.
Point is, welcome to a blog written by a woman who is currently pregnant (15 weeks as of the writing of this post) and who never really planned to be here. I know lots of pregnant ladies have been dying to be moms since they were little girls. This is not that kind of blog. I know lots of pregnant ladies used to shun motherhood, but now embrace it wholeheartedly. This isn't that kind of blog either.
This one is for the ladies who never really wanted to have kids, and still aren't sure it's the right move, but have decided, "ah... fuck it. Why not?"
Welcome ladies.* Come on in. Let's talk.
*Audience members of all genders and sexualities are welcome here. I'm just assuming the majority of the audience will be fellow pregnant women, but don't let my assumptions stop you, come on in!
Since this is an intro post, here's a photo of me.
Meet my dog Artemis (the same one from the above picture). She's my four legged fur child. I am worried about whether I will love her more or less than my human child. I'm not sure which option disturbs me more...