We know it, women have a biological clock. And even if it’s not ticking very hard yet, it feeds a lot of talks after reaching a certain age.
Now that I am in my 30’s, there is a question that comes almost every time I am having a drink with women my age: and you, do you want to have kids?
This question came up a few times when I was in my 20’s, but way less often. And it wasn’t a real question at this time, more a hypothetical future exercise, like what we would do if we won the lottery.
At this question, I always answered exactly the same thing: I would like to have one, at some point, but really not now.
It was a question for the future.
My 30th birthday came, then my 31rst, my 32nd… And I was still single. I didn’t feel the pressure too hard, but still, deep inside, I had some kind of a retro-planning in my mind. If I want to have a child at 37 maximum, I have to start trying by 35. So, being married by 34. We can’t just jump into all of that, we have to take some time to know and enjoy each other, travel, live together. So, moving on together when I’m 32. Which means that I have to meet him… well, last year.
It didn’t fit, obviously. So, moving on in time, I had to accelerate my retro-planning: we can get married faster, we can take a little less time enjoying each other… However. I didn’t really feel that pressure all day long, but it certainly was there. I wasn’t desperate to find someone now, but I certainly hoped for it to happen soon enough.
And it fed a lot of talks with my girlfriends.
Since my 32nd birthday, I met the love of my life and we got married pretty fast. One could say that my planning is back on track. But still, my answer has yet not changed: later, sure, but hell, not now.
Because I feel that I’m not a grown-up yet. I don’t have the room, the time, the patience, hell, I don’t have the skills. But mainly, I don’t feel that I want to.
I never actually wanted it, like feeling it in my body, dreaming of it, visualizing it. But I thought that this urge would come with the age, the growing-up, the right partner, that my biological clock would bring it to me at some point. So, I wasn’t worried: I don’t want it now, but sure, at some point I will.
Now, I’m 34, I found the right partner and I have my life together (ish). Now the worry is not “will I be able to do it” anymore, but “will my biological clock wake up before it’s too late ?”
I have some friends who don’t want to have kids, and to be honest the first time that one of them confessed it to me, it was kind of a shock. Of course women have the right of control over their own bodies, and I’m sure a woman can be perfectly happy without kids.
But when a 25 year old friend tells you that she doesn’t want to have kids, that’s somehow different. I had never wondered which ones of my friends wanted kids, and which ones didn’t. Which probably means that deep down I assumed so far that all of my friends wanted kids. That’s how all women are supposed to be, right?
Wrong. Well, should be wrong at least. Yet, I feel that there is still some kind of shaming of women who don’t want to birth their 1.8 babies. They are considered selfish, careerist, a little bit less than women.
And that’s without the pressure of parents who want to meet their grandchildren.
My mother is funny, she actually reverse-pressures me. She wants so bad to show me that I can do whatever I want and that she’ll support me whatever choices I make, that’s cute. She always says things like “oh I would be very okay not having grandchildren”, even when nobody asked anything. In these times, well, I feel the pressure. I want to shout “hey! I’m here! Not dead! uterus still working!”.
But, I don’t say anything. I don’t want to open this debate.
Or maybe I do. Having an open talk about it seems actually healthier. The fact that neither my parents nor my husband’s parents asked us about it makes me feel that there is some kind of taboo around this question. As if they didn’t dare asking the question because they were afraid of the answer, thinking that I’m probably too something or not enough something else to want to have kids.
Yes, I see it: I somehow resent them for the possibility that maybe they think about me exactly the same thing I think myself.
It’s true that not wanting to have kids right now kind of worries me, and makes me feel ashamed sometimes.
First, what does it say about me? As always, the things I accept from my friends don’t seem so harmless when it becomes about me. I respect my friends’ choice, and I know that they are fabulous persons. But when it comes to me, well, it has to hide something very twisted.
On the other hand, well, actually I want to want it. Does that make sense? I’d really like to wake up one day not too far in the future (but not now) and feel that I’m ready. Because see, I want at least one child in my future, preferably with my husband’s genes but my nose.
To be honest, I’m worried that when this urge finally comes it will be too late for me. And that I will regret my “not now”.
But hey, I’m only 34, that’s a worry for the future, right?
What about you dear readers, do you want to have kids? Are you still hesitating? Did you make the choice not to have children? Or maybe you want it and are afraid that it’s not gonna come? Please share your stories below!