I have never been married before and neither has my husband. Neither of us have kids from previous relationships and we are 25 and 26. Ever since before I married my husband, people have asked us time and time again, “when are you going to have kids”, “have you thought about when you’re gonna have kids”, “how many kids do ya’ll want”, “I need ya’ll to have babies ASAP”, “when can we expect some little ones”? My answer to all of that is: please mind your own business. Unless you are going to be the one feeding our hypothetical child at 3:00 a.m. every morning, you don’t “need” anything but to mind your own biscuits.
Sound harsh? It’s not meant to be. What’s harsh is feeling the pressure to have kids when you know in your heart that you aren’t ready. I think a common mistake our generation has made is feeling like we are racing against time when it comes to having kids. I don’t feel the need to have kids while I’m in my 20’s just so I’ll be young and cool when they’re older. My mom was 34 when I was born. My dad was 31. Clint’s parents were 36 and 33 when he was born. I could go on. It’s nothing to do with age, for me. It’s everything to do with timing and preference. But I have heard people tell me time and time again, “you better get busy, you don’t have all the time in the world”.
Pardon me, but right now I have better things to do with my time than “get busy” making a human life that I know I’m not prepared for or willing to take charge of. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. If I wanted kids, I know how anatomy and physiology works, I would have gotten busy getting busy by now. The truth is, I wanted kids when I was in my early 20’s. I wanted to rush everything. I wanted to find a man and settle down, immediately, I didn’t even care if I got to finish college. But something different happened, and I consider it a blessing in disguise; a lot of my friends started having babies in their early 20’s, which cured my baby fever immediately. I absolutely adore those little babies and I enjoy watching them grow, but I saw how hard it was on my friends to raise these babies, and more times than not, the dad was not involved. So I stepped off the baby train and just started to enjoy my 20’s for what they were, the golden years. Years I am never getting back.
If you’re reading this thinking that I am bashing anyone who has kids already or had kids at a young age, you can stop thinking that. I don’t care who has kids, when they had kids, how they had kids, or how many they have. I don’t care at all, BECAUSE IT’S NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Keep posting pictures of you kids online, I love them! They are adorable, sweet, and beyond cute….just not for me, not right now. That’s all. If you endured motherhood at an early age, I am applauding you. I admire you. You are a strong individual, because raising kids is not an easy job. You don’t have to have kids to make that observation, either.
Even when I met Clint, I knew that he would be a fabulous father one day. He totally will, too. He loves kids and he is great with them. He’s the man I’m suppose to have kids with, I just know it. But not any time soon. Why? Because at the moment, nothing is missing. We have our animals, our land, and each other and for me, this is the most fulfilled I have ever felt in my life. I don’t understand it when people say “I need to have at least 2 kids before I’m 30”, or “if I don’t have kids before I’m 27 I am never going to have any at all”, or the absolute worst, “if I don’t have kids now, my parents will be so old by the time they are grandparents”. If you decide to bring a child into this world because you feel like you need to beat the clock, chances are you aren’t quite as ready as you wish you were. If you are having kids for anyone other than yourself and your partner, chances are twice as likely that you aren’t ready.
I am just speaking from what I have felt. As it is right now, I enjoy sleeping in on the weekends and sleeping peacefully through the night. I don’t think I could handle having to get up all through the night to tend to a screaming child. One day, yes. Maybe. But right now? Not a chance. And that may sound insensitive to some, but for me it’s just reality. I don’t want that right now, that doesn’t mean I won’t be ready for it in years to come. I just like my life the way it is without the responsibilities of motherhood, and that’s not a sin.
And then there is that retched, awful meme circulating the internet about how mom’s who wait to have kids will be feeding a newborn at 3:45 a.m. when they’re 35 while the teen mom is sleeping peacefully while her kids make their own breakfast and yadayadayada…just stop. Stop judging everyone for their decisions. There’s nothing wrong with being a teen mom and having to grow up early, and there’s nothing wrong with waiting until you’re well into your 30’s, married, or have a stable job, so calm down.
I think about kids all the time, but I admire from afar. The older I have gotten, the more realistic I have become about what it means to raise a family. I am sure that all of my friends who have kids will agree that their lives were not quite complete until they had kids, and I believe them wholeheartedly. I believe that, one day, I will say the same. But I personally believe that if you do something, it should be because YOU want to do it. It should be because it was your preference and your decision, not your friends’ decision, not your mother-in-laws decision, not your grandma’s decision; YOUR decision. I will always march to the beat of my own drum and I am lucky, no, blessed, the have married a man that will stand by my side no matter what and is easy to talk to about these things. I’d be lying if I said the conversation doesn’t come up sometimes, but that’s normal and I don’t mind talking about these things with my husband. He doesn’t judge me when I say I don’t want kids right now. He doesn’t judge me when I tell him how I want my kids to be raised. He doesn’t judge me when I tell him how I want to deliver a baby. He doesn’t say “oh, you’ll change your mind, trust me”, or “you’re running out of time”, or “so-and-so needs to be in the room when you have the baby”. Because he knows me, and he knows that I won’t change my mind, and that whatever I feel the need to do will be discussed with him and him alone.
I remember getting asked one time when I was going to have kids (like I knew the date and time of my hypothetical due date) and whether or not I would breast feed. I wanted to scream and lose my mind, but instead I just had to laugh. It is absolutely, positively none of her business. It’s no one’s business, actually. And call me sensitive, but I hate being asked such questions, because what does it matter how I feed the child that I don’t even have? Like, how is this even a conversation right now? And I am not an idiot, I am well aware that accidents occur all of the time. If that ever happened to me, I’d be a parent and do what I needed to do with a smile on my face and all of the love in my heart, but right now I am in full control of preventing that, so that is the path I am choosing to take.
So to all of my ladies and guys out there who have found themselves in their mid to late 20’s with no children yet, it’s fine. Love on the babies that surround you, learn from them. Take this time to really focus on yourself and enjoy every moment. Don’t rush a decision that will change your life forever. Take all the time you need, because time is not a renewable resource.