Why I Will Probably Have Kids: Well, Why.

About three years ago, I was in the midst of a quarter-life crisis.  A year earlier, I’d had to leave graduate school because of migraine headaches, and I had no idea what to do with my life.  For my birthday, Y took me to see Avenue Q.  And, as strange as it sounds, I had an A-ha moment in the middle of a puppet musical.

The story is about a kid who graduates from college and can’t figure out what to do with his life.  He becomes overwhelmed and falls into a depression.  The moral (at least to me) was that you don’t have to have everything all figured out right away.  Do what’s right for right now, and it will probably lead you down the right path.

Incidentally, that’s how I ended up being an illustrator, and overall quite happy.

Anyway, the point of that story is this: one of my not-so-great qualities is that I tend to overwhelm myself by thinking too far ahead.  I end up panicking and then becoming emotionally paralyzed when I realize that I’m not where I want to be.  I don’t own a house, I don’t have a retirement account, my business can’t support me in the lifestyle I’d like, etc.

Considering I am 26, this is ridiculous and I know it.

This is, however, how I ended up having majorly deep thoughts about bearing children when I haven’t even been married a year.  This is also why I’ve titled this series “Why I Will *Probably* Have Kids.”  I say *probably* because I’m 26 and I don’t need to make major decisions right now.  In fact, I shouldn’t make major life decisions right now, because (other than marriage) I’m not ready to make them.  And that’s okay.

For awhile, Y and I weren’t sure if we wanted to have kids at all.  Y is 32 and never had any urges to be a parent.  I never really thought about it–I just knew that I wasn’t ready.

And then.

And then my friend Karen had a child.

And no offense to all the babies I’ve seen, but he is by FAR the cutest baby I have ever seen in my entire life.  He also happens to be half Asian, half white.  Hmm.

Before I met little E, I’d never really held a baby before. I’m an only child, and I was never really exposed to kids.  To be honest, I have no idea what to do with them, and up until E I had no desire to be anywhere near them.

When I saw E, though, I wanted to pick him up.  When I held E, I didn’t want to let anyone else hold him.  I’ve never had those feelings before. It was as if something switched in my brain and I suddenly wanted a baby.  I totally wanted to see what it was like to be pregnant, and I wanted to see what kind of adorable-ness a Chewish (Chinese-Jewish) baby would contain.

This went on for about three months.

And then I calmed down.  I realized that I am not ready to have a baby.  No way.  I’m not ready for my life to change. At this point, I feel like feeding a dog, four cats and seven chickens is responsibility enough!  Add a baby to the mix, and I’d have absolutely no time to work. My illustration business, Stinkerpants, would die.  And with it, I (and by this, I mean the ME I was talking about in my previous post) would die – because I haven’t completely matured yet.  And at 26, how many people have?!  So no, I’m not ready yet.

But.

But I am open to the possibility that at some point, I will be ready for my life to change.  At some point, my business will be stable, and I will have enough money to hire someone to help me with the kids part-time so I can get some work done.  At some point, I really do think I will want to have kids and I will be ready for them.  And I won’t lose myself in them, because *me* will be fully matured and stable.  I think people who have kids too soon or without thinking are the ones who end up living my Dominating Fear.

That being said, I know myself well enough to know the following things:

  • I have the potential to freak out and get postpartum depression, so I need to watch that.
  • I will need a lot of support from my partner and my family.
  • I will want my Mommy (haha).

I will need a lot of support.  But you know what?  That’s okay.  And I think knowing that will *probably* make me a very good parent one day.

16 thoughts on “Why I Will Probably Have Kids: Well, Why.

  1. Megs says:

    I totally understand where you are coming from. My boyfriend and I are the same ages and you and your husband but we are in the hopefully going to get engaged sometime in the near future stage. Goodluck and we all learn that things always work out and happen in an unexplainable way that ends up being right for us.

  2. Erin says:

    One of the reasons I moved away from the sunny days of Florida, was to be with my family. Now that I have a daughter, I realize that that was one of the best decisions I could have made (for her and me)!

  3. Dana says:

    Great topic. This came up last weekend at our year anniversary of marriage. We don’t know if we want to have kids (I’m 32 and he’s 36) and until we do, we won’t. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t – I can’t let that stop me or have me planning around it. I am like you where I can freak out and snowball into a mess. I learned to stop doing that and let life happen. I too took that same message from Avenue Q last year that things happen and you don’t have to have a plan.

    It takes me back to the quote from John Lennon: Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

  4. Nadine says:

    What a great post. Good for you for learning to recognize your own needs, signs, and rhythms. I think these valuable things will help you in every role that you choose to take on.

    My mommy is actually part of our discussion around having kids. S & I both want her nearby. So many cultures raise children in extended family networks and if we have our own I really don’t want to raise them without a lot of family support.

  5. Bri says:

    You will be the best kind of Mommy if you so choose: smart, aware and thoughtful. Going into parenting with both eyes open; this is what will set you apart and give your kids a kick ass Mom.

    Thank you for this series!

  6. Huckleberry Karen says:

    I don’t have any doubt that you’re going to be a good mom!! And Emmett will grow up with a huge head (it’s already really BIG) because he has so many wonderful aunties that spoil him!! 🙂 Anytime you want a baby fix – just give me a call and he’s all yours.

  7. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for this post! I’m also one to think too far ahead and overwhelm myself with doubt about not being where I’d planned to be in my first couple years out of college. For women like us it takes a lot of conscious effort to allow ourselves to enjoy the now!

  8. Marion says:

    Wow, you had a deeper experience at Avenue Q than I did. I learned that The Internet Is For Porn.

    You’re going to make an awesome mom, Stinker. But a very cranky pregnant person. But I’ll still love you.

  9. walletpuppy says:

    I don’t know what happens with the DNA when you mix white and Asian, but they are always freak of nature cute.

  10. Angie says:

    Thank you for writing this. Right now I’m firmly in the “NEVER” camp but then I see cute clothes, furniture, and toys and think “maybe…”. Thank you for writing that it’s ok to not be ready and it’s ok to not be sure.
    Also – I heard a joke this weekend that made me think of you (just from following you on WeddingBee and here! LOL)… Why does a chicken coup have 2 doors? Because if it had 4 it would be a chicken sedan! hardy har har! 😀
    ALSO – I LOVE the “This is what love looks like” thinger (technical term) on your left sidebar. 🙂

  11. Sherry says:

    I had a similar experience some months ago, but with the opposite reaction. My first pregnant friend (in real life) gave birth to the most adorable baby boy and I got to hold him when he was merely 2 days old. He’s now 6 months and still the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. But what struck me most wasn’t just his charming looks. It was how helpless he was. And the extraordinary amount of money and time his parents were investing in him day after day… And would continue to be investing for well beyond the next 22 years of his life! That was a daunting task that I have zero interest in.

  12. Tara says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts about parenthood and how it relates to your life. If only everyone put as much thought into it! So many people have kids because they feel they ‘have’ to. I respect those people WHO do really think about the responsibility-no matter what choice they may come to.

    I also have to agree that half Asian, half-white babies are pretty much the cutest in existence, so you have that to look forward to one day. 🙂

  13. Allison says:

    This is basically exactly how I feel about makin’ babies right now, too!
    I’m also 26, and I just want to hold on to my youth a bit more.
    I also agree that halvsy chinese/american babies are the cutest!

  14. MoDLin says:

    Oh, that Baby E is an absolute doll! Seems like you know yourself pretty well. Even if you’re not ready now, I hope you’re taking a multi-vitamin with folic acid in it. Best to take folic acid for a year before you conceive, so you’ll be ready when you’re ready.

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