What it’s like to be baby fevered

I turned 33 three days ago, and seeing that number still jars me. Being in my thirties at all jars me, because this is not how I would have chosen my life to be. Single, with no real plan for being able to afford to raise a child, let alone anyone to raise them with (I’m dating someone, but it’s long distance and to my mind, quite precarious). I live in two-bedroom apartment that is a gigantic mess, so much so that I haven’t let anyone in it in…a long time. And I mean anyone. That’s not something I’m proud to admit.

So many aspects of my life are not where I want them to be, from debt to career and freelancing to my personal life, that I often wonder how I can even consider becoming a mom. I mean, I don’t even always brush my teeth at night! I don’t take the best care of myself, but I’m trying. Last Febraury, I stopped drinking alcohol, after a particularly inebriated night when I did a podcast interview, totally wasted. Since then I’ve had one drink, in February of this year. I quit my 4-6 liter a day Diet Coke habit, and haven’t had any since October 2007. I see those as positive steps, but there’s so much more I need to do. Every time I say something mean about someone, hurt someone’s feelings, miss a deadlineæin general, fuck upæI feel like I will never be a good mom.

And yet, becoming a mom, having a child of my own, is something I think about every day. Despite this blog’s title, it’s not just a baby I want, I promise. It’s a lifestyle makeoveræa life makeover, really. A chance to do things differently, to not be who I see myself as, I gigantic fuckup, a mess, on the outside and the inside.

I read about parenting, and specifically, being a mom, a lot. I’m so honored that some of the women whose memoirs I’ve read, who’ve touched me so much with their writing, are now women I consider friends, like Rachel Sarah (Single Mom Seeking), Gail Konop Baker (Cancer is a Bitch), Mary Pols (Accidentally on Purpose). All of them have told me, pretty much directly, that if I want it, I will become a mom. I want to believe that they’re right, that I can overcome these obstacles, internal and external, but I don’t know.

I just know that I want it so badly. I feel like right now in so many ways I’m biding my time, wasting it on relationship drama, writing projects that I only sometimes care about, life busywork, if you will, when what I truly desire is for The Whole Package. Yes, I want to be pregnant. Sometimes when I’ve eaten a big meal or have just gained weight or gotten bloated, I look at my stomach and I have <I>way</I> more of a baby bump than what you see some of the tabloids saying count for celebrities. I’m not dieting or anything, but I don’t want to gain weight for no reason, but for a baby, I’d gain whatever I needed.

My grandfather, who is so sweet and loving I don’t always know what to do with his thoughts, wrote me a few months ago and said:

<I>Are you ready for a fulltime job as a mom? It’s such fun to kiss their fuzzy little heads; hear them giggle; watch them evolve into little people. But they aren’t plants. You can’t just water them once a day and see them sprout. A lot to think about and, I know the clock is ticking, but you have to be realistic, too. Nothing successful happens without a plan.</I>

I don’t know. I have a plan, kindof, but nothing specific. I go back and forth on whether I should try to become a single mom, like my mom (for the record, she advises against it), or seek out a partner who would be a good match. My current boyfriend, I just don’t know. It’s hard enough for me to envision us spending our lives together, let alone him being a dad. Then again, I don’t really know what he thinks about the whole prospect.

So that’s a little introduction to me. I’ll try to write here as often as I can about what it’s like to be a non-mom peering in at the world of kids and parenting from the outside. I do get to hang out with my awesome, amazing, adorable, very, very cute cousin Adam, who will turn 3 on Monday. Not as often as I’d like, but often enough to make me totally melt. I can only hope my kids will be as special as he is.

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2 Responses to “What it’s like to be baby fevered”

  1. SingleMomSeeking Says:

    Thank you for the link love darling!

    I know that you’d make an incredible mama! No doubt.

    I would love to sit down and chat with you about what I’ve learned about motherhood — single motherhood in particular. Hindsight is a gem, yes?

    Your grandpa is right about that Plan! In short, if your finances and family are there, that’s the perfect start to motherhood.

    Ideally, yes, I would have wanted to raise my kid with a partner at my side. But I feel incredibly fortunate that even without Him, we are surrounded by love: family and friends. (Okay, I’m all mushy because tomorrow is Thanksgiving…)

    And Happy Birthday!!

  2. gail Says:

    I am beyond honored to be mentioned here!! I adore you Rachel! ADORE you and have no doubt that you will have everything you need and want. And also that… you are exactly where you should be (even of it doesn’t always feel that way). I also would love to chat about baby fever (I remember that feeling!) and motherhood. Any time , darling. Any time. xo

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