Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

“I want to have your babies”

April 10, 2009

“I want to have your babies.” I had never said that to anyone before. I’d thought it, once, with S. I’d looked at him and his security and handsomeness and Jewishness and what I thought he’d be capable of, parentingwise. With J. it was more complicated. It wasn’t, “You’d be a perfect dad,” but rather, “I want to have your babies because I love you and think we’re a good team.” It was, to some degree, “I think I could fill in the gaps.” It was, “I want to try to resurrect my own father.” It was so many things all at once, in that one thought.

Most of all, for me, it wasn’t just, “I want babies ASAP.” It wasn’t, “I want babies, generally,” as some pleasant kind of acquisition, like, “I want chocolate.” It was, “I want your babies, babies that only you and I in all the universe could make together.” I wondered what they would be like, how quirky and smart and stubborn and adorable they would be. I wondered what religion, if any, they would be, which grandparents they’d be like.

He never said anything back (this was via email), and I wondered if he ever realized how big a statement it was for me, how much it meant to go there, to explicitly say it. Right before we broke up, like the day before, he started a sentence with, “If we have kids someday…” and it was so weird to hear that. Of course, it ended with, “can we make them deaf/mute?” or something like that. It was a joke but it also wasn’t; I think we could have pushed to make that happen, but I don’t think that was ultimately in the cards for us. There’s more, but it’s more about me and how I was raised, what was there and what was missing, and what I don’t want to replicate for my kids.

It’s a huge thing to ponder, so huge that sometimes I just resign myself to going it alone. There is a time factor, since I am almost 33 1/2, and feel that my chances slipping away each day. I know technically that’s not true, but it feels like it, like I waited way too long to even start thinking about this. Moreso, my grandparents are old. They are 86 (my grandmother) and 85 (my grandfather) – on different sides of my family. I like to think they will live forever, because I don’t know what I would do without them, but I know they won’t, and more than them seeing a book of mine on the shelves or being generically proud of me or whatever it is I want from them, I want them to meet my kids. I want them to hold them and see them and know them, even if for a short time. I want them to know I’m going to be a good mom. I want my babies to know, even if just by touch, these amazing people who are such a big part of me

So, yeah, no pressure or anything. I don’t mean to look at everyone I date in such terms but I’m not gonna lie: I do. I appreciate certain qualities and values that are about so much more than how a person fucks me. It so happens that my current guy, well, he’s great in both departments. Again, I have no idea if he wants to have kids, let alone with me, but I’m talking about what I see in him and just what I look for when I say those six words. If I do. Because for me it’s about much more than love. I loved J., still do, but I don’t know that he would have been a good match for me in parenting. I want someone who comes to it with as much need as I do. Not just enthusiasm or acceptance, but a need from somewhere deep inside to be a parent. To have that bond, a bond that is separate and apart from me. A bond that is special, theirs. It’s little things, little actions, that make me smile, that make me suspect they would be good at all the caretaking that would be involved – caretaking of me and our kids. As much as I desire being a mom, I so often feel like there is a level of research and knowledge and minutiae to it that has nothing to do with, well, the reasons I want to have kids. It’s like a secret parent language and I wonder if I will ever learn it.

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What it’s like to be baby fevered

November 14, 2008

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.