No, I'm not pregnant.
But people around me are starting to get pregnant or have babies. And lots of my friends are talking about that march towards parenthood. Baby talk is popping up around me everywhere and I'm starting to feel the pressure to contemplate parenthood. I still feel so young. I mean, children are a very real possibility in the next few years--scary considering I was in high school less than ten years ago.
But then yesterday, I watched that television show, "Notes from the Underbelly" which is a sitcom on ABC about a couple in their thirties making the decision to have a baby. I know it's television and I know that tv is not real life. Duh. But the show got me kind of scared. I don't want to turn into this insane woman that can only talk about "Tummy Time" (which I truthfully still don't understand that much--why wouldn't the baby be on his tummy most of the time when he's not sleeping??) and what little Timmy ate for dinner and show photos of my babies to people who really could care less. And second only to my fears about myself turning into a woman like that is, what if my friends (some of whom are bound to have les bebes before me) do?
Lets face it, pressure to be not just a mother, but a perfect mother, has the potential to turn otherwise normal women into diaper-wielding, minivan-driving crazies. My friends could turn into crazies! Thankfully, none of my friends with children have turned into obsessed DIY Eastsiders....but it's certain to happen to me or one of my girlfriends eventually in the next 15 years!
I know that motherhood is an amazing experience, a shift in identity that is incomparable to anything else a woman probably experiences. I know I will never fully understand this until I have my own children. But the truth is, I'm sometimes not sure I want that identity change.
I LIKE who I am, as I am. I feel very complete as the person I am. My marriage feels complete. I like sleeping in until 11 on the weekends. I enjoy reading US Weekly and not making dinner because I'm feeling lazy. I like making love all over my house, anytime of the day, with the only thing to worry about is if the curtains are closed. And from what I know about motherhood from my contemporaries (and let's be honest, what I see on TV), I am not sure I will ever get to the point that the lure of motherhood and the love of a child will ever make me truly want to give up these selfish behaviors which I adore. I don't know if I want to identify myself as a mother, first and foremost--which seems commonplace for women with children.
Being a "Wife" was tough enough for my feminist sensibilities to come to terms with. Will I ever be ready for "Mother?"
Can I ever reconcile myself with these fears? Probably. But it does have me thinking about our future and what I want. Alot.