I’ve opened a lot of blog posts with my age lately, but I’m twenty. The ~official~ adult age. This is also the age girls I went to school with begin their families, the age my mum had Lauren and I see babies everywhere these days anyway. But I’m not ready to be a mum myself. I’m not ready to start a family with anyone and to be honest, I think, right now, I’d be a rubbish mum.
It’s been brought up to me a lot lately for some reason. I’ve always said I didn’t want a baby, but my friends, colleagues at work and even strangers on the internet have started to make a habit of telling me that I’ll change my mind about that. I probably will. But right now, at this present moment in time. I don’t want a baby.
I feel like I should be guilty saying that, girls I went to school with have actually already begun their families, and I see girls my age swoon over the thought of being pregnant constantly as well. But I just don’t feel ready. My family know this, they don’t really mention the topic of me getting knocked up someday very often. Lauren, my older sister, had her first baby in July this year. She’s 22 years old but she’s awesome. She’s a terrific mum, and when she gave birth to my niece I kind of understood what people mean when they say that you just fall in love with them. Kind of, because the baby isn’t mine in the way that she is Laurens. She’s mine in the way that she is family, in the way that no matter what, I love her unconditionally and whether or not she’s a baby, I will always be here for her when I can be.
So when I understood these feelings, I did start to question a little bit whether I could see myself with children. Right now at this moment in time, I still can’t. I actually think that if I went out looking to get knocked up, it’d be a mistake. I’m a slow learner, and also a slow grower. I’m in the stages right now of getting to really know myself. I’m opening up a little bit and learning that it’s okay to voice my opinions. I also don’t hate babies. I don’t particularly like them (unless they’re my niece), but I don’t hate them. If you ask me to hold your baby though, I will turn you down.
I’ve held other peoples babies before, and I’ve been told how awkward and uncomfortable I look. Because I am, I don’t want to hold your child. The only thing running through my mind is “Oh my god, do not drop him/her.” I also don’t know how to behave around your baby either, do I pull funny faces? Do I speak to them? What am I supposed to do? With my niece it all comes naturally, it probably would if I had my own, but with a strangers or with a friends baby, I have no idea what I’m doing and I walk away even more put off the idea of having a baby.
As a woman, part of me feels guilty for having these feelings. Movies and books have drilled it into my head that I’m supposed to swoon over someones baby, plan my baby names from childhood and go out man hunting so that I can get planted with his seed. I also think that right now, I’m a very selfish person. I want to do things that I want to do. So I do them. I want to spend my money on myself, so I do, and I don’t really want to be changing nappies and cleaning up sick.
Maturity plays a part in this too, I think. Girls my age do have babies and can be terrific mums, they’re happy to change bums, wipe up sick and snot and cradle their child at the early hours of the morning because the baby woke up screaming. Not me though. Actually, I’m so sorry but to me that sounds like a nightmare. So the girls that do this, are amazing. On another length to what I am. I want to sit watching YouTube videos and reading blog posts until 3am without the worry of upsetting my baby, and I want to lead a stress-free (to a certain extent obviously), life.
But have you noticed? I’ve apologized quite a bit for feeling this way. I feel so guilty about finding motherhood to be horrific. I feel like I’m supposed to want a baby. My mum talks about how when she was in school, she just wanted to hurry up, grow up and start her family. When I was in school I wanted school to be over so I could go home and play Tomb Raider on my PS2. I’ve actually wondered if there’s something wrong with me because I don’t want a baby. Why are my maternal instincts so…little?
But as I said, with my niece it’s a lot different to if it’s a stranger or friends baby. I think it’s because she’s “mine” in the way I described earlier on, and I do think that if I had a baby either intentionally or accidentally, those motherly instincts probably would kick in just based off how strongly I feel about my niece. But honestly, I can’t stress enough how much I really really don’t want a child. I’m twenty yes, but I’m just twenty. I’m young. I have years left to feel ready to start a family.
So why do I feel so guilty?