“This is why people have babies,” I said, “because it’s exhausting not to know what you’re supposed to do next. A baby is basically a non-negotiable map for the next two decades.”
Quoting that from “No one tells you this” a memoir of a 40 year old single woman living in New York City as a writer. The tagline of her book caught my attention “If it doesn’t end with a marriage or a child, what then?”
I’ve read about 40% of the book and we arrived on the chapter of “babies” Suddenly I had this urge to stop reading and start writing about this right away. Which is exactly what I did.
I never wanted a baby.
I could never imagine myself as a mother.
People told me that, once women hit 30, there will be this natural urge of wanting to have a kid, even though you never felt it before in your 20s.
Okay, I was literally waiting for it to hit me. But no urge yet. So far. Zero.
In fact, I remembered myself writing in my old blog when I was in my early 20s that nah, this baby thing isn’t for me. I just don’t have that maternal instinct.
It’s been 10 years. Still rings true. My opinion hasn’t changed at all.
In this memoir, I get the sense that the author DOES contemplating about having babies, as she is afraid she will regret it later. Having a baby seems like an easy choice, doesn’t it? Women at a certain age are expected to have kids (BUT if you told me this, I would get VERY pissed off. Because….excuse me? Whose expectation? Who are you to tell me how I should live my life?). She wrote that on a basic level having a baby gives you a sense of purpose on what to do every day, for someone, for 20 years. No need to wonder whether what you do is worthwhile, if you have a baby.
Ugh, sounds like you use babies to cure your existential crisis, if you ask me. Or you have a baby because you can’t stand being alone or something.
But I kind of get it, it’s tough being by yourself and figuring all the things like your next goal or where you are heading in life. I constantly have this from time to time, but the thing is, I LOVE having this freedom to move around whenever I want, do whatever I want, without being tied down to a baby. It can be mind boggling, but at the same time very liberating too. Just can’t imagine giving this up.
Wanna know my honest opinion? To me, having a baby = negative ROI. Think about all the money you waste on them, OH MY GOD. One baby equals…what? 10 million THB? 20 millions? I just simply CANNOT. I keep telling my parents that your investment on me probably still yields negative and I don’t know if I can ever repay this. You guys are amazing, don’t know how you managed it. High respect to any parents in the world.
At one point I even googled why people want children when raising them is SO exhausting (I just don’t get it, honestly!). One article explained that yes, the process is exhausting, but you have this high sense of rewards and deep joy. Okay, I guess that makes sense!? My mother also said, if you never had children, you would never understand the true meaning of sacrifice and giving.
But what if I don’t want to know the true meaning of sacrifice? Why do I need to know it? So what, right?
(Not to mention that getting pregnant and giving birth to me sound scary as hell. How do people do IT? Walking around like a penguin when they are 9 month pregnant? That would be a real torture. Just watching them makes me feel uncomfortable enough. In fact, if the guy was the one getting pregnant, maybe there could be more chance I am more ok with the baby thing).
You can say I am selfish. But I really cannot imagine giving “me time” up. On weekends I just want to relax or do whatever I enjoy, and most of the time I sleep in or get a little lazy. I don’t know any parents with babies can do THAT. How do people do it? I mean, it’s exhausting enough at work, then on weekends you have to take care of young kids!? Just wow. And I have this fear that babies would mean an obstacle for career growth. Obviously you have to take care of them and put them as priority. How do you do that while growing in your career? So difficult. And SO unfair that mothers have to almost always be the ones doing more when it comes to taking care of babies when fathers are more or less off the hook. For me I just can’t imagine sacrificing the career part. Like, NOT at all. I would rather spend time thinking about making more streams of income (Having only one stream of income feels risky for me, yet I’m too passive or lazy to change this, big sigh), than making a baby and losing money, seriously. Not to mention stupid yet important things like I CANNOT sacrifice sleep. If I don’t get enough sleep, I get sick immediately. And I don’t know any moms with young babies who get to sleep. Again, I don’t know how mothers out there do it. You have my UTMOST respect.
The reason I’m writing this because I am curious if my view would change in the next 5 years, or when I turned 40? Maybe I would, who knows? Would I regret not having children later in life? Maybe I would, who knows? But how could you regret if you never wanted them from the start? I don’t even know how to interact around kids and they are not really my cup of tea. I simply just don’t know HOW to be around them! These tiny creatures…always make me feel awkward as hell.
As of now, in your 30s, when you go on dates, people sometimes mention about kids stuff way faster than before. When a guy told me no, he doesn’t want children, inside I felt this…instant relief, like I would have NO pressure on me. Suddenly I would give that guy a bonus point. On the other hand, if I know the guy wanted kids, I would feel a little pressured like I don’t know what to do. Paying attention to what I feel, I believe this is enough indicator of my current feeling on the babies topic.
Told my mother quite a few times already that I probably won’t have children. She doesn’t care much and said it’s my life. Zero expectation from both of my parents made me feel lucky and relieved. So glad we are not like many other Thai Chinese families that start putting pressure on their daughters to find someone and have babies at a certain age. We all should stop expecting women to do something or be something at ANY age. It’s 21st century, this silly societal norm has to STOP, let her live her life the way she wants. What the hell are those expectations anyway? We all seem to have too good of an idea of how others should live their lives, but none when it comes to our own.