I lost an important sista in my childfree circle today. Not completely; it's not like she's pregnant or plans to be anytime soon, but she's crossed over to the other side. Jeanine wants babies... not now, but someday. She wants little Danish babies with Scandinavian names to go with her boyfriend's funny last name when they finally decide to get married.
This isn't a bad thing, mind you. I speak in jest about her "crossing over"... and there I go again with the disclaimers. In all seriousness, I'm just shocked overall. Jeanine, who was childfree before I was, who freaks out at the mere thought of EVER being pregnant, and can't stand babies... or couldn't. It's just strange to me that someone I thought of as completely and thoroughly childfree has fallen victim to the taunt I hear all the time... she's "changed her mind".
We were discussing the shower/ribbons situation and my fiancé's grandma's new favorite phrase, "when the baby comes", over coffee when she told me this. We talked about it for awhile when a woman at the table next to us asked me why I didn't want kids. She's probably in her late 30s, maybe early 40s. She never had kids, "but then again, I never got married"; she wanted to know how I came to this decision. It was awkward explaining myself to a stranger, and I was still somewhat in shock over Jeanine's admission that she really does want kids, but we talked for a bit. "I'm 28," I told her, "and I've still never had that insatiable urge for children," among other things. "Yeah, but maybe when you're like 34 or something, right? You're keeping your options open, right?" I may have rolled my eyes before caving, "sure, I might change my mind," more to end the conversation than anything.
I spent my entire drive home wondering what the hell is wrong with me. Why is it so hard for this to just be a decision between my future husband and me? Why can't I make people back off without saying "I might change my mind"? Why is that the only way they garner satisfaction? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?
It's not fear that I might change my mind and render all this ridiculous in a sort of "ha ha, told you so" way. It's that I don't want to change my mind. I honestly feel like changing my mind will do all the things I fear -- it'll change my life completely in a way I don't want it to be changed. Why would I change it? Because of the "baby rabies"? Because I can't handle the pressure from family? Why can't I just say "we're not having kids" and have that be okay??
At the shower on Saturday I sat next to Lori, who just got married a couple weeks ago. She stared longingly at baby Nathaniel. "I want one of those so bad it kills me," she said. "I hate that I have to wait 'til I'm done with school." That doesn't happen to me. I stare at the baby and think "oh my god, he's so adorable, so tiny, so soft, so etc. etc. etc.," but any desire to have one is always tempered by what it means to have one, a realization that the sacrifices aren't worth it. FOR ME. Just me.
And again I ask the question, why is this so offensive to people, so hard for them to grasp?? It's not fair. I just want to feel normal.