Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I was born to be a mother, just not today

For as long as I can remember, I've had names for my future children picked out. When I was very young, I told my mother that I wanted to have 16 kids! Of course, when I was 7, my mother became pregnant with my brother, and I got a little more formal of an education of pregnancy... at which point, I advised my mother I would adopt. Now my brother Ray, who was born right before I turned 8 might not agree so much that I was born to be a mother, considering when he was about 6 weeks old, I was holding him, and he started to spit up, at which time, I promptly tossed him in the air to my mother who was passing by with a laundry basket as I exlaimed "Here Mom, Catch!" - Thankfully, she caught him and I learned that little brothers are not footballs.

So you may wonder, at 30, how many children do I have? Well, I have a few furbabies (the herd) but none of the human variety. And that has been the intentional plan. You see, I love children, and I do plan to have some one day, it's just that... today isn't that day... and tomorrow isn't either. It's not that I don't think I could take care of one. If I were to wake up tomorrow a mom, I think I would manage just fine. But I'm not in a rush to start that portion of my life. I know what the challenges of motherhood can be, and I know one day, I'll be ready for that... but... (you guessed it) Not today.

When I was a freshman in high school, my mother announced that she was pregnant, and the following fall, they brought my baby brother home. I was 15. This time, as a teenager, I had a much more active role in the care of this little wiggly being. Due to unforseen family health emergencies, I actually wrapped up the last week or so of my sophomore year taking care of a 6 month old baby & an 8 year old child while going to school. Having a baby brother was fun, because babies are fun... but I also learned that waking up at 3 in the morning because a baby is crying... not so pleasant. And as the rest of my time at home went on, my baby brother got brought along to shopping trips & college computer labs & all sorts of things, because in my family, my parents worked, and everyone had responsibilities. And, looking back it was great, for many reasons, first & foremost, it was a great lesson in the responsibility of parenting...(hence, no kids now because I knew what came with those cute little babies). It also was a great opportunity for me to get to know my little brother. In fact, at 19 when I moved out on my own, 2 and 1/2 hours away from home... it was leaving that little booger that saddened me the most (I'm sure Trav would be mortified to know he's being referred to so fondly).

For these reasons, and many more, I know that motherhood is something that I want to experience first hand. However I also know that it is something that I can wait for. I'm encouraged, because I've recently ran across blogs from women who had children later in life, and some who did it by themselves by choice. I enjoy reading these women's stories because it's great to find other like minded women, who don't think it's odd that at 30 I am childless and am ok with it. I know one day, I will join their ranks... just not today :)

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