Left behind in the Great Baby Race

Left behind in the Great Baby Race

It seems like every time I check Facebook, old classmates from high school and college are announcing their pregnancies. But we're so young! They can't be having babies. Not yet. What about their careers? Don't they want to go on trips, hassle-free? Shouldn't they spend more time developing their marriage and relationship before going on to add a volatile baby into the mix?

Admittedly, they're all married and about 24, 25, 26 years old, which is prime child-bearing age in some circles if one doesn't already have kids.

Keep in mind that the circles I grew up with, the conservative Christian and Catholic homeschool circles, view people like me as immoral baby-killers. Or at least, they'd reach out, grab my forearm in a compassionate, life-saving grip as if I was falling off a cliff, and whisper, "I'll pray for you." Or else they'd assume I have a barren womb because I've been married for 2 1/2 years and still don't have kids at the ripe old age of 25.

I grew up thinking I was going to get married before 21, and start popping out kids (or adopting them) shortly after, because when you're 14 years old, 21 seems so far away and so mature. But when I got married at 22, that thought changed to, "I'll be ready after grad school."  And now that I'm 25 and all graduated, I'm even less ready. (At least that fits in well with the city mom mentality of having kids around age 30).

So, by a logical extension from that, I assume everyone else shouldn't be ready either. I want to grab my friends and say, "Don't have kids until I'm ready to have kids!"

Problem is, that's not logic, because we all know how logical jealousy is.

I adore cute baby photos. I really do. I squee when I see one of a baby caught in the mid-amazement, wide open smile of a baby fart, or the chuckle that precedes a indelicate baby burp. (Or of spit-up.)

But when I see one of these adorable photos posted by these aforementioned friends, it only serves to point out the lack of a crib in our home. When another friend announces that she is expecting, I feel a pang...of what? Hope?

I hope that my husband and I will be able to have children someday, whether through biological means or by adoption. I hope that I will be a good mother. I hope I can give our children what I did not have--a home where nobody has to live in fear. I hope we can provide for them, despite my lack of experience with raising city kids. And I really do mean "in the city," as in the downtown area, and not even the crowded urban townhomes of Lincoln Park. (I'm a total suburbanite transplant, used to the idea of duplexes, small apartments, and of single-family homes.)

Right now, we're not ready yet.

(I can hear you now. "You'll never be ready. There's never the 'right' time.")

To that I say, there may never be a "right time," but there sure as heck is a "wrong time." We're still somewhat unstable on the job front. We need to save up more money. And I want to reach a point where I have a more stable mood consistency. I'm not breaking down and crying every time I see someone who looks like my siblings anymore, which is huge progress, but I'd like to avoid having those breakdowns of fear and anxiety over external situations.

We'll have children soon enough. Meanwhile, I will keep on "liking" those announcements and baby photos. I may not always comment for fear of coming across for fear of losing it and ripping out my Implanon.

But friends, know that I'm happy for you. I really am. I'm a little jealous, but that's to be expected when you make such cute babies. Just pretend to be jealous of me when our future babies don't have as good of a sense of photographic timing.

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