I am a 38-year-old woman who has never wanted to have a baby.
I’ve been saying this flippantly for years. Mostly on first dates. “If you want kids, I’m not the girl for you.”
But as my biological clock ticks on, I’m suddenly aware that I’m reaching the point of no return. No takies-backsies. — No frozen eggs. No hormone injections. No cupped ejaculations. No baby.
Honestly, that sounds pretty good.
Despite the awareness of impending permanence, I have never wavered in my choice.
And yet, I can’t help but feel jealous of women who feel a strong (or even any) maternal pull. They know who they are. And they know what they want.
An existential crisis is probably not the best reason to have a baby. In eighteen years, my baby will graduate from high school and I’ll be alone again, faced with the same nagging questions — Who am I? and What do I want?
My baby will fly from the nest certain of who they are, and the confidence to live it fully. I will resent my baby for knowing who they are and what they want. I will be eighteen years older and just as lost.
Or maybe, during my maternal years I will discover something within myself that I would have never known if I hadn’t carried them for nine months. If I hadn’t loved them unconditionally. If I hadn’t focused on their needs.
What if I became busy with getting ready for school, birthday parties, and nightime routines? What if we ate dinner as a family?
I have a cat. But my cat doesn’t call me “mom.” What if someone called me “mom?”
Would I be different? More expressed? Better at getting out of my own way simply because I no longer have the time or energy to be in it?
Am I less of a woman if I don’t have a baby? Is there something wrong with me because I have never felt a maternal inclination? Is this some kind of evolutionary natural selection, and my gene pool is being phased out?
Who has time for all these questions?
I have time. Time to figure out who I am and what I want.
I’m only 38 after all!