In today’s society, not having children makes me a rare breed. It’s uncommon to meet someone who doesn’t have kids. With TV shows like, “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant,” it’s expected that every female be a mother by the time they hit adulthood. Every day on Facebook I see pictures of former classmates my age parading around their offspring. Once a month I see a status update announcing a pregnancy or birth. It’s like the entire world is mocking me because my uterus is, and always has been, unoccupied.
That’s right. I am 23 years old and have never been pregnant. According to the statistics most recently released in 2010, the average age for a first time mother has risen from 21.4 in 1970 to 25.2 in 2009. That means it is still perfectly acceptable for me to be childless at twenty three…theoretically of course. However, many people expect me to reproduce within the next year and a half. Any time I feel sick at work, my female co-workers ask me if I’m pregnant. I recently started dating a wonderful guy in his late twenties, so people immediately started asking things like, “Do I see babies in your near future?,” “When are you gonna pop out some youngins?” and “Why don’t you have kids yet?”
All my family had children young. My mother had two kids by the time she was 23. One aunt was pregnant by 19 and one by 25. My cousin got pregnant at 14 and had a baby at 15. My aunts coddle and gush over their grandchildren every chance they get, and this makes my mother jealous. Why? Because she wants grandbabies of her own, and has expressed this to me on many occasions. Recently, she announced, in the middle of a crowded Walmart of all places, “You know I would like grandchildren one day.” Thanks mom. Way to make me feel inferior. I’ve tried to tell her that it’s perfectly okay to not have grandchildren by the time you are 45, but she’s having none of that.
Other girls my age who have had children tell me I’m lucky. They tell me it’s great that I can do whatever I want without having to worry about children at home. They envy me for being able to decide to go out drinking with my boyfriend on a whim, and I envy them for having the chance to make an important difference in someone’s life. I resent them for having snuggly little babies, sweet toddlers and their eventual ability to boast about their kid’s accomplishments.
Of course I do see the bright side. I only have to worry about me. I don’t have to concern myself with making sure my child is eating adequately nutritious meals, so I can run through the drive through at 10pm for dinner if I want. I can leave cleaning supplies in a cabinet without a lock. If I get sick I can lay in the bed feeling sorry for myself without a hazmat suit so the kids don’t catch it. I can curse out loud and don’t have to share my candy. I don’t have to clean up vomit that isn’t mine, change diapers or wipe snotty noses. The smell of baby food makes me gag, and since I don’t eat it myself, I don’t have to deal with it. The money I make isn’t spent on diapers or formula or breast pumps or cribs. It’s all mine. The best part about not having children? I can sleep whenever I want.
Even with all the positives of not having children at a young age, I still have a terminal case of baby fever. Every page I Stumble on, every blog I read, every Facebook picture that is posted that pertains to a baby or a child someone has conceived or given birth to, makes me pine for a family of my own. I can’t wait to have a little boy to protect his little sister from other boys when they get to high school. I can’t wait to have someone to boss around.
I have mixed emotions when it comes to having children. I want them right away because I am still young and want to have as much energy as possible while they are growing up, but I also don’t want to ruin them because I’m too young to know what the hell I am doing. Maybe I just want a baby because they are cute and snuggly. Maybe I just want someone who has to love me no matter what.
Is it normal to feel pressured to have children even if you aren’t sure if you’re quite ready? Is it normal at such a young age?
Curvy Girl Contributor, Crystal Marino, thinks she’s a lot funnier than she actually is…she even calls herself Jason Bateman’s female counterpart. When she isn’t sleeping or sweating like a pig while working in a convenience store, you can find her at her blog, Spaghettios and Vicodin, and on twitter. She also spends multiple hours a week taking pictures of herself in her bathroom from flattering angles.