Some time ago I’ve written a post about the reasons I didn’t want kids. It was kind of a rant against all the pression I received over the years about having kids: I am 38 now – will be in a few days – and I can say that I am out of the woods, regarding annoying parents and friends pestering me about when will I finally have a baby. They have either understood, or given up on me.
In the last 3-4 years, though, I’ve seen and heard some very troubling things, much more troubling than annoying busybodies, regarding exploding biological clocks and impending and inevitable baby-madness.
I have some friends with kids, although I prefer the company of childfree people, for obvious reasons (things in common, being more available and accomodating, generally not liking to talk about kids, etc.). Lately I have seen some of them, who were adamantly childfree, changing their mind in a sudden turn of events. Like, yes, they had kids. On purpose. One of them – a facebook friend – dropped the kid bomb, unannounced to all of us who don’t know her in real life. She passed from overpopulation anathema to pictures of her baby snoring, without even easing us through her pregnancy. She is now suddenly very concerned with people leaving babies in their cars.
This pretty much left me wondering what triggered them, as they were very kind of Vhemt-childfree people, not just people without kids. I talked about that with an older childfree friend, a woman of 51, who told me that something happens to you when you turn forty, or around there. That’s your biological clock ticking, reminding you to take the last train; hormones, supposedly, giving you a crazy brain.
I was obviously terrified. My reasons for being childfree were always genuine, and I couldn’t believe I could get to desire, to crave, what I never have wanted. Although I do not despise babies like I did when I was 20 (I am now finally normal around them – as normal as I am able to be, which is very little) I still do not feel any kind of desire towards them. I do not want to see my neighbor’s newborn. I find that picture of your infant with yellow scabs still over his head unattractive, to say the least. I am not happy about my husband’s cousin having another baby (are they daft? They have no money and he’ll soon be out of a job!). I do not really care about my former coworker being pregnant, but thank you for yelling the news on the phone, that was very… interesting.
So, I was at the IKEA the other day (as I have been often lately), waiting for my husband in front of the restaurant, and I got some time to take an attentive look around: just some people, since it was very early; some couples with kids, and some without them. And I found myself still thinking that I’d rather be that childless couple in the corner – although unhappy, unloving or apparently bored: all things one can eventually turn around and correct – than the one with a kid, because there is no way you can undo that. There’s the rest of your life, staring at you with mashed potatoes drooling on the side of their mouth. And like hell I want that in my life.
And, as it turns out, the “biological clock” thing is probably a bunch of crap, meaning there is not much scientific evidence that a biological urge kicks in for a woman of a certain age; and yet it does, to some extent and to some women, mostly because of social conditioning, and of what is perceived like a normal expectation in an adult woman. (Or maybe my friends, in the back of their minds, always wanted to have a kid.)
As for myself, at 38 I still don’t want kids. Will I change my mind at 40? I’ll tell you in a couple of years!