Saturday, 19 April 2014

When Should You Have Children?

I have a secret.

One that I feel no one else could possibly understand. But I'm wrong - I'm not the only one.

There may be a lot of you out there who will read this and will have no understanding or ability to put yourself in someone elses shoes, or even try to understand where I, and others like me, are coming from.

And you know what? We are all entitled to our opinions, and should not try to change someone elses mind or make them think that they are wrong. Of course, do not use this sentence against me as there is a certain time and place for that kind of a sentence to be right... but it is not in this case, so bear with me.

I am in my early 20s. A child of the early 1990s. And for over the past 4 years I have been struggling every day with the desire to be a mother. When I say struggle, I mean struggle. I'm talking heart wrenching, tearing my hair out, complete and utter desire to the point that I can cry uncontrollably from the pain of the emptiness I feel by the constant reminder that I am all alone... These words even now do not come close to or begin to try and explain my want and need. I want a child. I want children. And I have been wanting them for so long.

But I know I shouldn't just yet.

Then I think, but why the hell not?

And this is my daily struggle... those two thoughts right there. The opposing ends that tear my heart apart.

So why can't I get pregnant now? Why should my career and not being married stop me? I am a grown woman, and I know what I want. I know I am capable.

I was a bright child who from as early as I can remember was very aware of myself, my surroundings, my thoughts, and understandings of my world. I have always been quite mature in my thoughts and actions.

I always imagined that I would be married and having kids at 20. Only a few years past that and I have disappointment that little girl so much. Dramatic - I know...

But this is how I feel. I am not exactly where I want to be in life. And the only way I can get through this is saying to myself that the universe, fate, God, whatever you want to call it, they have a plan for me and it is obviously just not my time yet. But this doesn't mean that I don't struggle with wishing, hoping, dreaming, wanting, craving it every day.

I am quite intelligent. In this little girl's dream, right up to my standards as an adult woman, I have always wanted to do the 'right' thing, follow tradition, and make sure that I am married first before having a child. I'm proud to say that I am currently doing this - being engaged that is. It is actually really important to me that I am married first. I know it is very old school thinking. Come on - it is 2014! Times have changed dramatically. Women are getting pregnant by themselves and doing it all on their own and on their terms, what with sperm donation with some finding lack of a decent man to be a father, so heck why not just do it yourself?! I admire these women so much. I even made a promise to myself that if by 30 I was not with someone I too would go on that journey alone, and quite happily so.

But of course I want to share the joy and blessing of having children with someone I love.

Thankfully I 100% believe that I have found that special person, who is perfect for not only me but I know will be a brilliant father to our future children.

This is the only thing I find comfort in, and also that he wants it just as much as I do. But we both want to wait until we are married first. (July 2015 cannot come soon enough!)

The reason it is so important for me to be married first is not for anyone else but myself, my future husband, and our future children. I want to have that solid commitment from him and I want our children to know that too. I also think with being married your children always know that they were planned and wanted. I fear that those children who were conceived when their parent/s were very young, single, and/or not married, may figure out that they were an 'accident' and therefore unwanted. I know that this is not necessarily the case, but you need to remember how children can think. So keep that in mind of how you will talk to your child about that. I do not judge those who had teen pregnancy, and/or pregnancy outside of marriage. You just to need to try and think outside of yourself, and understand from a perspective of ours who work with children that their minds are so much more than we ever realise at times. It's what makes them so amazing.

So back to the intelligent part. Yes I was going somewhere with that.

Here is a list of things I believe you should have sorted out before having a child:

- a stable job, and paid maternity leave if possible
- a stable house
- a support network; family, friends, community services
- good health; no smoking, no drinking - be physically and mentally healthy
- know the kind of parent you want to be; methods and techniques to benefit you and your child

These seem like the real basics to me. As long as you have those covered then everything else will fall into place within that structure.

Notice how my list did not detail income, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, education, social status...

Some of you may think 20 is too young. And you are right. But not all 20 year olds are the same. I am someone who has a university degree, a great job, a partner also with a great job, who is saving to buy a house, who is getting married, and who has logically considered having children. I know someone who is 20 that still lives at home, is stumbling through uni, parties every other night of the week, does drugs, is having one night stands, and who knows what else. So do you think we are the same? No? That's what I thought.

Don't forget that a woman's body is actually designed to have children from her late teens, and the chances of falling pregnant dramatically decrease the second we turn 30.

I have considered this topic with both my heart and my brain. It is not something that has come up because I went to a baby shower and was suddenly 'clucky'.
It is something that I have suppressed, and in those moments thought thank goodness I got over it and can finally move on with my life in a normal, streamlined way... only to have it creep back up on me in a split second... for over the past four years. every. day.

We all have our internal struggles. This happens to be mine. I know it is coming. I know it is so close in my future. I am so grateful I am in a position to have this opportunity. But we can't help what we feel sometimes. And we need to let those feelings out, because bottling it up really hurts.

Having a child is a huge commitment.

This is a person. A life. It is precious, and just as important as anyone elses.

They have human rights from the second they are conceived. The have a voice, opinions, and the right to all the experiences that our world can offer.

I cannot wait to experience having children.

I know it is the greatest thing I will ever do in my lifetime. My family is my number one priority. I am proud of this characteristic, and I am going to be the best mother to my children.

A message for my future children:

I love you so much.
I wish I had the words to explain to you just how much I love you.
I have dreamed, craved, and wanted you for so long. I hope you know how special you are to me. You are my world. You are the best thing I have ever done in my life. I am so proud of you. 
I cannot wait for you to know just how much I have loved you from the very beginning, just when you were a thought in my mind when daydreaming about our future. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.
Forever, Mummy xxx

I hope you've enjoyed this tear jerker of a blog post.

Comment below your thoughts on this and your experience.

And remember you teenage boys out there... if it's not on, it's not on!

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