I have come to the startling realisation that I might want kids afterall. Gasp! I know!! How did that happen?!? *mock horror*
It all started a couple of months back when The Hubs asked me how I saw ourselves at the end of the road. He sees just the two of us happily living out our lives. I, on the other hand, peeped into the crystal ball and saw us happily surrounded by grandkids and family. Basically, I saw a bank commercial. Which was weird because I have never envisioned kids in my future. 2 cats and a golden retriever? Definitely. But kids? Never.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, my FIL had some health-related issues and I saw The Hubs and his siblings rally around his parents. Now you’re talking about kids who are irreverent most of the time. But when it came down to it, they all got down to business and provided support in every sense of the word. My PIL brought up really great kids and I thought about how different their lives would be if they didn’t have children. That thought alone totally freaked me out.
Next contributing factor – time. I will be, ahem, turning 32 in a couple of weeks – 2 whole years past the deadline I had set. I was supposed to have made this decision by 30 but here I am, still mucking around. Some mornings I wake up and think “Not much time left already!!!! Just do it!” Is this the ticking of the biological clock that people are talking about?
I suppose coupled with the fact that I’ll be turning 32 soon, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the meaning of life. Or rather the lack of it. I once read somewhere that life is meaningless until you give it meaning. I wondered if choosing to live a child-free life was a selfish, hedonistic pursuit which will one day come back to bite me in my ass?
So, what am I waiting for? You see, while kids are starting to look a little tempting right now, I’m not convinced why I want kids in the first place. Is it because I’ve been brought up to believe in the fairytale of the TV commercial? Is it because everyone else is doing it? Is it because my pool of single or child-free friends is slowly dwindling? Is it because I dread the loneliness that my decision will bring? Is it because I want something or someone I can tag my identity to? Is it because I’m afraid that I might one day die alone?
I suspect I want kids the same way I want a perfect body without having to go to the gym or the same way I want a million dollars without having to actually work for it. In fact, I think I might just be wanting the grandkids without actually wanting the kids. I want the saccharine sweetness of a TV commercial. And yet, I’m painfully aware of all the hoops I have to jump through to achieve this. And I’m not sure I want to do it. Or that I will find it worthwhile at the end.
Friends tell me that I’m over-thinking this. I envy those who know that they want children. This sort of clarity puts them on the well-trodden, socially acceptable path that all parents take. The other path? It’s a lonely one which I’m convinced will be plagued by social pressure, name-calling and self-doubts when I’m 60. I am so tempted to just go with the flow instead of having this constant debate raging in my head. Sometimes, I pray I would stumble into parethood accidentally. It seems such an easy way out. But this is the single, most irreversible decision of my life. I need to be at peace with my decision. No regrets. I just hope by the time I’ve decided, it’s not too late.