I’m not supposed to feel this way. I’m only 23. I’m supposed to be concerned with my career. I’m supposed to be out having fun, dating a lot of new people, having experiences. Everything I am told and everything I have read tells me this. Every one of my friends I have spoken with says the same thing.
“You are too young. Wait until you’re older.”
My mother was 22 when she became pregnant with my brother. She’d gotten married one year earlier. She says that when she found out she was pregnant it was unexpected but she quickly warmed up to the idea. She stayed home for two years and then went out and started her career. Two years after that she had me and had to put her career on hold.
When I ask her she says she has no regrets. At the same time she says she wishes she could have had my brother later. But, honestly, she doesn’t seem to mean this. She seems to mean “I wish I had been more experienced at 22.” She also says you’re never ready to have your first child no matter what you think.
She tells me to wait until I’m older.
But even though the entire world is telling me that I should not want to meet a loving man and have a baby with him sooner I still want to. I can’t deny this. I know it’s probably mostly biology. I’m supposed to be having a baby right now according to millions of years of evolution. And even understanding that, the biological necessity of it, changes nothing in the same way that understanding what hunger pangs are does nothing to make them go away.
The only solution is to eat.
And so why should I wait until I’m older, wiser? Will I ever be “wise enough”? Will I ever be “ready enough”? If I can be stable and secure with someone I love then why wait? As they say, wait for what?
Love waits? Love never waits. Love is unstoppable, a tumbling avalanche set off by the slightest shake. The mountains can only hold so much and wait so long.
I hide that I feel this way mostly. All but my mother and a few friends know that I feel this way and have for nearly a year. My friends act like I’ve told them I have a disease. They act like wanting a baby is the same as contracting an STD because you were irresponsible. There’s a taint to it somehow. It marks me as “traditional” and somehow “submissive.” And yet, I’m the one with the non-traditional desire.
I am young and the world I live in says that young women are never pregnant. They never want children. They never want a family. They want to be carefree. They want adventure. But why does every adventure have to look the same, like the glossy pages of magazine. Why does my adventure make so many people uncomfortable?
I am sick that I feel the need to hide this feeling but when I imagine it in my mind, even the 2am feedings, the crying, the extra work, all I can think is “all I want is the miracle of feeling a life grow inside me.”
All I can think is “how beautiful such a simple thing is, how joyful it would be to have a child with a man who loved me,” and then, I want it all the more.