I never realized how much Sex and the City influenced me in my teen years until I rewatched it in my late 20s. Although it was mostly fluff and exaggerated girl talk, it did sometimes explore profound ideas about what is often wrongly expected of the modern woman.
And this was never more apparent until I was rewatching it while at the same time seeing my gynecologist for some treatment I had been putting on hold for far too long. One of the many nosy but necessary questions she kept asking me was “So, when are you going to have a child? Don’t you want to be a young mommy?” I couldn’t have been more polite. I smiled back at her and said, “Of course, I do.” But deep down inside, I was furious. How could she ask me something like this? In this day and age, are we still thinking of women in this way? To be honest, I don’t know why, but I was expecting so much more from this educated woman. I was expecting her to be on my side—on the side of the woman who isn’t quite sure if she wants kids, on the side of the woman who feels that having children does not define her womanhood. But she wasn’t.
I thought I wouldn’t have a problem with that little situation, but I did. I really did. So much so that a few hours later, back at home, I found myself searching for answers on Google, trying to find the pros and cons of having babies in your 30s. Is it still possible to have babies in your 30s? Is it still safe? That is my age limit, you see. I have decided that I am giving myself until 35 to have children. If it doesn’t happen by then, well, I guess that will be it.
The next day, there I was, watching another episode of SATC and finding myself relating so much to Carrie’s situation. She was dating the Russian and the subject of babies had come up. And just like Carrie, I felt that all my life people have been putting their shoulds onto me. I should want to have children. I should feel the need to get married and settle down. I shouldn’t put my own life first.
I am 26. In a few months, I’ll be 27. The truth is that I have never felt any desire to hold a baby in my arms. I like gushing over cutesy baby clothes, sure, but I am not sure that I want the rest. I like quiet mornings and quiet weekends. I love being able to splurge on books and coffee. Contrary to popular belief, all that really does make a girl happy. I enjoy not having any worries other than work-related stuff and paying my bills. I enjoy this freedom. I really do love it. So then, why am I so afraid that I will end up regretting it?
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t want to chase something I am not sure I truly want. And I really take comfort in that thought. I am truly proud and content with myself for thinking this way and not giving in to whatever society thinks I should feel and want.
After all, I guess Charlotte said it best: “The women’s movement is about choice.” If I choose to be a mom and have children, that’s fine. If I choose not to, that’s fine as well. I shouldn’t be made to feel less than I really am.