bellinis and babies


Lunch was air and bellinis. Three thirtysomethings and me (I’m holding tight to 29).

Chaz is in PR. She’s good at it. They say she sold ice to an Eskimo. Twice. Luisa’s a banker. Investment. City firm. Chasing that £2million bonus. Julie’s the lawyer. She hates it, but she likes the money. The power. The old boy’s school she gets to order around.

And there’s me.

The conversation descends to men and why they’re needless and I sit quiet. I’ve got mine, and he’s a good one. They laugh and say Tall Dark & Handsome doesn’t count – he’s an anomaly. They ask if they’re leaving me out. If I have anything to moan about. I say I do.

I say this:

“If I hear don’t you want kids? one more time, someone’s gonna get bit.”

The girls understand. Because they’re more like me than not, and because they’ve heard my gripe before. They know about the uncle who knows everything and warns ‘You don’t want to be raising teenagers in your forties’, and the old school mates who ask ‘Can’t you have them?’.

Because the first is just so obvious and the second so polite.

Here’s the girls:

Chaz: “I don’t want ’em. Ever. That’s why I have rabbits.”

Luisa: “I’ve never wanted to have children. And I never will. Not with this body anyway.”

Julie: “I only want ’em when I’m drunk. And only if if they come without a man.”

Here’s me:

I like to be in control. I’ve always had a plan. Escape the farm. (“She’d have never been happy with a country boy like me.” Stephen said it. He was right.) Educate myself. (Because I deserve it.) Travel the world. Alone. (And remember that I did it…every day.) The plan never included children. Then I turned 27, and in an epiphany, realised remaining childless would be a waste of a good man.

So yeah. I want kids. But in my time. Not yours. It’s not unheard of. Outside of the holler. I’ll be a thirtysomething mother. My teenagers will have a fortysomething mom.

And you know what, they’ll do just fine.

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25 Comments

  • shesawriter
    Mar 4, 2006 at 14:28

    I had my first at twenty five. My mom had me when she was nineteen. I had my last when I was 35. I wish I’d done it sooner, only because of how old I’ll be (Lord willing) when my son graduates from college. OY.

    Tanya

  • Buffy
    Mar 4, 2006 at 14:41

    My mother was 17 when I was born. And there’s a part of me that envys her youth as a grandmother (42 when she became one.) But she’s a different kind of woman than me. I would have never been able to handle it….even at 25.

  • SAJ
    Mar 4, 2006 at 16:01

    I’ve thought about this a lot. I think both young mothers and older mothers have so much to offer. If I had gotten pregnant when I was 24 (like I planned in my dream world) things would have been easier physically etc… and yeah, I’d be the hip young mom at my kid’s functions BUT I wouldn’t have the financial stability and mental stability that I have now. I was a wreck at 24! I know my kids would have survived and been healthy for it. But I feel better being where I am now. And I think someday my baby will appreciate that her mother had her exactly when she wanted to have her.

  • sandra
    Mar 4, 2006 at 17:52

    I’m not even dating anyone seriously and I get the kids question (I’ll be 29 in two months). Not in a pushy way but in a passive-aggressive, “I’d love to meet your kids before I die” way — from my grandparents. And so I sigh internally, knowing that even if I was with someone, it’s just not time yet.

  • Beth
    Mar 4, 2006 at 22:43

    Six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. I got married at 21 but we didn’t have our first until I was 33 (I didn’t want children before) and my two year old was born when I was 37. Forty is knocking real hard at my door! Neither of my children were planned – oops! But they make me feel younger.
    I remember that people use to think I had “female problems”. LOL.

  • jason evans
    Mar 4, 2006 at 22:56

    I really don’t understand why people get assaulted for not having children. I have 2 (my wife was 30 and 32), but I wouldn’t question a decision not to have children. It is a tremendous responsibility, not a default decision.

  • Champ - Innocent Monster
    Mar 4, 2006 at 23:32

    Yes! they ‘ll do just fine. Actually, everybody has their own choice about things in their life. I do agree with three-somthin’ Mother though. Thankyou for your comments on my blog. Hope you ‘re doin’ good. *Smiles*

    God bless you…..

  • jude
    Mar 5, 2006 at 0:14

    There’s arguments for both sides… the health aspect where it used to best to have kids before your mid thirties is now pushed into the upper lower 40’s. I saw an interesting statistic that suggested that by waiting 10 years to have kids (30 instead of 20), your lifetime wealth would pretty much be doubled and the chance of your kids having financial assistance with college,etc, would be significantly improved. It’s up to you…

  • hattigrace
    Mar 5, 2006 at 2:23

    Dearest Buffy,

    Just have them. It is like swallowing a handful of vitamins. Seems daunting, but the consequences lifegiving. There is a reason our Church teaches about birthcontrol the way it does. We resist, we are afraid, but children are THE blessing of life. I only had one. I wish I had five. Yes, an inconvenience, for a very short time. A blessing forever. A love you have never known. Bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh. No one loves you like they do. . . Joy unspeakable. Have babies. You will never regret it. Fear is a liar.

  • char
    Mar 5, 2006 at 2:30

    I did not want children not because of bodily vanity or anything like that, solely because I wanted my freedom to come and go as I please, with that said I had my son at 25 and I’m perfectly fine with him and we have a great time together…do I want more, probally not I am content with him and the idea of being able to be a forty something and traveling freely without worry. Does my better half want kids…he says not now and their is the conflict…I don’t want anymore but he might since he has none.

  • amrapajalic
    Mar 5, 2006 at 6:33

    I’m knocking on the 30 door soon (turning 29 in June) and I’m getting paranoid. I’ve been married for 9 years and we’ve been planning to have children in five years the whole time. Now I’m realising there is no good time and that the worst thing in the world would be to have the desire and not the ability. So many women didn’t realise how much their fertility declined as they hit 30, then there’s the increased risk of health problems after 35, and the really , really dangerously low fertility period after 40. While there are women who defy the odds and have children at any age, the statistics are not good. So for me, sooner rather than later. Next couple of years I’m spitting one out and will just deal with it. Besides, the suspense is killing me.

  • that girl
    Mar 5, 2006 at 13:04

    i’m 33. i had my son when i was 24– unplanned. i never wanted children. my biggest fear in life was the physical act of childbirth. but now, here i sit with my body unlike it used to be and a vision of damaged goods to all men i meet. no one seems to be too excited about my package deal (aren’t packages supposed to be a deal?). and, yet, i still wouldn’t change the fact that i had him. you are blessed with the opportunity to choose. and when you choose to be ready, you, too, will have no regrets.

  • fauve
    Mar 6, 2006 at 13:48

    You’re right. You should do it in your time.

    I have more then 11 years between my two kids, so I’ve done it both ways – one young, one old. While there are pros & cons to both, it really doesn’t matter. Kids aren’t easier to raise if you are a certain age. Kids are kids.

  • Merteuil
    Mar 6, 2006 at 20:23

    I hear ya on this one. I’ve only been married for a year and a half and have started getting more and more of that nagging question. And it might sound awful, but I tell people the honest truth, whether they want to hear it or not. I’m too selfish right now to have kids. So is my husband. That’s the bottom line. Maybe one day we won’t be so selfish and then we’ll consider it. You have to do things by your own timeframe, not anyone elses.

  • Kat
    Mar 6, 2006 at 22:27

    I’ve never planned children. They’ve always been one of those things where if I have them, great, if not, great. Whatever. You know? I’m turning 27 in a month and just now am I starting to think that I might be ready to want to have a baby.

    It’s your life and you’ll do with it what you want, when you want – society be damned.

  • David
    Mar 7, 2006 at 2:43

    If you want kids, have ’em! Dont let anyone’s point of view ruin your dream. If you listened to everyone, how far in life would you get? Listen to your heart and follow it. It’s the only way to live. Children or not.

  • BougieBlackBoy
    Mar 7, 2006 at 21:04

    Great write up. You’re good with creative nonfiction. And, importantly I see how passionate you are with your decision. You’re a powerful writer. Iaeger breeds the best, we just had to get out to realize it.

  • LisaBinDaCity
    Mar 8, 2006 at 16:23

    Selling ice to an eskimo not once but twice – very impressive!

  • The Laughing Frog
    Mar 10, 2006 at 4:55

    If I ever become a mother, I’ll be retired by the time my kid goes off to college.

  • K
    Mar 10, 2006 at 19:25

    First time I’m coming to your site and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been at the table with the girls, shifting weight and topics since I’ve got one too–and not much to complain about…

    Great writing.

  • Elle
    Mar 13, 2006 at 15:51

    Ditto…

  • Lynn
    Mar 15, 2006 at 17:35

    As I get older I realize more and more that people who give you advice or ask you why you aren’t at a certain space in your life–well, they have issues, too, just like you do. It’s hard not to take things personally. I am 29 and single, and even though I love it and am not lonely, a lot of people question why I am single–it starts to hurt, until I remind myself who is asking the questions and passing the judgement.

    Kids are a big deal. I’ve heard that they change your life forever. Some people who have them never should have even thought of having them in the first place. Take your time and love what you have now, a great guy and a great bunch of girls to hang out with for cocktails and talk.

    Enjoying your blog so much, Buffy.

  • allison
    Mar 16, 2006 at 17:25

    Yes…holding tight to 29.

    And happy not to have had any children yet, because then I would be stuck with their fathers in my life. And believe me, I am much better off without.

  • Phoe
    Apr 22, 2006 at 0:54

    I am 25 and I got pregnant 5 weeks after a co-worker who is 45. She had a healthy baby girl 5 weeks early, but she was still healthy. I am hoping to have a healthy baby girl within the next couple of weeks, too.

    I never wanted kids when I was younger – I wanted to go out and conquer the world. Life changes – My brother died and when that happened it made me want kids more than anything. Family is so precious to me. Now, instead of conquering the world, I just want to be able to handle the world of mommy-hood and not go crazy.

    Even when I was young I got the “you’re crazy if you don’t want kids”. Now that I am having a kid, I am getting the “you’re crazy because you only want one kid”. For my husband and I, one is all we want or need. But, what I have learned in my 25 years is every person on the planet has an opinion on how you choose to live your life. Some people will agree (those who understand you), some will disagree, and some will be down-right offensive about it. People who come across as being rude to me will get my equally rude response – “I don’t want to be a referee for the next 18 years – Siblings fight – Even kids who grow up and love each other will fight in their youth – I don’t have the patience to deal with that”. And I don’t think I have ever spoken truer words.

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