It’s the end of 2018 already and I am entering my mid 40’s.
I have decided not to bear children 20 something years ago and that never changed. Yet my body kept producing eggs and preparing my body for the potentiality of getting pregnant the same, month in month out.
I keep being astonished of this fact. Am I missing something?
A dear friend of mine who’s around my age, and whom I believe has made a similar decision sometime long ago, called me almost 2 years ago to tell me that she’s pregnant and that she and her partner are keeping the baby. Another one who also lives abroad, showed up at my apartment for a visit few years ago with her lovely 1 year old! Another friend back in his early 40’s, told me few years back that he and his wife are pregnant and expecting a twin!
Apparently all changed their mind and so far happy with the result. I am yet to meet a person who ever regretted having a child. Another fact.
Still I wonder, am I missing something?
There is something about 40’s that makes one switch from being mostly about “what the world has for me to take” to thinking more of “what ways I can give back to the world”. Is the 40’s the best time to be a parent? You’re done living your 20’s and 30’s to their fullest, you’ve partied, traveled, built up a good enough career doing something you at least half heartedly love, and experimented with personal projects here and there and now ready for that responsibility!
I keep wondering.
At different stages I felt the urge to mother a tiny human being, so thought one day my partner and I could adopt a kid and raise together. Holding to that thought still, I recently wondered if parenting and taking care of a young human is an important experience no life is complete without. But if survival of the fittest is in our nature, then how come I never had the urge to procreate tiny copies of myself? I do understand the appeal of course but I always thought procreating (not to confuse with parenting) is both the most selfless and selfish act at the same time. Always wondered, why do people who want to take care of young humans always go for 100% procreation and not a mix between having their own offspring and adopting orphans? The second seems to me a much better experience for themselves and the society at large.
These days, spending quality time with my niece and three nephews seems enough of an experience to help me nurture that need and somehow be able to be part of the conversation. I say here that their existence enriches my life in ways I never thought possible and I do plan to be an important part of their life support system as they grow up and as long as I am around.
Nature, in my friends’ case, has delivered to the possibility of them changing their minds. However, in mine, I keep feeling its cluelessness as to my level of self-awareness which I know for a fact is shared by a significant number of women and men around the world none of which should apologize nor be labeled as selfish for.