A Serious Post about Waiting to Have Kids

The Other McCain points out an obvious, but increasingly forgotten, fact: if a woman doesn’t decide fairly early that she’s ready for pregnancy and kids, she’s fairly likely to be out of luck. Men can drag their feet a bit, though not forever; but women can’t.

I didn’t ever want to live in anything other than blessed singleness and chastity. But sheesh, even I felt the biological clock ticking. At several points in my life, I could hardly avoid the thought that I was probably never going to have kids.

But then, I never messed up my hormones with birth control in an attempt to ignore nature, much less put my metaphorical fingers in my ears while chanting La La La, in some bizarre attempt to drown out my body.

I feel sorry for people like this, though. They just believed what they were told, and believed that they were smart and wise.


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6 responses to “A Serious Post about Waiting to Have Kids

  1. From my observations, the hormone treatments don’t remove the desire to have kids– the insistence that you can do all that after you have “fun”, and the cultural bias against just being a wife are bigger problems. I had my oldest daughter only a year younger than my mom had me, but she was considered a confirmed bachelorette and I married earlier than most of my classmates. That’s a big change for one generation.

    A lot of the stupid behavior seems to be based off of folks being so cursed lonely. I know I did dumb(er) things when I was lonely.

  2. Well, maybe it is all wishful thinking and “kicking against the goad.” But I’ve met some women who really seemed to have programmed themselves to think, or been programmed by other people, to think of kids as repulsive. Not everybody needs to like or want kids, but it’s hard to engage in human society if you think kids are basically a threat to all that is right and good.

    Of course, it may also be “bad relationship syndrome”, since the men on the Internet who think kids are an evil trap and that nature itself hates men, usually are the ones who had bad girlfriends and haven’t gotten over it. It could be sexual abuse, too.

    And yeah, people being lonely and desperate creates a lot of stupid behavior.

  3. Good point; the anti-child crusaders I’ve heard of are usually women. Men child-haters tend to be more misanthropists in general, or just openly selfish.

    I wonder if the armchair psychology about those who repressed desires leading to hate might come into play…. I’m not a huge fan of “children,” but my kids are and were very much desired and loved!

  4. Joy

    “I didn’t ever want to live in anything other than blessed singleness and chastity.”

    I didn’t know this about you and we’ve been friends forever. This makes me feel stupid. I suppose I assumed because I very, very, very much wanted to get married and have children that you did too, at least at one time. I obviously need to make more of an effort to talk to you about serious subjects not just My Little Pony fanvids.

    • Well, I’ve always been reluctant to say anything like that, because I’m reluctant to have or express goals. You say one thing, and people never let you get over it, or they spend five hundred thousand years trying to dissuade you, or something happens the next day to totally negate what you said. But I did tell this a lot to guys who wanted to date me; and it did absolutely no good in terms of discouraging them. In fact, it seemed to be an encouragement. Saying it to female friends in college tended to make them think I was either begging to be set up with a guy, or a lesbian. So I stopped saying anything.

      And I found that out before I ever ran into you back at the gaming club, so there’s no need to feel stupid. You should feel lucky for having missed all my first-quarter soap opera. 🙂

      And it’s not that I didn’t think about getting married or having kids; I did try to think about it, because it’s the normal thing and because it was always being pushed at me. It just wasn’t anything I could really picture myself doing. I thought a lot more about becoming a Carmelite, but my mom was always very negative about the convent because of her aunts, and because I’m not much good at getting along with people in a situation where you live cheek by jowl with each other, like you have to in a contemplative convent.

      Also, I know you get a lot of (at least passive and tacit) pressure not to hope for marriage and kids. So I don’t really want to say anything about myself that might be discouraging for you. I’m not exactly tactful, as you know, but I am capable of a brute force imitation. 🙂

      My basic rule as a middle child is to try never to expect or want anything, because that way nobody can take it away from you. Of course, the disadvantage is that you very seldom manage to achieve anything positive that way, which is indeed how it has turned out for me. But I have managed to resist a great many wrong things that people pushed on me, some of them astonishingly wrong, although not with much grace in many cases. (Though if people would just accept it when I try to refuse tactfully, they wouldn’t have to have the hammer reply of no tact.)

      • Joy

        Now me, ever since my hormones kicked in in high school, I’ve been at a constant state of slow–or in some cases fast–boil, and I’m constantly trying and failing to get myself to want a single and chaste life, since that seems to be God’s will for me at least so far. I’ve almost come to terms with the “no kids” thing since my biological clock is missing its spring at this point, but it’s still very hard for me. If I could find a partner, I would happily couple up and adopt. I would have been doing that at twenty, if I could have. I don’t really get people who want to be mothers, but want to delay motherhood and etc for career and so forth.

        Still, I feel like I’ve been like a woman on a diet who constantly craves cake and babbles about it to her friend all the time, and it turns out the friend doesn’t really care for cake and is perfectly happy eating yogurt. I’ll try not to do that to you so much anymore.

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