Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jive talking

My sweet friend who just turned 30 wants to know if she should have a baby. How will she able to tell if it's the right decision for her and her husband? Now? Later? Will she regret the decision, whatever it is she does decide, in the end?

I met an old school-friend of mine (O) for brunch this morning. We've known each other since we were 13 years old, we each have two children, we are completely different from each other. I told her about my sweet 30-year-old friend and she smiled the same smile I smiled when I first heard the question. "You don't decide. In this case, you just act," she said, with a sigh. We wondered how this same, beautiful, serious, ambitious, talented, loving young woman had decided to get married. We were quite certain it didn't involve a pros and cons table typed neatly on a sheet of pristine white paper.

I keep thinking about the question. It's a woman's question, ultimately a woman's decision - when is a good time to try and create a brand-new person, from nothing? A person who will grow up to be different to you. The 30-year-old says she knows that she'll hate being pregnant, I can't argue with that - how she might feel is just that, how she might feel. Babies bring mess and stress and a lot of disorganisation; that's hard if you enjoy your neat, quiet house and your romantic couple time. So maybe it's not such a good idea to make a human being, you know, a person, one moment there's no person and then, suddenly, voila, a new person living and breathing and always, always, someone you never expected to make.

It is better to remain silent.

Our little blogging sphere is packed to the brim with "mommy bloggers," and I love them. I wish that I had the Internet when my children were younger; I was stuck with Dr. Penelope Leach and Dr. Berry Brazelton on pay TV, and my much-thumbed copy of "What To expect the First Year." When I was pregnant with Ms CB I knew NOTHING about babies, I hadn't even babysat any little kids. I was naive and silly and really, looking back, it's kind of crazy how little I knew and how happy I was.

In this case, the men (our loving, caring, adored partners through those crazy years) may actually know better than us - sometimes not talking about stuff can be much much better.

Or maybe not.


Paola said...

OK, I'll be the first.
I am one of those who always thought never to have kids.
How silly was I? It's not us who decide ... I mean, I know you can make SURE not to have kids but never the less, you can never be 100% SURE.
Anyway I have Brizio and I am over the moon with him (not all the time but most of it).
You don't decide to have a baby,
It just happens.
The more you think about it, the more it gets all verklempt and unimaginable.
Tell her to "go with it".
She'll be delighted when it happens.
After all she's 30, in my book it's THE perfect age!

Trash said...

It is one of those decisions to which the answer will always remain - 'There is NO right time. If you are lucky there is just time.'

Stomper Girl said...

No-one can answer whether the timing is right, but I do know having kids was the best thing I ever did!

Esti said...

hi Eleanor!

I knew I wanted to have kids, but husband wasn't sure. So I didn't push it, just said whenever you want if you want at all... A couple of years later he came up with the idea. I was very very happy.

I agree with Paola. It happens. And not everybody is meant to have kids.


Anonymous said...

I was just like you when pregnant with #1 -- knew nothing about babies, had never babysat, but was thrilled to be pregnant. And #1 seems to have turned out just fine anyway. #2, as well.

I think it is a decision one's biological clock makes, with a little help from one's psyche, but certainly not with one's logic.