BEING CALLED A GERIATRIC MOTHER IS NOT HELPING!
By Bethany Ocansey
‘Babe! Come in the bedroom and screw me now, it’s time!’ No. No. No! I don’t want to be that couple. I don’t want a fertility tracker, or baby making app, or a watch that lights up, (something I just saw in a commercial.) I have no desire for any of it. I will not have my sex life be dictated by my unborn children. Lord knows they will have their whole lives to turn our world upside down, if we give them that chance.
I didn’t feel maternal for most of my adult life, easily growing irritated if I was forced to turn on the goo-goo gaga voice and adjust my face to look sweet and unbothered. I would do much better at cuddling and fussing over a puppy that demanded my attention, instead of a baby or toddler. And I’ve never been a plant or flower person. Both always die pretty quickly. The first person I even thought about having children with I married, but it wasn’t enough, the feeling was misleading.
I do think and feel passionately about motherhood, mainly about avoiding it all together. I fear I will lose my identity, as a fiercely independent woman I am very protective over myself. And yes, my body too. Growing a miniature version of myself inside me is insane! Don’t get me wrong, a pregnant woman is radiant, one of the most beautiful states a woman can be in, but when she’s glowing, and her hair is lustrous and she’s smiling from ear to ear, we forget the weight she is carrying. Literally. The aches, pain and constant peeing (which for me will be times by ten because I have a bladder like a puppy who can rarely hold it.) And after? Let’s not kid ourselves, we will never be the same physically again. Our body is part of our identity, and it isn’t shallow to want your body to yourself. It’s yours. And…I don’t want my vagina to tear, but it’s also the only exit I would want to consider.
One day I had a friend tell me that not having a child would be selfish. ‘Selfish to whom?’ I asked. She couldn’t answer. We live in different times, and while I respect other opinions you should never be guilt tripped into motherhood. By anyone.
My nephew was the first baby I remember holding, thrust into my arms with joy, but the only thoughts I had whizzing around in my head were ‘you are going to drop this baby. Don’t drop the baby!’ It felt awkward, difficult and uncomfortable, but I wanted to stare at him all day, and every time I did I couldn’t believe he was real. I had the same pesky thoughts with my niece, ‘hold her properly, you should know by now. If you drop her that will suck!’ I joke that now my sister has the boy and girl, I can be let off the hook.
Babies are everything pure and good about this planet, they are blessings, but the world we live in can be a very sad place, it reminds me of when my mother told me I shouldn’t go somewhere, and I asked her why, and she simply said, ‘it’s no place for a child.’ That’s how I feel about the world today. And families are more complicated too, I am separated by an Ocean from mine, while my partner has his on his doorstep. I worry about the dynamics, the education, the right and wrong and do’s and don’ts. But I also worry about how my life will be so incomplete without my own family. I’m beautifully conflicted, and wildly confused.
So, am I ready to commence baby-making now? No. I’m not ready, I want to drink some more, and eat lots of sushi, and start my day with a nice cup of coffee. But I know I can do this the rest of my life too, so little by little I’m changing my mind, and growing excited to be able to have such an honor. I will love this person more than anyone or anything, ever, and I will continue to pray for my two nannies who can speak French and Spanish, giving my children the languages, I could never grasp, my flight miles to be enough so they can always upgrade me to business class, and that my coconut oil continues to solve everything.
Do I think I will be an ecstatic mother? I don’t know yet, but fear never got anyone anywhere. And age is just a number. One thing I do know is that I will NEVER drive a minivan!
‘Rockabye’ by Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne Marie
A mother’s love for their child is one of the most powerful things in the world. As a mother, you put yourself second. Sacrifice your life and sometimes your dignity. But for one goal. To keep your child safe and healthy. It is easy to judge women in certain jobs, but we don’t know the path they are walking or who they are trying to keep alive. It’s a beautiful bond, one which inspires all women to be stronger.