Tag Archives baby pressure

No, I’m Not a Mommy

Illustrated Baby Carriage from "No, I'm Not a Mommy" on The Girl Next Door is Black | Photo credit: Aspa2006, flickr.com
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In the past 6 months I’ve received various inquiries into the state of my womb, specifically about the fact that it’s empty.

When visiting my mom* on the East Coast recently, I reconnected with an aunt whom I haven’t seen since my kid days. I warmed to her immediately; her personality fills a room.

[*I have two moms through a remarriage (dad’s) – one on the East Coast, one in Texas (with dad).]

After exchanging pleasantries and hugs, my aunt said,

“Keisha, you don’t want no husband or children?” It didn’t seem so much a question, but more of a statement of fact. The implication being that if I hadn’t done something by now, I’m not going to.

I laughed. “I wouldn’t say that. It’s not that easy.” I explained that I hadn’t met the right person and have no interest in being a single parent by choice.

I also met a new cousin, my aunt’s tween son, whom my aunt said she calls he`r “menopause baby” because her other four children were nearly grown when she had him.

“May I ask how old you were when he was born?”

She counted silently before saying “35 or 36?”

35 or 36?! That’s not menopause!”

She shrugged, “Yeah, I guess not. How old are you again?” She leaned back on the maroon leather couch.

“3-.”

Her eyebrows raised slightly; I could see her contemplating how much longer I have in Fertile-ville.

I interrupted her thoughts with, “I’m thinking of getting my eggs frozen.”

She nodded, “I’ve heard about that.”

That seemed to placate her as she turned her attention back to the movie playing the background, White Chicks.

Egg Freezing from "No I'm Not a Mommy" | The Girl Next Door is Black
Egg Freezing | Source

It’s true. Several women I know aged 35+,  have chosen to freeze their eggs.

Mere minutes later, my mom, whose quieter nature balances my aunt’s more boisterous one, let out:

“Do you know I am the only one of all my brothers and sisters [all 7 of them] who doesn’t have any grandchildren?”

“You should talk to your other daughter,” I teased her, referring to my younger sister.

A couple of months later, during a call with another older relative with whom I speak regularly, she commented as we were discussing her upcoming 7-th birthday, “I hope I’m around to see you have your first child.”

Ouch!

I know she didn’t mean for her words to sting, but they kind of did. Sometimes septuagenarians keep it a little too real. Still, I agree, if the kids are gonna happen, it’d be nice for them to meet her. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about that though.

A few weeks after, I was chatting to my Texas mom when she non sequitured:

“I miss holding a baby on my chest. I want to be a grandmother. Hold a baby for a week.”

“You have two grandchildren!” I reminded her, speaking of my niece and nephew, my oldest sister’s children.

“They are not babies anymore!” They sure aren’t. My little nephew ain’t so little anymore and he speaks with a man’s voice. He’ll be attending college soon. The last time I visited, my niece – his younger sister – asked me about my makeup and jewelry.

I suppose I should take it as a good sign that people are even asking me about my baby plans. At some point, if I still don’t have children, people will stop asking because they’ll assume I’ve moved into uterine retirement and it’s a moot point. Though, that day may not come for a while longer if the trend of women having children in their 40s and 50s continues.

Old Time Clock from "No, I'm Not a Mommy on the The Girl Next Door is Black. Photo cr: Ales Krivec
“Oh hey, I’m time. Here to be annoying and complicate things.”

I read an article not too long ago that mentioned how more and more women are admitting to ambivalence toward motherhood.

I appreciate articles like this that cover an often overlooked perspective. It’s as though as women we’re supposed to feel strongly one way or the other about having kids. Like there’s no room for a less vehement conviction. I can see a future for myself with or without kids.

I think I’d like to be a mom. I know I would work hard at it. Occasionally, I’ll see a chubby-cheeked brown baby or toddler who looks like they could be mine and I think about what my children might look like. Then again, some days I really appreciate being able to sleep in and only having to deal with swatting away the cat. And quite frankly, I have personal misgivings about from time to time about bringing another human into this at times, terrible, scary world.

With each passing birthday, I wonder if that will be the year I’m suddenly going to be overcome with hormone-infused baby obsession. Where every man I approach is not just a man, but a potential co-conspirator in baby-production shenanigans. “Is it you? Are you my baby’s daddy? You smell like you’d be a good dad. Do you have parents within a two-hour radius who could help with childrearing? It takes a village, you know. How do you feel about spanking, co-sleeping and helicopter parents?” The day has yet to arrive.

Baby Fever from "No, I'm Not a Mommy" on The Girl Next Door is Black | Photo credit: drolesdemums.comThat’s not to say that there aren’t women who have clearly defined views on personal motherhood. I have friends who say they knew they wanted to be a mom the instant they picked up their first babydoll. On the other hand, I know more than a few women whom are content to be awesome aunts. For them, kids are cool as long as they can be returned to sender.  Then there are those who would rather kids stay the hell away from them, the creepy creatures.

Maybe one day I’ll be a mom, but it’s possible that kids of my own aren’t in my future. I know what my options are and I will do what I can to maximize them, but I’m not interested in spending too much energy stressing out about it.

A guy I once dated lectured me: “Keisha, as an intelligent, successful black woman, don’t you feel somewhat morally obligated to produce and raise the next generation’s successes? We need people like you to have children.”

As if I don’t have enough on my shoulders.

If you are a parent, did you always know you wanted to have children? If you don’t have children, do you have strong feelings one way or the other about having kids? Or are you ambivalent?

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The End of My Love Affair with the Mailman

I used to love getting mail. Remember back when the internet only existed in secrecy and you had to physically write letters to people? In junior high I had a French penpal. We’d write back and forth practicing our kindergarten-level language skills. My letters to her probably translated to something like:

“Hello, my French friend. How are you? I am teenager. It’s not fun as think. Have zits. How say zits in French? Zeut alors! Do go to discotechques? You are amiable. Texas hot. Thanks. Write back now.”

I loved getting letters back from her. But, really I loved getting anything in the mail. I would write to companies for information, just so I could get mail. It seemed wondrous to get return mail back from exotic places like Pueblo, CO. On Saturdays, I eagerly awaited the mailman’s arrival, with the enthusiasm of a wagging dog tail. He was a man who made things happen. One day my parents decided to put an end to my mail obsession. They forbid me and my sisters from checking the mail. They may as well have just told me that George Michael and I would never be. I refused to hear this! That was the beginning of me thinking my parents were spies in the CIA. Of course I couldn’t check the mail, I might intercept one of their top secret government letters.

Today I hate the mail. Let’s take a look at some of the mail I receive now.

Victoria’s Secret Catalogs

Victoria's Secret Catalogs Junk Mail Too Much Junk Mail
Why does Victoria’s Secret hate trees?

These are eight catalogs I’ve received from Victoria’s Secret in the last two months. This photo doesn’t even capture the ones I threw away on sight in disgust at them flaunting their tree-hating ways. Just how many pairs of boobs does Victoria’s Secret think I have? And while my ass is biggish, I’ve managed to get by with only wearing one pair of underwear at a time for years. So, what’s up with all the catalogs? Are they trying to keep the paper industry in business? Are they determined to have every American female wear pants with writing on the butt?

Never Forget: You are Not a Woman, You Are a Vessel

I’ve received a couple of these wonderful, no pressure, informational leaflets from my insurance company, Blue Cross:

Future Moms Junk Mail Blue Cross Targeted Mail to Thirtysomethings Not Pregnant
Get pregnant already, bitch!

How come no one told me I’m pregnant? The last time I visited the lady doctor, did she check for everything but the baby?! I’ve been tossing back shots like spring break in Mexico on the regular. My poor, unacknowledged, drunken fetus. Or could it be that I’m not pregnant? That my health insurance company is profiling me? “Ah, see, a woman in her 30s, let’s baby mail bomb her! Surely someone will be sticking a bun in her oven soon! And it’s springtime! Who doesn’t want to get pregnant in the spring?” What if I don’t want to have kids? What if I can’t have kids?

Look, Blue Cross, get out of my uterus! A single woman of a certain age gets enough baby pressure as is: parents; my general practitioner; anytime US Weekly has a sad photo of Jennifer Aniston and her “baby woes” on the cover; a random prescient homeless woman (“Gurl, you gotta get knocked up soon! Yo’ eggs gon’ dry up!” Ok, maybe that last bit never happened, but you get my point.). I don’t need pressure delivered by snail mail. I get it. My eggs are feeling useless and weeping. Once a month as another is released, the others cheer it on, “Get it girl, get fertilized, this is your time!” Then as the egg passes on into the ether, the rest fall into a deep depression. I don’t think they understand exactly how things work in that area. Can I get Prozac just for my eggs?

Then there are the bills, the bills and the bills. Destiny’s Child had it right: “Can you pay my bills? Maybe then we can chill.” ‘Cause I’m sick of looking at the damn things. Time Warner, your internet service is subpar. Can I just pay you what I I think you’re worth? Here’s two dollars.

Everyone Should be a Teen Mom!

My latest mailman is definitely not the man of my dreams. The mailbox at my current apartment is super small. A mailbox fit for an ewok. I can’t even fit packages of illegal drugs in there. There goes that side business. As a result, he’d taken to sticking my US Weeklys in the mailbin. [Yes, I have a subscription to US Weekly. Don’t wrinkle your intellectually snooty nose at me. I think for a living. My brain needs a vacation from time to time.] The mailbin where any shifty Teen Mom-obsessed nutcase can steal them, and steal them they have. I missed out on seeing the photos of Kim Kardashian’s latest giant-ass stunt with Kanye because of my mailman. We gon’ fight, dude.

US Weekly Magazines Lost Mail Lost Magazines Not Delivered Missing
Just as I was starting to forget how batshit crazy Tom Cruise is…

I may or may not have sent some goons (that word doesn’t enough love these days) to his house to help him see the light. My US Weeklys are now being safely deposited in my mailbox. Never again will I have to live in fear that I will answer “I don’t know” when asked what’s going on with The Bachelor behind the scenes, because even though I don’t watch that maddening show, US keeps me in-the-know.

Between the the tree-killers, the shame leaflets, the bills and the magazine kidnapping, I’ve lost a lot of love for the mail and subsequently my love affair with the mailman came to an end. I appreciate the job mail carriers do. I really do. But, rarely do they bring me good news. One day I’d love to check my mail and find a bag of Popeye’s chicken, courtesy of a fine-ass male, mail carrier. Until that day comes, me and the mail carriers are like ketchup and lays chips – we don’t belong together (I’m looking at you, Canada).

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