This post was originally published on Forever Twenty Somethings by Samantha Matt.
I’ve always wanted kids. I mean, I do want kids. I want one girl to raise as a cheerleader and three boys to raise as football players. Oh wait, that’s actually my family. I guess I just want to replicate my family, except 30+ years younger. Don’t we all, though?
I always thought I’d have my first kid before turning 30. Not only that, I thought I would WANT to have my first kid before turning 30. But then life happened and “I want to start having kids at 26” turned to 28 and “I want to start having kids at 28” turned to 30 and now “I want to have my first kid by 30” is turning to I have no fucking idea when I want to have my first kid, because I am way too self-involved to cater to someone other than myself.
It’s like, will I ever be ready to have a kid? The answer: Probably not, but just like life continues to hand me with things I am by no means ready for, I am sure parenthood will eventually come along even though I won’t be 100% ready for it. As long as I’m at least 80% ready for it, I’ll be good. And that could happen soon. I mean, few years ago I thought I would never be ready for the things I love doing now (re: going to Home Goods and meal planning on Sundays), so there’s that.
Here are the reasons I’m not sure I’ll ever feel ready to have kids, even though I’ll one day (in the far off future) have them anyway (unless I physically can’t) because as I’ve learned in my 20s: Life is basically just a series of being forced into life events you aren’t ready for until you’re like ‘okay, I’m down with this new lifestyle, what is the next life event I can panic about not being ready for?’
1. I can barely afford to pay for my lifestyle. How could I pay for someone else’s lifestyle?
I make more money than I used to, but I spend more money and therefore I never have any money. Also, if I had to choose between a new dress from Madewell or a carseat for a baby, I would choose the dress. I WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE THE DRESS. I think.
2. I would rather live in a home in an ideal area for me, instead of a home ideal for raising a kid.
I live in a one bedroom apartment, and I can’t afford to upgrade to a bigger place without sacrificing the convenience of where I live. I don’t plan on doing that any time soon. Like, moving to the suburbs? NO THX. I’ll get to that next.
3. Being in the suburbs makes me panic.
It’s not that you have to move to the suburbs to raise kids. I would certainly consider raising a kid in the city, but as I said above, I can’t afford a home ideal for raising a kid in the city. Not that I could afford one in the suburbs right now either, but they’re at least ‘more affordable.’ Here’s my problem with the suburbs: I slept at my childhood home over the holidays and I started panicking because we were surrounded by trees and woods and there was no Starbucks in walking distance and I COULDN’T HANDLE IT. How did I grow up there? How did I go to college not in a city? I don’t understand.
4. Sometimes I forget to feed myself.
If I can’t remember to eat breakfast, how could I remember to feed someone else breakfast every day?
5. I don’t think I could make it through the whole pregnancy without coffee.
Coffee is my lifeline. How could I exist without it for nine months? How could I keep someone else existing without it for nine months? And don’t even bring up the fact you can drink ‘decaffeinated’ coffee while pregnant. What’s the fucking point of that? It’s like empty calories. A drink for ants.
6. I also don’t think I could make it nine months without drinking alcohol.
I don’t think I’ve gone a full two weeks without drinking booze since before college. How can I be expected to go without it for nine months? How would I socialize? What would I do in my free time? Hold the phone, this is giving me an anxiety attack.
7. I like doing what I want to do, whenever I want to do it (re: going to dinner, working out, drinking, going on vacation, sitting on the couch, etc).
I realize being pregnant/having a child would force me to say ‘no’ more often (which I really need to start doing), but I LIKE socializing. I don’t say yes to everything. I do what I want when I want, and believe me - you will find me on the couch much more often than at a bar. But I like getting drinks with friends. I like drinking wine. I like vodka sodas. I like cider. I like getting drunk and getting home at 2am while ordering pizza (I don’t like doing this as often as I used to, but I like doing it enough). Sometimes I even like raging (still, at 28, help). The thought of my social life changing is scary.
8. I panic when I gain .5 pounds, and I fear what what would happen if I gained the weight of another human.
Seriously, I see myself not being okay with this one day.
9. I’m not ready for my parents to be grandparents.
I’m not sure how they could be either. I associate the word ‘grandparents’ with my grandparents. My parents can’t be grandparents too. That would be weird.
10. I am really too overwhelmed and stressed about my own life on a regular basis. Throw a baby in the mix and I might implode.
I feel like there are not enough hours in the day currently to accomplish all the shit I have to accomplish. How will I handle life when I have to also raise a child and be a mother? It’s not like I’m going to shut the career switch off and stop ‘side hustling.’ This is me. This is what I like to do. I put too much on my plate and then I shut down for 24 hours every 2-3 of months where I spend a consecutive period of time doing nothing without moving on the couch. I love doing things, but I also enjoy doing not doing things. With a baby, how will I be able to do nothing? I also like sleeping, and I’m not ready for sleep to be taken away from me. I guess for now I’ll enjoy my sleep and my nothing and my selfish lifestyle. Maybe soon enough as I continue to grow up, I won’t enjoy any of those things anymore. Lol. Maybe. It’s worth a shot?
Forever Twenty Somethings is an online magazine helping people navigate their 20s and beyond. Follow them on Twitter at@forever20tweets and author Samantha at @SamanthaMatt1.