one thing you may not know about me, but probably should if you decide to continue this friendship, is that i'm nothing if not defiant. i like making my own rules only because i'm expected to follow those already established; i like trying a new thing only because someone says i can't; and i like making my life my very own rather than following The Plan that most everyone else finds so very necessary for happiness and well-being.
i briefly touched on this subject a year or so ago, but i just feel like i want to get this off of my chest. the one thing that continues to come up over and over is babies. for a while i'll just brush the comments off, let them go in one ear and out the other, and tell myself that the person making them obviously has nothing better to do with his or her time than concern themselves with my reproductive system and 10-year plan. but there are other times when i get to the point that i've heard enough. more than enough, really. while i'm not saying there's anything wrong with having babies (although, truly, it wouldn't hurt to slow down seeing as how the planet is sort of running out of space), i'm saying that it's a personal choice, and right now it's not one that works for me.
in the last few years, i've gotten everything from, "you're not getting any younger" to, "what kind of a person doesn't like babies?" to, "what, is there something wrong with you, are you not able to have kids?" to, "you're just selfish for not wanting a baby." sometimes the comments briefly annoy me, and other times, like the ones when i've been called selfish, the comments really hurt my feelings. i don't question people's choices regarding life-changing decisions, nor do i cast judgment when an opinion differs from my own, but it's become too commonplace for people, be it family or almost strangers, to have, and too often give, opinions and advice regarding that aspect of my life when i've NEVER asked for any input.
obviously The Plan dictates that within the first few years of marriage a man and woman should have a baby. wait another two to five years and The Plan says you need another. while this equation works for many, it doesn't for me. chris and i still have things we want to do, places we want to go, before adding a crying, drooling, expensive baby to the mix, and last time i checked, at 29 and 33, we're not too old to wait a little longer.
i've tried explaining my reasons for not jumping on the baby bandwagon, but to no avail. not only have my explanations led to blank stares, rolled eyes, and rebuttal, but i've even had to endure comments to the effect of (when referencing a family member or friend that has a child), "see, that could be you; just think of how much fun it would be." it may just be that i'm on the baby offensive, but to me, the implication in such comments is that my life isn't actually complete or happy without a child, or that as a childless woman of 29 (which, as i've come to understand, is akin to a bearded lady - a freak of nature) i really don't have anything left to offer until i procreate.
i'm already preparing myself for an onslaught of infant-related comments at christmas regarding my steadfast opposition to a baby right now, seeing as how i'm the oldest (and of course childless), my cousin ali recently had a baby, and my cousin elizabeth is pregnant. but i'll just eat another piece of cranberry pie and pretend to be oblivious to the baby talk all while reminding myself that i have two of the most beautiful babies already, and the fact that they're not human is completely inconsequential - they love me and i love them, and that's all that matters to me.
so i guess what i'm really trying to say is, if you're at that stage in life where you think a baby just fits and you're ready to make that decision, then i completely respect that, but for those of us who aren't at that stage, and may never be, respect that, too. please.