For the past couple of years, it has not been lost on me that I am living amongst a generation of people that are suddenly of an age where the mature thing to do is to do grown-up things. These things include (but are not neccessarily in any order of importance) getting married, buying a house, finding a real career, and having kids. (Consequently, they may very well be my order of preference). And in the past couple of years I’ve watched the people we know succumb to this grownup pressure and I’ve been carried along with it too – wanting to desperately jump on their bandwagon so that I don’t get left behind in the dust. As a matter of fact, Tay and I had a discussion just the other week about houses and kids and careers. And at the end of the discussion I had a pretty good understanding of where we stood in regards to these things (my general feeling is I need a job that pays more money so that I can contribute to getting us a house, and once I am sitting on a nice cushy job with a big salary that will give me a decent mat-leave pay, we can then consider kids). So we’re looking at a few years still at least. And while I understand all this and it makes perfect sense, at the same time I was left feeling a little impatient – yes, it’s not enough that we are getting married this year. I want everything, and I want it NOW :).
And then, I went to a baby shower.
Two words only: Reality check.
I have since discovered the new mothers love to talk about their new babies and that is about all. They don’t seem to care about what’s going on in the world, instead they seem more interested in the quanity of baby powder that needs to go on a tush and the best way to ‘cocoon’ an infant. Many new moms I have seen don’t wear makeup, color their hair (Yes, I know hair color is a no-no if you breast feed, but you don’t breast feed forever) or, as far as I can tell, own a hairbrush. And they don’t really seem to care, either. I’m not saying ALL new moms are like this (and to give credit, by their second one, they seem to smarten up and get over it) but I’ve met a whole bunch of moms that are like this and, well…Gak. I think it’s wonderful to have kids and it’s certainly something that I plan on doing someday. What I don’t plan on doing however, is centering my life around my kids – I will not be defined by my child and I think that is a trap that befalls a lot of women – its as if they think that once they bear children, the rest of their life revolves around the chubby individual with sticky hands. I think there are some women out there that would argue if I feel that way, I probably shouldn’t have kids because that’s exactly what happens to you. Some might say it’s unrealistic or asking too much. Which is fine, but it’s not how I’m going to live my life.
One of the things that I love most about my life is my independence. I can pick up and go to the gym, go shopping, go to the movies – and I can do all of these things alone or with Tay. (Usually not with my friends because they have kids, and well, you know the drill :). I can sleep late, stay up late, stay in bed ALL day if I feel like crap. And while I still plan on doing all these things in a few years when I have kids, it’s nice to know that for the next couple of years at least, I don’t need to worry about constantly juggling.
Until then, I need to figure out a way to make lots of money so that I can get a big salary and help us buy a big house with an obscenely big tub. (Ps. I’m aware that I probably shouldn’t be working for a charity if this is how I feel :).
Double Ps. If you’re reading this and thinking that I’m obviously not ready to have a baby if this is the way I feel, well then… you’re right :).
PPS. Renu is not included in this attack on dull-moms – because she wears lipstick, I’ve seen her hairbrush and she takes pride in the fact that she is beautiful and sexy.
PPPS. Also, Renu and I conversed lengthily about this same subject the other day – not only did she see my side, she also told me that I was ‘sensible’.
Renu () @ 04/02/2004 09:27:
I liked your blog though few stuff about new moms aren’t right but you do have a point
Jody () @ 04/02/2004 10:27:
1. Many mothers do let themselves go… and wrongly so, but many women do after the ‘wedding’ as well. 2. A baby WILL be the most important thing in your life once you have one, don’t doubt it… but at the same time, keep care of yourself for YOU. 3. Renu is a beautiful mom… her boys can be PROUD of her. 4… After andy’s 3 kids, somedays I’m happy to never have any, as they don’t stay adorable babies forever, however some days I don’t think its fair that they have a ‘suck-ass’ mother, while I know deep down I would be a good mother. Oh, and money… when do you ever have enough, lol – and the thought of giving up the freedom – I think people should enjoy each other before having kids. Having kids is the most life-altering experience EVER.
Caius () @ 04/02/2004 16:41:
Wow. Strong post Tawny. While I can understand where you’re comming from I don’t really agree with what you’re saying. First, about those mothers that let go of themselves, well that’s not really a result of being a mother. If someone let’s themselves go it’s because of habit or lazyness or a general lack of self interest. It has nothing to do with being a mother. I know lots of moms who take care of their kids and still looks fantastic! So it’s the person; not the kid.Next point is about how people centre their lives around kids. Until you have a kid of your own, I don’t think it’s fair to say that you won’t do that. You never know. You gave birth to a new life, how can you not make it your priority? Of course, life is all about balance and you need to make sure that you keep it that way.I look at my childhood and how my mom and dad managed things. My mom and dad both worked, they had friends that they would get together with and we went out to restaurants, the theatre, church, etc. Life didn’t stop when I was born, it continued and expanded. So again, what I’m saying is that it all depends on the individual and how they choose to handle their child(ren).Anyway, I have lots more to say as this post has hit quite a nerve with me but this feedback mechanism wasn’t meant for such long winded replies.:)
Groom () @ 04/05/2004 14:48:
Well as probably the ONLY person here who grew up with a single parent, you can just bite it. My fathers life was never surrounded by me. I’m sure he had to make financial and career decisions based on my existance, but I’d be shocked if there were more than 10 photos of me between birth and 12. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate/loathe him for it. I think it’s great he was able to have a life. I too want to have a life with kids. Obviously they need a fair bit of attention in the first few years but I really would want someone to kick me in the shins if I got to leave the house for dinner and all I talked about was the fricking kid(s). It’s not me. As for the mothers and their appearance. I have to side with Tawn’s intent here. Sure it’s the person that decides this but I think the whole process of birth and the likely lull in sex afterwards makes women feel fat, and unattractive, as such they don’t put the effort into their appearance anymore, especially if they’re lousy at time management and are always tired. Hell I *don’t* have kids and the first thing that goes out the window when I’m in a hurry or am tired is my appearance. This is why I look good on vacation and like a bum every other day. 🙂 So while it’s not the kid, the existance of the kid brings on too much for most to give enough of a shit about how they look to make it a priority.