When I’m trying to go to sleep and there are little noises, like a clock ticking or a fan squeaking, it drives me completely insane ~ James Lafferty
Lately I have been wondering at what age I should start worrying about the faint “tick-tock” sound that I sometimes think my ovaries are making. If one does not come from old money and must build their bank account from scratch like me then life’s trajectory and timeline is pretty much set. You go to high school and do well. Then you pick a degree and go to university, study blooming hard and walk out with your scroll 4 or 5 years later. If your degree of choice was medicine like some of my friends, then it may be a decade before you walk out with that scroll. Once that part is done, you will need an extra few years to establish yourself in your career before you start making any real money. Let’s say about 5 years or so for argument sake. During that time, just thinking about the expense of a baby is generally sufficient to put you off making one. By the time you reach the stage when you can afford babies, you are approximately 30 years old give or take.
I am not particularly stressed about my biological cock as yet. I am turning 29 next month so there’s time for babies yet. My desire to travel a little and tick a few things off my bucket list still overwhelms my urge to make bambinos. Every now and then, however, I see a cute baby and it tickles my ovaries but it’s nothing serious. I joked in a meeting earlier this year that I would like to have my first baby at 30. There was one man in that meeting of 6 people. All the women, who are all older than me, strongly disapproved and comments ranged from “don’t put pressure on your relationship” to “you can’t afford it as yet” to “wait until you are mid-thirties.” It is important to note that these people have no idea what my social context is so their response was purely to my suggestion that I should have babies earlier than they think I should. To all of these comments I smiled sagely and nodded.
On the other end of the scale I have my extended family who believe in babies earlier rather than later. There are some cousins to whom I dare not point out a cute baby because they respond with pity. “Its sad that you don’t have children. God has a plan.” I can not understand that and I do my best not to burst into laughter when they do that. If its not pity then it is pure judgment. I had one cousin who I have not laid eyes on in a decade whatsapp me out of the blue the other day. Of course it was a pleasant surprise until I realised that she had an agenda and she got right to it. Before I had even finished writing my “how are you” she asked “are you married?” I replied “no” and waited. She didn’t disappoint. She came back with “do you at least have children?” “No” I replied again. She responded “ndiwe ungatoziva zvaurikuita” (translates literally to “Only you know what you are trying to do.”) I chuckled to myself and replied “all things in good time.”
I have every intention of ignoring these comments from everyone and having babies when it suits me but in trying to determine when that is, I started wondering about a few things:
a) should I wait until I am making big money to have babies?
b) I accept the fact that a lot of women are having children later in life but it is also true that the possibility of complications is higher the older one gets. Do I want to risk that? Is it a real thing?
c) Will I be able to balance bambinos and work when the time comes?
d)Is the ticking clock a real thing?
e) Will babies severely disrupt my life or will they fit right in?
f) Will I even be a good mother?
g) do babies mean I will not be able to continue studying in addition to working in perpetuity?
h) will I become one of those slightly crazy baby obsessed mothers who can’t be parted from their children for any reason? (I sincerely hope not 😉 but who knows). I once overheard a conversation between 2 mothers in their 40s preparing an invitation list for a dinner party for their friends. They came to a particular woman’s name and both immediately blurted “Absolutely not.” It turns out “She can’t have a conversation about anything other than her children no matter what occasion.” “No matter what you say to her you will wind up hearing about her children. It’s tedious” the other added. “Interesting,” I thought. I must be wary of turning into that one day.