My body has been ready to have a baby since I was 12 (well, maybe not my entire body, but the part that plays the most active role). I’ve always been maternal; as a little girl, I would choose baby dolls over jump rope in a heartbeat, which is why I never learned how to do that whole double dutch thing (really, two ropes? Sorry, I think I hear my Kenya doll crying). I doted over the smaller kids in school and had play children wherever I went. My first teenage jobs were at day camps, where my youth relegated me to (happily) working with the wee little ones (including a young Malia Obama, who was a living doll).
I have at least 10 years of still being in the group which is considered ‘normal’ for first time motherhood. And I am very practical about the responsibility of starting a family. I intend to wait until I am married and class mobile. I am…not quite there yet. And beyond my desire to bring a child into a happy relationship and financially secure home, I also want to wait until I have lived a little more. I haven’t seen Paris yet! I haven’t spent an obscene amount of money on a pair of shoes (that’s not really my thing, but it seems like a New York girl requirement I should meet at some point!) I have enough miles left on my ‘Me Years’ and I need to burn them before I enter wife and mother mode. I’m not ready to live for two or three people. I gotta learn how to take care of Jamilah first.
Knowing all of that, the sight of a sweet little baby makes my ovaries wail like Mahalia Jackson. Oh. My. God. I want a baby so bad. I WANT A BABY. Not for real, but for real. I peek in every stroller I see, smile at wiggling little ones on the bus. I gush over copies of baby magazines in the gynecologist’s office (how dare you leave those out when I am here to keep from getting pregnant?!?) and baby clothes in Target. I’ve pictured myself all cute and preggers in overalls and pigtails. I’ve imagined carrying my precious little brown sugar, strapped to my chest in beautiful cloth like the ancestors did and the Park Slope pseudo-hippie moms do. I want a baby. I WANT A BABY.
Don’t let nobody tell you that whole thing about women and their hormones is a myth, because there is no way that my rational mind came up with all of this on it’s own. Not when I KNOW I’m not ready to be a mom, and yet I hear my biological clock ticking over my iPod. The baby blues have hit me like a ton of bricks and there isn’t much I can do about it.
I thought it was just me until recently, I was watching TV with a homegirl, when some insufferably adorable commercial came on featuring a chubby cheeked boy that got my ovaries all knotted up. I turned to her and said “I know you’re not as baby obsessed as I am, but isn’t he the most…”“I want a baby SO bad!” “Wait, you do?” “YES!” We spent the next 20 minutes lamenting our unused wombs and this burning mommy fire that totally contradicts all these plans and goals we have that need to be handled first.
I was in high school when I decided that my husband, kids and I would go to brunch in matching outfits (blue shirts, khaki bottoms) and the waiter would take our picture and everyone would be like “aww”. There was never any doubt that I was gonna want to be a mom. Yet, I’m still overwhelmed by how hard the maternal urge has hit me. I’m totally unwilling to bend on my readiness requirements (husband, child, in that order, no exceptions) and I won’t compromise the future I know I want to hush this baby lust. I guess in the meantime, I’ll be the girl pouring over Baby Monthly in line at Target, as she stocks up on condoms.