All my life all I was taught was that good girls sit up straight, keep their legs crossed (or closed as it would turn into during my teen years) are seen and not heard and keep their noses in the books.  I was a tomboy so I never really followed any of this to the letter, but the gist of the lesson was clear.  Books, not boys were to be my focus.

For the most part I heeded this sage advice.  I went to really good schools, excelled in most classes (I hate math and still can’t count), made honor roll, Dean’s list and got involved in more organizations and committees than I could count.  I only had one boyfriend that I dated from ninth grade until I went off to college and on and off thereafter.  I spent nearly 4 years avoiding boys like the plague in college (I found a cutie the beginning of my senior year) and spent the majority of my time with friends and doing what ‘good girls’ do…studying.

This all made the family happy.  They were delighted to see that I was thriving and that I would be getting my degree on time.  My first year or two out of college all seemed well and they were happy with the young person they raised.  I was a college graduate, working and making a decent life for myself.  Yep, all was right with the world…then the dark clouds started rolling in.

All of a sudden I started getting asked questions like:

“When are you getting married?”

“When am I going to be a grandmother/grandfather/great grandmother, etc?”

“Why don’t you have a man yet?”

At first I ignored them, and then they started to turn up the heat.  In addition to the aforementioned questions I started hearing this from my paternal grandmother:

“I would like to see some great-grand babies before I go home to see the Lord.  I’m only holding on to see my first grand give me my first great grand.”

What?!!  FOUL!! FOUL!!  STOP THE FIGHT!!  What kind of a low blow was that?!?  How do you respond to your damn near eighty year old grandmother telling you something like that?  The pressure got so heavy I started telling them I was a lesbian so they would stop asking me questions.  It worked for a little while, but now they are back on the scent.  What happened to keeping my legs closed and being a good girl?  Do they not understand that having a baby, in wedlock like they want, isn’t that simple?  I need to find the man for goodness sake!  When did my degree and 401K become a green light for my legs to spread and the sperm to enter?  Who said these things make me ready to be a mother?

It’s not that I don’t want to have kids.  I’d actually rather the kid than the husband to tell you the truth, but I want to do it the ‘right way’.  I want to see the world a bit first, have a good and stable career, maybe even a little savings.  I want a man/husband that is in it for the long haul and has the same outlook and standards in life that I do, none of that baby daddy drama stuff.  Achieving these things takes time, which if you ask my grandmother I’m running out of.  Apparently after thirty you’re old and “men don’t want an old woman,” but I digress.

I guess I’m just a part of that new category of women who are waiting later in life to settle down and have families.  Sure, it would be a bit better to have kids young while I can take advantage of the fading “snapback” a young body has and sure I would have more energy to run around with them, but I would also have less life experience to share.  If I’m going to be responsible for molding and shaping another life then I need some points of reference.  I need to experience life to the fullest and do some, if not all, the things I dream of so that I can back up those demands of “Go to school.  It’s what’s best for you!” and “Stay away from that boy he’ll just break your heart.”  Now I know I will never know and experience everything in life, but I want to still have something under my belt.

I also don’t want the wonderful experience of motherhood to be marred by daydreams of experiences lost and regrets.  I don’t want to ever look at my child and think “What if…?”  As I settle into motherhood and maybe even married life, I want to do so knowing that I lived a life that made me happy and did the things I wanted to do so that I can then focus on the new and even more exciting chapter that is in front of me.

So yes, I will be having babies, but when the time is right for me and not before.  I’ll be doing things my way and no one else’s…now if I can just keep granny from “seeing the Lord” for just a little while longer, sheesh!


Has your family started pressuring you for children?  How do you handle it?  Why are you waiting?



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  • Alexandra

    So similar to my life. I was with my ex from HS to college, and he was very involved in my life/family, that after we broke up everyone was upset with me. They all thought we would marry, have kids. There is not a family event I go to, without my aunts and cousins asking me when I’m going to have kids.
    I’ve been getting “When are you going to have children” questions since I was 19; I just don’t even bother responding anymore. I will never lie about my sexuality though, but I understand your frustration. I just don’t understand the logic with some people. I can’t even think about the thought being a mother, and if my mind ever changes I am not going to bring a child into this world just to please other people and fit in with societal norms. Mind your own womb.

  • EssDot323

    it’s a been a while since I’ve been asked about my ovaries and my why my ring finger is bare. In my experience, educated professionals normally don’t raise questions like that. They may ask when you’d like to have kids but they’re not inclined to pry. They’re usually in the same boat as you — getting their ducks in a row before having children.

    The question is just plain rude. I don’t owe anyone explanation about a personal choice.

    Another pattern I’ve noticed with this question is that the people who ask these questions are miserable with parenthood or marriage/shacking up. Has anyone else noticed that pattern?

    • CD86

      I’m not sure, but I have known people who have tried to convince me that the only reason I love children is because I don’t have any yet and that since they aren’t mine, they can be given back to the parent. It’s like, just because there is a struggle for them to be a parent, it doesn’t mean it will be for me. When I say I love being with children, I do mean it really.

    • Lyoness

      OOOOOHHH… YES!!! THIS!!! The ONLY people who ask me about kids are my cousins who are miserable and left to parent by themselves.

    • EssDot323

      CD86 & Lyoness:

      Parenting is real hard work. Most parents that are doing the very best for their kids don’t go around peer pressuring their friends and others. Most of them tell me to take my time and take care of me first before bringing another life into the world.

  • I am SOOOOOOO glad that I don’t have family members like this. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t want children so they’ve never bother me about it. My mom’s friend however had the audacity to asked my mom (right in front of me) if she were ready to be a grandmother as if she had the power to just make herself one. I’m my mom’s only child so unless she’s gonna tie me down and impregnate me somehow, the chances of my mom becoming a grandmother are slim to none. That really pissed me off but my mom set her ass straighter than straight by saying she is content with whatever I choose to do so if I never have kids, she’s completely okay with it and I couldn’t have been more happy to hear that. Besides that, my younger cousin has a two year old and a one month old…we already have babies in our family right now not to mention that me and my mom don’t even live in the same state so if I were to have a child, she’d only see it like once or twice a year…is that really worth calling yourself a “grandmother” for? I don’t think so. I feel bad for the people that have that kind of pressure though because it makes you feel as though your body isn’t yours. Every woman isn’t meant to be a mother……

  • CD86

    No, my family doesn’t put pressure on me to have children. I do have a guy acquaintance who every time he decides he wants to try his luck at dating me, will ask me these questions in the following order: “Do you have a boyfriend?” If I say I don’t, he then asks, “Do you have a girlfriend?” When I say “no” again, he then asks, “Do you have kids?” When I answer “no” to that too, he then questions why not. I’ve never understood why others have felt that they needed to question why someone isn’t in a relationship or doesn’t have children.

  • E.M.S.

    My parents preach not to worry about marriage or kids. If you get married, make sure there’s a prenup so everybody leaves with what they brought in should divorce occur. As for kids, have ONE because they’re expensive. And I agree with that.

    I’d like to focus on building myself up before I even THINK about running down the aisle & popping out a kid. No thanks. And in all honesty, I’m iffy on both marriage and children.

    But I know one thing, I don’t really give a damn what anybody else wants. It’s my life, and I will live it on my own terms.

    • ani

      + 1 ^_^ \o/