Waiting for Baby: The Big Lesson I Learned in my Hankering for a Mini-Me
I’ve got a chronic case of baby fever. I can walk into a room a perfectly composed adult woman, and the minute I spot a baby, dissolve into a puddle of cooing adoration. Tiny fingers and toes reduce me to babbling, and little wrinkled noses make me clutch my heart. If I pass a baby in public and they flash me a smile, my heart floods with joy. It doesn’t even have to be a baby in the flesh; baby photos will do the trick. (I spent 10 minutes cooing over my boyfriend's baby photo before choosing it as the cover image. I. Am. A. Mess). I held a friend’s baby the other day and sniffed the top of his head and felt his velvety little feet and immediately began plotting ways to smuggle him out of their apartment. There’s no doubt about it, babies are my kryptonite.
Everyone who knows this teases me about it. “You’re next!” they tell me. My best friends have been asking—actually demanding—that I give them a god child for at least a year now and every time I mention my rising baby fever, they ask me what I’m waiting for. My mother and my boyfriend’s mother are both asking about grandchildren. My boyfriend and I have actually talked about it quite a lot. We’ve discussed names, and extra-curricular activities, and parenting styles. It’s not like we aren’t old enough. We’ve hit that age where pregnancy announcements aren’t reason for shock anymore. We’re responsible, working adults with decent morals and a solid support system.
So why no babies? We’re just not ready. Both of us are in the midst of developing our careers and figuring out some things about ourselves. I’m working through some family issues that I’d like to have resolved before I have mini-mes to account for. We want to travel and cross some things off our bucket list that will definitely be harder to do with kids. The desire is there, and more intense than ever, but the timing isn’t right.
That’s how it goes with a lot of things in life. We often want things badly, but when we weigh the pros and cons, we know it wouldn’t be wise to get them yet. That vacation you can’t afford, that move that will screw up the balance of your life, the romantic relationship you’re not mature enough to handle. Sometimes, no matter how much the desire for something is burning in your heart, you know deep inside that it’s not something you can have or do right now.
Of course, if you’re stubborn like me, there’ll be times you ignore that. You’ll make leaps that leave you scrambling and choices that create more mess than they were worth. I know I have. I’ve found that’s been one of the hardest parts of adulthood for me. As a child, adults were the ones who created that discipline, but as a grown up, I’m learning to make the tough decision to forego things I want if the timing isn’t right. Most of the time, that’s all it really is. It isn’t “no” or “never,” just “not now.”
That’s not to say it’s easy. There’s a reason they call patience a virtue and why thousands of books have been written on the subject of self-control. But you live and you learn. Let every misstep be a lesson and a reminder that some things are better when you wait. So for now, when my baby fever spikes and the sight and sounds of tiny humans tempt me to throw caution (and my birth control) to the wind, I’ll remind myself that motherhood isn’t my lot just yet.