Every other weekend during the month of June, as it turns out, I’ve been around either babies or small kids.
It’s made me more aware how my stance on kids has changed from only a few short years ago, when I declared that being around them made me kind of uneasy. I even find myself saying “If I ever have kids …”
No. Don’t bother saying what you think I’m going to say – that it’s started my biological clock a-ticking. ‘Cause it really hasn’t. There’s so much out there for me to do and see, the idea of children is still far away.
The “biological clock” is just a functional piece of furniture in the den of my mind. I know it’s there – I glance over at it every once in a while. I might even sit in the chair next to the table that’s home to the clock and chill out for a bit.
If only my mother wouldn’t come through and shove the clock right up against my ear to listen to the tick-tick–ticking, and then say it’s in jest.
I remember being 16 years old and having my mom tell me I was too young to be in a serious relationship, should I ever end up in that situation.
Now almost 16 years later and secure in my chronic spinsterhood, this same woman is now commenting off-handedly about how she’ll be too old by the time she becomes a grandmother. The first time she said it, I waved it off. The second time she said it, I wondered if she was joking.
Lately the things she says make me wonder if she’s joking at all.
A couple weeks ago – and I don’t remember the exact context of the conversation – she brought up the fact she’d asked my almost-29-year-old-brother – who was TEN at the time – if he’d ever want to have kids when he was older.
His response? “I won’t have the time.”
And seeing where he is in his career right now, it’s almost a bit prophetic. But whoa! Way to put the unfair pressure of childbearing on the kid with the ovaries!
A few days later, my parents and I were at the dinner table with the radio on in the background, and I guess there was some talk-radio host on, chatting about some topic with respect to child-rearing. And my mom piped up, “No grandchildren of MINE are going to day care.”
I immediately turned to her and said, “That’s based on the premise you’re even going to GET grandchildren. And didn’t you tell me when you were younger that if any of us had kids, that they could visit, but they couldn’t stay?” (Meaning that she wouldn’t be made the de facto babysitter.)
My mom just looked at me said, “Well, it’s still a visit …”
Perhaps I’m overreacting just a bit. And I realize that a few of her friends are grandparents, so they’re sometimes hard to get ahold of. I can understand the frustration, especially when you’re retired and don’t really have a lot of hobbies or whatnot.
But sometimes I think she’s putting the cart before the horse.
I’m staring down 32 and still live at home. I’m not sure how grandkids will happen if (a) I can barely take care of myself and haven’t yet truly established myself as an independent, somewhat responsible adult and (b) I haven’t met the person who might be the father of said grandkids. And he’s not going to be walking by my living room couch in the boonies anytime soon. Besides, right now I’d prefer meeting a half-dozen dates than a sperm donor.
I know a friend or two has recently gotten the errant comments in the same vein from their parents. And it’s seriously a bit much – it’s kind of annoying. We’re putting pressure on ourselves just trying to get OURSELVES sorted, established and figured out, once and for all.
And so, on behalf of some adult children to their parents:
Time is already our worst enemy. You guys aren’t helping. Put down the clock and leave the den – QUIETLY.