I turned thirty just over a month ago. It (surprisingly) wasn’t that big of a deal, and I didn’t have any breakdowns. (Okay, I didn’t have any major breakdowns.)
And nothing has really seemed that different. Of course. But I kind of expected things to change, even just a little. Mainly because I seem to always read celebrity quotes that say things like ‘When I turned thirty [or forty, or whatever milestone they just hit], I really started to come into my own. You’re so much more comfortable in your body in your thirties, and you just start to feel more confident in yourself as a woman.’
You know what I’m talking ‘bout. It must be in the Celeb-101 handbook: Make out as though your current age is the perfect age, while the rest of Hollywood continues to treat aging as though it were a disease. Bonus points if you can talk smack about Botox and plastic surgery whilst secretly getting collagen implants and a nose job for a ‘deviated septum’.
But I digress.
None of those ‘I totes feel more comfortable/confident/empowered now that I’m thirty’ things have happened. I’m still as awkward as ever, as self-conscious as ever. In fact, I still classify myself as a ‘girl’, and it’s only when I think about it for a second that I realize it’s probably more likely that I am, indeed, a woman. Despite all internal evidence to the contrary.
But one thing that I have noticed, is that I have started to think about babies a lot.
Not so much in a clucky, desiring way. More in a panicky, oh-my-God kind of way. It’s a three-way panic. Your ‘triple threat’, so to speak:
Panic point number one: Oh my God, I’m running out of time to have babies.
Panic point number two: Oh my God, I’m running out of time to do all the things that I want to do in life before I have to start having babies.
Point number three: Oh my God, I’m not ready to have babies.
[It should be noted at this juncture that my boyfriend LOVES having ‘the baby conversation’ with me. And by ‘loves’, I mean ‘would-rather-experiment-with-tying-his-testes-in-decorative-macrame-style-knots’. Not that he’s not supportive, it’s just that he kinda knows what he wants: kids one day, not quite yet. He’s happy with that, has no doubts about that, and has made peace with that. Whereas I’m filled with fun emotions like angst and worry and self-doubt…]
It doesn’t help that a friend told me about a year ago that statistically speaking, once you hit thirty, your healthy-baby-making chances drop radically.
But it sucks to start thinking about life in terms of hurry-hurry-baby-hurry. I know for sure that I don’t want one now, that this is not the right time for me to have one now, that this is not the right time for us to have one now. I know all this. So what’s with the angst?
I really do recognise that fertility issues increase as a woman’s age increases. (And I pray to God/The Universe/Vishnu/Gaia that I don’t have such issues.) But I also choose to focus on the fact that statistical averages are based on population-wide research. And I definitely take better care of my health than a large portion of the population, and will continue to do so.
I also recognise that wanting to have a baby is an important aspect of the equation. And I don’t want one right now. I barely succeed in taking care of myself right now. It’s just that I’m feeling this weird pressure from external sources without names and faces. From ‘society’. From what I’m ‘supposed’ to do. From my age.
So this angst is unwelcome. Not to mention premature and irrelevant. I don’t need it. And I am going to try to ignore it, and do my best to take excellent care of my health, and excellent care of my relationship, and excellent care of myself. And if the stars align, and I am blessed and lucky, perhaps one day in the not-too-distant-future, I will have the luxury of choosing to start trying to ‘try’.
But right now, I’m giving up the angst. I’m declaring angst defeat. It has no hold over me.
In a refreshing change from the aforementioned text-book drivel of celebrity interviews, I recently read this shining-golden-beacon-of-light from Olivia Wilde, she of the gorgeous almond-shaped eyes and baby-making-aged body:
DON’T feel pressured to pop out kids.
I love kids with a passion I usually reserve for hot cheese, miniature chairs, and Prince concerts, but I feel no stress to reproduce simply because of a fear of withering eggs. Wait for the right partner, and make sure you’re where you want to be in life before picking neighborhoods based on school districts. This is not to suggest you should live irresponsibly for the next 10 years, then expect to get knocked up when your chosen dude finally sneezes inside you. But you’ll never find the right baby-maker or enjoy baby-making if you’re doing it out of anxiety. Relax, be good to your body, and when the time is right, get busy.
This. Just this. Relax, be good to your body, and when the time is right, get busy. I love this. This is where I’m at. Well, where I want to be at.
Do you have thoughts on self-imposed baby-making pressure? Do you feel it too? Where are you at?