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No parenting columns coming from this editor anytime soon

My colleagues have filled the opinion pages in recent weeks with tales of parenthood — the good, the bad and the ugly.

When April rolled around, I became the last holdout in our office to venture into that jungle of parenting.

I’ve received more than my fair share of comments like, “Do you have kids yet?” Whenever my boss’ daughter ambles into work and sees my wedding photo on my desk, she still asks why I don’t have kids, the concept of being married without kids sounding ludicrous in her mind.

But it seems to have escalated in the past week or so, which I think might be due to the correlation between wedding fever — my brother-in-law just tied the knot this month — and baby fever. It felt like, suddenly, all eyes seemed to turn to me to be the bearer of the “next big thing” to hit the family — a baby.

Take, for example, an innocent question of, “Do you watch ‘Call the Midwife’?” The response was along the lines of, “Why are you watching it? Do you have baby on the brain?” Really? I can’t enjoy a Masterpiece show with humorous situations, heart-wrenching drama and relatable characters unless I fantasize about being featured in it? Does that mean everyone who watches “Breaking Bad” wants their own meth lab or “Orange is the New Black” viewers aspire to live in a women’s prison?

Yes, my husband and I have been married nearly six years and yes, I’m turning 30 next year, but birthing a child is an issue that really should be decided on only by the two people creating said child, right?

I know I’m not the only one who encounters the occasional comment from a family member like “Time’s a-ticking” or “When I was your age, I had three children.” It’s almost like it’s your job as “aunt” or “potential grandmother” to utter similar phrases at least once.

Don’t people realize the incredible amount of sacrifice and selflessness needed to become a parent? Am I really ready to put my body through nine months of torture only to have my insides feel like they’re ripped apart by a pink alien-looking creature that keeps me up at all hours of the night and spits up on my clothes with little provocation? And chasing around screaming toddlers with poopy diapers, breaking up arguments and dealing with teenager eye rolls aren’t that thrilling to think about either.

OK, enough of the ranting. It just felt like something I needed to get off my chest.

Despite all my perceived anger regarding my family planning, I do honestly look forward to someday becoming a mother. I love children. I love their energy, their wonder, their sense of adventure. My main mode of income during my teenage years was baby-sitting, and when around young people I feel like I need to take on the responsibility of nurturing and setting a good example. I often contemplate activities I would like to do with my kids someday or things I would pass down to them.

But just like any major life decision, you can’t rush into something, especially when it’s done because of pressure from others. This is one choice that will change the rest of my life more than any other decision I’ve made up to that point. And, being the indecisive person I am, any decision is a big deal.

Both my husband and I have things we want in place before we’re at that point in our lives. It’s been hard enough coming to the decision of whether to get a dog — nearly six months after first writing about it we still haven’t committed.

So it will be a while yet before you read anything by me regarding taking a baby on an airplane or venturing into the potty-training arena. My life is pretty full already. And that’s the way I like it — at least for now.



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