Written by @PresidentElla
"I can't wait to have kids," he told me as I sat trying to dry myself from a water balloon fight that could make me step mom of the year, if that's the title I wanted. "I can," I responded. "Not for you? ," he asked. I quickly and quietly mentioned time, finances and patience - the things they say love can conquer until the rent is due but you have to take a day off of work because your child has been acting out, again because his dad isn't around or able to pick him up from school or pay for private education. I know I jump off into the deep end but, let's face it: Shit happens, often.
My my boyfriend has a son and it truly is a beautiful relationship to watch because I know that watching is I can do. I was 16 when my best friend had her son. I had hours upon hours of experience under my belt of observing the ever-popular "baby- momma drama" & I've always known it's not for me. I think that people have unspoken expectations of each other, before we're capable of giving OR receiving those things. Women might want a man to take care of them and their child[ren] when they can't even do that themselves. Men might want a woman who can work, cook, clean & care for the kid[s] but couldn't do that by themselves. I've listen to people say "he doesn't," she doesn't" and "the family doesn't" to the point where I've decided that I'm not ready for a child until I can do it ALL by myself. I believe that those 9 months of pre-parenting truly prepare your mind to think in other ways. I haven't had those 9 months and as much as I love high heels, I can wait.
My father passed away when I was 9 months old. In addition to myself, mother was left with a 9-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy, a mortgage & a funeral bill. It wasn't until years later, in the trenches of sibling rivalry, that my mother told me of the times she had to ask to borrow money to send kids on school trips and buy sports/cheerleading uniforms. I remember the nights I would stay with her at the nursing home when she worked the overnight shift. I remember cleaning the backyard for one of her clients for an extra couple dollars -- moreso, I remember how bad my hands hurt after raking without gloves. I used to think I could raise a child by myself because of how easy my mother made it look - and I know that I certainly can -- but I know I don't want to.
16-year-old shouldn't do anything by themselves... but "It's not that I don't think you can do it by yourself..." I told her. I remember clearly sitting in Burger King talking about things we shouldn't know. We were even sitting in a seat we never sit in. It's not that I encourage terminating children, I simply encourage patience, wisdom and a little less selfishness than humans typically have. In the middle of lust I've heard my own mind talk about wanting a baby... And then the rent is due, and the cable comes through, my car note is accompanied by car insurance & the gas meter goes up and I have to get my hair done, then I realize that there isn't that much left in my account. I guess you don't need to be able to do everything all the time, but I should be able to give my kids what they want whenever I've decided they've earned it... I don't want to have to say no to my children.
Time is the scariest part of my thinking about becoming a parent: I watched My dog panic when I got on the bus to go to work. When we first moved to the Bronx, I could hear her crying as I walked up the block. One of the women at my job had a child and they allowed her to come back part-time... I don't know where she gets the strength to come back at all. It has to kill you to spend 9 months rubbing the baby in your tummy then have to leave it 8-12 hours a day because someone needs you to give them money. Until I don't have to be anywhere, I can't be a mom. That's why rich kids have problems...as much as I hate to admit it, you really can't buy love...
My hope and aspirations is that this magazine becomes a place for people to reference my feelings and see how I chased my scariest dreams. I know there are other women who want and don't want kids... and "kids" is a tough conversation to have. There are some single women I meet who remind me nothing of a mother, but end up pregnant on the internet. More power to you, but also power to those who want to wait. Sometimes, I think I'm waiting because of the perception of a happy household... but I really just want to wait until I have a happy house hold. You know what they say: Happy wife, happy life ;) I want to chase all of the "impossible". I haven't met a stay-at-home mom in ages. Regardless of the $250,000 in diploma hanging on my hallway wall, I know that being tied to a desk (not in my home) isn't meant for me. I want to make Mac-n-cheese at 3pm, after I've picked the kids up from school... Until dad comes home. Oh... & I need dad to come home.
"Then there's the relationship between yourself & your partner..." I explained, to which I only relieved a head nod. "...But people get married and divorced after 10 years," was the argument I heard later. Granted... There's never any telling what the final outcome will be, but if it happens to be divorce, I'm going to be his ex-WIFE, not just a female who bore his child. And that's my own personal feeling. I think about "mistakes" and know that if that happened to me, we gotta go talk to God before the baby gets here. I know that a ring doesn't mean anything, but it at least means that you thought about spending the rest of your life with me. "Do you plan on marrying her," I asked. "Nah," he responded. "So you... had a baby?" I couldn't (and parts of me still can't) understand how a person can have a child with someone they don't love. Sometimes we love that child so much more. I know people who have had children just to have that child... but most of the time, the other person didn't feel the same way... and that's when the local government decides whose check should be docked for child support.
Of course I want to have children and contribute to another generation of people on this earth, but I believe it's my duty to make all the moves I feel I need to make to ensure that I'm capable of raising a happy, kind and productive contributor to society. I don't just want to create another mouth to feel "needed" or because it's the supposed next step or because people around me are doing it. I want to have a child because I'm so deeply in love with someone that I want a product of that love. And I want my children to strive towards that as well... And the best way for me to be the best parent I can be later is to be the wisest person I can be now.
And those are my just thoughts...