Sweet Child of Mine

Cara Thereon's kitten sipping milk from her finger

This is one of many posts I’ve thought about for years, but have never written. I’ve talked about it a little, but never put into writing the wonders/fears/weird thoughts.

I’ve always thought I’d have kids by now.

Dreams about a sweet child waiting to be born from my belly were staples of my teens and twenties. I still have quite a few pregnancy dreams, though less often now.

Most of my teens I kinda hoped I’d be married with one or two kids by my mid-20s. The block to this was I wasn’t dating anyone and for the longest time no one expressed any interest in me. College disabused me of that notion of kids fairly quickly, but there are probably a lot of factors that go into that, chief is the fact that people have told me that I’m not that approachable.

My upbringing shaped my view of children also. I was raised with a pretty narrow Christian view of marriage and sex from early high school. I never took any kind of purity pledge, but in hindsight I can see how many of the “I kissed dating goodbye” ideations had a near detrimental affect on my sexuality. No sex outside of marriage (not difficult because no one was ever interested) and while children are a gift you should be waiting to have them with a husband’s help.

I held a lot of “in god’s time” thoughts in my head to justify what wasn’t happening. Surely it’ll happen for me as it was happening for all my friends. Surely I’d find someone and have children before I was too old to do so. Surely?

When I hit my mid to late twenties, I was a few years into my career and starting down a new path. The idea of children started to be, not less appealing, but seeming less likely because I STILL WASN’T DATING. I still wanted children, but my life was heading a different direction.

I arrived into my 30s and children started to seem less of a thing that may happen for me. I’m starting to think about my time, my money, my sleep. It all started to be less appealing. I still want children, but there’s this almost reluctance. I travel for a living, and giving that up is so low on the things I want to do.

You hear from parents who love their children dearly, but who tell me to live my life. They weren’t sure they’d do this again (as early or at all) if the opportunity presented itself. They mention the un-fun parts of having children. I’m all, “no thanks!”

Here I am. Still wanting kids, but less so than in my teens and 20s. Frankly, when my mother brings it up, it’s a big old no to me. There’s a lot that goes into kids and I don’t want any of that right now.

But there is this… fear. My siblings have children and I do not. Will there be someone to care for me when I’m older? It’s strange that typing that makes me cry, but here we are.

Apparently I gave a lot of complicated feelings tied up in the children thing. Less a biological clock thing, as my desire has seemed to lessen. More a confusing mix of feelings. Not a worth thing, but an uncertainty about what I want and why.

I still want kids, but I’m not sure anymore I’ll ever have any. I know it’s not too late for them, but at what point does one say it is? Maybe I’ll figure that out.

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  1. Violet

    I need to think through my response to this because you have made so many good points. In the meantime, I want to say that I empathize with the expectation vs reality and even though my experience and feelings on the topic are not the same, I hear you on the fact that it’s confusing and challenging. I hope writing and sharing gives you some peace.

    1. Post
      Cara Thereon

      I feel like I didn’t do a good job even expressing how I feel about the topic. It’s been almost 2 decades of emotions that I tried to condense down into 600 words.

  2. Dawn D

    Being a mother myself, a rather “young” one at that, I can tell you a few things:
    First, I am glad you wrote these feelings down. They are yours, and you should never wish them away. They are valid, in all of their complexity, especially because they are yours.
    Second, I don’t regret having had my children, nor when I did. It was a time when it seemed fitting, when I was ready for them and happy to welcome them, though with each came PND.
    Third, I wish I had experienced at least one pregnancy where I felt supported, even a little, from beginning to end. Surprisingly, even the ones that lasted only a few weeks I didn’t feel supported.
    Fourth, you’ve seen the mess I’m in now, trying to get my children’s father to let me go. And to do so without hurting our children in the process (though this is impossible, at least hurt them as little as possible!).
    So my advice is this: do what feels right for you. Just know that you still have a good few years in which you can have chidren, were you to meet a person you think would be a good father. And their fitness as a father doesn’t mean that you have to marry them or live with them.
    You are the master of your destiny.
    If having a child is very important, have one.
    If it’s less important than having one while being in a romantic relationship with the father… don’t.
    Either way, if you didn’t get to have biological babies, know there is always the prospect of adopting, whether formally or not.
    Neither solution is perfect, and sometimes life has a way of showing us what should happen to us.
    I believe, deep inside, I was meant to be a mother and break the cycle of abuse that had been passed down generation after generation.
    Your purpose here may be different.
    But whatever you decide (or whatever happens), don’t let anyone scare you into believing you’re less than for not following the direction everyone in your former congregation followed.
    Be a “nice auntie”. You get to have fun with the kids and leave their parents to deal with the less pleasant parts.
    Oh, one last thing: I stopped working to raise my children. It landed me in trouble after a little under two decades, when I tried to leave my husband. I don’t regret having been there for my chidren, but some of their reactions since the divorce make me think maybe I should have worked more. They would be expecting less from me.
    And if you do have kids and decide to keep working, it’s Ok too. That would teach your chidren that women have an integral part to play in the professional arena. That women, mothers, can have careers too, and they’re no less food mothers than the fathers who have careers.

    Sorry, long comment, so TL:DR: do what you fucking want!
    It’s your life, no one can live it but you. You don’t sound desperate to have a child, it just seems to be something that was expected of you growing up, so you took it as yours.
    So do what YOU want.
    Best of luck finding your answers.

  3. May More

    I have two. The first was an accident and I settled with the Father and we planned the second.

    Split from the arse hole Father and as you found out recently he took the youngest away from me, her mum and sister, to live with him before she was even a teen.

    Another thing was I had been a career woman but gave it up as I wanted to bring my kids up not the state. Society punishes you for this.

    So much heartache, sleepless nights, constantly trying to do the right thing for others. Plus the worry. If I had my time again or a parallel life I would not choose to have a child. I love them dearly but can still say this.

    I think if I had not got pregnant by accident I would not have made a choice to have them.

    In regards to being old – I so do not want them to take care of me – I want them to live their lives and be free.

    Brave post for you to write Cara – respect to you xx

    1. Post
      Cara Thereon

      It’s not so much expecting someone to care for me. It’s the knowing I may be alone in my old age with no one to care. Not that children ever are obligated to stick around, but they typically do as is the transition of things. Knowing I may not have anyone around is hard to think about

  4. Marie Rebelle

    I have three children, two biological and one stepchild, and I love the three of them to bits. But, I was never that girl who thought about having children one day, or wanting to get married in a pretty dress. This is just what life threw to me, and I dealt with it. Would I have had children if I consciously thought about it? I have no idea. I go with Dawn on this: these are your feelings and you should do what is right for you. You are indeed the master of your destiny.

    Rebel xox

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  6. missy

    I am sorry that this was a painful topic for you to wrote about and think that you are really brave to have takcled it. I alsways wanted children but didn’t think a lot about it either. The time was right I guess. I can understand that it is a difficult topic for you to come to conclusions about as it is about circumstances and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. There is so much conditioning from society too so I am sure it can be hard to unpick. xx

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