Marrakech, Morocco

The Fear Of Outgrowing Your Baby Years

It’s no secret that a woman when hitting a certain age, feels a pressure from society to consider pregnancy and having children. It’s been going on for years and the sad truth is, it’s probably not going to change any time soon. One of the hardest things for a woman to consider, is handling this pressure whilst having no maternal instinct. I’ve never been a baby person, I’ve only been around young children a handful of times and I honestly just feel awkward around them. I spent my late teens and early twenties brushing it off as, ‘oh the maternal instinct will come, I’m too young to care right now!’ but then the latter half of my twenties kicks in and I feel no different. Should I start to have these feelings? Should I find babies cute by now?

There’s a story that my boyfriend loves to tell, my family and I were out for lunch and my Mum and Sister-In-Law were oggling over a baby on the table next to us, he and my Dad turn to me and I’m staring lovingly at a dog on the other side of the restaurant. But that is the definition of my maternal instinct – I don’t look twice when a little baby in it’s mothers arms walks past and I don’t know if I should continue to laugh it off until those motherly feels hit or do I start to feel concerned?

My Mum told me that she was just like me at my age but as soon as you have your own child, your feelings change and you just learn to be a Mum. But at what point do you consider that it’s a risk to see if that happens once the deed is done? I don’t want a child to only discover that just did not happen for me!

I whole heartedly agree with the argument that woman should not be defined to a body clock and they don’t just age out of motherhood; but that being said, I don’t want a teenager when I’m in my 60’s. Am I blaming society for these pressures or is it myself who’s creating them? I’ve fabricated in my own head that this needs to happen between 30 – 35 or I’ve just missed the mark. I remember turning 21 so well, that only freaks me out how quickly 5 years passes and in another five years, I’m bang in the middle of my ‘baby years’.

I’m of an age now where a lot of people I went to school with are married and having children. It hit me a few years ago that this isn’t strange – I had to remind myself that it’s not a gobsmacking teenage pregnancy anymore, these people are of an age where they are in stable relationships, mature lifestyles and planning children – whoah, when did I miss the memo?! I look at some of these people and just think, wow you are just in your perfect role. They totally suit motherhood and look so, so happy within it. I can’t place myself there, but I don’t think I’m unsuccessful in life. I do think I’m where I should be and I couldn’t be happier with life but I also see myself doing this life for several more years.

I guess all I’m doing is thinking out loud; the fear is real but no one has to follow a pre set order of life. Children may happen through choice, through accident or not at all and it’ll be part of our life and make the absolute most of it. It’s not uncommon or unnatural to not long for these things, to not plan your whole life to be a wife and a mother, your life is yours and you make of it, whatever shape it may be, for everything that it is. Who knows what the future holds and who really cares – deal with that when it happens!

Jenifer x

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