I have always been of the mindset “yeah…I’ll probably have a kid one day….maybe…I’m not sure….” which I think is a fine mindset for one to be in during their early to mid 20’s. Unfortunately, I’m not in my early to mid 20’s anymore, and finding myself in my late 20’s and married to a woman a couple years older than that whose biological alarm clock went off a while ago…no longer such a good mindset to be in.
I’m writing because a few months back when I still found myself in that mindset, and mentally resisting any ideas of parenthood, I felt pretty alone. All around me were lesbians having kids and trying to get pregnant and constantly talking the talk, and I just wanted to run away. Baby talk bored me to tears and, more than that, frightened me. I hadn’t even really held a baby in over a decade. And here I was, facing the very real, very soon prospect of my wife trying to conceive.
Every night I had anxiety dreams…ranging from being stuck taking care of babies to general anxiety dreams of drowning in tsumani-like waves. Good stuff. I talked to my friends, some who sympathized, some who said “you’ll come out of it….it’ll be different when you have one of your own.” I talked to my wife and probably made her very sad and confused when I kept saying over and over, “I’m not ready…I can’t see doing this….” She listened, but she wasn’t going to be veered off the motherhood course, and I knew it.
I kept waiting and waiting for my feelings to change, but they weren’t changing. I began to accept the fact that this whole baby thing was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not, and the choice I had to make was, was I going to be a part of it? Talk about scary.
I decided that yes, I was going to be a part of it. I loved my wife too much to not give it a shot. But how can you just “give parenthood a shot”? You can’t really….and so I kept waiting for my feelings of uncertainty to change.
We held a baby shower for friends in our neighborhood…lesbians who were due in a couple of weeks (we are lucky in that there really is no shortage of lesbian moms or moms-to-be in our area). While the baby shower was fun, it was still uncomfortable for me because I just didn’t want to imagine it happening in our near future. I couldn’t.
Our friends’ baby was born a week later and we went over to visit them and bring some food. There he was, the 6-day old, laying on one of his mom’s lap. She offered to let me hold him and I said “no, thanks.” She insisted, I resisted, but then I finally gave in and she placed him on my lap. The first thing I noticed was how tiny and perfect he was. Teeny tiny fingers and fingernails. A tiny little button nose. And a sense of peace pervaded the room, and me, as he slept snuggled warmly in the blanket. I kept staring at him, never having held an infant so new and so small before. And finally….finally my wall of resistance began to crumble.
I know if I were reading what I just wrote on someone else’s blog a few months ago, I would’ve probably rolled my eyes and thought, “that would never happen to me.” I can’t tell you how relieved I am that it did. When I sat there holding that infant and thought for the first time, this isn’t so bad….I can see this in my future….the sense of relief I felt was overwhelming.
No one wants to become a parent whose heart isn’t into it. I certainly didn’t. And there are still times I think about the immense changes that are going to take place and I get scared, but I think I can finally handle it. I think my desire to have a little one in our lives is now strong enough to take on that challenge and never, ever give up. And I think that’s how people need to feel…I’m glad that I finally do.