THE BE-SIDES: DO I HAVE TO HOP ON THE BABY TRAIN?
I am not a mother and although I will admit to the increasing frequency with which my uterus aches at the site of chubby cheeks and tiny tennis shoes, I am not sure I ever will be. I am maternal no doubt, and with a dozen stints as a bridesmaid under my belt and a rapid increase in my unofficial aunt hood status one would think the next logical step would be to get myself knocked up. With my peer group immersing itself in the world of procreation I often am left to wonder if I should be hopping on the baby train?
When I was a little girl I either played school with my girlfriends, where I was the teacher and therefore the boss, or passively played GI Joes with the little boy in my neighborhood who’s inherent ability to make gun and explosion noises always left me green with envy. Sure, I had a couple of dolls that I tossed about, but playing Mommy to Bianca, my Cabbage Patch Kid, never really occurred to me.
For years, I fancied myself a tomboy. To be perfectly frank, I still do and although I have traded in my baggy jeans and boxer shorts for leggings and wedges the ultimate embodiment of becoming a woman, motherhood, is still just a theory for me. Being a mom is something grownups do when they have mortgages and lower back pain. Sure I pay rent and have a bad ankle and cannot deny the fact that I too am aging, with stray greys sprouting up as reminders of time passing, but I am not that grown up? With my own mother still asserting her parental rights over me, I certainly do not yet feel ready to be a mother myself.
Being a born cynic, I used to roll my eyes when people talked about biological clocks. I chocked it up as an excuse for a woman who were growing older and losing their marketability; maybe they were just bored or needed a new challenge. Maybe they were like most people who take social cues and societal expectations as a sign that certain choices need to be made and actions taken at certain points in their lives. In 2005, when watching some children play in a public square in Spain, I realized perhaps that was not the case. It was like someone had flipped the switch and that was the moment my biological clock started to tick. As much as I tried to deny it, turns out I am a chick too.
I guess it happens to all of us. I am sure there is scientific evidence that illustrates the correlation between a woman’s physical maturation and her desire for children but I am still curious as to the real motivation behind the baby bump. Is it that its natural for a woman of a certain age to have a kid, or is it that it is expected.
As I have mentioned before, I have immersed myself in the Hispanic community on both coasts for some time now and I can attest to the fact that in this community in particular, being a 30 year old single, childless woman is not only an anomaly, its is full fledged spinster status.
If I am a spinster en Espanol, so be it. I will take comfort in my continuance in attempting to carve out my own path and resist imposed ideas about what life should be to create my own. Perhaps in a couple of years I will realize that I too have the burning desire to let my belly swell and my tits drop. There is a chance I will come to this conclusion too late and have to get my Brad and Angie on, but for now think I have to hold off. I think I have to sit by while others pop ‘em out and I sit on the sidelines wondering, do I have to hop on the baby train?
B.E. is a photographer and aspiring freelance writer residing in New York City.
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