|Prospect Park, Brooklyn|
I wrote a post a while back on my old blog about not being sure if I ever wanted to have kids or not. The focus of the post wasn't really about which one was the right choice for me, but more about feeling a strong dismay for having that uncertain feeling, and often feeling like I'm one of the only people who just doesn't know. Here is a little excerpt:
While I read these posts and other "mommy blogs" that I truly enjoy, I can't help but wonder two things- 1: why do I feel like I just don't get it? And 2: why do I feel like I should? If I really do never have children, will I regret it? Will my life be in some way incomplete? Even though I can't see myself wanting to be a mom right now, I think I always just assumed that some day I would be, without really giving it much thought. I played with dolls for a very long time! I'm domestic, I actually enjoy cooking, baking and cleaning! I work with children!So fast forward almost exactly one since I wrote this post. I turned 30 in March and I swear to god, it's such a cliche, but it was like that baby gene that I was waiting for kicked in...sort of. I started having a different point of view about having kids. Really focusing on the joy that having a family with children in it can bring rather than the huge changes it would bring to my life like I was before. Also, (and this has to be the purely hormonal part) babies suddenly started looking way cuter to me. Almost as cute as kittens- but not quite. Like I'd see a baby and think, I want to hold that.
And yet, I have to wonder, did these working moms really think about how their lives would change with kids (like I feel like I'm always thinking about) or was it just this hormonal gut urge and instinct to know that they had to have children? Or do they just see it all differently than I do?
Not wanting to or not being sure if you want to have kids feels a lot similar to being an atheist. What about it does everyone else see that I don't?
Even so, none of this made either me or Alex think, let's get pregnant right now! But it put us more in the mindset of creating a plan with the end result being this is most likely going to happen in the next few years or so. So yeah, a lot has changed!
But I still feel like I'm on that yo-yo of emotion about the decision. And also still feel like others aren't burdened with this problem. Here is a perfect example, which got me thinking about writing this post. Yesterday, I watched this TED Talk video.
I highly recommend watching it. But if you don't have time, the gist of it says that due to global warming our children's children and most likely our children will not have a future like we do. To quote Metafilter, where I found this link:
"Climate change will take on a life of it's own and spiral out of control. Something like half the earth's currently-inhabited land would become too hot to survive on. I don't mean it's difficult to grow beans, or your air-conditioning bills are inconveniently high. I mean, if you go outside you die of hotness. Places that were an average of 80F will now be an average of 170, 180F. Will there still be human civilization under those circumstances?This really worries me. And yet, I feel like saying out loud, "I'm not having children becuase I am afraid of climate change," makes me sound a little crazy. People just don't really say this. It seems like an irrational fear, like I think the end of the world is near. And if the prediction made in this Ted Talk never comes true, will I have sacrificed a huge amount of happiness in my life? Because let's face it, while I believe that parents are often truly selfless, the choice to have a child is selfish. The human race is not in danger of extinction. Not having a child will selflessly make the world a better place, by a tiny bit. Having a child will selfishly make my life better. Probably by a lot. And part of that selfishness includes not being certain about what kind of world my children and grandchildren will inherit.
Because when I think about what I assume most people think about when they decided they want to have kids are things like this post that Jenna from Sweet Fine Day just posted about her amazing Brooklyn weekend with her family. Picking out library books with her daughters, watching them play with water guns and catch fireflies and then watch an outdoor movie during a classic Brooklyn block party made me think about not only how awesome my city is, but how awesome it would be to raise kids here. And how having a family is what life is really all about. How Brooklyn isn't just a place for 20 somethings who like to party, it could actually be a really amazing place to stick around with a kid or two. Unless they will have to face unthinkable catastrophe.
I guess the bottom line is this- worrying about climate change to this degree (no pun intended) makes me feel totally crazy, but also makes me feel a little smart. Like a believer in science. And I'd like to know, does anyone else, with or with out kids think about these things in such detail? Or do I need to just stop worrying about the future and live in the now. Go with the flow and see where it takes me? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading, everyone.
And PS- This post is about human children. I'd like to show off my cat children right here: