Oh sweet baby Cheezits™️, thank you for writing this!!! I’m a 50 year old woman who chose to NOT have children, but back about ten years ago I tried to do what your ex did. When my boyfriend broke up with me in 2007 (the boyfriend I’d been mistaking for a fiancé) I was 39. I’d always been on the fence about having children. He and I had discussed the option. We often referred to our refusal to procreate as a pact — we would not drink the Kiddies-Kool-Ade™️.
Eventually he must’ve succumbed to all that “breeders” peer pressure. I don’t know how they finally got to him, but he’s now married to a lovely gal and they have an adorable baby girl.
I, however, have remained steadfast in my commitment to the Kiddie KoolAde Abstinence Klub.
Some of the reasons I wasn’t gung-ho (or even hung-go) about procreating back then were as follows:
1. I was still trying to establish my acting career, and was finally getting somewhere with it. I was making good money as a regular on a tv show in its fourth season. I was thinking about buying a house, or…
2. I’d watched my own mother — depressed, divorced, broke, bipolar, fragile, painfully insecure and so breathtakingly self-conscious that she was barely employable — struggle to the point of two nervous breakdowns while raising my three siblings and me. I had no interest in being a single mom.
3. I value my alone time so dearly that I knew I’d resent any child, no matter how cute or how deep my love for them might be, if the cost of having them meant I’d no longer get that down time to recharge my people-pleasing batteries.
And those were just a FEW of the reasons. At the time, I had the money to do it solo if I’d really wanted to.
But when the 2007 boyfriend broke up with me, I hadn’t seen it coming at ALL. And even though I was still not 100% sold on the baby idea, I was worried because I’d lost yet ANOTHER potential mate, and the one little window in my womb was closing fast. I had to DO something before it was too late!
I felt as if I owned a really amazing vintage sports-car that I’d kept in the garage, under cover, and in pristine condition for years and years, but had never actually put the key in the ignition. (Sigh — remember “keys?” Those jagged-y little Dickensian metal things? How quaint they seem now.) I’d never actually DRIVEN this damn luxury car that was worth six figures. And didn’t particularly feel the NEED to, but all of a sudden someone was coming along to say,
“Uh, yeah, that car’s comin’ with us, ma’am. See, you didn’t actually own it. Not really. You were just leasing it til you turned 40. Time’s up. Bye! Vrooom, vroom…”
So I asked my almost-fiancé (yet still baby-daddy-eligible) ex-boyfriend if he’d donate sperm so I could have that baby. And finally sit in the driver’s seat of my pricey automobile for a cruise around the parent hood.
He and I
We’d both had enough therapy to know full well it was a horrible idea, doomed to all kiiiiiinds of sticky situations (both literal and figurative). But I was banking on him feeling so guilty about blind-siding me with the “abandon ship” he’d pulled on our future that he just might say yes.
He did. He agreed. So I —
Wait, WHAT? He agreeeed?
Holy shit! He agreed!
I took this as a sign that I should probably go through with it. I began making appointments with lady-parts doctors, fertility consultants, and BabyGap™️.
Wow, I could really do this! Have a baby on my own! Yeah! It’ll feel empowering! I’ll have a ‘knowing glow’ about me in no time. I’ll — ”
But when I saw a dewy-eyed hetero couple in their late 30s leaving the fertility factory, hand-in-hand, her head on baby-daddy’s shoulder, I was forced to do a quick gut-check. And my gut said,
Nnnnnnnope-nope. Nooo. Unh-uh. No thanks. Not for me. Buh. Bye!
I realized in that moment, gathering my purse and my hoodie and my glossy brochures, fighting the tears (and losing) that I didn’t feel empowered. I felt sad. And scared. And alone.
Looking back now as a fifty-year-old single woman, I can say I’m really relieved I chose NOT to have a baby. Still, I’ll never say never. If I met a guy who wanted to devote himself to a relationship long term and who wanted kids? Maybe I’d adopt. Maybe.
But I doubt it.
I’m sitting in my apartment right now in the quiet listening to the wind chimes out on my patio. A soft, late Summer breeze animating their music is blowing gently through the screen door, beckoning me to join the outside world.
Think I’ll take a swim. 👍🏽☺️