Last week I saw an article about Angelina Jolie. You know, the one where as a mother of six she says, “It’s strange, I never wanted to have a baby. I never wanted to be pregnant… I never thought of myself as a mother.”
It got me thinking about being a mom, again.
When I was little I used to say I wanted to be a mom, I think mostly because my mom was a mom, and that’s just what it seemed like girls did when they got older. I know, right? I roll my eyes at myself too. Then I entered my young adult years, where I was pretty passive about children either way. It was more of a back-of-mind thought, “Sure one day I’ll get married and have children.”
I had Mason and Milo both by the time I was 22 (life doesn’t always go as planned, but I got the college degree eventually). When I had them I lived in a state where “young moms” was the norm, and I felt fairly normal about having kids. My thoughts about children were basically, “I’m pregnant? Well ok then.”
Then I moved to New York, where most of my new friends were not even married. I learned a lot of new perspectives on children–from happily wanting children without a spouse, to never wanting any, to not sure yet, to can’t wait to have them.
Without completely repeating my last post on this subject, I think it’s fair to just say my feelings have ranged all over the spectrum in the last few years–but have landed on wanting to be pregnant again. (Then being immediately worried that since my “life plans” have never gone as I planned, I should probably find some wood to knock on or something if I’m going to say that in a public blog post.)
But really, sometimes I wonder where these feelings come from. Like how did Angelina Jolie go from never wanting to be pregnant or have children, to one day feeling like she had a son waiting for her in the country somewhere? How did I go from feeling blasé about babies to legitimately wanting one?
Do most people have the ups and downs of wanting/not wanting children? Like are most people either baby-hungry lifers or let me be old and aloners?* Do other people waver like me? Are males as indecisive, or does it matter more to girls because they have to deal with the nausea and the stretch marks? I could keep asking questions, but I may as well leave it on a high note and stop at stretch marks. Plus, most of the questions won’t get answered anyway.
*A: I know I made that word up. And B: I know people who don’t want kids aren’t old loners. I love you all, my childless friends–you are awesome too!