I’ve got to apologize, at this point, I think, as I’m beginning to realize that most of these posts during this season of Reverb are going to revolve around the fact that I’ve had a baby. And I guess, apologize isn’t really even what I mean. More than that, I mean to acknowledge the fact that there has been a decided change in my trajectory and convictions.
It’s no secret that I never wanted children. More than that, I was incredibly vocal about that decision, and vehement in my answers whenever (rudely) asked when I planned to have children or why I didn’t plan to at all or didn’t I think the Old Man and I had been married long enough to start already. In general, the world at large has very specific ideas about how one should live a life and what milestones should be involved in that life. I openly flouted those stereotypes and took no small pleasure in the confused looks I received as a result.
There’s a Cool Kids’ Club, you see, when it comes to being over 30 and childless by choice. The members feel a little superior to their peers with children and the secret handshake is conveyed through Facebook posts which not-so-subtly demonstrate their status with pictures bulleting the use of discretionary income or group shots taken in distinctly adult situations with fancy dresses and booze on a Wednesday evenings. The Childless By Design are a bit smug and (not) secretly think themselves more sophisticated. They are elitests, tripping the light fantastic through life, gleefully sans responsibility.
I know this, because I was one. I was a member of this club whose only requirements were maintenance of a child-free status and the unspoken air of superiority of having no wrought iron anchor to keep me from saying yes to last minute invitations or road trips or drinking binges and no reason not to punctuate my speech with the Eff Word.
But change of heart came knocking and change my heart did, and knocked up I became.
No sooner had I made this announcement, than I was unceremoniously booted out the door of The Cool Kids’ Club of The Childless By Design. The change was immediate. With no regard for the fact that this decision had not come easily or quickly to me, friends and still members of TCKCOTCBD asked pointed and tactless questions and made many the sarcastic and cutting remarks. “Did your birth control stop working?” “Great, another Mommy Blogger.” “What the fuck were you thinking?” “I’m so disappointed.” “Another one bites the dust.” “Break out the Mom jeans!”
Plainly, it sucked, and I internalized it all. I limited the number of blog posts I wrote and stopped participating in online discussions with certain people. I found myself cut off from a community that I’d identified with for so long that it had become a part of my identity. It took a long time to come to terms with the fact that I was no longer welcome by people with whom I’d for so long shared a camaraderie.
But as I sit here and reflect, I see that though I’ve experienced a life-changing event, and though I took a hairpin turn, I am still much the same person I was. So I’m kind of pissed off.
No, my birth control did not stop working. I made this decision consciously and waited until I was certain to move forward. I own this choice just as much as I previously owned my decision to NOT have children.
Yes, I will be a Mommy and a Blogger, a motherfucking Mommy Blogger. I will continue to write about my experiences and apply my lens to them. More of those experiences will have to do with my kid, sure, but what makes you think they’ll be any less moving/funny/sarcastic than when I recounted the Twat Fatwa? And further, FUCK YOU for diminishing my experience and treating me as if I’d somehow lost all brain cells and were no longer as smart or as worth your time or reader space.
As for what I was thinking? I wasn’t so much thinking as dreaming of the huge blue eyes and tiny hands that I now have the absolute joy to look into and hold. I was imagining impromtu tea parties and hooky days spent at the zoo or the Macy’s One-Day Sale. I was indulging in fantasies of inappropriate questions asked at top volumes in quiet waiting rooms and I was considering the voices and accents I’d use while reading Pippi Longstocking and Harry Potter out loud to a rapt audience all my own. I was musing on the possibilities of wonder in little eyes and indulging big imagination.
Believe me, friend, the disappointment you’re feeling is nothing compared to my own at your reaction