Yes, I’m in my thirties. No, I don’t want a baby yet. – By @katiebcreates
By Katie Burrell
Yes, I’m in my thirties. No, I don’t want a baby yet.
I got married 4 years ago now. It was the BEST day. Everyone we love under one roof, a ceremony so personal and full of emotion that I couldn’t stop crying with happiness and a band so good we felt like we were dancing at the greatest gig of our lives! I was 27, Andy was about to turn 28. Afterwards we had a wonderful few weeks basking in our warm ‘just married’ glow. We had an epic honeymoon in Kauai and The Big Island of Hawaii. It really was unreal, we were so lucky to experience such beautiful places. Our feet were firmly planted back down on the ground again when we started back at work. Back to reality.
Let me ask you a question. Why is the first thing people ask you when you’ve just got married (after the typical “how was your wedding and honeymoon?”) “so…when are you going to have a baby?” To be honest I’d never thought about it too deeply until I experienced it and even then, the question didn’t feel that invasive. Then I started being asked quite frequently. Mums and Dads who brought their children to my classes (I used to be a pre school teacher of sorts) would ask me. My friends asked me. People who I really didn’t know very well would ask me. I started to wonder if there was some kind of ‘instructions for living your life’ manual I didn’t know about as apparently, I was supposed to be thinking about having a baby and if I wasn’t, I needed to justify myself. Eh? Wow. Why is there such pressure to have children once you hit a certain age – or when you appear to be ‘settled.’
I’ll admit, I used to have a plan of what I wanted to achieve and by when. I was always going to have a baby at 28. Just like my Mum. 28 seemed like a good age. Then you reach 28 and your life is very different to how you imagined it, you feel like you’ve got just enough money to live and function in London but by no means enough money to really make the most of it. You’re not really satisfied in your job, there are lots of things you want to do and achieve and you think…no! I can’t have a baby. I’m not ready. I want to be selfish for a bit longer. I want to build a career that I’m passionate about! Travel! Earn a decent wage and enjoy it all without children in the picture!
My sister (she’s a few years younger than me) had her first baby quite recently and it’s wonderful to feel such a strong bond with my niece. Being an Aunty is so lovely. I did feel quite emotional when she found out that she was pregnant. A small part of me felt guilty for not wanting children yet. It was a strange mix of emotions. I’m not sure anyone ever feels entirely ready to have children but I know that I would like to have a family one day.
There’s a deep-seated pressure from society that weighs me down sometimes. There’s a constant tension between the past and present. The ideals of older generations continue to influence us. I’m realising that the most important thing is what matters to you. There’s no magic order in which to do things. Do what feels right. At the risk of sounding a bit corny – you only get one life, who wants to live it constantly worrying about meeting other people’s expectations? I finally feel like I’m embracing this attitude more comfortably and it feels good. Yes, I’m in my thirties. No, I don’t want a baby yet. I’m living my life based on what matters to me. That’s it.