Saturday, March 1, 2014

is motherhood the next step?

photo my own; my suzy and mr.

for as long as i can remember, i yearned to be married and have a family of my own. i'd play m.a.s.h. with my friends, writing out and listing option after option, from number of kids to the colour of my wedding dress. coming from a large family, i figured i'd have a similar arrangement--i'd marry early and start pumping out kids; 4 always sounded like the right number. i'd have a dog, a yard, a big white house with dark gray decorative shutters, a husband with a normal 9.00a-5.00p job in our small midwest town, and be on a first-name basis with the local ice cream parlour. 

that's not my life. 

i live in a cozy san francisco 1-bedroom apartment (nothing like a house in the midwest) with my husband of 4.5 months and cat, suzy. c, mr.'s daughter from a previous life, is with us part-time. she has the bedroom and we turned the front room into a studio apartment--bed, sofa, tv, clothes' cabinet. even though it's working out very well, my heart aches for the green, rolling hills of the north country--more often than i like to admit. (i've dreamed up a whole new family life and it involves land, some chickens, a few goats, and a jersey cow.) 

i don't have a dog. i have a cat. suzy. she's amazing and i adore her. before you think i'm some crazy cat lover, i'm not. we're not cat people. we're suzy people. she's hilarious and fluffy and playful and frisky. i'll often come into the living room and she'll be squatting in the line of the sofa where the back and seat meet, ready and eager to play. when i'm in the kitchen, i'll call to her and she'll tear down the hallway and check her treats bowl for a surprise. she's a joy. 

i didn't marry early. not early like i expected. my goal age was twenty-five. i missed the mark by 9 years. and i'm glad. the timing was spot on, in every regard. someone else clearly had a better plan for me than any of the plans i set my heart on for myself.

so what's next? i'm married now and acquired a part-time daughter in the process. is it time to start our own family? (honestly, having a part-time daughter has stalled my rush for children of our own.) a bit of me feels like the clock is ticking for us to start a family, have children of our own making, because of my age. i'll be in my mid- to late-thirties by the time it happens (if it happens). will that be too late? i know other women have had children in their forties but i feel behind already. 


here i am, a married mid-thirties-something, writing this on a saturday night in, while my mr. and his daughter are doing other things, and suzy is cozied up beside me, the distractions of motherhood weighing heavy on my mind like they have for months. lately, it's as if the gate damming all the wonders and curiosities was unlocked, unleashing a fury of self-doubt because now i'm married. before, motherhood was a futuristic and theoretical notion; now it could be real and, truth be told, it terrifies me. i wonder if i'll be a good mom, if i have what it takes to put aside my selfish desires and pour my heart and soul into a child and family. if i am strong enough to put my body through the rigor of pregnancy. will i be a worrywart or over-protective mother?

i love my life. i love being a newlywed. am i ready to give it up to be a mom? am i being selfish? how will i know when i'm ready? 

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