Updated: Jul 18
As I am getting ready for my close friend’s 1st child's 1st birthday…That’s a mouthful…I’m thinking how weird it is. This is my first close friend to pop out a kid. Their life changed in an instant. I am so happy for them and I have no fking clue what I’m doing myself. Am I a Goddess whom walks on water among the children of this Earth? Yes. No really, kids love me. Even that asshole kid. Will. Love. Me. Your challenging child? I’ll get them to bed… with a bath… EARLY. I know. It sounds like a fantasy. I am. So with all of this knowledge, I should not only be having kids, but raising a farm of them. I'm 32, and not married or preggers. Can you imagine?! I can't fking imagine! Which is exactly why this is my journey and not yours.
My mom had said that one day her switch just flipped. At my age she’d already been married and divorced. She had me in her mid thirties. Late for her generation. Right on time for mine, but I can’t imagine a child in my life! They say, you’re not ready until you have one. I believe that up to a certain extent. I think one of the worst things a human can do is to have a child they can not afford or provide for. Excluding circumstances where sometimes it’s unavoidable like abortion not being legal, or it's too expensive or you really just want a clone of yourself.
I struggle with this. In an overpopulated dying world, where SO many children are orphaned— am I an asshole for (one day) wanting one of my own? Wanting to mash the love of my life’s face with mine and see what happens? Well, I guess we're mashing other things, but you get the picture. Part of me can't help but think, yes, I am an asshole! Of course it's instinctual to want a child of my own, but when I look at it on a global scale, it's selfish. Or is that a fear based excuse masked as empathy because there is an at least 50/50 chance I'm leaving my child to eventually fend for itself in a potentially post-apocolipytic world? But then there is the, "I could know a fulfillment and love unknown in my soul until a child of my own." Valid. Cosmic knowledge, achievement unlocked! Perhaps even, this soul I bring into the world helps to SAVE it?! I'm not condemning it, I am allowing it to flourish!
But then I come to the act of GROWING A HUMAN IN MY BODY.
A. It’s a concept I literally can’t wrap my head around. IN THIS BODY? A CHILD? You. Are. Insane. Sir.
B. But, spiritually… uhm ya, I want to GROW A HUMAN. Are you kidding me?! How cool is that? WHAT! Who’d NOT do that?! I’m basically an unwoke WIZARD. A sleeper cell! So, you see... logistically I say "FUCK YOU" to my body having a child in it. But scientifically (and cosmically) I say… Duuuuuuude, cooooooooooool.
Another dear friend of mine is in a serious relationship where her partner has already had kids and has said many times, NO MAS. She is my age and like me, has no fking clue. BUT she wants to be able to have the choice. We are having this conversation and I’m thinking to myself, “Shit, I can’t just go along with whoever I’m in love. I kind of need to tell them my thoughts and desires too. So, I should probably figure them out.” My friend and I decide that if and when we do want kids, we’d have them together, with or without men. And I got to thinking, as I’m educated in all sorts of alternative relationships… If I were with someone (like madly in love forever) who did not want to have a kid of their own, would I have one anyways? I mean like, if they were cool with it. “No dude, I don’t need your sperm. I’d like it, but if you’re going to be all weird about it, I’ll go use someone else's and test tube this shit. If you’re madly in love with me, stay on board! Get in on this process. Let’s grow and level the f*ck up! ADVENTURE TIME!” For someone who thinks so nontraditionally, I swear I’m going to end up in the most traditional relationship. Oh boy. Time shall tell.
As a woman, building a career in her early 30’s, I know this is a common quandary for so many out there. What to do?! My advice is to give yourself the space. Some of you know. Some of you have known your whole life whether it’s a FUCK YES or FUCK NO to children, yours or otherwise. It’s always been a given for me like college, you just go to it (my privilege is showing). Monogamy, you just do it (with one person forever). Children, you just have them. Only in the past few years have I realized that EVERYTHING is a choice and I'm questioning it ALL. Ethical non-monogmy took me down the path of learning EPIC relationship communication skills and the toxicity of how modern society views, well everything. What will this path take me down? Probably more epic communication.
Love to me is wanting your partner to be happy, while they mutually want the same for you. Only the best for you, buckaroo. Unfettered love. “Unconditional love is love given free from obligation or expectation. It is love given without wanting, or expecting anything in return”. And boy does it feel GREAT! *sings* FREEDOooOoM! Love without expectation. Love for the sake of Love and Joy and Happiness?! Sign me up! Unconditional love is innately respectful, ethical, loyal, unending, boundless and rooted in truth. It is trust, because it is you living your truth. Bad can come from actions made out of fear or baggage (rooted in fear), but not love. In love there is only… you guessed it! LOVE! Unconditional love is pure. You see and accept one another as-is baby! We do not own one another, hence we have no attachment, we just get to enjoy loving, in this present moment, to our little heart's content! It’s a radical idea! It takes out the ego and fear from the toxic bile society feeds us. I am mine and you are yours, but we can grow together.
“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession.” Osho
If you let it free and it keeps coming back to you, it's love (and compatibility, c'mon, HUGE factor for longevity) baby! It's the only honest way we can ever know that our hearts have chosen one another. And that knowing, that trust, is all there is. When we love unconditionally, we are secure in their love for us, and our love for them. It is not love without boundaries – it respects and honors boundaries AND allows each person to be themselves fully. Whaaaaaat?! I have a quick story that encapsulates this “unconditional love” PERFECTLY. I promise I'll get to the zombies...
I had a friend who would say “I love you” all the time to her boyfriend and he’d not say it back. I brought it up and she replied, “I don’t say I love you so he’ll say it back. I say it because it’s my truth and loving him brings me joy. When he’s ready to say it he will. But my love is not conditioned, it just is. It's what makes me happy”. He did eventually start saying it, but that lesson stuck with me. I started doing things more thing BECAUSE I WANTED TO, regardless of the return. I started taking care of my Dad because it brought me peace! If I liked someone, I’d ask them out. If they ghosted me I’d MAKE DAMN SURE they did. You don’t lose self-respect if it’s what makes YOU feel better. YOU DO YOU. End of story.
Now that’s not to say relationships are not compromises. They are. You love them and wish for their wellbeing and happiness, that's the whole point. That’s the innate respect, ethical, and loyal part to unconditional love. You are not turning a blind eye to their faults or allowing abuse though. That’s not love, remember? Fear cannot exist where there is love. Dark cannot exist in light and visa versa. You are building this together, growing together. With that said, the kids conversation is a pretty big one that should be agreed upon. It’s a little hard to compromise that one.
I’ve discovered through this that if in a serious relationship, I’d need the freedom to be able to choose to have children or not. Life is so short, but so long and I’m sure at some point I’ll want kids. Both adopting and pregnancy are nightmares (aaand blessings). I’d rather steal an infant from the street. I don't know what I want, but I do know that a huge part of my womanhood and literal body is for motherhood & childbirth. Spiritually & transformationally, it may be something I feel like I’ll need to experience. I don’t even know if I can have kids! But I need the power of choice together as a couple, both partners committing to it as a possibility.
I truly don't know what I want, I simply want the freedom and respect to make that choice with my life partner when the time comes. Lives can change in an instant. We don’t know the future. Maybe it turns into The Walking Dead in about 10 years when all the polar ice caps drown half the world. But lucky for me, by then I may have a child of my own that I can sacrifice to a zombie so I can run away to safety. Or not.