Getting married has clearly given those surrounding me a free pass to invade my privacy. And nothing is more obvious then how I’ve been on bump watch since I tied the knot.
A protruding stomach following a heavy meal, a more loose shirt because I feel hot and sticky especially in this weather, and even premenstrual bloating have all lead people to ask me if a baby is on the way.
Even if they don’t explicitly ask, I can see them staring at my midsection, their minds certainly at work. I’ve had to resort to walking while holding my stomach in (which isn’t comfortable) to avoid the interrogation or glances.
And I’ve almost gotten used to this. In a society where the majority of couples welcome a child within the first year or two of marriage, you have to expect this to happen.
But it also touches a raw nerve for me. The “I’m not yet ready for this” nerve.
This has been the reason I’ve given everyone who asks why we’re not planning to expand our family just yet- or anytime in the foreseeable future.
There are plenty of reasons that culminate in this feeling: from the silly “I’m not having kids before I watch Seinfeld” to the self-validating “we want to travel while we still can” to the very serious “I don’t want my children to be labelled with the refugee status that my husband carries, especially since I can’t pass on my Lebanese nationality.”
So I know in my heart of hearts that this just isn’t the right time. And I’m very lucky to have a partner that thinks along those same lines and believes we are happy the way we are. It’s assuring that I don’t have to even think otherwise.
It makes me wonder- how can anyone be ready to make such a monumental change in their lives? How does a couple come to decide on this?
I shudder just thinking about missing a day of my birth control pills while people are announcing pregnancies and deliveries left, right, and center. Everyone just seems super ecstatic as well.
I’m not talking about sleepless nights or additional expenses but rather, in this day and age, is it really the best time to raise a child? With so much hate and fear in the world? With the news being one disaster after the other? With both parents constantly struggling to make ends meet and provide for their family?
Is it because they feel they are getting older and this is a natural phase in life?
Is it because they want to give their parents sufficient time to spend with their grandchildren?
Is it because of the predominant thought that a woman is first and foremost a mother?
Or that their marriage is incomplete without children (as I have heard over and over and over again)?
I would really like to know because none of those reasons are even remotely convincing in my situation.
Meanwhile, I tell those wondering if I’ll ever be a mother, you can resume your bump watch- but it’s just not happening.
3 Comments Add yours
Your serious reason really shows how mature you are about the decision of holding off on kids for the moment and that reason is the most selfless one I have heard. That alone lets me know that you will make a wonderful mother when the time is right for both of you.
Thank you Chirine, your comment means so much and made me very emotional.
How I wish things were different but unfortunately this is the country we live in.
It’s so sad that we still cannot pass on our nationality as mothers to our children. Hopefully by the time you decide to have children (you are still young and you still have plenty of time ahead of you) maybe that issue would be resolved by then.