When “Never Married, No Kids” Becomes Your Acronym

I closed off summer with a week at a rented cottage with my guy and his family in shifts. It was lovely, but tiring, and of course I procrastinated on journalling and focussing on the kids stuff. It felt very rude to say to the people who had come to spend time with us for a short period that I wanted to go off alone to think. It provided a stellar excuse.

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For the last couple of days we stayed at the cottage of one of his friends, who head down to the beach every day to sit on matching Tommy Bahamas chairs with the other local cottagers, sip white wine, take turns on jet skis and play badminton. It was all very posh and lovely and privileged AF. I was the new girlfriend, and therefore the sideshow. Questions, deeply personal questions, were volleyed at me at such speed I barely had time to think of the appropriate response given the fact that a number of them were friends with my guy’s ex and might very well report back with the deets.

“So never married, no kids?” was a question I got asked more than once. And it made me feel so small. Like I was being reduced to an acronym, NMNK, with the associated stereotypes. Like I has so little to offer amidst this melee of generational connection, kids running through the frigid water while the parents watched on, husbands and wives gathering in cliques and conversation.

Another question, by the woman who knew his ex the most intimately “So, do you want to have kids?” My brain barely had time to process. If I was amongst my girlfriends, or even strangers I would relay the whole story. But I’m trying to keep the water calm and not freak anyone out with my desires. What should I say?

I ended up responding that I had always wanted kids (is this really true?), but that I was getting a bit old now, however had frozen my eggs sooooo… I tried to leave it as open as possible. Always feeling the need to throw in that “I’m well aware of my age” caveat (people like to remind you of this if you don’t bring it up yourself. Like maybe they will be the first to tell us about the biological clock). They were kind, despite the inappropriate questioning, and said that I had been smart to do so. End of conversation. Phewf.

But I of course left the weekend feeling totally depleted. Like I had failed. Like it was too late. Because even if I decide (and finally stop procrastinating) that I really do in my heart of hearts want to have a kid, I have to get started immediately, me and my guy will be back in that difficult spot we were in last Spring, and I will need to go it alone. The how, as opposed to the why that I’ve been instructed to focus on, would come back into play and I would probably flip out and shut down…again.

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My psychologist would ask me why I keep procrastinating on tapping into my intuition, finishing up my course, opening the email with information on sperm donations. And it’s not hard to figure out. I don’t want to know that answer, because the weight of it will be hard to carry (though the weight of no decision is pretty fucking heavy).

Back when my beau and I were in trouble and he was overwhelmed, I made the decision to wait until September to address anything serious with him again. I wanted us to reconnect over a fun summer with no pressure. COVID and issues with his daughter and the kid pressure on my end and everything else had just burnt us out.

So I need to approach the conversation again next week. My summer of reprieve is officially over. I’m very afraid. But fear is a given, I’ve gotta do it anyway I guess. Power on!

But First, Do You Want to Be a Mother?

I have spent years thinking about this baby decision. Taken courses, frozen eggs, talked to anyone and everyone who’s had a kid or decided not to, attended support groups for single mothers, catalogued my fears, made practical plans, spoken to therapists, read books, written pros and cons lists, listened to podcasts exploring the topic of motherhood, written this blog…all with the hopes that at some point all of my knowledges and soul searching and life events would collide into some obvious decision.

No such luck. And I’m exhausted.

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But What Do You Feel?

As the deadline looms for funding I decided to go back to my fertility clinic to set things in motion in case I decided to go for it. There are a few things that need to be checked off before the whole process starts (either IVF or IUI) and one of those things is talking to one of their therapists that specialize in counselling clients who are contemplating any of the treatments. As I regaled this new counsellor with all of the things I’ve done and thoughts I’ve had along this journey, she seemed quite impressed with my level of attention and effort. And then she said, “but what about the good stuff that a child would bring to your life? You’ve been focussing so much on the why not, and the how, but I think maybe you need to devote the next little while to all of the positive things that a child would bring into your life. This doesn’t mean you have to ignore the fears or the practicality of it all, but those are all getting in the way of you really tuning into the why. Do you want to be a mother, and why?”

I see her point. We all know that the negative voice in our heads, the critical, fearful voice is often quite loud. If I could somehow turn the volume down for a bit, maybe I could give the joy and the excitement around having kids a chance to creep in.

Another thing she iterated, which I’ve heard so many times before, is that I will probably never been 100% sure. There are always the unknowns and there will always be some part of you that wonders on the path not travelled. But at the end of the day I need to decide if I truly want to be a mother. I’ve been almost afraid to think about the good stuff for fear that I’ll decide I want it badly, and then it wont workout and I’ll never heal from that devastation. But I can’t afford to keep protecting my future self at the expense of living the life that I want.

Focus on the Joy

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So for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to focus on the joy and the good that a child would bring into my life. Seeing the world anew through a child’s eyes, introducing deep and unconditional love into my life, raising a good citizen of the world, the bedtime stories, the inside jokes and road trip memories, the family of my own, the first words, the pride of them learning and loving life, the joy of sharing my life and all I’ve learned in my many years alone on this earth.

So I’m going to focus on the joy, the good, at least for a little while. I hope it brings some clarity!

The Baby Deadline Looms

Alrighty I said I’d provide an update, but then I went all “living in the moment” on this whole thing and suddenly it’s the end of August and I’m not really any further ahead. Perhaps a few steps behind.

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To recap my life’s biggest dilemma and where I stand today.

When I first started considering this single parent situation, I was never unable to let go of the idea of meeting someone. Part of me questioned if this meant that I really didn’t want to be a mom, but I would argue that choosing to be a mom on your own, or with a partner, are two entirely different propositions. Making the decision to do it on your own from the get go, paying a bunch of money to do so, shopping for sperm, and not feeling confident that you’ll adequately be able to support a child on your own all add a lot of difficulty to the decision. Even if you want to have a child, choosing this life requires, in my opinion, a great deal of thought and consideration. Unless you happen to be a person who can accept the challenge with a calmness that it will all work out somehow. I am not that person…yet. And so I hem and I haw and I start this blog to figure it all out.

But I had decided to make a decision by July of last year, until the pandemic hit in March…and I gave myself a bit of a reprieve. Heck the clinics weren’t even open so it made sense to give myself some breathing room. And right around the same time, I met someone. Re-met is the more appropriate term as we’d dated a few times a couple of years back. I reached out and pursued him this time, and then we were thrust quickly into lockdown which is a strain on any relationship, and just plain confusing with a new one. You don’t know what your relationship looks like in the real world, and now that person is your entire world. Your bubble so to speak.

Add to that the fact that he has a teenager who is also struggling to be a teen in the middle of a pandemic (this has all been especially hard on kids and teens I think), a very sick family member, a lack of interaction with anyone else that knows me or makes me feel normal, and it’s been a year full of total joy and crazy disorientation.

The Big Question

But time moves on and eventually I had to start having talks with my boyfriend about the realities of potentially having a kid after only having dated a year, during a pandemic, when he’s obviously dealing with a lot and has the baggage of a failed marriage to add hesitancy to his forward momentum.

I had to ask myself the same question. I mean how does one contemplate having a baby with someone they’ve virtually just met when the whole world is flipped upside down?

The SMBC “The Stork and I” said that when she was 36 she realized that she would have to either meet someone and for it to be so good that they’d want to have kids right away, or she’d have to go it alone. Going it alone seemed less scary and a sure bet for her. She knew that if she’d ended up in a situation like I’m in now that the decision would be much more convoluted. And yet…here I am. Where was this advice when I was that age? To be honest, I think it was there and I ignored it. I romanticized living in a rom com and meeting the guy and it all falling into place. Those fucking movies.

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The added complexity is that my government only pays for one fertility treatment up to the date of my last birthday. So I was feeling the pressure to decide in time to get a bit of a break from paying for yet another treatment (two rounds of freezing eggs really put a dent in the old savings). This added a lot of pressure to the conversation.

I did get a bit of a reprieve from my doc when she said that I had a few months grace period after my birthday to figure out if I wanted to go in on the funding. So that gave me a bit of breathing room, until…

The Break

So this shit situation went from confusing to worse when my boyfriend blindsided me by saying that he was overwhelmed with everything and needed a break to figure things out. I’ll spare you the details of the terrible month we spent apart where my main goal was to figure out a way to continue the relationship.

We are now back on after a bit of a “living in the real world” reset. But he’s not ready to join me on this journey yet. So I have to once again figure this out alone. I’ll be using this space in the next few weeks to document what I’m doing to get there.

Please send your stories back at me! It helps to feel a bit less alone in this…

We’ve Reached The Climax of My Baby Making “Panic Years”

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I’m still here. And I’m still panicking.

A bit of a recap…

I’m doing all of the right things, according to me. The research, the difficult conversations, the prep. The things that lead to years of procrastination mind you, but I’m really taking this “conscious choice to become a mother…or not” quite seriously. It’s a serious thing, so I don’t feel too badly about it. But I’m in a bit of a major deadline-looming panic. I’ve mentioned before that the government in my country only pays for IVF up to a certain age. And I will soon be that age. Of course, my doctor is suggesting that I just bite the baby bullet and get on with it, but now I’m in this situation that I tried to avoid, but also actively pursued. I’m dating someone relatively new, and now I need to decide to have a baby with this gent, or to end things and choose the still not so easy route of single motherhood. Or, of course, letting go of the dream all together.

Let’s Talk

So I’ve opened up the conversation with my dude, and not surprisingly he’s responded with the standard guy mentality around these things, “We’ve only been dating a year. Why rush things? Things are so complicated anyway right now, shoudln’t we wait until life gets back to normal?”

For me the answer is “No”, I can’t wait for things to get back to normal. And if we’re honest, if it’s not this pandemic it will be something else. Life has a fun little game of throwing a bunch of curveballs at us at the least convenient times.

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Things You Should Never Say to Your Partner

Yes, that’s what I’m calling him now. Sometimes. When calling him boyfriend at our age seems silly, and until calling him partner feels a bit dumb. Further discussions with my partner lead to him uttering words that I wish I could unhear. Now keep in mind, we were having a very heated conversation and I’d had a bit of Gin to relax, which is never a good way to start such a serious conversation. I was being a bit unreasonable, a bit of a baby in terms of dealing with the situation, and he uttered the words that will haunt me for a while, “I’m not sure I want to have a baby…with you. I’m not sure you’ll be a good mother.” Sucker punch. Something I was not expecting to hear at all, and probably one of the cruelest things you can say to someone who, at the back of her mind, is always considering single motherhood as an option.

He of course apologized profusely. This was all new territory for him and I pushed things hard right out of the gate. I was slightly aggressive and he responded by being defensive. Unfortunately the words he chose were sharp as daggers. But I believe him. And he still wants to talk about it. He’s brought it up with his mother (she’s totally on board. Not that she needs to be, but it makes it feel less scary). And we’ve opened up the conversation in a less threatening and more collaborative way.

My Personal TikTok

Time is of the essence however. We are going step by step but the steps are coming quickly and I’m scared. We’ve both gone in for testing and really the next step is to engage in some thoughtful conversation (maybe steering clear of the subject of whether or not one should bring a child into this mad, overpopulated world) and come to some sort of decision. It isn’t going to be easy or perfect and I’m sure I will shed my fair share of tears, but I know we’ll be better for it in the end. Part of me just wants to drop the timeline of the IVF funding and just do things when they feel right.

I’ll update you on the decisions as they happen. Any tips out there for how to manage this kind of convesation effectivley and with kindness? Drop me a line…

Fertility Treatment PTSD and my Partner Box is Still N/A

Well I’m back on the fertility circuit. Making the call to the doctor that I went through egg freezing with launched me into part depression, part extreme anxiety, and it had me questioning if I even wanted to go through any of the treatments again. I mean, it was a lot. Sticking needles in your butt, hearing bad news about your fertility on the daily, dealing with a rollercoaster of synthetic hormones. I feel like that’s not actually the scientific way to describe it, but you’re definitely manipulating your body in a way that isn’t entirely natural.

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I’ve spoken before about how the government in my country pays for fertility treatments up to the age of 43. Being four months away from that led me to a bunch of sleepless nights, anxious and accusatory talks with my boyfriend, and a desire to reach out to my doc to find out if I could even get ahead of the line to get the free treatment. You see the government only gives out a certain amount of funding every year so there is a waiting list for the treatment. Most clinics operate under a first in, first out scenario. I specifically chose my clinic years ago because they consider other factors when deciding who gets the treatment next. A combination of when you come in for treatment, how old you are (i.e. if you’r about to hit the end of funding then you move up the list), and risk factors. I thought that this was an intelligent and kind approach to the whole situation.

A small part of me was hoping that the doc would say that it’s too late. Then I wouldn’t have to approach my boyfriend with the whole deadline conversation. If there’s one thing I know about men, it’s that they feel a little bit sorry for us that we have a biological clock, but they aren’t usually willing to take on the burden themselves. But when I did talk to the doc, she basically said, “Let’s do this. Now. Do you want me to talk to your boyfriend?”

Oi Vey, so I wasn’t going to be given the out. I was going to have to decide if I wanted a kid enough to try to get in under the wire and get the funding, which would require some difficult conversations with my boyfriend who definitely thinks that we have more time to decide. Or decide if I want to go it alone, or wait it out with my boyfriend and accept another the probability of another major outpouring of money at some point in the future when I most certainly will need some kind of assistance to get pregnant if that’s the plan.

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I had to fill out all the forms again like a new patient. And since I was deciding to start this process on my own and then talk to my boyfriend once I had all the facts, when I got to the section on my partner’s details, I had to enter in N/A. N/A as in I don’t have a partner who is with me on this journey. Who is as invested in the outcome as I am. And that made me so incredibly sad. I felt so alone. Again. I’ve spent a year with a a person who I still don’t feel will be as open to this as I am. I mean he hasn’t been thinking about it for the past 8 years like I have. A part of me wishes i’d just made the decision to go it alone, because now not only do I still need to decide how much I want a kid, I have to decide if I want it enough to potentially have to give up on a good relationship and partner.

I have a friend who is dating someone new, and he actually asked her after a month if she wanted to have kids, as he was hoping for some more. Part of me was so jealous that she had someone that she barely knew who was already planning this potential outcome for them. Another part of me thinks it’s kind of crazy and is happy that my guy is not rushing things and wants to be sure about it before moving forward. I mean he’s been burned before right?

In any case, I’ve set up my initial tests so I have a next step and I guess I’ll go from there. I’ve also set up some time with a therapist to discuss how to best approach the conversation with my guy. I’ll let you know how that goes!

She’s Running Out of Time (and Other Sh*t People Say About Women Having Babies)

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This is a tiny bit of a rant email. The last couple of my few and far between blog posts sang the praises of a podcast “To Baby, or Not To Baby” and while I still do love it immensely, I had to skip over a recent episode as it caused my anxiety to skyrocket. It was the episode where the star of the podcast, facing a potential “geriatric” pregnancy at 36 (while not even knowing if she wants to have a baby), goes into the clinic to check out her fertility. Throughout the podcast she shares all of the amazing things well-intentioned (probably) but totally ignorant people say to someone approaching the end of their fertile years (most of which I’ve heard a million times).

You’d better hurry up, you’re not getting any younger.

Did you know the chance of having a kid drop substantially after 35?

It’ll be really hard to take care of a baby if you start any older than you are today…

I have this one friend who almost reflexively throws out “She’d better start now if she’s thinking about it. Chances are pretty low.” every time conversation drifts to a common friend who is thinking about having a second kid. Despite me mentioning to her multiple times that saying these things to me, someone who doesn’t even have a plan to start trying at this point, is really hurtful and unhelpful.

People can be jerks.

Gold Medal for the Good Eggs?

Listening to this podcast made me feel calm and connected and safe. Until this episode where the host went in for her fertility scan. Her numbers were fantastic, and miles above what mine were at her age. Which immediately sent me into a tailspin of anxiety. Plummeting. The worst was that she was so overly excited about it. Almost like she’d done something right by having abnormally high numbers. I kind of felt like slapping a medal on her and calling it a day.

So I had to put up a boundary and skip past the episode entirely. Feeling like I’d failed somehow because my ovaries weren’t spitting out bunches of healthy eggs to develop into follicles.

And it reminded me of how cruel this whole conversation is to women. How unforgiving. If our bodies malfunction and develop a disease, no one really blames the host. But with eggs, it’s like we’re somehow damaged if we can’t do one of the main things our bodies were designed to do, simply by virtue of the fact that we’re ageing, and not lucky enough to be in a situation where we feel comfortable taking the plunge.

I know we’re not meant to compare any part of our lives with others. We all know there are so many contributing factors to all of this. But it just made me feel like a BIG FAT FAILURE .

Change the Conversation

So I’d really like to propose that we all just STOP.

STOP talking like it’s some big accomplishment to have good eggs. Be sensitive. Can you imagine talking to someone who has a disease and exclaiming with joy “Thank goodness I don’t have that disease and my body is performing well!” We can be grateful for this, but the whole celebratory “in your face” attitude around fertility is a bit much. Because it inadvertently shames women who are struggling in this area. It’s what causes all talk of fertility to continue to hold a bit of a stigma in many cases.

STOP telling women they should hurry up. Sharing stats and opinions. We all know this sh*t already. It’s literally top of mind for a large percentage of women in child-bearing years and we’re not idiots. We read. We know. We hear the clock. So honestly, and I’m not normally so harsh but, shut the f#$k up!

It’s not an easy decision to have kids, especially if you’re not in a partnership that is generally heading in that direction. It’s a complex decision (or at least should be) for most people contemplating bringing a child into this imperfect world, so let’s just talk about it with a little more compassion.

New Year, Same Pressure: To Have a Child or Embrace a Child-Free Life?

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Holy Man. Decision inertia has become as much a regular part of my life as my online shopping trigger finger during this pandemic (someone needs to take my PayPal away). I can’t help but think back to that terrible therapist’s comment that “maybe no decision is a decision” and wonder how many more days, months, years I have before my lack of decision turns into a “no” without my consent.

When does No Decision Become a Decision?

It’s a new year, and also the same old story. I said that I’d make this kid decision by last July, but then all of the fertility clinics had closed and I’d met this new guy, and I gave myself (another) grace period. Because…well…COVID (this time). I honestly thought that surely this whole mess would be over by the new year, and that would be my last chance to decide. The last opportunity before my ovaries, or the government pulled the plug (they only pay for one round of IVF funding in Canada up to a certain age, dangerously close to my age today). But then a family health emergency happened, and I found yet another excuse. Mind you, a really good excuse, but nonetheless. You’d think at this stage, my refrain would be all: I made my decision, let me just deal with this and the lockdown…and, and, and.. I’ll be in the fertility clinic before you know it. Or my boyfriend would decide to come along with me for the ride (if that’s the decision) and I’d be on my way. But I have’t even finished the course I started in July that was supposed to help me figure it out. The one I said I needed to finish before I made a decision. I keep putting all of these roadblocks in the way of actually making a decision, and I’m truly questioning the functioning of my intuition at this point.

Which Path Do I Want to Take?

I will say, that things have gotten pretty good with the boyfriend. And I do look at him and think about how much “fun” it would be to have a child with him. Immediately followed by a million worries about having a kid with someone that I’ve not even dated a year at this stage, etc. But for brief moments, either drunk on love or red wine, or just in rare moments when my desire for connection and attachment outweighs my fear of commitment, I look at him and think “Yeah, that’s the stuff. That’s what I’ve been looking for.”

But then, I listen to my favourite podcast To Baby or Not to Baby (brilliant) and they’re interviewing a super cool woman in her 70s who decided she didn’t want kids at a young age, at a time in history (not very long ago) where she got death threats for announcing this on TV (the pronatalism community being so fiercely strong and horrible at the time). I mean if you want kids, amazing. If not, also amazing. We honestly don’t need more kids in the world at this moment in time, we can barely manage to stay healthy as a population and not burn up as a planet as it is.

But back to this woman. She has had a life full of love and mentorship and travel. So much travel. And I can definitely envision this being one of my potential futures. She described her life as one of unlimited possibility. And it all sounded very lovely, and meaningful. One thing she did talk about was how people thought she was selfish for not having kids. I’ve heard this a lot, and I find it to be bollocks. Most people I know have kids for a million different reasons, and some of them have actually admitted to me that they’re having kids so they have company and someone to look after them when they’re older. The natural order of things. What is not selfish about that?

Smells Like Teen Spirits (AKA Hormones)

Another thing she mentioned, when asked how one was to decide whether or not to have children, was to try to spend some serious time, not just an hour or two here or there, with a kid. Really see what it’s like on a day to day basis. But the pandemic has sort of taken that opportunity away from me. I do of course spend time with my boyfriend’s kid. But she’s 15, and let me tell you, I’m really struggling. I don’t think that’s the age this woman had in mind. I mean our relationship is “fine’ now, which is a blessing (I’ve shared some of my early struggles with dating a guy with a teenager here and here). But as I’ve said before, I don’t think any parent really looks forward to the teen years. It is arguably the age when most humans are at their worst.

I am running out of time and feeling the pressure. Usually at the end of a year I give myself a bit of a break on all of the big stuff, saying I’ll tackle it when the clock strikes midnight on day 2 of the new year (day 1 is reserved for pizza and hangovers). But that makes January a very stressful month.

I’m going to try to give myself a break and get through the family stuff in the short term. Really hoping at some point it all just clicks one way or another!

How is everyone else doing this new year so far? Pressure-filled or peaceful?

It’s a Christmas Miracle…the Neighbour I (Stupidly) Dated is Moving Out!

It’s been a while since I’ve commented on the ill-conceived moment in time when I dated my neighbour. My much younger neighbor who had sex with someone else, while we were dating, in a bed that banged up against my very own bedroom wall. I haven’t felt safe or comfortable in my apartment since. The same neighbor who said he didn’t want to get “serious” as quickly as I would need to have babies of my own, but who has been dating a girl very seriously since.

But this morning I woke up to a lot of hustle and bustle in the hallway. And I started to hear pretty loud, echoing voices coming from that same dreaded connecting wall. For a moment I had a panic that maybe his girlfriend was moving in. A quick call to my superintendant confirmed that he was indeed moving out. Hallelujah.

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I immediately felt this giddy joy. Like my home could be my home again, and I wouldn’t get that little rush of anxiety every time I left my apartment at the risk of maybe running into him. And then a wall of sadness hit. It’s brought up a lot up of unresolved feelings that I believe you’re always left with when someone else is the one who leaves. The rejection, the insecurity, the “what ifs” linger a lot longer when the choice is not yours. It’s left me with this sort of sad, lonely, time-is-moving-on feeling. Once again comparing my life to someone else’s. Imagining that they have it all figured out and are moving forward while I’m stuck in the same place. I guess I’d always hoped that I would move on, or out, first. It’s a weird feeling of being left behind.

But I have to trust that I’m on my path. That it is all for the best, whatever has happened and whatever comes next. No one has it all figured out, that’s the biggest lesson of life. There is really nothing to figure out, beyond the fact that we only have this moment…and the next one is not guaranteed.

So I’m going to try to relish in the joy of this moment.

Here’s to reclaiming the side of my apartment that always felt a little off-limits without a lot of background noise, for fear of hearing a banging headboard against the wall. And to breathing a lot deeper in my own space again.

Still working on my “to baby or not to baby” question. Finishing up the course and listening to the podcast and heading back to the doc in the new year to see where things are at. I’ll keep ya posted!

To Baby or Not to Baby?

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Thought, despite my break, I’d pop in for a quick post as I’m totally and completely smitten…with a podcast.

While I’ve been taking some time to re-establish my relationship after all of the trauma and PTSD from the issues with his kid, I’ve also been focussing on the key question at the root of all of my life’s anxieties right now, whether or not I want to be a mother. Being in a relationship that is probably too new to contemplate children, and understanding that I might need to make the decision to go it alone or give up altogether, sends me to a bottle of wine on more days than not.

But there has been one really bright spot in my “work” to figure all of this out, and that’s the podcast “To Baby or Not to Baby.”

Holy man has this podcast been a godsend. It’s hosted by a woman (Naomi) who is unsure as to whether or not she wants to have a kid. So, obviously, she starts a podcast to figure it all out. Kind of similar to some people starting blogs to do the same thing, wink wink. She just happens to be a lot more successful than I have been in her reach, and it’s no wonder why. The podcast is really something special.

She talks to every kind of mother, non mother, wannabe mother, never moms, regretful moms, IVF moms, the list is long. And somehow every guest is so freaking incredible in their brutal and fantastic honesty, their life stories, their humour, their accents (honestly as a Canadian there is no British accent that doesn’t appeal).

If you are at all contemplating whether or not you are meant to be a mum, this podcast is so comforting. To hear accounts from every possible scenario is so helpful and listening to it really makes me feel like whatever decision I come to, it will somehow be alright. In addition, I’ve taken away so many other great life lessons from the struggles of these women (and one man I’ve heard so far). Lessons like:

  • Life is too short for overanalyzing and worrying about every small decision (in this case it was about what baby carriage to purchase). The recommendation being to just stop worrying and go for the recommendation.
  • Your instinct is usually right.
  • Sometimes the “hole in your soul” isn’t best filled by a child.
  • There are many ways to be a mother in this world.
  • A child only needs one person to love them, and they can be a success in life.

And those are just the one’s that come to the tip of my tongue in writing this.

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Their stories are hopeful and heartbreaking and endearing and just lovely. And they’ve given me some validation for the fact that this is no simple decision, for anyone really. The decision, the pressure, the expectation, the unknowing, the uncertainty. It’s a lot.

I feel so calm after listening to the podcast (despite often ending up in tears) and I really recommend it for anyone still struggling with the decision. I definitely wish I was one of those people that was a “hell yes” with regard to wanting to become a mum. And I definitely feel like if I was younger and had met my person and wasn’t going to have to contemplate being a single mother AND a geriatric mother, I would’ve been. But I have to believe that I’m in the place that I’m supposed to be in right at this moment. It’s really the only way to proceed in life without losing your mind (IMO).

At the end of the podcast, the host shares her current “percentage” yes/no on whether or not she’s leaning towards taking the plunge into the world of Teletubbies (is that still a thing?). I think right now I’m still a 60/40. Still lots of episodes to go.

As mentioned I’m also doing this course, “Is motherhood for me?” and I’ll talk about it when I’m done (they suggest not talking about the course while you’re doing it to keep the focus on how you’re feeling about everything). There is one mantra they share, however, that I find helpful, really for any situation in life. And that’s “It’s okay to not know.” It is okay, to not know. It’s okay. You’re okay.

I Almost Fell Into the COVID Break-up Timeline Because of My New Guy’s Kid

And Now I Need To Take a Break

I read an article recently predicting that a lot of relationships that started when COVID hit will now come to their natural conclusion. The novelty has worn off and real life comes crashing in as things open up. You’re trying to figure out your new normal, which is frustrating, scary, depressing and dull on a lot of days. And you’re also trying to figure out if you really work as a couple in this new weird world. Do you get along with their families? Do your new schedules mesh? Do you enjoy real-world things together as much as hunkering down and exploring a new relationship during the exciting and terrifying time of quarantine, which produces a bit of an “end of the world” feeling?

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

For me, the most difficult thing to process while moving into this next phase has been accepting that at some point our little relationship bubble will need to include “the daughter”. This thought sends me into pure panic. After our disastrous camping trip I realized that the only way I could continue dating my dude, was to compartmentalize and almost pretend that she didn’t exist. At least for a little while while we solidified our bond. I just couldn’t see how it would all ever successfully merge. I couldn’t envision a time in which she would not be a third wheel in our relationship, and vice versa for me in their family.

But I was open to slowly re-introducing ourselves when it made sense, which ended up being for my dude’s birthday. And man did things go south. We had an extremely bad evening and it was really shocking for all of us. She was in a terrible mood and lost her cool. I lost my patience. My dude had no idea how to handle it all.

I read a bunch of articles the next day on how to deal with a moody teenager, and I had basically done everything wrong. Not entirely my fault, as I am of course not a parent of a teenager so can’t really be expected to know these things. But nonetheless. I made these mistakes:

  • I took her mood personally.
    • I guess their hormones are raging and they have no idea how to make sense of things and aren’t really behaving in a way that they want to.
  • I asked her direct questions related to her mood (and related to life in general which apparently is a bad idea when they are in a bad state).
    • Drawing attention to their less than ideal state only adds fuel to the fire. And questions can feel like an attack.
  • And I got frustrated with her.
    • She was terrible. But I’m the adult. I’m meant to have some space and reason to just let it go (please tell me when I will catch up mentally and emotionally to where I’m meant to be as an adult!)

All classic mistakes.

My dude and I had to take a weekend apart to sort through what had happened. There was no communication and I was mess. We both thought the other was over the relationship. Apparently he spent the weekend preparing for the end, while I spent the weekend crying and grieving over its probable end. Missing him, feeling like a tool for ruining things yet again, and feeling quite hopeless. You see, I truly feel (no pressure lol) that this relationship represents my last opportunity to meet a guy that I might actually have a child of my own with. If and when it ends, time will have run out. I will either need to decide to go it alone or accept that it will likely not happen for me. This was a much bigger grief. While we ultimately decided it was just a bump in the road, it’s left me with a lot of anxiety and I’ve gone into meltdown mode.

At the start of this pandemic, I was totally in support of those memes that talked about how we’re not meant to have accomplished all of our life goals during this trying period, and that we need to give ourselves a bit of a break. But I hadn’t really listened and I’ve been trying to do too much. And it’s lead me to shut down.

So I’ve decided I need to take a tiny pause on a bunch of things to get my head and my life sorted. To figure out how I’m feeling about everything and what my next steps are. For the next little bit I’ll only post if it’s being used to sort things out in my brain. Writing is good for that. Hopefully I’ll be back refreshed and ready to tackle all the things.

Hope you are all giving yourselves the self care and the permission to take a rest as well. This is not an easy time!