Hello from Colorado!
First and foremost, thank YOU for this group. I thought I was the only one consumed by this overwhelming pressure to have kids and intense loneliness of being a Woman without.
My husband and I got married really young (23), so of course everyone thought I must already be pregnant (I was not). Once married, people kept asking us about kids and we would reply "Ask us again when we're 30". Well, 30 came and went and we still didn't feel the desire to have kids. We are both now 35 and still "not feeling it".
Here is the long and short of what I am going through...
"High-risk at 35"
I just turned 35 and I have to admit, I have been absolutely dreading this birthday for the last 5 years. I know age is only a number but I am having the hardest time grasping the fact that I am now in my "last third of child bearing years" (according to the Gyno) and still don't have the urge to have children. Not only am I clinically considered "high-risk" at this point (aka "geriatric pregnancy"...who came up with that name? Horrible!) but I also have severe Endometriosis. So whenever I have my annual exam, I get this urgency like "well...you probably should have started trying by now...you don't have a lot of time left". Thanks Doc.
"The Pressure is on ME"
It wasn't until the last couple of years that I really experienced the pressure of having kids. My husband has no idea! Have you noticed that only us women/wives are asked about kids by other people? They NEVER ask my husband. Even his own family comes to me. I am constantly surrounded by all of my girlfriends who have kids, I am the one given a timeline at my annual exam, and I am the one who gets all of the questions, comments and judgments. I feel like our decision will be placed on me and will be "all my fault".
I am highly career driven at this point in my life and I am killing it in my job right now. I worked really hard in college and have continued to work twice as hard in my career because I am a female in a male-dominated STEM profession. I now own my own S-Corp and am currently the only female in my field doing this type of work. That in itself is a HUGE accomplishment and one that I should be proud of. But I'm not...somehow all I can think about is the societal notion that I will never feel accomplished or "fulfilled" until I have kids. Why can't my career be enough?
We all have experienced the comments and judgments from other people for not having kids. Here are a few of my faves that keep me up at night...Enjoy
"Just try it! Go off your birth control and see what happens"
"Your husband makes enough money, you should quit your job and have kids"
"This idea you have of continuing to work after you have kids is unrealistic"
"Well I wouldn't wait until I am 35 to have kids, they will probably have a disability"
"I told my husband that you didn't want to hang out with us anymore now that we have a kid"
"I have a friend who decided not to have kids, and it took me a while, but I can see now that she is still a good person"
"I really wanted my kids to have cousins some day, but I guess that's not going to happen"
"I've known since I was a little girl that I wanted to be a Mom, you didn't feel that way?"
When I was a little girl I never had the desire nor even really thought about being a mom...is that weird? I had babydolls that I played with but I never even babysit very often. To this day I feel like if I really wanted kids, I would have this overwhelming desire deep in my heart to be a mother and it is just not there. Is something wrong with me? Am I defective? Am I less of a Woman now? I love all of my nephews and nieces, so why don't I want any of my own? I honestly have no clue and I don't know how to explain that to other women.
I guess I am writing to you all because I have felt overwhelmingly confused, depressed and alone the past couple of years. I don't have any friends or family who understand, my husband, who although is 100% supportive and on the same page, doesn't experience the pressure, and no one I can talk to. My husband and I have had to come up with pre-made responses to people when they ask if we have kids and it is this...
"We're not having kids right now...but we love kids!"
Why do we have to add that we actually do love kids? Is it because I feel like I am doing something wrong? That if I don't add that, people will think I am a monster?
Thank you for opening your hearts, listening to my story and not judging me. I can't even begin to tell you what it means to me. Even just getting it out of my head and "on paper" is a huge step.