Do I really want to have another child? This is something I seriously ponder as I get my daughter some breakfast, in a haze of both exhaustion and frustration. My daughter, who is 3, not only woke both her father and I up in the middle of night, she then slept in our bed, where she still managed to wake us again before 7 o'clock in the morning by talking in my ear as loudly as possible. At the time of this writing, she's in fact jumping up and down like she has springs in her feet, while watching Charlotte’s Web, which I've seen so many times that I could repeat it word for word.
It's a question that I have to ask myself...after all, I'm 38 years old. Though the thought of another child is appealing, I really wonder if I want to prolong sleepless nights, diaper changes, and no private time as an adult. It seems like a certain sort of torture to me, though I imagine the rewards more than make up for it. That being said, if I'm to ask society their opinion on the matter, I get quite a different response than my own logic.
It wasn't too long after my daughter's birth that I realized that I had become a walking uterus, or at best, a baby incubator that just happens to also have a brain attached and a personality.
“When are you having another one?”
“You're going to have another, right? She'd be lonely if you don't.”
“ Having children is the most important thing you've ever done.”- Yes, this has really been said to me. If you think it's obnoxious reading it, think about how obnoxious it was hearing it.
“Are you pregnant?”- This last question always rankled me. Do I look pregnant? Why would you just assume I have a small human in my tummy? Always asked by women, I wonder why they would say something that they know would offend them should I say the same thing to them.
The problem is that we sometimes lose our identities when we have children. It seems like society, and other parents at large, seem to believe that once you have a child that you're simply a mommy or daddy, though I tend to notice this phenomenon is far more frequent with women than with men.
I found myself in a situation where I went from, “Dana-the writer, the snarky wordsmith, the funny girl”, to, “ Dana-the women that has a functioning uterus, and she knows how to use it.”
I think we get into dangerous territory when we start pressuring people to have children because we deem it as their duty. Just as it's inappropriate to ask a woman why she has so many children, it should be equally inappropriate to question a person repeatedly as to when they'll have another child. Is it really any of their business anyway?
I'm am still very much up in the air about whether I'll have another child or not. That being said, I'll say this- it will be my decision. Not only that, but there is more to me than my reproductive organs, or the title of “mommy”. I am Dana -writer of satire, and lover of music, not just Dana- giver of Goldfish, and cleaner of messes.