I'll be quite honest that I never felt that urge to produce an offspring of my own or had my ovaries ache at the sight of a baby. Heck! I even found kid actors annoying when I was a kid myself. So because of this impartial feeling towards them, you can imagine that it was a big decision that I am in fact now a mother of an 18 month son. To get to this point where I have turned my life upside down and voluntarily chose chaos was not a quick decision by any means. Back in the day well meaning relatives would try to sway my opinion when I would say that kids might not be in the picture for me. They would say things like "Your life won't feel complete without them" or "You have no idea of the joy that they bring". Well, obviously. I didn't have them. But that didn't help me decide if this is the right direction. I even recall a conversation with my niece who was 11 at the time that I might not have a baby and she couldn't fathom why anyone would not want one or two or three. Is that our culture? Are women expected that we have to have it all? And not just have the family and the career but you better be successful at it all too. Because if you aren't and your work suffers because you have to take off for the umpteenth time for a sick kid or you gave formula to you kid vs breastfeeding till x age then watch out for the mommy shamers and the endless bouts of guilt that you are letting down your coworkers because you aren't in the office again. Oh, the mind games you play with yourself and the feeling of inadequacies. Again, those type of thoughts weren't helpful in making this life changing decision.
My journey to becoming a mom really started years back when I looked for stories from other moms to hear how their lives changed. I didn't want to know about the practical applications of growing or raising a baby but rather who would I be when I had one or how would I juggle this new identity with my old life. Maybe that is selfish because it wasn't all about the baby but hey, when you are the one who is going to physically and emotionally go through this transformational process, you better believe that this is a hugely important element that one should think about. In what I came across in great books like Torn or articles online, I was able to get perspective that it really is to each their own. A journey of self discovery that isn't easy but doable and worth it. If anything, it taught me to work on letting go of pre-existing expectations because there is a good solid chance that nothing will turn out the way I planned. In the end, the decision came down to us asking ourselves what legacy would we be leaving behind with our last breath and would we have regrets if we never tried. So we did. And we ended up with a mix of the best and worst of us all rolled up in one skinny little miracle with curly hair, hazel eyes, a stubborn streak and who is wildly curious. He's perfectly imperfect, complicated and I love that he is ours.
I'm glad that we ultimately chose to become parents. I'm even more glad that we waited till our 30s as I can't imagine doing this in my 20s. In the end, this kind of decision should be one that no one can make for you except for you. Especially if you are the woman. But if you are curious to know how the other side does it or came to this decision, I highly recommend that book Torn or even this Q&A post I came across on Flipboard. The response on whether the person should have a baby was probably the most humorous, honest and real answer that I've seen.