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Biological imperative.

2004-05-06 - 10:55 a.m.

I am convinced itís a conspiracy -- even hamsters are getting in on the baby-making these days. Congrats to Rob on the eight new arrivals!

I would just like to clarify something here Ė a friend who reads this journal mentioned my ďwafflingĒ about having kids. Iíd just like to point out that Iíve never waffled about having them. Itís not a question of if I want to have kids, my issue is when (assuming my husband and I can have kids of course; I know that thereís no way to find that out until we actually put it to the test).

Some people may think I spend too much time analysing it. Such is my nature. I suspect that most people spend some time weighing this decision, they just donít necessarily write about it online. In fact, I would hope that people take a bit of time to make a decision of this magnitude.

Itís no longer the case that everyone pretty much automatically has kids. There are those who donít want children and, while Iím sure their reasons are perfectly valid, they donít actually need to give a reason at all. Thatís their choice and their business. While Iíve never assumed Iíd meet and marry my perfect mate (making it all the more sweet that I did, by the way), Iíve always known that Iíd at least try for having at least one child.

Even while still single, I believe I had the resources to do so Ė a good job with good benefits, my own home, a good support network. I recognize that itís easier to have two people to share the job of child-rearing, but despite the sentiments of someone who told me that I would have ruined the life of my baby by having him or her on my own, I think I would have done just as good a job as any other single parent. There are children who turn out just fine who were raised by one parent. Even starting out with two, after all, is no guarantee that two will remain throughout the formative years of a child Ė death and divorce do happen. For that matter, couples that do stay together donít always guarantee a healthy environment for children.

I know this is my choice and my business, and I donít actually need a reason for wanting children, but Iím still going to give you my thoughts on it. I know that the world is well on its way to overpopulation, yet Iím cocky enough to think that it would be a shame if my genes got snuffed out of the gene pool. And I am really not comfortable with the thought of death but the thought of leaving children to carry on gives me some solace.

Iíd like to add sentimental notions of all the beautiful and unexpected moments that happen as you raise your child Ė first smiles and going off to kindergarten and watching them (hopefully) grow into people youíre proud of Ė but the fact is, thatís still all very abstract for me, as are the bad moments Ė labour, crying and diapers, cavity-fillings, broken bones, their first heartbreak, and things I canít even imagine. Iím sure these good and bad things happen, and Iím sure that the good stuff is worth the bad stuff. The thing is though, Iíve never spent a lot of time around children and in many ways I think I was kind of an odd child myself so I donít think I can even use myself as a good reference point. Kids really are just alien creatures to me at this point with their squeaky voices and their high-energy dashing around. My imagining the trials and tribulations of having them is just that, imagining and not knowing.

So, I guess Iím starting with the ďbiological imperativeĒ and the rest will, Iím sure, follow. I know that kids change your life. By all accounts, having them and raising them is hard but rewarding and, once you do have them, you canít imagine not having them.

I suspect that, with my kids, I would/will be much the same way as my mother, who always said that she didnít like any children but her own and the older we got, the better she liked us. There is no question that she always loved us, but itís just as valuable to me that she actually likes me as well.

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