Having children was never a foregone conclusion for me. It was one of those things I kept putting off in favor of the freedom to live my life as it was.
The thing about choosing to put off the baby talk until your 20’s are over, is the fact that all of your friends are ever so eager to reproduce and say ‘I Do’.
It’s wonderful to witness and to be a part of the planning, the baby showers, wedding showers, bachelorette parties, etc. Getting to see your friends plan the birth of the child(ren) is an amazing time. As is when they’re planning to begin a new chapter through their wedding vows.
What no one prepares you for though, is the fact that your life is gradually changing as well. As you plan a vacation with your significant other, focus on building your career, and enjoy dinner and drinks out – your friends are joining the birthday party circuit, dance classes, and parent/teacher interviews.
You’ll notice you’re growing apart as your individual interests shift.
Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll experience that, “Woah, when the hell did this happen?!” moment.
Maybe it was when I was stood at a party in the midst of a conversation that shifted to diaper changes and baby proofing. Or maybe it was when the invitations coming in shifted to children’s birthday parties. Or it could’ve been when I would politely stand in conversation with several women and sip my drink because I have run out of polite things to say about runny noses, co-sleeping, brands of baby foods, and after-school activities.
I’m happy for my friends, truly I am, but even though I’m still childless at 31, my life has changed.
I fill my days with wedding plans, furthering my education, writing, and enjoying my fiance. I simply enjoy them with a lot less company.
If you’re reading this, nodding your head – welcome to the childless club, friend. It’s one in which we learn to perfect the polite smile and nod. It’s one in which we have moments of mourning for our lost friendships and celebrating our freedom.
And for those of us who are struggling to join the baby club, it’s one in which we share our fears, struggles, tears, and frustrations.
Welcome to the club, love.