From the earliest of ages, we are cultured to be nurturing: pacifying baby dolls, cuddling stuffed animals and empathizing with Disney characters. Although, I actually was always the anomaly. As a self-proclaimed tomboy, I was much more inclined to save the worms from melting into the boiling cement, feed the starving ants that frequented my closet and create grass mansions for the roly-poly’s in my bug catcher. Still, I was mothering in my own neurotic, clumsy, backwards way.
The games we play that are rooted in our childhood, like “house” and “wedding” promote the assigned gender roles that adulthood suggests. Like, that motherhood also implies marriage: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, right? Apparently not. According to a YouGov survey, more than three quarters of women, aged 18-34, would consider having a baby before tying the knot. Surprising, huh?
Admittedly, I like this statistic. It’s unconventional and I appreciate the idea of redefining the modern woman; rewriting the happily-ever-after generic romance tale. And yet, I can’t help but wonder…am I Carrie Bradshaw? Do I apply to this perspective?
Mostly because my version is cut slightly short and I just don’t know if, after marriage, I see kids in my future. Is that just like, totally against the rules of feminism, Gretchen Wieners?
As a child, I never envisioned my wedding day. In fact, the prospect of people staring at me while I walked down a long aisle to kiss a man gave me extreme anxiety. Instead, my dreams typically consisted of glazed doughnuts, climbing trees and chocolate milk.
It’s not that I don’t love kids because I do. And whenever I visit my “niece” (my best friends daughter) I picture myself with my own. But, sometimes I get irritated taking my sisters dog out for a walk at six am; I already have a love-hate relationship with my body, and there are so many things I’d like to accomplish before I get pregnant. It just doesn’t seem plausible.
Hence, commence the list of things I want to do before (if ever) starting a family*:
1. The relentless quest for hardcore abs. I just want to know how they feel…
2. Complete my “to-travel-to” list, which is quite extensive. Because I’m dreading the day I’ll be the culprit of the crying baby in 12B.
3. Career woman. Considering I’m still an intern, I’ve got a ways to go. (Only up, though, right?)
4. Spend an entire day in bed. This entails: watching Netflix marathons with (red) wine, (chocolate chip) cookie dough and (all my) best friends. Although this also translates to every single Sunday, I’m just not ready to compromise these moments of comatose, wherein calories don’t exist and the only form of physical activity is paper-scissors-rocks-ing whoever has to buzz in the Seamless delivery guy.
5. Own a pet. It’s like having a kid…I’ve heard? And by pet I obviously mean a Golden Retriever, whom I’ve prematurely named Penny. Fish, birds, rabbits, and all forms of rodents just don’t count in this endeavor.
6. Sex. Have lots of it.
7. Roots. New York City is my 13th move in 25 years. I’m a total nomad, peripatetic itinerant, sufferer of wanderlust, with an extreme fear of boredom, repetition, and an addict to change. I’d like to establish roots and retire my wings (ah, is that possible?) before reproducing.
8.Spend too much money on impractical things. Glamorous, but completely frivolous purchases like lingerie, pinball machines, appetizers, Louboutin heels–now is the time!
9. Hair. Learn how to do it. My poor Barbie’s were subjected to Salon de Lindsey, which consisted of far too much chopping, beaver bangs, and an inability to curl, french braid and/or style to any capacity.
10. Cookies. Ah, finally, an admission: my perpetual life goal is to create the world’s best chocolate chip cookie. Obviously this pursuit requires experimenting, taste tasting and sampling of various brands (Hershey’s semi sweet is my favorite, thus far, sorry Ghiradelli fans). This time consuming, delicious dream is ostensibly unremitting and takes precedence over having babies, clearly.
*Note: This list is conditional of an imaginary man who wants to marry me, as sperm and an engagement ring are also pretty pertinent and currently nonexistent to beginning the fam.