Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Doing It On Your Own

I had an interesting conversation with my mom a few weeks ago. It started with us talking about my cousin who had a baby a few months ago with his girlfriend. Apparently, their relationship has hit a rough patch, and she left with the baby. (She has since returned, however, and things are getting back on track with their relationship.)

This then segued into talk of whether or not my older brother (who is 35) will ever have kids with his girlfriend who is 7 or 8 years his senior. I then threw out something that totally knocked my mom off balance, and I am still not 100% sure why.

I simply told her that if I didn't have a husband (or at least a very serious relationship) by the age of 37 or 38*, I was going to start looking into adoption or having a kid on my own through the use of artificial insemination. She was flabbergasted and utterly taken aback by the prospect of me raising a child on my own. This came from the woman who told me that if I was as good with my children as I was with my dog that I would be mother of the year. This is also the same woman who has been bugging my brother and me for grandchildren ever since my ex-sister-in-law’s little brother had a baby about 6 years ago.

Is this a generational thing? A small town thing? What? I don’t know. My parents do tend to be rather closed minded, especially when “appearances” are involved. It’s the whole “what-will-the-neighbors-think” mentality I guess.

But what’s wrong with a woman of a certain age, taking charge of her life, and bringing a child into the world (or helping one who is already here)? It’s not like I’m going to do it today without any thought or planning! And it’s not like I’m going to find a man to knock me up just so that I will have a baby-daddy to rely on for child support payments! If and when I do this, I will be financially secure enough not to need help from anyone.

Quite honestly, I am NOT ready for a child right now. I want to travel and enjoy being (relatively) young before I settle down. I want to be married for at least a couple years before I start having kids. And I want to give the prospect of a “traditional” family a chance to happen because I think (in most cases) kids are better off with two parents.

And another thing . . . we don’t get any guarantees in life. Even if I am lucky enough to find the perfect guy, he could get run over by a bus or struck down with cancer before we ever have a chance to have kids. Or maybe it could be me. You just never know.

So to my mom, I say this: I love you, but if and when the time comes, this is a responsibility that I will be ready to take on by myself. Remember, you’re the one who always told me that I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it.

I feel that the greatest gift you can give the world is a loved child. Children who are truly loved are blessed, and they share those blessings with everyone whose life they ever touch.

*obviously, some things are out of my control, and I don’t know what the future holds. This is a plan, not set in stone, and is subject to change based on things that may change in my life over the next several years.


Jo said...

You -would- be mother of the year. And if you ever need a babysitter you know where to find me :-)

Anonymous said...

I found your blog and i cried a lot because i read and read and i felt a lot of things that you wrote in my heart.Please keep writing.I live in Argentina.

Helen Skor said...

Jo - you know that if I needed a baby sitter it would probably be so that I could go out with you, so we'll just have to come up with a backup plan!!

Ofelia - I'm so glad you enjoy reading my blog. It is really flattering coming from a total stranger. But I guess we all have a lot more in common than we realize. I just try to write from the heart. Best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

You are right about having things in common,and i guess that the bad ones are the most common ones.If this doesnt have any sense to you its because my english is not good.

Helen Skor said...

Ofelia, no apologies necessary. I speak enough spanish to get by, but one of my dearest friends (Pita) is actually Argentinean (from Cordoba), so I know all too well how similar our problems can be, no matter where we live in the world! Just know that you're never really alone, even if you feel like you are.

Anonymous said...

Thank oyu sweety.And tell your friend Pita that i think that Cordoba is the second best place in Argentina.I loved the city and the people =)
It seems to me that you have a lot of latino friends.You have to come and visit this amazing country someday !

Helen Skor said...

I'm definitely planning on it! Pita and I have been talking about coming down around Christmas of this year, but I don't know if it will work out. I'm dying to see where she lived and to go to Buenos Aires.