Why I Don't Want Children – Yet – The Kitchen Rag

I’m seven days late and while my husband fixes us breakfast I run into the bathroom to check again. Maybe I missed it the last time I went to pee.


“I guess I won’t be having any drinks tonight at our dinner party.” I finally start some morning conversation with my other half.

He looks up from his plate of food confused. “Why not?”

I roll my eyes. Is he serious.

“Because I might be pregnant. Remember?” My reply is a bit more biting than I meant it to sound, emphasizing the “remember”. But I’m freaking out inside and his nonchalance is grinding on my nerves.

“Oh… yeah… well why don’t you take a test before everyone gets here.”

Great suggestion, Honey. Why not. I’ll find out that I’m four weeks pregnant right before I have to host a bunch of people, and since I can’t tell them I’m pregnant because everybody tells you that you should wait to announce it until you’re at least ten weeks, I’ll just casually sip on water and tell everyone I am just not drinking cuz I don’t want to, and no one will suspect ANYTHING.

We’ve been married for almost seven years. Any time I feel sleepy, tired, battle a stomach bug, a headache, or a wave of nausea, family members and friends give me the knowing look. Half of my girlfriends have little ones I love to babysit and cuddle with kiddos but whenever I do many tell me I look like a natural and it suits me well, too well… My mother asks about my “health”. Facebook has been suggesting diapers and baby clothes for about three years now. But WE ARE NOT READY.

When I utter these words people look slightly confused. “Your eggs aren’t getting any younger, aren’t you thirty?” I’ve been reminded frequently. I know I how old I am and what is the state of my reproductive system.

Truthfully, I can’t wait to be a mama, but I want it to be on our own terms. My husband and I married young, very young. He was still in college and we struggled to make ends meet. We only dated for a year before we said our “I do’s” – two crazy kids who had no idea what they were getting themselves into. The first year was no walk in the park and neither was the second or the third. I’m so thankful we didn’t bring a child into our highly reactive youthful dynamic. As we’ve gotten older we’ve both mellowed out. For a period of time we saw a counselor that helped us see each other in a different light. Since then we’ve traveled in over ten countries, completed epic backpacking trips, started businesses, learned a lot about ourselves, and learned how to support and be on each other’s team.

But even while our marriage is stronger than it has ever been, we aren’t ready. We are ALMOST ready, but we’d like a couple more years, even if my biological clock is apparently a ticking time bomb. It’s a decision we have made together and we feel good about it.

“I can pick up a pregnancy test for you when I’m running errands. Where do they sell those?” My husband tries to be helpful.

Really, we have had how many pregnancy scares and he still doesn’t know where to buy the damn tests, my hormonally crazed brained whispers. Any time I’m late we go through this scenario. I’ve taken probably fifty tests since we got married. Although we’re on a strict family planning regime it doesn’t feel as safe as the birth control pills that I threw away three years ago after realizing they were giving me headaches and out of body experiences.

“It’s early enough that if I took the test, even if it’s negative, I might still be pregnant. I don’t wanna poison our baby!” My husband looks confused while he tries to process my outburst, the complicated explanation, and the “our baby” part.

“So just don’t drink.” He offers his pragmatic solution. I reward him with a death stare and grab the colorful multivitamin waiting for me on the corner of my plate. Of course, like it’s that simple.

“Maybe you should take two, just in case.” My husband suggests innocently.

“Really, now you too?! Why does everyone think I’m pregnant?” I yell exasperated.

I wasn’t playing fair. Nothing he could have said that morning would have made me feel better. I wanted to cry and scream at the same time. There was a flood of questions inside me that seemed to both welcome and reject this potential pregnancy.

Was I going to be a good mama? Can we make enough money to rent a place with a baby room? Would I have an easy pregnancy? Do I want a natural birth? Are epidurals expensive? Will my husband change poopy diapers? Have we lost our chance to backpack through Patagonia and Machu Picchu? Am I going to lose myself in this child?

My period started later that day, and I was both relieved and disappointed. Our dinner party was a success and I enjoyed three delicious glass of red wine, guilt free. This last pregnancy false alarm made me realize that in many ways I am ready to have a baby and in many ways I’m not.  It’s a confusing space to be in, but I’m learning to sit with it and make myself comfortable. A baby will come at the right time. We would love it to be a planned pregnancy, but we also understand that it might not happen that way. Until then I’m going to keep writing my stories, travel the world and save some money for our future home.