So I’ve basically been thinking, and dating, and sleeping with unsuitable people, and thinking that something might become A THING — and then realising that it wasn’t going to. And I’ve been thinking some more about what life would be like if I had a child on my own, and thinking what life would be like if I never had children.
And I’ve been listening to friends with kids tell me I should “totally do it” and then listened to them, ten minutes later, blithely bitching about how shit it was when their bastard husbands worked late/were hungover/left them holding the baby, then seeming surprised when I gently pointed out that if I did “totally do it” I’d ALWAYS be left holding the baby.
I’ve thought about plan A (husband/long-term partner + babies) and how that’s not really a workable plan at the moment. And I’ve thought about plan B (baby on my own) and if that doesn’t work, how I’d feel about plan C (lots of travel, lots more money) – and I’ve had my wise friend M point out that maybe plans don’t work out alphabetically and as I’m not yet 40, I might yet fit in my A,B,C – just maybe not in that order.
And — right now, in this very moment — I’m feeling a certain amount of equanimity about all the plans. I’m feeling that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, more than one way to be a mother, more than one way to be happy. And that feels like a very good place to be to make a decision.
Or, if I’m brutally honest, to totally abdicate from making a decision. I read this really great piece by Isabel Fay on Standard Issue which was actually about people asking her when she was having another child. There was a lovely paragraph where she talks about how her and her husband weren’t even sure that they wanted children:
In all honesty we weren’t convinced we did want one; what we secretly wanted was to be able to say, “We tried, and it didn’t work out, ah well no babies for us then,” as we swanned off on another carefree holiday to the Island of Fire and Knives and Running With Scissors.
(Don’t worry, you don’t need to call social services, now she’s got one she is very happy, in fact she thinks he’s “the best human being ever created.”)
And I realised that I want to try, of course I want to try. And if it works out, then I hope I will love the best human being ever created (sorry Isabel, mine would obvs totally trump yours) and embrace a life of sleeplessness, nappies, repetition and putting myself second. But if doesn’t work out, there are worse things than a life spent holidaying on the Island of Fire and Knives and Running With Scissors.*
(*I’m not promising that once I start trying I won’t become utterly obsessed with it and utterly convinced that the only thing that would make life worth living would be to have a child of my own. But humour me when I’m, if only fleetingly, feeling on a level about this stuff.)