Family Dynamics

No, I’m Not Ready to Have a Baby Yet, Thanks For Asking.

Because I am not very discreet about my personal life, it’s no secret that my sister just had a baby last week. I flew up to meet him on Friday (for those who did not see my constant Twitter updates about this excursion), and instantly fell in love, like a teenage girl with the bad boy who will treat her like a horrible piece of meat.

How could you not love a face like this?

*Photo has been digitally altered

I am no different from most other women in that I am putty in a tiny human’s hands. As a nanny for three small children for about seven years, you have to develop some capacity for liking kids to choose that profession for such a length of time.

Along with this skill set, I also have a bit of a knack for dealing with children of most ages. My breathtaking immaturity has something to do with it – kids can sense when they’re speaking with one of their peers instead of an adult just feigning interest in the original Star Wars trilogy. I was better than a peer, actually, because I could drive them to the park and operate the oven whenever they wanted to bake cookies.

So, the big question everyone’s been asking lately – has my sister’s child set off my biological clock?

In a word, of course. Wait, that’s two words.

It’s slowly been winding up in the year since getting married. I know, I’m almost thirty, why hasn’t baby-fever ignited before now? Well, frankly I’ve been too busy getting my life together for the past, oh, decade, and I’ve only this last year been in a place with any kind of stability. It’s a good thing I didn’t try to procreate when I was going through rehab or grad school. Those were some of my better life choices.

Even now, I don’t have baby fever necessarily. More like baby-mild-seasonal-allergies. After nannying for so many years, I know exactly how much work children entail. They also are inhibitors of travel, of which I haven’t done nearly enough at this point in my life. Plus, I’ve only just started pursuing a career in the field of my choice and so far have not yet experienced any degree of success, so there are still plenty of factors and unattained goals in my life distracting me from potential motherhood.

But yes, I am completely aware of how much my fertility will decrease in two months, when I cross the threshold of doom and my built-in equipment starts to malfunction. If I’m going to catch this train, I’m going to need to hop on board in the next few years.

If I knew I would never need to go back to work after having children, that I could just write on the side and drink lattes all day while planning Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday parties for my daughter* (of course I already know I’m having a girl), I’d probably be more inclined to start sooner. However, the idea of needing to go back to an office job and being a mother and writing on the side? I am in touch with reality enough to know that my writing career will quickly spiral into oblivion, leaving me depressed and unfulfilled and depressed and probably a horrible mother. So I’m struggling towards a goal that’s vital to all involved’s happiness.

But yes, I do want a little baby, very much. In fact, as I’m preparing to leave my baby nephew I’ve been distracting myself with poetry written by kittens.

I love my human master

She feeds me regularly

So I won’t pee on her bed


Kittens are almost the same as babies, right? I’ll be okay…

…for awhile, at least.


*Yes, I know that’s not what mothers do with their time. I know it’s more along the lines of eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. I’m not completely ignorant.


  • Jenn

    “Baby mild-seasonal-allergies” may be one of the most amazingly descriptive things I’ve ever read. Love it.

    Xoxo Jenn Pressler

  • Lindsey

    Also, I totally relate! I’ll be 32 in a couple weeks and let me tell you, once you do start traveling it’s even harder to decide to start a family. One of the biggest reasons we’ve put family-starting off is because it’s fricking impossible to intentionally hand over such fortunate freedom for a crying, pooping machine. But I still want one. Yesterday. Making the decision (or even thinking about making the decision) of how to balance time, career, writing, sanity and all that with baby-having is tough. I feel for you there, mostly because that’s where I’ve been living the past couple of years. Welcome to the clubhouse. I’ve got coffee.

  • Winopants

    If only my friends/brother/cousins would have some babies, so I could be that crazy auntie and satisfy my need to have contact with mini-humans. But alas, all in my early 30s social group seem “stuck” in this regard- no one seems to want to jump off that cliff yet. The very thought of committing to having a child makes me hyperventilate a little.
    I guess I’ll stick with cats for now, but I do have a case of baby mild-seasonal-allergies myself.

  • Princess Judy

    I popped over from The Bloggess, intrigued by your title. I never wanted to have le bebe. The Mother in Law even offered to raise said child for us. She did okay with her son but she’d totally lose a baby in her hoard (yeah, she’s not doing well). We did adopt a couple of kittens this past weekend though, so soon the announcements will go out to their grandmothers.

  • kat

    I have 3 kids, I’m expecting #5 (#4 is being adopted right now), and my husband and I never stopped traveling just because we had kids. In fact, we just got back from eastern Europe with the youngest, who came with us to meet our new child. We will be bringing the littlest one back with us when we go pick up #4. We are not rich, we just decided that traveling was a priority. Since we’ve had kids we’ve been to Italy, Germany, Puerto Rico, eastern Europe, and 32 states. Our kids adapt to new situations fantastically well as a result, and have a level of good behavior that they have been complimented on literally all over the world. (and no, I didn’t get “lucky” and have easy kids, these little stinkers have strong personalities and wicked senses of the inappropriate). I’m not a super mom, and some days this is insanely hard, but there’s no reason not to travel with kids. (also, they fly free until 2!)

  • T. A. Woods

    I too waited until I was done with my 20s shenanigans before thinking about kids. I’ve crossed over into the dark-side (over 30) sans baby. I recently had to have some pretty gnarly surgery on my ladybits. Now, it’s not just friends and family, but also my surgeon, “So, are you guys going to have kids? Don’t worry about how you’re going to afford them. No one can afford kids. You just make them and worry about it later.” Isn’t it an odd feeling when everyone seems to have an opinion about who should be coming out of your hoo-hoo-dilly? (That sounds horribly wrong, yet so right.)

  • Stephanie Daigneault

    I had my daughter at 26 and then my boys at 34 and 36. I have to say I was much more prepared, calm and in charge for the boys. I also have several friends (married) who have decided not to have children. People always grill them like they are going to be enlightened and change their minds. Like that is an impossible concept. I applaud them, they know enough about themselves to know it is not for them. And if they want to spend time with kids, they can always borrow mine. But they never take me up on that offer?? Weird?
    Stephanie Daigneault recently posted…Meat Loaf – Love it!My Profile

  • Lisa Goodmurphy

    I don’t think that anyone should feel pressured to have kids until they are sure that they are ready but I’m also going to chime in to say that you shouldn’t let a fear that they will hold you back from traveling be a deciding factor. I have been traveling with kids since my oldest was 4 months old which adds up to more than 16 years now! We travel several times a year and have had amazing experiences. Sure travel is different when you have kids along but I actually think that it’s better. Kids force you to slow down and really take in a destination rather than race from one place to the next plus you are far more likely to meet locals when you are traveling with kids – parents at the playground bond no matter where in the world you are. So good luck as you contemplate this huge decision and don’t worry about being a perfect mother – there’s no such thing!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted…Book Review: Las Vegas: An Indie Travel GuideMy Profile

    • Natalie the Singingfool

      Thanks for easing some of my fears, lol. I know you can travel with kids, but of course there’s always the fear of lacking money. I’m working on cultivating an attitude of abundance and trust, but it’s hard to change longstanding world views.
      I love your blog, though – it totally gives me hope. 🙂

  • zoe

    Ive never had that bio clock thing go off. Thanks God… I adopted out of necessity for the kid …which I will never regret but probably wouldn’t have had kids if this were not the case. My favorite line which has always described me is “More like baby-mild-seasonal-allergies.” It says it all… just some minor itching…totally treatable.

  • Beth Teliho

    haha, you’re so funny. Just wait till it doesn’t feel scary, then you’ll know. In the meantime…KITTIES!!! haha! Seriously, don’t ever feel pressured. I got that question a gazillion times and waited ’till I was 33 to push one out. No regrets. You’re ready when/if you’re ready. you’ll know….
    (congrats to your sis, btw. cutie lil munchie!)
    Beth Teliho recently posted…How Many F#!@% Cats Do You Have?My Profile

  • David

    Oh, the anguish…there are times (say, the entire decade of one’s thirties) when being male has its advantages, except the part where the female is also in her thirties. Sigh. At any rate, my (now-ex)-wife waited until she was 40 to crank out the first, and then 17 months later, the second. Oh — you know that whole “balance” thing? No, I won’t even say it. Let’s just say that I admire the commenter here who went all over the world with her kids. We felt like gods just having gotten them to Storyland.

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