I can’t seem find my biological clock. Or maybe I’ve lost the batteries. Now, I’m starting to think, perhaps, I wasn’t given one to begin with!
At this age, you would think I’d have the desire to have a child. I don’t.
It doesn’t help that we’ve now been married for almost three years. You know, the time when people are completely over us as ‘the cute couple’ and are practically screaming, “Have a child already!”
Even my mom, who is not even slightly superstitious, in recent times, has been more than subtle with her hints.
“Lecia, a green lizard just jump on me!”
“Mommy, where were you?”
“In the garden.”
“Around trees and flowers, where lizards live, of course lizards are going to jump on you!” my annoyance growing higher with each decibel.
“I know, but just wondering if there is anything I should know.”
“Mommy, I love you too! Goodbye!”
Not to mention her constant reminders that “Cash and Power are not my grandchildren!”
Mind you, I do have very brief “ahhhh-so-sweet” moments, fleeting moments of desire to be a mom. These moments usually happen when a cute baby appears in my timeline, or my friends send or tag me in adorable videos of their children or even sometimes when I hang out with children. But those are fleeting moments. The desire passes just as quickly as it comes.
And even though I am still relatively young (or so I tell myself), I’m at that stage where my biological clock shouldn’t just be ticking, it should be alarming. Hell, it should be shouting, “Hey mama, it’s your time now!”
But there is only silence.
My biological clock doesn’t even seem to be impressed by the fact that I have an A-Grade stallion (that would be my husband) who would no doubt produce A-Grade babies. By virtue of Charles Darwin theory, if I were driven purely by instinct, I should have already jumped my husband (well, that I did do) and we should have already produced a great many strong babies. By now, we should have had a clan of little “Buckas” and “Popcorns” (our college hall names)
Yet, my clock stands still.
Meanwhile, many of my single girlfriend’s clocks are ticking so hard, they are willing to forego the man; all they need is the sperm. They are on prenatal supplements; they’ve already picked out baby names, identified schools and know exactly what their children will be when they grow up.
Still no ticking. Not even the second-hand moves.
You know you are the odd one out when almost all your schoolmates have not one, not two, but three children, when every single conversation with a school mate or a stranger starts with “So when are you going to have children?” or “How many children do you have?”
And NOOOOOO, the pressure isn’t only on me. If you think it’s easy being a woman of childbearing age without a child, try being a man in Jamaica, the land of “wood” and “baby fathers”. By now, my A-Grade stallion is expected to have had many ‘yutes’ with several baby mammas. And yet, he doesn’t even have one with his wife. Say what now?!
But why is there so much pressure, especially on married couples to have children? Fine, I’ll accept that God did say “multiply, be fruitful and fill the earth” but he gave those instructions to Adam and Eve, the only two humans on earth at the time!
‘Selfish’, seems to be the first word on the tip of people’s lips when we both say we are not sure we want children. They are perfectly aghast. Some even turn ashen. It’s almost as if we had just revealed some deep dark evil secret.
“What do you mean you don’t want children?!” They usually ask with much condemnation and raised eyebrows.
There are those who have told us in no uncertain terms that we will “regret it” and that “God is not pleased.” After all, “Look how many poor people having children and you guys can more than afford it!”
The judgments pronounced on us do get brutal. It has taken us some time, but I have learnt that the best way to avoid brimstone and fire or being cast into the fiery lake of hell is to simply nod and say, “all in good time” when interrogated about our future plans to have children.
I know the natural cycle of life says: you are born, you grow up, you find a mate, you have children, you raise a family, you die. But not everyone is meant to have children. It also doesn’t mean we do not love children. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. We absolutely adore children.
But loving children, playing with them for a few hours and making the conscious decision to have children of our own involves way more than simply being able to ‘afford’ them. Children require demand lots of attention, love, emotional support, protection, continuous guidance and major sacrifices. They are not a short-term project that we can simply put aside if it doesn’t work out. They are a lifetime commitment.
I’d never say we’ll never have children because we might (if I have any eggs left by the time I find the batteries for my clock, and even then there is always adoption) but we simply aren’t ready. And just as we respect your wishes to procreate and fill the earth, we’d love if you respect our decision not to! Not just yet, anyway.
Now, pass me a glass of wine!