To have or not to have children…

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)

Hubby and our fur babies

Hubby and our fur babies

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.

Babies crying

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!

21 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on All Things Gibbie and commented:
    Good read.. And ties well with how some young professional females feel, including myself.

  2. Bible scripture.


    I once explained to someone that I would be okay if I didn’t have kids. They got upset and started asking (cussing) if I knew how many people were out there that wanted kids but couldn’t have them. I won’t tell you the defensive remarks I made after, but the pressure and chastising is real.

  3. Nicky

    I can relate Lecia, I now have a son but that was 5 years into marriage AND now I am faced with, “so when you having the next one?” Oy vey!
    There is no rush (biological clock or not). You are VERY right, getting pregnant, having a smooth and successful pregnancy is one thing. Rearing a child is quite another and a whole new sphere of your life. Being financially able to have a child does not successful parenting make.
    While I do agree that it is a blessing and you see the world through very different eyes, it is a HUGE responsibility and your life changes drastically. You have to be prepared for it mentally, emotionally, physically…every ‘ally’… (you get the pic)
    You will know when you are ready and IF you both chose not to, it’s YOUR choice and no one else’s. People love talk bout have pickney and dem nah help yuh raise dem 🙂
    #justmy2cents 🙂

    • Nicky

      And one more thing, people need to stop stressing people about having kids cause they never know what challenges they may be facing (fertility issues etc)… sensitivity is important.
      Okay, #imdone 🙂

  4. lavern

    Leica I actually read this twice and it made me wonder if someone told you my experience. I will be celebrating 10 years of .marriage and still childless. Believe me it has been hell not only for me but my husband. I have had my fair share of feeling depressed and alone even angry because of people “an dem mout.” I can’t forget my husband coming home from hanging out with friends and being so mad that they have been teasing him “you a shoot blanks man, wah happen you nuh know how fi play cricket an football?” He couldn’t understand why people didn’t leave us alone. What they didn’t know was that we had miscarried and we too were struggling with the whole having kids thing. Honestly I think people should mind their own business and let people live their lives without the added pressure of being judged for not wanting or producing kids. That’s my bit.

    • That’s another part of it as well Lavern. I don’t think people are sensitive to the fact that there may be other issues preventing a couple from having children.

    • People should concentrate on their own lives and leave people business. Many times I have stopped short of saying something really rude when I am asked about having children. Soooo annoyed…..

      • Lecia-Gaye Taylor

        Ahhh Lettie. i can see why you may be annoyed especially if the questions are rude, but some persons (like myself) are just genuinely curious and want to know as much about childbirth from the experiences of others before taking on this role themselves.

  5. Lyn

    I enjoyed reading this! I am single and have been asked the same question. I’ll try to remember for next time (I know there will be), that the second hand does not move.

    • Thanks Lyn! Single or married it seems there is no escaping the pressure!

  6. suan daley

    I love this article. I always look forward to reading your stories. Keep up the great job.

  7. Monique

    Lecia take all the time you need raising kids is a lifetime job it never ends even after they grow up.. Having kids is truly amazing but it’s a lot and you must be ready because there is no turning back.. Don’t feel pressured of rushed all in your own time and while I may have hinted a lot ??, my advise is “all in good time”… As for you and Jovel if time runs out (which I don’t think it will) I have four kids feel free to come babysit and take them for long weekends because sometimes I could use the break ??.

  8. You go girl! When you are ready, if you are ready… and if you aren’t ever ready you have the right idea, more wine!

  9. Jovel we are absolutely on the same page! Clive thank you. I am encouraged by the fact that as man you understand my position! Tamra, that’s exactly what my friends have been telling me! Apparently, the pressure never stops!

  10. Tamra

    Lecia my dear, it doesn’t matter whether or not u have kids people just have this inability to mind their own business. I have one adorable son who is soon to be 13, and all I seem to get is ‘one pickney a nuh pickney’ . So even when you have every one is anxiously waiting for the next one….. Arghh!!!!

  11. Clive

    Lecia, don’t do it because you feel pressured, do it when you both are ready. And nothing is wrong, if for whatever reasons, God did not bless you with the gift of bringing your own children into the world. I have a number of married friends who are financially well off too, but who found out that they could not have children. What did they do? they adopted as well. And God blessed them abundantly with wonderful children. I even have friends who have adopted babies who turn out to look like the family of the adopted parents and could easily be mistaken for biological children. Trust God ( it seems like you do), have faith and let Him lead you and don’t allow yourself to be pressured into doing something that you are not yet mentally and psychologically ready for., You certainly are correct in what it takes to be good parents. It takes a lot if you really do care.

    I have four and I know how challenging, but wonderfully rewarding it can be.

    Wishing you both the best. god bless.

  12. Lecia, my biological clock is broken, and I think that it met that fate way before it was suppose to start working. I’ve heard “when are you going to have children?” and also the “you’re going to regret it” speech. Do I Iove kids? Yes. Does my heart melt when our classmates post pics of their kids and they show up on my timeline? Hell yes! I’m not a COMPLETE monster! But, I don’t see kids in my near future, and who knows, possibly the distant future. I don’t know. Hopefully, when/if I’m ready, my eggs won’t be playing hide and seek.

    We’re in the SAME boat.

    • Cin

      Jovie! What are you doing here?? LOL! We’re all in the same boat dearie. The pressure is and has been on for years on my end. I just can’t bother!