Motherhood: Yay or Nay?
Updated: May 20, 2021
Unless you've sworn off social media and the internet, you've most likely heard that the beautiful Naomi Campbell has become a mother at age 50.
Now Ms. Campbell is not the first woman to become a mother at 50 years old but it is definitely rare. It causes people, even me, to ponder on what made her wait so long. She is a successful model, actress, activist, and businesswoman so one can imagine she is not pressed for money. Her financial situation also causes one to assume that she doesn't need to wait on a man to have a child either; she has no limits.
When I saw the news on Twitter, I sat and wondered for a few minutes then I went on about my day. As I continued scrolling down my Twitter timeline, I saw an interview that Seth Rogen did where he addressed why him and his wife have decided that they don't want to have children. You can read the excerpt below: (You can find the whole interview here https://tinyurl.com/7xtdkvcc)
His perspective on parenthood had me thinking... having kids is a lot of work. Don't get me wrong, I knew this before hand. During my coursework in college, that was one of my biggest takeaways but not having kids to avoid all of that, had not occurred to me.
Society tells you to get married and have kids. That's just how it is and if you end up never having kids, it better be because you're barren or never married. But no one tells you how much work it is and how much responsibility it is. Nor do they give parents the resources to do it properly. The world makes you feel like since other people have figured it out, so can you.
I'll be the first to tell you that I am nowhere near ready to have children, I'm only 23 and I can barely find a steady job. What do I look like trying to be someone's mother right now? So my perspective may be a little skewed and I could feel differently later on but as the person who would rear children, pregnancy and childbirth absolutely terrify me. It seems like every week, I find out about a new side effect of pregnancy/childbirth. Your teeth could fall out, you could end up with a butt-gina (episiotomy), or grow a third breast in your armpit. That's not even addressing the immense pain of childbirth, the weight gain, stretch marks, loose skin, and the risk of death (especially for black women). To put the icing on the cake... men go through absolutely none of this.
Then after going through all of that, I'm not finished? I have to be a parent now? For the next several years of my life, I don't get to sleep in. I don't get to have impromptu dinners with friends. Vacations will most likely always involve the children and there will be some days I'm so tired that I can barely see straight. Once you have kids, you never stop being a parent. No matter how old they get. So for the rest of my life I'm worrying, stressing, and crying over the wellbeing of my kids. I mean... is it really worth it?
Which brings me back to my original statement about Naomi Campbell becoming a mother at 50. Maybe waiting later in life is not so bad. Once I've done all the things I've wanted to do, I can adopt children or have a surrogate. This way, I don't feel like I've been stifled by my kids nor do I feel like I'm missing out on my children's lives.
I know that the love one has for their child(ren) is indescribable. In most cases, it's an instant connection that lasts forever. Everything they do makes you proud, and you get the chance to carry on some sort of legacy. Trust me, I get it. Up until this year, I just always knew that someday I would be a mother but the older I get and the more information I have... the less excited about it I am. Sure, if I decide that having kids is not in my plan, I may be a little bored from time to time but won't I have peace of mind? Won't my body be intact? Won't I have freedom?
The idea of having kids is great. Having a mini-me, loving someone more than anything else in the world. But the physical and mental aspect is difficult. I have anxiety just thinking about it. Right now, in this moment, I'm not sure if I see a benefit to having kids other than self-fulfillment. I think parenthood is beautiful and all of the people doing it have my kudos but anyone who decides it's not for them... I completely understand.