Monday, August 24, 2009

The Way I Am

Ok let's evaluate here. I've been married for five years and I myself think I have accomplished a whole heck of stuff. But to others they may think differently, almost like I have not much to show for my five years of marriage because I have no children. For example, the majority of the time when I tell others that I have been married for five years, they always ask, "how many kids do you have?" It has happened to me tons of times in Hawaii, church, and even the temple. They just assume that I have a car load of kids just because I am Mormon. Although nothing impolite is ever said to me, I always get this awkward silence. It makes me feel weird. Once in the temple when we were doing sealings, the sealer was all like let me guess, you guys have been married for 5 or so years and you have at least two kids. When we politely told him we didn't have any, he then told us that adoption was a good option.

People always tell me that you instantly know or have a weird feeling when you want to have a kid. Well I never felt it when we were first married, and everyone else that got married about the same time I did HAD THE FEELING. I guess the feeling has something to do with seeing a baby smile and be all cute and you automatically want to be a part of the cuteness? Someone also described it as seeing a baby and wanting to go home ASAP to get busy. I dunno, I just don't get it. Five years later, I wonder if I really ever had that feeling. Having a baby is a whole lot of work. It scares the crud out of me no matter how cute they are. BUT just because I'm not sure about the feeling doesn't mean that I'm not ready. I've been ready and it's been a painfully hard journey. It still is a hard journey.

So I've wondered, why is it that I didn't have children right off the bat? Is something wrong with me? Am I not Arab enough or better yet Mormon enough? Obviously my culture has had no influence on me, so I've turned to the dynamics of my own family.

The other day I found my birth certificate. On the certificate it said that my mom was 33 and my dad was 35. They had been together for a total of 10 years before I came along. Granted my mom suffered from at least 4 miscarriages before I was born, but still.

My parents were hard core with their education. My dad had a degree and was well established. My mom had two degrees under her belt and was a lover of going to school. Ever since I could remember, she was always taking classes, improving her skills, and teaching us what she had learned.

I remember the day I called my dad to tell him I was getting married. No lie here, he was a little devastated. I was sooo young. Like almost 20 when I got engaged. He was worried out of his mind that I wouldn't finish school. I promised him that I would finish. I was determined to finish. Nothing was going to get in my way for me not to finish. So I'm thinking maybe that is why I didn't have the feeling. Maybe not. But I am always out to prove a judgment on me wrong, and when he told me he was positive I wouldn't finish, well that is all it took.

I could go on and on with examples on why you can all blame my parents for my current state of being childless, but whatever dude that would be really lame. I've thought about this for a long long time. What I do know is that my culture,religion and the babies that surround me have had no influences. Believe me I lived in baby capitol of USA and it didn't make me starry eyed once. So maybe it is different for others, but I guess I'm a little more complicated.

Until it does happen, you know becoming a parent, I'm gonna work really hard on preparing and bettering myself. I'm going to be such a rock star of a mother. I can feel it.

6 Grass Lovers:

ixoj said...

Being in the same situation myself, I am strongly of the opinion that maybe (gasp!) there are some of us (Mormon or otherwise) out there who haven't always been crazy about having a baby. Maybe to us, getting married doesn't equal have a baby right away. It doesn't mean our testimony is weak or that we hate children or that we'll be bad mothers. It simply means that for whatever reason, we're not ready for a kid yet. End of story. A lot of people from many different backgrounds have trouble understanding that (even Trav's refugees asked him on numerous occasions if his "man part" was "good," or consoled us by saying that sometimes these things just take time) but it's really NOBODY's business.

Either way, you're going to be an awesome mom. :)

Michael Family said...

That "feeling" thing is whack. I have never met anyone that felt that way! I was married for over 4 years before I had kids. And I never had a feeling or urge to have kids, I just did it because I knew it was the next step in my life. It was good timing for me. I think a lot of people just have kids because they are married and that is what you do! But once you do have them, you understand why. It's wonderful (and hard) being a mom, and the best thing you'll ever do (if you ever decide to). You'll be a great mom, Layla. I love this post.

Christie said...

Alan and I were married 4 years before Ellie was born. Motherhood is the most rewarding and the hardest thing I've ever done! I wouldn't give back the years it was just Alan and I for ANYTHING!!! Now that we have Ellie life is wonderful but very different. I don't think any woman is really "ready" to have children. When and if you do have children needs to be up to you. I also had many people give us "dirty" looks or judge us for not having kids right away. BOO on them- it used to really bother me because I knew I would have them but I also wanted to have a few years to just be with Alan. I think many women "rush" into having kids because that's what's "expected" of us latter day women. I think what's right for one is not right for all!!! Do what feels best for you and the rest will work itself out!

Natalie | Make Today Great said...

I have never really had that feeling and I always wondered if I was broken.

Lately, a little bit, sometimes, I want a baby. But its just so not practical for us right now that I block it out.

I call it the "infertile mind" -- I've written about it but never blogged about it because I felt like someone who suffered through real infertility would be offended.

So thanks for posting something for which I lack courage. I heart you.

Sonja said...

I love you, Layla! I agree, having children is absolutely a personal decision and they only people that need to be involved in that decision are you, your husband and the Lord.

(that being comes my friendly 2 cents.)

As scary as it may seem, motherhood can be pretty great. Every time my kids tell me they love me or hug me or help me, I feel so complete. I love watching them grow and thinking that they will be with me forever. They are my best friends.

I never had that sparkly "gotta have a baby now" feeling. I never liked babysitting before I was a mom and worried that I might be an unfeeling mom.

It's totally different when they are your own.

And every mom is unique, of course. My mom didn't have children until she was 29. She's a fabulous mom. She always said that time she had to be on her own was invaluable to her.

For me it was different.

There's always something people will judge you on. Too many kids, not enough, too tall, not tall enough, blah blah blah. I'm glad you don't let it bug you too much, because you ARE a rock star.

Erica Layne | Let Why Lead said...

I agree wholeheartedly that having children is a personal decision that no one else should ever judge you for. But just to play devil's advocate, I'll toss in something I'm sure you've heard before - Lots of people never have that "ready" feeling when it comes to having kids. It's terrifying but the rewards make up for it. You'll love it when the right time comes.