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My biological clock is broken

My biological clock is broken

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I’m in the car, on the M25 to be specific, and Craigy Boy and I are returning home after a long overdue, and perfectly wonderful visit with Olivia and Charlotte, two of my dearest friends from university.  Charlotte is mother to three beautiful children: Chloe 4, William 2 and 4 months old Millie.  Olivia has one year old Ella, wide-eyed and cute as a button.

I, on the other hand, have yet to spawn a future heir and you know what?  I’m not entirely sure that I want to. Don't get me wrong, I don’t dislike children; nothing could be further from the truth. I absolutely, positively adore children and have done ever since I was..erm.. a child. Flick through any photo album of family holidays and you are guaranteed to find a picture of me with a random baby in my arms or even smaller-than-me kid at my side. Sit next to me on a plane and your child will be calling  me "Auntie Ceri” before we’ve landed. I get kids, I understand them. I love their sense of wonder and awe, their desire to learn and discover, their openness and unwavering loyalty. And without wishing to blow my own proverbial trumpet I must inform you that it’s mutual: kids love me too!  I don’t get it myself, probably something to do with the fact that my mental age isn’t far removed from theirs...

In any case, you’d think from what you have just read, combined with the fact that I have been a nanny in the past and a teacher for the last 10 years, that producing little copper tops of my own (like these gorgeous ones!) would be a foregone conclusion.

As I moved from my late twenties to my early thirties, then from my early thirties to my current holding position in the mid-thirties, I have been listening out intently for the tick tock of the fabled biological clock to kick start thus declaring unto me as though a sign from the baby-making Gods themselves that THIS is the time, NOW Ginger Warrior! 

Grab Craigy Boy and go forth and multiply and replenish the Earth!

 

Nothing. Nada. Complete radio silence.

For the longest time I was convinced that there was something wrong with me, that I was abnormal in some way. All around me friends were setting up husband and home and jumping on the baby bandwagon yet my own womb did not yearn to be filled.  And I think I may know why.

The principal stumbling block for me on the road to reproduction is that:

I KNOW AND HAVE SEEN TOO MUCH!

The very fact that I have spent such a great deal of time with children in the varied roles of babysitter/nanny/teacher/Godmother/general observer means that I am only too aware of how unbelievably stressful, time-consuming and demanding it is to raise a child.  No rose tinted glasses on this freckly face, no siree!  Whenever I see a Facebook status announcing a baby is on the way for a delighted couple my first thought is, as it rightly should be, one of congratulations. This is followed almost immediately by: do they know what they are letting themselves in for??

Chances are that they do indeed know what they are letting themselves in for and like millions of other couples around the world they let themselves in for it again and again.  Take Charlotte and Olivia, for example.

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Yes, at times, they have been and can still find themselves sleep-deprived, overstretched and overwhelmed by the demands placed upon them but they wouldn't be without their cherished offspring, not for one single moment. Well, maybe for a moment. Or a few hours... In any case, I marvel at and am awe-inspired by the incredible job they are doing of juggling husband, home, sprogs and successful careers. And I balk: I just don't think I would be up to the task myself. 

And therein lies the second great obstacle to my becoming a mother: I spend too much time thinking about, mulling over and perhaps even creating reasons for NOT having a baby.  My main concern is that I am now too selfish and set in my ways: I relish my freedom and independence and worry that I would resent this tiny little being and the constant care and attention it would require. I'm an overachiever and fear that I would have unrealistic expectations of my child; I'm worried about how it would affect my relationship with Craigy Boy.  And the list goes on. And on.  Friends assure me that they, too, had similar thoughts and anxieties and that whilst parenthood is without a doubt the hardest thing they have ever done, it's also, hands down, the best thing.

And so my breeding dilemma continues: I'm not saying I will, I'm not saying I won't.  I don't even know if I can. It could well be that in a year or even six month’s time my biological clock will begin reverberating with the intensity of a gong!  If and when that moment arrives I hope I will be able to set aside my doubts, fears and concerns and be the kind of mother I ought to be and think I could be. 

Ginger Warrior, over and out.

P.S.  If you have children, did you always know that you wanted them?  Maybe you were unsure that you wanted kids. What made the decision for you?  Is being a parent the greatest thing you have ever done? I would love to hear what you have to say. In fact, I NEED to hear what you have to say! 

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31 Comments

  1. Do it 100% I wasn’t too sure about babies but wouldn’t change it for the world! You have to continue the ginger warrior legacy!!!

  2. Thanks for coming yesterday Ceri. Sorry we didn’t manage to convince you to join our ranks but if I’d seen what you saw of the chaos I probably wouldn’t either. You would make a brilliant mum. You’re so right that you’re great with kids and that the feeling’s mutual. And I don’t think you would ever regret having one once he or she was here. But I’m glad you’re thinking about it carefully because you have got to reaaaaally want one to cope with it all! Come and see us again soon and we’ll try and do a better job of selling it to you xxxx

    • The Ginger Warrior

      My beautiful friend and a beautiful mother. Had the most lovely of Sundays with you and yours. xxx

  3. I have always loved children… I started off babysitting for various families at 13 and soon came to realise I was their level (i’m a big kid!) I went to college to study children, work alongside them. 28 years later I am still a nursery nurse and love it.
    During that time I am mum to 2 gorgeously (looks from me :-) ) lovely girls Amber & Alice and step mum to one boy Dillon. Kids do change you.. for me it was the better. You stop thinking me, me, me, but have another little human to think about. Time flies too fast and they are not so little and you sit back and wonder where the hell the time went. I however sit back and smile and sometime a tear as I remember all the fun, laughter we have as a family.
    My girls dad and I separated when they were 4 &2 but had I stayed with him I don’t think they or selfishly I would be as happy. My partner Mark is just fantastic not only to me making me happy but treats my girls as his own and that is a difficult thing to do. We always say we have 3 kids because at the end of the day the Gowland/Hedges are a family unit and love each other. DONT get me wrong sometimes I want to throttle all of them but that doesn’t last long. My children made me a better person and love them with all my heart.
    The give you stress, worry and attitude but that is out weighed by love fun laughter and the most wonderful memories . Kids are hard work.. but boy work every minute.

  4. Gotta get yourself a cute wee baby Ceri!

  5. As always, I love your honesty! I wish more thought about the potential demands of parenthood but hey then Jeremy Kyle would be out of a job. I don’t think you are too selfish to have a child, if you didn’t think carefully about the demands then you would be selfish! You are the least selfish person I know. I did always know I wanted to be a Mummy but I also know now how hard it was and is. It is however a joy to be a parent, there is nothing like a proud Mummy moment! You will know when the time is right, or fate may decide the time has come. If it happens you will be amazing and embrace it like you do everything. If not then hey there is no rule that says every woman must produce.

  6. You will know when you know and if it is the right thing to do for you then you shouldn’t hesitate!

  7. I’m 36 and was never really sure if I wanted children. My husband and I discussed it and we always said one day maybe but really I always thought “poor cow” if I saw a woman with a toddler or when friends said they couldn’t make it out as they couldn’t get a sitter. I thought I should want children but really I wasn’t sure what about maternity leave having no money?! When I was 34 we found out we were pregnant! It was unexpected and when I found out my first thought wasn’t horror as I always thought it would be. I was actually delighted so was my husband (and my mother who thought as I am her only child that she would never be a grandmother! ) when my son was born two years ago I embraced motherhood and enjoyed staying at home and didn’t mind the sleepless nights and rubbing milk sick into my jeans! Now I’m a few weeks I away from having my second and at almost 37 my last child and now I almost wish I’d started earlier.

    I truly believe had it not just happened for us and we had planned it we wouldn’t be parents now as something else would have always taken priority. I’m broke and tired but happy!

  8. I knew from a teenager that I wanted to have children but unfortunately wasn’t able to. After many (too bloody many) years of trying with the wrong man, I moved on to husband number 2 who thankfully wanted children too. Numerous hospital visits and thousands of pounds later we became pregnant through IVF and had beautiful twins – a boy and a girl. They are now 8 and still had work but I wouldn’t be without them x

  9. I cannot imagine my life without children, I mean isn’t that why we are here to procreate ? I had a wonderful single life but always knew I’d be a mum whether naturally , fertility treatment, adoption or fostering, I honestly think its the BEST and yet hardest job in the world. The rewards are HUGE and remember we only really have them for a short time before they grow up and leave us so our jobs as parents, teachers, guardians, protectors, educators, cuddle machines and the inevitable nurse maid and cleaners is a blessed one.

    Before children I thought I knew what life was about but looking in to your child’s eyes, watching them grow is the most amazing experience one that only a parent can feel deep inside their heart. Choose wisely GW as I would hate you to miss the boat xxx

    • The Ginger Warrior

      I think I would hate to miss it too Sarah! Oh the dilemma! Lol! Well, if I do have one, it’s coming to you for baby massage!! xxxx

  10. Hi Ceri, I have always wanted children. Was never any doubt on that one. However, I now wish I had travelled and seen a bit of the World before I started to reproduce. Being a Mummy is truly the hardest thing I have done but, I wouldn’t be without my sprogs. I don’t think women should feel that they have to have children; it is a personal choice. If I hadn’t of had children, I would of grown old and looked back with regret. Would you?! Anneliese x

  11. Well I never wanted children and this was well known. Maybe this was one reason my first marriage went wrong although we never talked about this- he got a motorbike and I had a dog! This carried on even when I got married again . Hubby already had a child so he wasn’t bothered. Then it was well if we are going to do this I need to do something as it could take 18 mths and only after this time would the docs help out and as I was coming up for 36 I thought it now or never. I to thought I was too selfish also. But I have been very lucky, from holding babies at arms length I now have two fabulous kids. You do change I now run around after them something I thought I would not be able to do. Trust me it is scary, when that stick told me I was pregnant my first thought for a while was OMG what the hell have you done, no turning back how are you going to do it etc etc. Now I am so proud of my kids they make me laugh and cry but when they look to you for help it great. X

  12. Ceri, nobody can or should advise you whether to have children or not but I thought I’d share my experience as it’s from a different generation….from being a Mum then being a Gran. All I can say is that if I had waited for the “right time” I would still be childless. I was 25 when I had Gayle, 38 years ago, but can close my eyes even now and relive the feeling of wonderment and unconditional purest love that I felt when I first held her in my arms. I thought I had experienced love when I met her dad but honestly, nothing comes close or compares. Maternal instinct kicked in immediately and I knew I would die protecting my daughter. Never imagining I could have enough of this love to share, along came Lee Ann! My feelings overflowed for her and I found myself falling in love all over again. Hard times were ahead, life was a struggle at times but I just wanted to tell you that I am blessed to have experienced having my children and now I am equally blessed to have my grandchildren. I feel privileged!

  13. Ceri, I grew babysitting and always loved kids but for various reasons I never wanted to get married. I said that eventually I would just find a suitable mate to give me some children, But then I met Alex and everything changed. We definitely weren’t planning on having children together we were just dating, but Manny came along and our lives turned completely! Manny was our angel, our saving grace, he brought exactly what we needed into our lives and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I now have three children and I love everyone of them more than I ever knew I could! They each bring a special piece and contribute a special part to my life that I could not do without. My advice to you is quit overthinking it and let things be what they will be. And just maybe the fact that you think about it so often might be your alarm, your clock is actually working! Dory on Finding Nemo says “you can’t never let anything happen to him, or nothing will ever happen to him.” You can’t plan every bit of life out, sometimes things come that you never knew you needed!

  14. Sounds like you have a perfect situation; nice relationships with friends babies and children, able to help and support your friends with children but retain your own freedom to travel, develop your career and have fun with your partner. Enjoy!

  15. I understand you! So much Ceri!! Babies don’t do a thing for me. Had a fun filled life and successful career with international travel. I too was in the know of what it is like to raise a family (i am one of 5). Coupled with the fact I was told I could not have any kids by a ginecologist, I expected to carry on with my fun filled selfish life.
    Having fallen pregnant unexpectedly 13 years ago, athe best day of my life is still the day that bundle of joy was born. I have had very tough days, had to give up on a lot of things temporarily,but not regretted one thing. So glad I was pushed into motherhood… I would never have done it otherwise and would have missed out on so much. Over to you xx

  16. Hi GW!!!!
    I never really liked other peoples children and didn’t think I’d have any at all and if I did it would be much later in life but, then I meet Ben and things just seemed right so thought I’d try it out!! and actually I quite like it!!! 😀 in all seriousness I’m not sure if anyone is ever really ready but, you just do it and they are great there are loads of ups and downs but, I wouldn’t swap them for the world I think you should go for it you’d be a totally awesome mum any child would be proud to have you!!!!!
    Jen xx

  17. Oh my goodness–I can’t imagine my life without my 4 little girls! I grew up with 5 other siblings (you know most of them! haha!) and I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I feel like that is one of my biggest blessings and responsibilities in this life. While it is definitely hard and exhausting and frustrating and there are moments I wonder how in the world I’ll get through the day…the happiness and joy and contentment and satisfaction WAY outweigh the hard moments. These are my little angels forever! No matter what–I have these little girls to love on and watch learn and grow. It’s a huge comfort to think that I’ll always have family–my girls will hopefully go on to be happy and successful and to become mothers themselves. I truly can’t (and wouldn’t want) to imagine my life without my girls. I know everyone is different and nobody can tell you what to do or how to do it. That’s where prayer and serious contemplation come in handy. I’m confident that you’ll know what to do in your life if you take it to the Lord. :) I, personally, would love to see a bunch of little red-headed badgers running around! :)

    • The Ginger Warrior

      Hey Brookie Cookie! Your girls are ADORABLE! I love seeing pics of them on Facebook! And I love your siblings too – met all apart from Brandi! :)

  18. Best thing I ever did Ceri. I love my two to death. And I wish I had started earlier. I would have had more. But I’m 37 this year and my Craigy being older than me means I’m done now. Harry in that photo makes my heart ache for another little one. Must say I never had a yearning for children and rather felt it was my duty to give our parents grandchildren. It took ages to fall pregnant the first time and was a very stressful time. But after the first one is born something just kicks in and if you are me want more and more and cry each time you see a newborn baby. Xxx

  19. My best friend is a career girl. Like you she loves kids and they Love her. She is an extremely caring person and used to treat her pet rabbits like little babies but always said she didn’t want children. She excelled at her career for years, insistent she would never want children. Then one day, just like that, she did. Unfortunately it was too late as her man had had the snip, but they are looking into adoption… For which there is no longer an upper age limit.

    Don’t rush. If you aren’t ready (or if you decide against it) then that’s your choice and nobody should pressure you either way. One day you might suddenly wake up with maternal urges, or you might not. And if you are in your lare forties when you decide you do want them, if your body says no, there’s always adoption.

    But don’t doubt yourself either. If it is something you decide you want, I’m sure you’d be amazing and it is possible to continue being yourself when you have kids. I still have hobbies and passion in my life with three sprogs. Xx

    • The Ginger Warrior

      I’m a never say never kind of gal so you just never know. 😉 Good to have you on here, lovely lady!

      C xxx

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