You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea: Why You Can Wait To Have A Baby

34 comments
December 27, 2012 ‐ By Kendra Koger

 

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Shutterstock

Dear Readers,

A few weeks ago I was relaying to one of my friends about how horrible of a day I was having and how my daughter had to be along for the ride.  But later, while holding my daughter I turned to her and told her how sorry Mommy was for being so agitated, and my daughter, who still hasn’t spoken beyond a few words leaned her head toward me so I could give her a kiss on her forehead (something we usually do, but usually I have to ask for it).  When I told my friend she “oohh”ed and “awww”ed and said something that almost made me yell out in horror.  “I can’t wait to have kids now!”

As much as I love my daughter, I have to say, this whole picturesque baby thing is sort of annoying to me, especially now that it seems like its turning into a craze.  I’m one of those (I’ll admit it, annoying) people who avoid fads like the plague.  I still don’t know what “Gangem Style” is, I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey and I could really care less about Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (though I did like the 2nd movie).  I don’t know, and I don’t care.  So when celebrity couples started popping out children, it seemed like some people were so quick to want to emulate that.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-baby, I’m pro-truth. And I wouldn’t want you to take on the role of taking care of an individual if you don’t have a clearer vision of it other than celebrities who have nannies trailing behind them (usually out of focus from the paparazzi photos).

First, a baby isn’t a trend.  While shopping two weekends ago at the mall a pregnant girl and her friend were behind me talking about how she can’t wait to be a fashionable pregnant mom, just like [insert multiple famous pregnant women].  To fight the urge from turning to her and saying:  “A baby is not like a pair of jeans, when they’re out of style you can’t just throw them in the back of your closet and wait until they go back in fashion again.”  I had to fight the urge as she continued to go on and on about how she knows that having a baby is easy because she’s seen [insert misguided teen mom here] and she’s fine.  The sad thing is, I feel like a lot of people tend to forget the huge responsibility that having a baby entails.

Speaking of that responsibility, yeah, it’s a little overwhelming.  Though I was slightly prepared, due to a stint as a nanny a few years ago, I knew that when I had my daughter, no matter what was going on in my life, it had to come secondary to her.  Whether (note:  these incidences are very graphic) she was sick, vomiting  and spilling diarrhea all over the floor and her freshly washed bedding, I had to tend to her, even when it was happening 3 to 4 times a night.  After I caught the same bug she had and was vomiting  I still had to scrub myself down and continue to cater to her; and when she wakes up in the middle of the night crying or whining, I have to tend to her no matter how tired I am or how comfortable my bed is.  It’s a lot of work.

Then… ugh… you get these girls who talk about how they’ve never had love in their lives and they’re gonna have a baby to love them.  Okay, if that’s your point of having a baby, you’re going to be sadly [insert expletive here] mistaken.  It’s going to take a good minute before you get that “Oh, my child loves me moment,” because babies are motivated by their needs, and honestly, loving you isn’t one of them.  Being fed is one of them.  Being comforted is one of them.  Being changed is one of them.  They’re not thinking about you right now because they’re not really thinking about anything right now.

I guess I’m writing all of this because you can go to any news website and see a new story about how parents abandoned their children, or hurt them because the baby was crying too much, or how they threw the baby down a trash shoot because it was too hard.  I’m just letting you know that before you have your baby, it’s not going to be as fantastic as you think.  It’s not going to be as comical as your television portrays it.  You giving your child a bowl of spaghetti-ohs and then they push it off of their highchair isn’t going to make you look up at the sky, chuckle and say:  “Wow. my baby is kooky!”  If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to burst into tears, because the spaghetti-ohs were the last option of food, after your child rebuffed the 3 previous meals and cried nonstop until you fixed her something that she liked.  The guilt is going to set in when your child doesn’t seem to hit the same milestones at the same time other children have (seriously, I can’t tell you how much I blame myself for my baby almost being two and hasn’t started fully talking yet) and you have to read her thoughts because she doesn’t know how to properly articulate:  “Mom, I want foie gras, not chicken nuggets.”

I’m not trying to scare you, I just want you to be prepared. And honestly, reading this article isn’t going to have you fully prepared for the journey you’ll take when your bundle of awesomeness comes out of you, but just consider these things before you go on the trip.

Kendra Koger has been a mother since 2011, and awesome since the ’80s.  Hit her up @kkoger.

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  • merp

    I generally agree with this article. But, I’m going to play devil’s advocate.

    First off, these “Teen Moms” you’re talking about, they clearly thought through the “alternative option”, with their boyfriend or not. They most likely genuinely want this child that theyre having to give them something meaningful in their lives. What is your place to say that they shouldn’t be excited? There was some serious crucifying and mockery of those teens while they were just trying to have a private, normal conversation. Not all newborns are a walk in the park, yes, this is true. But your newborn doesn’t represent every other one on this planet. If this is what these “teen moms” want to do with their lives, then so be it. It’s called life, things happen, and you have to live with it. Also, the show “Teen Mom” was made not to glorify being pregnant at such a young age, but to show that pregnancy and childhood is a harsh reality. These examples that were given of how horrible and strenuous babies are is just your experience. Not everyone elses.
    Also, whats wrong with wanting to look nice while you’re pregnant? She’s excited, for god’s sake. Butt out of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffanie-MadameGigglez-Thomas/665285721 Tiffanie MadameGigglez Thomas

    My sister and my cousin need to read this article… maybe after they read this they will see that being pregnant aint as cute as they think…

  • Ms. Kameria

    “Oh it didn’t hurt too much”….I don’t believe that for a second. I couldn’t imagine myself on someone’s delivery bed being cut split open like a roasted chicken. Ask a 14 year old to give birth again. I bet you they will start crying.

  • Kaori

    Oh, I know I can wait. I’m 26 and don’t have children. I’d much rather have children when I know that I could support them 100% on my own should something not go right.

    “Then… ugh… you get these girls who talk about how they’ve never had love in their lives and they’re gonna have a baby to love them.”

    If those girls have never had love in their lives, how could they possibly know what it means to love another person? If they never had love, how do they expect a child to love them back when they don’t have the experience to even show the child what love is?

  • ModelType

    The problem today is having a baby is a trend and for some people, their parents never had successful relationships, so they don’t know how to have one, so they think having a baby will connect them to a person for life and seem like its an award winning thing to think that ” he/she will never stop messing with me “…..but my thing is if he/she have others how can they really ever be yours. Just because you have children together, you have this sense of undying loyalty to them even if they cheat on you, embarrass you, abuse you, clearly show they could care less about you. I just don’t understand it. But a baby is nothing to play with and if you’re not mature enough, financially stable, MARRIED, then your child has a high risk of repeating your same mistakes. Children primary teachers are their parents.

  • chanela

    i was reading the article and while she was describing all this stuff she has to do despite being sick and having to wake up in the middle of the night and all that, where the HELL is that man who helped make the child??? or is getting married and having the child’s father around no longer “in”? this is exactly why it is advised to get married before having children.

    people talk about ” wahh it’s society that sets these standards.” um, no marriage before kids is suggested for a reason.

  • sabrina

    You do not have to tell me twice! I never actually had baby fever because I’ve been around little kids my whole life (whether working at a daycare, tutoring kids after school, my own nieces, nephews, cousins) and I saw it was no walk in the park. Simply spending the day with my sister’s best friend’s daughter gets me annoyed with all the crying and fussing that 1 year old does. Plus, I’m in no rush to be pregnant…gaining 20-25 pounds?? Swollen body parts?? Back aches?? Morning sickness?? Ahhhhh, I’m good.

    • FullTimeStudent

      Not too mention stretch marks and morning sickness, to me pregnancy is the WORST part of having a child. Gets in the way, you can’t fully enjoy any and everything because you have to ” take it easy “……..no thank you.

  • Ms. Kameria

    This article is on point. I hope a lot more women (especially young women) read it and think twice, then think again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paige.thomas.18400 Paige Thomas

    Babies are a blessing but not for everyone..and neither is marriage…

    • Ms. Kameria

      I agree 100%. Why have that extra baggage if you don’ t want it.

    • Cinnamon71

      Amen! Everyone isn’t meant to be a parent or a spouse.

  • Rene

    I’ve been having a lil teenie (ok huge) bit of baby fever lately (maybe its the season). Not because of celebrities or teen mom but because I’m 26 and I would like the experience of being a mother and I think I would make an excellent one. This article let me know the experience of being a mother may not go as I picture it no matter my intentions and instead of letting the baby fever get the best of me, I need to think about it a little more. Thanks!

  • Sagittarius81

    I had my first and only child at 25 (and I was married!), at times I wish I had her at 30 because I wanted to have fun in my 20s and I was going to nursing school. I even look at my friends who are in their 30s with no kids and say, dang, she lucky she’s so free, no responsibilities, I wish I had waited to have kids, but at the same time, my daughter makes me happy, gives me a reason to live so I can make life better for her.

  • Rene

    I swear this website and its authors are reading my mind. It seems like every situation I’m going thru at the time, I log on fb and #theresanartical for that on here. I love this website!!

  • Trisha_B

    My friends are popping out babies left & right. A lot of them just want a baby just so they can say they have a cute baby they can dress up. Not I!! I can wait. I’m 22 & wanna finish school 1st & enjoy somethings. They say pregnancy is a beautiful thing, i’m like i can’t wait to see how i look pregnant. Then i see my sister that is 9 months, & i see she has to roll out of the couch, she waddles & her feet swelling. & I’m like nawwww i can wait. Then i hold my 5 month old little cousin & my uterus starts to flutter, but then he starts fussing & pooping, & i’m like uterus relax. & i go to the mall to go shopping for my friends daughters & see how expensive things are getting, & see i’m playing daddy for these kids b/c their father’s wanna act like kids. So i’m like i need to find a MAN, a real one! lol. I can most def wait. Whenever i get baby fever, i borrow a kid & it’s the most effective birth control ever. I’m not ready, & ii wanna give my future kids the greatest possibilities in life.

    • Ms. Kameria

      You shouldn’ t have to “play daddy” to kids that aren’ t yours.

    • chanela

      right!!! this comment was spot on!

      especially the thing about people popping out kids left and right. i’m also 22 and everybody i graduated with from high school in 2009 are on their 2nd and 3rd kid already. it’s crazy! i’m wondering where the hell these folks are working at to support these kids!

      i’m not gonna lie though, i kinda feel like less of a woman when i’m squirming and nervous whenever i think about child birth. (yes the pregnancy part may look cute but remember, that baby has to come OUT!)there are 13 and 14 year olds getting pregnant and having kids, yet i’m 22 and i go nuts just THINKING about if i were ever pregnant. i literally feel light headed and like im gonna pass out. smh

      damn teenagers are more of a woman than i am

      • Kaori

        No! Teenage girls are NOT more of a woman than you are. Teenage girls are just that, teenage girls, not women.

    • Cinnamon71

      I agree 100% with that baby fever comment. I just never had that “yearning” to be a mother and I have a myriad of “baby” cousins to remind me why it’s just not for me. There is nothing wrong with waiting to have a child/children. It’s best to sow your wild oats and live life a bit and get financially and emotionally grounded as well. Also, get married and wait a couple of more years so you and you spouse can “enjoy” each other because when the children come, it’s going to be about them. Having a child/children is a long/life-time commitment you can’t back out of.

  • Nikki

    When I was in high school, I was sure that I wanted 4 kids. But now that I’m older, I got a little sense of reality. Life isn’t cheap. I want to give my kid the same wonderful childhood that I had. I’m not even sure if I like kids enough to have my own…

    • Tamara

      I’m with you on that one, I like children but having my own I’m really on the fence about.

  • Kitsy

    The problem is there are multi-billion dollar industries built around pregnancies and babies. Retailers, advertisers, and magazines each have a financial stake in glamorizing reproduction, and rarely is the cold hard truth ever shown. I was beginning to fall for it myself (I can recall reciting that mantra of “I can’t wait to be pregnant and have a baby”) until I got a reality check from some people who had taken that plunge and were having a doozy of a time!

    Until I was told and witnessed for myself, I didn’t realize how stressful, overwhelming and lonely it can be (especially in the first few weeks) and how much trouble a woman and her baby could be in if there isn’t a strong support system behind them. I didn’t know that post-partem depression and post-partum psychosis can endanger the lives of mother and baby, and that the un-relenting scream of an infant who can’t be soothed can cause a breakdown. And some of the same people who “ooed” and “awed” over the baby and encouraged you to have it are nowhere to be found when you need help. I didn’t realize that breast feeding can be like torture and how expensive the alternative, formula, can be; or that a newborn runs through packs of diapers.

    Once I learned this in my late teens/early twenties from my friends and family members, and I decided to put my baby-making plans on the back burner until (1) I was mentally and emotionally mature enough, AND (2) I was married with a supportive spouse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.browne.7165 Amanda D. Browne

    Now imagine all that work having to be done with just 1 parent! Single parents have it the hardest… And that’s my main reason for waiting to have children.

    • Rene

      *preach. Kudos to the single moms. I couldn’t do it and I don’t see how they do so kudos to them. I mean that.

  • lana

    Imagine what she just described multiplied by FOUR! Gosh I wish I could go back to having one child. One kid is a breeze but yet there are people complaining? Gimme a break!

    • Butterfly5

      If you don’t mind me asking, what made you decide to have 4 children?

      • lana

        I wanted three but my husband and I got a little “surprise” with the fourth one. I feel as long as you can financially support your children and are responsible, if you want that many children, more power to you! I was NOT a teen Mom and did not drop out of highschool to have any of my children. It is not for everyone though and if you have reservations in the least, don’t do it. In the end, the child will suffer.

  • JaneDoe

    Women/couples can wait to have children but after the age of 37 your chances of having children start to fall. Due to modern technology and the size of your wallet there are now options available to increase those chances. Babies are a blessing. If women/couples do decide to wait to have children they should talk with a Dr who can give the professional advice

    • Nikki

      Actually, doctors say it’s at age 35. Your eggs are 35 years old, and aren’t strong enough. Your body is preparing to go into the pre-menopausal stage, which is why fertility is such an issue. And because your eggs are so old, the chances of your child having a birth defect or disability increases.

  • Nope

    I agree with this article. On the flip side if you wait too long no man wants to have a child with a woman too far past her prime, so don’t hold your cards for too long. Basically do what works for you and realize that everyone doesn’t have to be okay with it.

    • KIR12

      Part of that woman’s problem is she’s trying to parent alone. She had some good points but didn’t once mention the importance of having a man right there helping with an infant.

      The problem with your comment is instead of encouraging these young black women to find a baby daddy while they’re in their prime. How about finding a husband and father while these young women are in IN THEIR PRIME who is going to love, co-parent and help raise the infant/child?

      • Ms. Kameria

        I wish I could up the last part of this comment multiple times.

      • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.browne.7165 Amanda D. Browne

        Agreed!

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