that one question.

right around the time i turned twenty five, the question to be asked was: ‘are you seeing anyone special?’ and then when i turned twenty seven, the question moved to: ‘have you talked about marriage?’ which turned to: ‘you’re engaged! when’s the wedding?’ and now that i said ‘i do’ literally five hundred days ago, the question is: ‘when are you having kids?’

and honestly, i get it. it seems like a perfectly normal question to ask. you date, you get engaged, you have a fairytale wedding and next thing you know, you’re buying a house and a crib. but here’s the thing; i am not perfectly normal. i am not going to be a parent. and before you jump down my throat and tell me that i am selfish {this one is my favorite thing to be called in relationship to not becoming a parent}, or that i am not mature enough to make such a choice {another classic choice}, or a less adorable option, to tell me i will change my mind; let me assure you that i am more than certain in regards to my fate as a parent. and here’s how i know:

{first}• on my very first date with my husband i said, ‘i do not want children. so if you do, we can be friends but that’s it’ and his response was ‘oh wow, that’s crazy because i don’t want kids either’. and over the last five years, we still talk about it and make sure we’re on the same page. i tell him if he ever changes his mind or wakes up one day feeling like he missed out, he can tell me. maybe we will be foster parents. maybe we will adopt in our forties. or maybe we won’t. but we’ve talked about it. from day one.

{second}• nothing is more important than my mental health. i know my limits. i know my brain. and i definitely know that i could not be a healthy carrier for a baby without my medications. i have self medicated before; i have been through withdrawals; i know what it feels like to cry myself to sleep from anxiety or lose my absolute mind over a pan of burnt pancakes. i know what unmedicated looks like in my world and it’s not the right world for a baby.

{third}• even medicated, i have days that absolutely tear me apart. where i can’t get out of bed. where i cry uncontrollably. where i drive around aimlessly blaring trap music with the windows down. where i eat nothing but junk food. where i call out of work. where i don’t shower for four days. trust me- i know my ugly days. i know when the broken parts pry themselves open at the seams. wanna know what else i know? i know a baby doesn’t care that i wanna sleep all day, or skip work, or wear the same t shirt for six days or forget to buy milk. a baby needs someone who can always care for them; and i can’t guarantee that. while ninety five percent of the time i am fine; there is a five percent chance that i could cry for fifteen minutes over dropping spaghetti sauce on the floor or forgetting to mail the electric bill. i like to call it being human, or more specifically, being a human who functions with bipolar disorder.

{fourth}• wouldn’t it be worse if i had a baby because everyone was telling me it was the right thing to do and then i couldn’t handle it and it was all terrible? the answer is yes. that is awful. the idea of that is awful.

{fifth and finally}• just because i am upon my thirtieth year doesn’t mean i have my finances all figured out. i can/have/will drop a cool hundred on shit i don’t need at target. or order dessert when i am out at dinner. or pay eleven bucks to rent some terrible chick flick from the early two thousands. i am sometimes late paying my dad for my phone bill. and sometimes i am three days late mailing my rent check. i couldn’t be that way with a baby. i couldn’t put diapers off for three days or pay daycare late. i am working on making sure i am taken care of, which is a big deal and an even bigger task.

so, all this to say- i don’t want to be a mom. that doesn’t make me less of anything. i am okay. my marriage is stronger than ever. and i have had the honor and privilege of playing mom to the nearly four hundred and fifty students who have walked into my life over the last five years. my niece and nephew provide me with an amazing amount of joy. my dogs allow me to understand responsibility and create new levels of love and patience daily.

i am okay and i will be okay without children. stop worrying. stop pressuring. most importantly, stop asking. not all of us want the ‘husband, house, white picket fence, two kids situation. {and if you do, that’s awesome for you!}. but i am who i am and it’s okay that i have made this decision with my husband for our life. so let’s be more self aware; as a society. let us recognize that women can be more than just reproducers. that women are more than what society expects. that it is okay to be a mom and it is also okay to not be one.

those who can’t do, teach.

xoxo, alix

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