Here’s the final entry in the series looking at the social impact of some issues surrounding fertility.
The song below is actually an old school hit that I bopped to like crazy the first time I heard it. Then after I listened to words the first time properly, it just gives me a serious chuckle every time I hear it. Maybe I laugh now because of how outlandish the lyrics are. Maybe I laugh wryly at how much of an issue it is to answer such a question in the middle of the act to prevent potential fallout afterwards.
As the regulars know, in my prior 9-5 I worked with educating young people around healthy relationship, safer sex, etc. I’ve had all sorts of conversations with young women who were pregnant and deciding on how to proceed with the pregnancy; and those who want to avoid pregnancy but have that partner who doesn’t use condoms and doesn’t want any hormonal birth control to be used.
To me, this song always reminds me of why in the heat of sexual tension isn’t a good time to have those discussions. Let’s call a spade a spade – everyone who’s having sex wants to have the good kind. There is just something about having unfettered sex that is just one of those high level activities two individuals can have. Having been in the situation multiple times of the “have a baby me” part with the “be a millionaire” piece virtually impossible, it takes an ungodly amount of self-control.
Now the baby fever can happen from different reasons. Some people feel a new baby soldifies a connection with a spouse and can stabilize a relationship. Some people have a baby because friends around them are getting pregnant. Some people have babies because during the first few years of life the parent is the baby’s focus and the child loves them unconditionally in a way their environment may not love them. Sometimes, it’s the man who has the baby fever, and sometimes the baby is a way of cementing access to resources and or improved social status.
All of those reasons are valid, and all of those reasons have flaws – filled with the strong possibility of backfiring in spectacularly messy ways.
There are some benefits to having kids early. I had a lady friend who was in her mid 40s who had her life set up a certain way. She was a recent divroce who had three children who were college age. Having separated from her husband (with whom she still coparents well), she’s now in a position to ready explore her horizons in a different way (especially with a solid career that gives her flexibility). I’ve heard other moms who started early where able to finish early and persue other interests.
Still, her case may be an exception more than the rule as there are many people who still struggle with managing the demands of parenthood having started earlier.
I had a former colleague who is a mother of two state that “there’s never a good time to become a parent”. I’ve had parents who are happy with their children state that they wish they had waited. So how do you know when is that point where you feel “ready”?
That always the question I’d ask former clients, and that’s the question I always asked myself. Sometimes people cannot be saved from learning lessons based on their choices, but I personally preferred learning the smart way, not the hard way.
The hardest part isn’t making them, it’s taking care of them. You just cannot send them back to whence they came once they arrive. So when the baby fever hits, can you tame it? Or will you give into the hot lyrics and feelings of the moment, only to be guaranteed uncertainty and a permanent commitment to the life of another?