I hate how much I think in timelines. It’s one of my least favorite things about myself.
I turned 26 earlier this month. This week I was getting my hair done when a came across an infographic with facts about women and aging. There, staring back at me, was 27 – the age fertility starts to decline. If you’ve been around these parts for a while you’ll know that I have no babies (just kidding, I have Archie and he’s my baby. But he’s adopted. Shh…don’t tell him.). All babies that I do have in the future will be born after I turn 27. Are other women as terrified as I am about this?
This starts the downward spiral of timeline thinking. If I’m 26 now and we get engaged sometime in the next year, then we’ll probably get married when I’m 27. Statistics say you should wait for 5 years to have kids (if you can) but that would put us at 32 and we wouldn’t have time to pop out a few before age 35. Plus do the years of living together count towards that 5 years? I’m going with yes. So we’re back to 27. Do we wait 2 years? Start at 29? One at 29, one at 31, one at 33? Is that plausible?
Maybe I’m not modern enough but having kids in my late 30’s scares me. I know women are supposed to want crazy successful careers. And I do! I really do. But more than that, I want a family. Scientifically speaking, having kids in your late 30’s and early 40’s is more risky. It just is. So even as society evolves and women aren’t expected to marry and pop out the kiddos in their twenties, our bodies have not.
I’m not saying I have baby fever. I don’t. Babies are still pretty much cute blobs to me at this point. I see one and I’m like “awwww” but no part of me is like “i want one”. It’s just that I think about those timelines a lot. About how life will go for the next decade or so.
But for now I’ll stick to spending my extra money on too many lipsticks and home decor for my crappy rented apartment and not diapers and nursing bras. I’ll be that person some day. I promise. Just put me in the “future mommy blogger” category because that’s the end goal here. But not yet. Still, that doesn’t stop the timeline thinking from sneaking in every once in a while and causing a panic attack or two.
How did I get to be 26? Because in my head I feel like I’m the same I’ve always been.
The good news is, that very same article that scared the crap out of me also said that the age women reported being the most happy was 74. We’ve got a lot to look forward to! (stereotypical, end it on a positive note strategy right there. I can’t help it. I’m secretly an optimist).