I had an epiphany in Walgreens the other day. It wasn’t in the makeup aisle, when I realized that I’m never going to look like those models. I’ve always known that. It wasn’t in the hair color aisle either, although I have more gray hairs than some women twenty years older than me. It wasn’t in front of the depilatories, because I’ve known that those don’t work worth a crap on dark hair for a long time. It wasn’t the chocolate-tinted wine, although that does seems strangely good. No, the epiphany I had took place next to the pharmacy, where the kids’ medicine is.
I’ve decided I want to be a mommy. I think part of it is because I see all the happiness my friends have with their kids, or maybe it’s because there are so many cute baby toys and clothes. It could also be because my nephew has a child of his own…which makes me a great-aunt before I’m even a mom…geez I feel old…:) But seriously, this is a big thing for me because I’m 34 and I’m just now realizing that my bipolar disorder doesn’t *have* to keep me from having a child or adopting one. The biggest thing was concern that I won’t get through the pregnancy without my meds; that, or that I might pass it on. I’m not incredibly concerned with passing it on, strangely, even though my doctors say that the chances of that happening are quite high. Between me, the fact that my sister (and possibly, one of my brothers) has it, and that my mother-in-law has it too, you can see how that would be. I’m not as concerned about that because there are a lot more things that can be done for kids that have bipolar or other illnesses. Also, a lot of people with this sort of illness are brilliant and very creative. I don’t know what happened to me. 🙂
Still, I can’t help but think about it when I’m around so many people who either have kids or constantly talk about wanting kids, like one of my friends does. My husband is on board with either having or adopting a child in the next five or so years…which would mean I might be nearly 40 when it happened. I’ve mentioned it before here that I feel as though something must be wrong with me that I didn’t want kids, but looking back I don’t think it wasn’t that I didn’t *want* kids so much as that I felt that I *couldn’t have them* and so might as well just get used to it. After talking with my sister and others who have similar issues to mine, I’ve realized that the health issues don’t have to hold me back if I really feel as though I can handle being a mother. After all, it’s not like *anyone* is really prepared for it before it happens. I also thought I wouldn’t be allowed to adopt, but I found out that that’s not necessarily true either. I was worried that I might not be a good mother if I wasn’t perfect, but then I remembered that my own mother had her problems. She didn’t like to talk about it, but she had depression issues as well. As much as I hate that she had them, I think that made her an even better help to my sister and me whenever ours started. Honestly, I can’t think of a single selfish act on her part in the 21 years I had with her. I guess you could say that that is yet another example of God taking something bad and making something good out of it, or of things (in this case, my mom’s depression) having some sort of reason. I think I would be a good mother, although I can be selfish at times and want to be by myself. I’m not always that patient, but my sister told me that having kids can teach you these things-patience, putting others before yourself, etc. I can see it is true in her case. I remember how we both were as teenagers, and she’s a totally different person now. Granted, most of us aren’t the same people we were as teenagers when we’re in our 30s, but a lot of people I know who had kids young say that it forced them to grow up. I can completely see how that would be.
I guess I’m just thinking out loud here, but I would like to see if others have been in a similar position. Have you ever thought you couldn’t have kids or do something else vitally important because of a condition, only to find that it wasn’t true? How did you work around it? Also, has anyone here had a child ‘later on in life’? If so, is there anything I should know? My sister had problems getting pregnant when she was 34, but her twin boys are the sweetest things and enrich her life in so many ways.
I guess this is selfish of me, but I think one motivation is that I don’t want to leave this world and have it be as though I were never here. I’d like to leave something of myself behind, even if it’s in the form of lessons taught or memories made. That certainly isn’t the only reason I’d want kids and I know it’s not really a good one, but it’s still nagging there. I keep thinking about death, but not in the sense that I want to die. I’m not sure why, but that’s another post.