To be or not to be?

Jonah Infographic by intraordinary
Jonah Infographic, a photo by intraordinary on Flickr.

I made this infographic for my friend Lisa who just had a baby boy. I am so excited for her and a little jealous. I really want the best for her and I think this was absolutely the right choice for her life.

For me on the other hand… I have to ask myself, children or no children? I have been pondering this question for years. At one point I promised my family that I would start having children when I was 25… Well that year came and went by quickly and I am now 32 years old. For so many years I’ve always had an excuse to wait. I was in college and didn’t have financial stability. Even though those things aren’t an issue anymore I still find myself making excuses. The problem is… I am getting older and the older I get the more complications can occur with child birth.

The basis of my concerns with having a child or not having one are purely selfish. I am an introvert, so I love my me time. If I don’t have frequent time to myself I feel my meter running low and I need to fill it up before I feel like myself again. Sometimes I run a bath just to lay there and think. I feel the most alive when I have all of my problems ironed out and my house is clean and organized. I feel like I can breathe easy. Some people might think that I am playing it safe. But the only thing I keep in mind when I make choices in life is my own happiness. I’ve never had to worry about anyone else but me and I am happy right now. Would I still be happy if I had to put all of my problems on the back burner and focus on making someone else happy all the time? Children don’t even appreciate the sacrifice their mothers make for them until they are adults and sometimes not even then. They are messy and reckless… they don’t go to bed when they are supposed to and they are up at the crack of dawn. I wouldn’t be able to go on vacation anywhere I wanted to anymore, I wouldn’t even be able to buy myself everything I want.

The problem is, will I be happy in 5 years from now? Or will life become boring at some point and will I regret not having children? And then it will be too late. Who will be around to take care of me when I’m old? Who will I leave all of my money and possessions to when I die? See? All of these things I am weighing are selfish. I can be selfish if I want to be right now and I love the freedom in that. Some people might scoff at me for being selfish but why? Why shouldn’t I if I can? It doesn’t effect them or anyone else…

When someone is asked, “What was the happiest moment in your life?” They usually say, “the day I gave birth to my child/children.” I feel like I am faced with having to make a decision for the happiness of my future self because at some point it will be to risky to have children. And the only way I will know if I made the right decision or not is if or when I regret it.

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