Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dire Predictions

When I was pregnant with Olivia, after we’d found out she was a girl, a woman I worked with told me over and over again that my girls would hate each other.

This woman had raised one child, who was also raising one child. She had no personal experience with raising siblings and yet she told me with what seemed like glee that my daughters would grow up resenting the hell out of each other.

Her predictions have not come true at this point.

Sure, they have the usual sibling spats but I think that’s typical. My girls actually enjoy each other’s company (most of the time) and get along quite well.

Now that Alyssa is on the cusp of teenager-hood, I have a co-worker (what is it with co-workers?) who tells me quite often that I will have an angry teen on my hands in just a couple more years. She swears that I’m just around the corner from having yelling, screaming fights with my daughter.

Now, I’m not going to tempt fate and say that it absolutely will not happen but I will say that I never, not once, told my mom that I hated her. I never screamed at my mom, not even during the dreaded teenage years.

Sure, Alyssa is not me and I am not my mom but right now, this very second, Alyssa and I have an open, loving relationship. I plan to do everything I can to continue to nurture that relationship and I hope we can avoid the screaming fights that are brimming with hatred. I just don’t necessarily believe the dire predictions some people like to toss at me.

I know a twenty-eight year old woman who says she doesn’t want children.

More power to her, I say.

However, one of the other moms around here promised this young woman that she’ll change her mind. She predicts that the twenty-eight year old’s biological clock will start ticking anytime now and she’ll realize that she does, in fact, want children.

No. That is not necessarily true. Why do people feel the need to tell others what their future holds? Why?

I respect this young woman’s choices and applaud her for voicing them strongly. If she changes her mind? So be it. But if she doesn’t? That doesn’t make her less a woman for not wanting someone to occupy her uterus. There are lots of women out there who don’t want children.

Heck, I have an aunt who has more than one kid who confessed recently that she actually never wanted any kids. How about that? (She didn’t say this to her actual kids and I would never tell them that their mother said it either. Deny, deny, deny. I have lots of aunts who have more than one kid, so no one will ever know which aunt, maternal or paternal, said this. So there.)

So all these dire predictions to is make the listener (me, the twenty-eight year old) feel like we're being talked down to, like we don't have a clue. It's degrading, it's demeaning and it's irritating. Just saying.

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