| by Bel | 9.32am NZ time |


This catchphrase has increasingly come into usage (between me and Lou exclusively, sure, still counts) in the last few years, as we realised that, um, everybody is pregnant.

It's not some kind of metaphor for creative potential or spiritual fulfillment. I actually mean that it seems that each and every uterus around me has slid the sign from 'vacant' to 'occupied'.

My bestest, oldest friend is pregnant. Along with two other friends from back in our high school days. And then I was told a fourth was up the duff too. Did I miss the memo? Are we coordinating a tiny sized sequel to the group of girls who hung out back then?

This week I sat with glazed eyes as two parents bonded over their varying experiences with... um, something to do with having babies. Which they found immensely interesting and useful to share knowledge about. Meanwhile:

Yeah, that's me. Thinking about the ballet.
Is it selfish of me to not engage? Or is it just indicative of my personal immediate priorities?

I am of course happy for all these expanding families and the exciting new path they are heading along.

But with me not on that path right now, I am fretting a little too.

Because the kicker is that EVERYBODY IS PREGNANT doesn't take long to turn into EVERYBODY IS BUSY WITH THEIR BABIES.

My mind is already jumping ahead to a year from now, two years, five. When these friends whom I have shared so much with will be occupied with something that I can't relate to. Being out of step with your friends' lives can have a real impact. Choosing to not have children (in the short term, long term, whatever) shapes a life which has different considerations to those who are in the midst of parenting.

The obvious solution is that I jump on the bandwagon and get knocked up like all the rest of them. But after having spent years hacking through the jungle that is building a career, I'm just don't feel like the time is right. Even if everybody else is doing it.

Birth control

11 thoughts on “EVERYBODY IS PREGNANT”

  1. I say, you'll be awesome if you do it, and awesome if you don't. I'd also say that there are selfish reasons attached to both paths, and having babies in your 20s means that most of your friends are still selfishly having fun while you're selfishly dressing a small version of yourself in cute outfits and selfishly liking all the attention a baby brings. And yeah, as a result there's probably a dip in topics you can actually talk about where all members of the circle give a shit.

    (I'd also like to mention that it's impossible to have a proper conversation because of the endless interruptions, not to mention your brain is rewired to only care about sleeping)

    So Bel, I admire you and your honesty and your drive and careerliness. The general consensus among the baby crowd is that there is never a 'right' time to have a baby, so babies just show up without having RSVP'd. The Nerve. And whether you take a month, a year, five years or a decade out of your career to devote to small people, there's always going to be someone with an opinion on how you're not doing the right thing by your childrens.

  2. Hey,
    I, like Bel, really enjoyed Lotte's comment as well.

    I will say being in your thirties (32 to be precise) and not having children garners a fair amount of flack, perhaps that's because I'm in Canberra where most 24 year olds spent their time dreaming about a public service job, 2.5 kids and a mortgage... eurgh.

    Anyway, it seems lately all my Uni friends are up the duff as well. Which in one sense isn't surprising and is what they clearly feel is a natural progression. Awesome! To each their own, however, having gone through my 20s and early 30s without having "Mr Right" pop up at my door my choices are clearly a little bit different.

    I do want children, but not by myself, and not for any selfish reasons. IF and it's looking like a big if - I do every have kids it will be right time, right place, right person and that's all (to me) that there is to it, to requote Lotte

  3. Fuck man, I can't even imagine what that is like - whilst EVERYONE IS PREGNANT (well, actually due to biology I am at the point where EVERYONE HAS BABIES) for me too, this seems to centre around my NZ-based friends, whilst the majority of my day-to-day London friends' uterus' are empty.

    Also a big difference for me was having a little niece come along just before the EVERYBODY IS PREGNANT stage so I suddenly gave more of a shit than I would have otherwise, and find myself much more interested than I ever thought I could be. (Hmmm is this my 30-year-old womb telling me that it is achingly empty?)

    Also I never get to see the vast majority of babies in my life, so when I do get to see the two London-based ones they get the full amount of attention that would otherwise have had to spread across them all.

    Generally women are damned if they do and damned if they don't, so my view towards baby-making is to do it when:
    a) it oops happens and actually you're okay with it, or
    b) when the need to do it overwhelms the rest of your life.

    If I could be a DAD I'd happily have a baby right now, but being a mum is - even in the most equal-opportunity of relationships - such a huge pressure (and career-killer, and guilt-factory) that it's something to do only when you yourself are ready.

  4. I'm not pregnant! Never will be either, if I can help it.

    Also, Lottchen rules! She's an awesome mum and if I didn't already have a mum, I'd want her to be mine.

  5. Whew.

    Seriously. Its Friday afternoon, been a long day, and my eyes are glazing over.

    I applied for a job the other day in Napier. I didn't get it, but they created what looked like the perfect role for me and asked me if I would be interested in this instead.
    Well, of course I jumped at the chance, I called up. We chatted. Things were going great. And then I was like, oh hang on wait, I'm 6 months pregnant.

    Wop wop. Still want me? Am I tainted goods suddenly? I decided on the spot, that if they offer me the job (driving 8 hours for an interview on Tuesday) my husband can stay at home and look after the small one, and I can work on my withering career again.

    If not, fuck it.

    I'm not sure if this is selfish or foolish or both. Probably. What I have learned throughout my years, is that if an opportunity arises, I am one to take it. Whether this is good or bad bends my mind a bit, but hey.

    Anyway, so my dilemma is a strange one. Stay in the windy city and stab away at a business I only have half a heart in, or throw myself back into the workforce, and see less of the two children I will then have.


    PS your comments are all so classic, I just about didn't comment... But then I thought, hey, someone may well have some sage advice, and I need that to be sure!

  6. I would imagine that the lifestyle in Napier is one where you would have minimal commute time, and thus working 40 hours a week would still allow plenty of wonderful family time... So if it's your perfect job, go for it! You'll still get the best of both worlds, right?

  7. I have been uttering those same words at least once a week for the last couple of months. It must just be something about the age we are.

    I am like you in that I have worked my way up and into a pretty decent career, I'm not going to give that up right now because everyone else is.

    It may sound selfish, but were much better to wait until we feel the calling for a sprog that's for sure.

  8. I don't know why I didn't add the option to email me with follow up comments before.
    Thanks for the wise advice sage ones, I am in the limbo of confirm or denial of job now. SIGHS

    Bel, lunch, today?