There seem to be three camps in the world:
Camp 1) Those who think EVERYBODY should be a parent, but that some people should really do it. I had a man tell me that it was selfish of me not to have a baby because I was the “right kind of person”. He said that unlike some people who shouldn’t have babies because they are losers, that I should see it as my obligation to help replace myself so that the losers would eventually be weeded out. The conversation would have been funny if he wasn’t DEAD SERIOUS! My response: THIS IS FOOLISHNESS!
Camp 2) Those who think every woman should take care of somebody because it’s a woman’s role to be a caretaker, regardless of whether she’s taking care of her baby, her significant other, somebody else’s kid (This is why I stopped seeing Tyler Perry movies after “I Can Do Bad By Myself.” It is why I wasn’t really feeling Soul Food (THROW WAAAAAY Back) either. I feel women are made out to be selfish if they don’t want to take care other people. Why can’t I just do me? I didn’t make “those choices”; however, I’m supposed to be happy about giving up what I enjoy to help the folks who did make those choices). There seems to be this idea that it isn’t womanly not to take care of someone. My response: THIS IS FOOLISHNESS!
Camp 3) Those people who think I should push one out because it would be an insurance policy against growing old by myself. My response: “ ‘Waymint’ they might be on to something. I want to “do me”, but I want somebody to drop by to help me find my teeth when I can’t remember which cup contained them last!”
Apparently somebody else has been pondering the same questions as her eggs march toward full boil. Check out this article: http://tiny.cc/noguarantees
I have shared this sentiment with my friends and family on more than one occasion: just because you have a kid, there is no guarantee that you’ll have somebody to take care of you when you old or sick. Besides, isn’t giving birth for the purpose of customizing your own servant the epitome of selfishness? I mean, it is one thing to have a baby because you look forward to the challenge of crafting a human being. To have a baby out of fear of getting old is mean, selfish, and shallow!
There are many ways to get around fears of getting old. First off, why not make a real effort to develop relationships with people in your family. I have lots of nieces and nephews: I choose to actually get to know them. I have friends of different ages. Yes, the oldest woman in my set is 83! No, she doesn’t go out with me for drinks; however, I thought it was important to start to value old people rather than seeing them as burdens. So, I treat her like she’s one of my younger friends: I call her regularly and genuinely care about her life. On the other hand, I try new activities and look for my Golden Girls roommates (Yes, I’m hoping for lifelong friends, and I’m trying to decide whether I want to be Sophia, Dorothy or Blanche! I’ve already found Rose!). Anytime, you operate from a position of fear, you mess up! And don’t have babies because you’re worried about getting old or because everybody else is doing it. Make a conscious decision about what that life means to you!
Sidebar: I wonder if lesbians confronted with the same caretaker expectations as heterosexual women. I wonder if the same people who tell me that I should have a baby because that’s what God intended for woman to do also believe that every man should be an active dad, just a sperm donor, or if the guy can choose whatever without having to be questioned.