Yah so I've been thinking : Why is it that when a woman is in her mid to late twenties and been in a long term relationship for quite a bit of time (or not) some people are much more likely to ask, "Hey! When are you having a baby?" As opposed to when you're going to settle down and get married. It's sad to say but in the black community, by the time you're in the 25-32 age bracket and still childless, you are either one of three things: crazy, barren, or lucky and not necessarily in that order.
Personally, I don't think of the decision to forgo having children by the mid twenties to early thirties, in terms that are quite so extreme or tragic. I see it as simply, a different way than what has become the norm. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that my mother had me at the ripe old age of 20, and from the time I can remember she's been screamin', "You're gonna live your 20's!! You're gonna live your 20's!!". And living my 20's I am. Don't take my stance to mean that I think having children in your twenties is wrong, and that if you have children that means you're not "living" life. I don't really subscribe to the idea that everyone's story is meant to be written in the same fashion. My way isn't right or wrong, it's simply my way. Claiming to have all the answers and dictating how another's life should be isn't my thing at all. Yet, what my thing does do is resemble a ball of a confusion at young women with no ambitions other than being someone's mother for the rest of their lives, starting before their lives even truly begin.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a mother and relishing in the joys of motherhood, but I do see something amiss with a woman in her mid twenties with 2-3 children, who is on some form of assistance be it welfare or Section 8, no personal goals or ambitions other than having a "good job", and no significant other to speak of to help raise and provide a good example of what is to be expected of not only a man, but a father. This is not to say that there aren't women in their twenties who are mothers that do have goals and ambitions, but I'm not talking about them.
Call me crazy. Call me bougie. Hell, call me me whatever you like but you can start by calling me frank though, 'cause this is something that really bothers me and I just want some answers. Ladies, our biological clocks are NOT ticking by our mid twenties, so why are we popping out babies like they're going out of style, instead of working on US?
I remember sitting in class about a year ago, talking to a young girl from the Bronx. She was about 19. We get to talking and she is beyond surprised to learn my age. She tells me she would have given me 20 at the most. She asks:
"You got kids?"
Her: "Oh my God!!! You so lucky! I can't believe you don't got kids!"
As I have so clearly stated on this blog countless times, I'm from Brooklyn (What it look like?). The belly of it. So I'm not ignorant to the mindset that comes along with the "hood". Yet, it still baffles me that a collegiate peer of mine, has such a narrow mindset of what a twenty something female is lucky to have or have not. Honestly, I do consider myself lucky not to have a child right now. I've always had a vision of the life I would provide for my child and I am by no measure in a position to provide it. Now I know there is never a perfect time to have a baby or start a family, but there is a time that I would consider better and right for me.
But it's not just me I'm talking about here. Today more than ever women are following their dreams and doing it bigger than ever before. We have Black female CEO's in Xerox's Ursula Burns, Billionaires in none other than a lil girl from rural Mississippi named Oprah Winfrey, and even Heads of states in Libyan President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Yet somehow in our communities if you've made it to 25 and haven't gotten pregnant or had a child, you're somehow one step up from the endangered species list. The vision that some young women have for themselves is very limited, and quite frankly it's sad to me. I'm sorry but a "good job with benefits" should not be the ultimate goal we aim to reach. I'm not even saying that our goals should look remotely similar, but at the very least we should have some. And I'm talking about goals we actually have to put in some hard work to attain.
Now I personally think that being a good mother is definitely one of the hardest jobs out here. When I commit to that job I plan to give it more than I've given any other job thus far. Yet, I choose to gain some life experience and some accomplishments to be proud of. To show my would be daughter that she too can have whatever she is willing to work hard for. You can teach your daughter the same without "things" of course, but the option not to is there. I, personally, want to be in a position to send my child to an Ivy league school, or any school he/she wants to attend on my own bankroll (provided that the excellent primary and secondary schooling he/she was afforded doesn't provide him/her with the skills to go on a scholarship).
That's just one of the opportunities I would like to provide to my child. I don't want to show her how to be down at W.I.C. and how to wait in the Medicaid office. This is not to say that it's wrong to do that. As mothers and women we do what we have to do, but why should succumbing to the stereotypes and what I would call the "easy way out" be what we have to do? If I offend, don't take it personally. If I had a child right now, I'm not ashamed to say I would be right down there at the W.I.C. office just like everybody else. But the difference is, I choose not to be, because low and behold I have a choice. And so do we all, so why not choose better? We all have the opportunity to be great, and formidable women. I'm not wasting mine. Why should any of us?
Let ya next move be ya best move! ;-)