At the tender age of 10 I decided that when I grew up, I wanted to be a Mommy.
Oh, over the years I bounced from one career choice to the next:
- Marine Biologist: even though I was rubbish at swimming...but I was absolutely obsessed with marine mammals. I've kept freshwater fish since I was eight years old. I wanted to swim with dolphins (I finally did about 2 years ago and though I partly hate myself for it - they were captive raised - I still maintain that the day I swam with dolphins is on my Top Ten list) and study whales and porpoises and sting-rays and-and-and.
- Astronaut: I have an above average IQ that stuck me in gifted classes in school until I begged my Mom to Please Put Me Back In Regular School! (she did) But I am no rocket scientist.
- Veterinarian: I was even more obsessed with cats, dogs and horses than I was with water creatures, and when I did a career study at a local vet clinic I resolved to become a Veterinarian myself. It is the one career choice that I never really gave up on, even today. I started training dogs, under my Mom's tutelage, when I was very young and became a groomer and trainer in my early 20's. I am a self-proclaimed - and self taught - expert on canine/feline nutrition. Yes, I know more about nutrition than your vet. I can go on for hours about proper nutrition, grooming and training.
- Pediatric Nurse: When I was about 16 the prospect of becoming a Ped's Nurse specializing in Diabetes warred with my long-standing desire to be a Vet. I wanted to help kids with Diabetes, give something back to the community.
When I was 22 I went back to college, after a long stint as a Nanny, and entered the Vet Assistant program in order to get a taste for Veterinary Medicine. I would have had to move to Saskatchewan for the Vet Program, you see, and I wanted to be as certain as possible that this avenue was still the one I wanted to pursue. Funny, isn't it, how one can believe that the years stretch endlessly ahead and there will always be time and money to do the things one desires. Le sigh. But at the last minute, after speaking to the Nursing HUC teacher (an RN herself) I transferred into the Nursing HUC program and spent two years learning about the anatomy/physiology/disease etiology/pharmacology/all those other -ology's of people instead of animals. I loved it and still wish that I could have become a professional student. Alas, I ended up working in Geriatrics for a not-for-profit healthcare society and dealt with dementia clients on a daily basis. I quickly realized that this wasn't the right environment for me (I wanted to work with KIDS for crying out loud!! But I needed a ton of experience before I could even pursue pediatrics) and got a job at a Doctor's office, where I put up with a egotistical, verbally abusive British thinks he's god doctor for 3 months. I ended up quitting and, through temp agencies, fell into Finance where I've spent the past 6 years regretting my 20-year old self's flighty choices and wishing I could afford to go back to school, even as a Vet Tech.
But through it all my desire for motherhood remained. Remains. I was voted the girl most likely to have 8 kids by the time she was 25 by my highschool peers. I was a Nanny and practically raised a little boy in my late teens/early twenties; he was my baby, that boy, and when I left him to go back to College it was as difficult as giving up a child to someone else. I was never a 'dater'; that is, I've been in 3 relationships in my 30 years and only one of them really mattered, only one man reached out and grasped my heart. He was The One. It was a long distance relationship. He was 11 years older than I and the relationship evolved from a very close friendship - he was my soul mate. Not the cheesy oooh-I-saw-him-across-the-room-and-it-was-luuuurve-at-first-sight mate; no, he was my Bosom Buddy. The closest, best friend I ever had. He never wanted kids until he initiated a romantic relationship with me; it was only then that his mind was changed. I, naive, hopeful, in-love-for-the-very-first-time Me, believed him. You may laugh bitterly - I just did.
I'm sure that you can probably guess what happened from there: one day we had a huge, relationship-altering fight about something not even worth mentioning now. In the aftermath he changed his mind again; I decided I don't want kids, he told me. (Way to press that EASY button!) He wasn't willing to do the long-distance thing anymore, nor was he willing to do anything to fix the distance. That day he just gave up on us, and in response I completely exploded and, after another 3-ish months of trying to be his friend and constantly fighting with him and grieving the relationship and trying desperately not to love him anymore, I gave up, too. I packed up my boot-trodden heart and never talked to him again.
And now I'm 30 years old, still single, having a hell of a time trying to learn how to date, where to meet men, where to meet men who aren't just interested in getting bendy and leaving, and how to trust someone Not to Break my Heart again. There is still nothing more that I need than to be a Mommy; sometimes it is a physical ache that causes a clenching in my chest and an aching emptiness in my womb. I am disgustingly envious of the women around me who glow with the prospect of motherhood, who have all of the things I so desperately wish for; it reached the point where I was having difficulty being around babies and children because I wanted them SO badly, because I was constantly surrounded by something it felt like I might never have! So, two years ago, I decided that if I'm not in a committed relationship with the possibility of children an almost certainty by my 33rd birthday, I will knock myself up. I have already started to investigate and initiate Intrauterine Insemination in order to have all my rubber duckies in a row, and I've written and filed a plan of action that includes a timeline (heh). I'm also preparing myself financially so that 2.5 years from now I will be able to provide the most stable environment I can as a single parent. I always keep in mind that the age I've decided on may have to change under certain circumstances - what it won't do, though, is go over 35. That is my threshold, I have to start trying by that age at the latest.
The amount of support that I've received from friends and family is overwhelming - I'm sure that there will be plenty of naysayers and judgers but for now I'm surrounded by encouragement and well-wishes and positive thoughts. My good friends are positive that I will be The Best Mom Ever, even if I'm single (and of course I agree since I channel awesomeness). My Mom would be on cloud nine if I raped myself tomorrow and got knocked up by a turkey baster...and to be honest, sometimes it's Really Incredibly HARD not to just throw good judgement in the mud and do it. Tomorrow. Next week. SOON!
I want to be a Mommy. I was put on this earth to be a Mommy. My empty arms want to be filled, my heart wants to give of itself, to provide love and guidance and eskimo kisses to a child. The very core of me needs to be a parent, for unselfish and selfish reasons beyond explanation. It simply is, I simply must.
But for now I'll wait.