mom holding baby feet

One day I was at the store minding my business probably listening to Britney in the headphones.

Note: I hate shopping without music. It means my chances of interacting with people are higher.

So anyway, maybe Britney plays in my earbuds when I see the cutest, tiny compacted human with the biggest cheeks.

Now, I get annoyed when people reach for my cheeks (did I mention I’m 32?) but I kind of get the appeal on babies.

They smile and wave and bonus they have these CHEEKS.

At this point, the baby has made eye contact with me and is cheesin so I have to say something. It’s rude not to.

“Well hello, cutie pie!”

*waves, smiles, does this spitting thing*

I get into a conversation with his mom as we chat the random, “How old is he? What’s his name? He’s so cute!” Then I get the question, “Do you have kids?”

“No, but my friends just had a baby.”

One, they didn’t just have a baby–she’s almost three.

Two, what do my friends have to do with it?

“Oh, well I think you’ll make a good mom someday. You’re a natural around kids.” I control my laughter because…I guess?

We wrap up our convo just in time because Baby Cheeks start crying out of the blue.

Hungry, sleepy, feeling ignored, because the day ends in “y”? Who knows–that’s part of the baby fun.

Back to Britney, I grab my last few items and head for the self-checkout line. Scrolling through Facebook, I look at my college and high school friends with their kids.

Aren’t we too young? Don’t we have the SATs next week? What about college?

Then I realize the joke’s on me. I’m the one that needs to hurry up, settle down and have a baby, or at the very least have a baby…right?

Society says after 35 my chances of having a child decrease. Well, that’s three more years so holy crap, holy crap, holy crap! And I want to have two so double the holy crap and pray I’m pregnant with twins before 35.

Or I can just relax.

To be honest, I’m not ready to have kids just yet.

I love my friends’ babies and their cute little mannerisms. I love the random smiles they have when playing peek-a-boo in line, and when they start having a random conversation with you.

But parenthood isn’t all fun and peek-a-boos, and I know that. During their first year of life, they are dependent on your body for EVERYTHING and that just seems exhausting.

First of all, the way my bank account is set up I’m not ready to take care of a Cabbage Patch doll.

Second, as much as I’m OK with just going to a bank and getting the missing piece to have the child, that seems so lonely. I’m not knocking anyone who makes this decision. For me, that doesn’t seem ideal. And again, the way my bank account is set up…

Third, I don’t know who decided 35 should be the danger zone (a man maybe), but it seems a little odd, no? It might be a bit believable if they said 37 or 39.5 with an actual explanation.

Isn’t it weird we shame younger girls for having babies, shame women in their 20s and 30s for not having kids yet, then shame 40+ for getting pregnant? Why all the shamming?

So I’m 32 without kids, and I don’t know if I’ll have one in the next four years before “cut-off time.”

But I’m not worried. I’ve got friends with the cute little ones I can watch grow up–and hand back when the tantrums start for literally no reason at all and love them from afar.