"Baby Phase" "Baby Phase"

By Regena English

Two weeks ago Nancy one of the first elderly spinsters I had ever interviewed passed away at 85. Those of you who read Leather Spinsters and Their Degrees of Asexuality will remember her by this quote:

    "I still consider myself full of sex appeal and desirable to others. I take very good care of myself, I exercise, stay active in my church and politics. I believe that a woman regardless of her age should find time to pamper herself. It has nothing to do with being sexually available to anyone. She should take pride in herself. Physical sex does not take place in my life, but, that does not prevent me from feeling good about myself sexually and showing my pride."

After reading the email notifying me of Nancy's death I read another from a fellow reader. At 42 she's wrestling with the neverending torment (same for many women) of "should I have a baby before I'm too old?". Although I would like to say I've never experienced asking myself that question the truth is I have. Due to my having had the "baby phase" experience as Nancy put it, I'm highly sympathetic with this reader. Still contemplating the legacy of Nancy I thought I would pay tribute to her by sharing apart of her interview with the group.

Looking over information that never made it to the ebook I found comments she made to me in regards to her passing up motherhood.

    Nancy Accepting life without a husband and children was a choice I made. In my forties I still didn't want a husband but I did grieve for not wanting, I mean really not wanting children of my own.
    Regena I'm not sure I understand your grieving, why did you grieve if you didn't want them?
    Nancy I grieved because I knew in my heart motherhood wasn't my calling and like most women I grew up thinking motherhood was something I should want as a girl. Combined with those changing levels of hormones I was feeling a bit tortured for not wanting children. I had older siblings so children have always been apart of my life, they just weren't mine. I'm a great aunt to ten and a great great aunt to four. .
    Regena Are you saying you weren't faced with internal questioning as to whether or not you were making the right decision by not choosing to be a mom?
    Nancy Yes of course I did but I knew what I was feeling was a biological urge, the same one that kept mankind from perishing aeons ago. I would wonder about a woman if she said she never felt those procreation urges.
    Regena Do you suggest single women ignore those urges to have a baby?
    Nancy Oh heaven's no, there are women who have a calling to be mothers whether they are married or not. Yeah I know people from my generation believed you can't have the milk without buying the cow, women today aren't under that kind of pressure like in my day. Back then women had to have a husband then their babies and in that order. A woman can be a mother and not a wife today....well that's another subject but women should do what's best for themselves acknowledging we're all different and have different talents and needs.
    Regena What do you suggest women do when faced with the question of whether to have a baby while choosing to remain unwedded?
    Nancy Address it. I can't tell anyone what to do in this situation but I do suggest women, single or otherwise, stop being afraid of wanting. Some women are afraid of wanting children and others are afraid of not wanting them, both women are trying to operate according to what they think society is expecting them to do. Right there is why women suffer, they suffer because they try so hard to be what the world think they should be, yes even spinsters. It's imperative women know themselves, know what they truly want from life and not be afraid of having what they want. Regena if you said you were going through your "baby phase" I would tell you not to romanticize motherhood, another trap I see women fall into is making motherhood something from the fairytales, it's not. I would say to you to think about it as a twenty year obligation to another person, there's no sending this person back or exchanging them when times get tough. When you look at parenthood do so under a microscope. See the realistic pros and cons and be honest with yourself, don't lie about your level of patience and your teaching ability. As a parent you must give your children a foundation of values and morals, nurture them emotionally and physically,you must do these things not the schools. You know what else, as a parent you must be willing to live as an example. Wishy washy people who live one way and try to impress upon their kids to live another are hypocrites and don't make good parents. One must live according to how they want their children to live. After weighing the pros and cons and you still think you'd make a good parent then by all means become one. Do you know what gets my goose? The thinking not having children is based in selfishness. I can say unapologetically when it came to my bypassing being someone's mommy, it was done just as much for the love of these possible children as it were for me. It had nothing to do with being selfish or not being able to love, it was total honesty with myself about my capacity as a mothering individual. I didn't lie to myself I knew I didn't have what it took to be a good mother period!.

The reason I shared the above comments from Nancy was because it was sound advice to help women deal with the "baby phase". Comments on this article are welcomed!


Copyright (c) Regena English