Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Waiting February 21, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

As I’m having my teeth cleaned, the hygienist (early 30s, getting married this summer, knows I recently got married) asks, “So are you planning to have kids right away or are you going to wait?”

Um…wait for what?

When I was clear of dental tools, I reminded her that I am 45.

That ship has sailed, sister.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Most days she finds the absurdities in life very amusing.

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11 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Waiting”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    You must look really good! 🙂

    I know no one want to hear this, but i got pregnant with my first at 44, and had 2 others after. Of course, all were miscarriages, but folks do get pregnant in their 40s.

    I’m sorry, slap me! Life is not easy and i’m still struggling to accept no family for us.

    • Kathleen Guthrie Woods Says:

      Oh, Kathryn, I’m so sorry to hear that. That’s a rough road. There is quite a gap between getting pregnant and having children, isn’t there, and it’s amazing to me how many people follow up (after hearing I’m not having children in part due to my age) with stories of medical “miracles.” For me, a pregnancy now would put me in the horrible position of having to “choose” to terminate for health reasons…but that’s a post for another day.

      Be gentle with yourself. xxoo

  2. CiCi Says:

    Looking forward to the day when having children isn’t an expectation…

  3. Klara Says:

    dear Kathleen,
    take this as a compliment: you still look 35!
    I do understand you – when did become usual that literally everybody has the right to ask personal questions?

  4. I love that there’s no third option in there of simply choosing not to have children. I have no idea how I would have answered that question! But I agree with everyone else – you should take it as a major compliment that you look gooooood at 45!

  5. i’m personally educating one person at a time that you don’t bring up hypothetical children until the person you are speaking to has brought up the topic themselves. Call it new age etiquette.

  6. Lori Zimbelman Says:

    I am 45 and am realizing, or coming to terms with the fact that we are living a child free life. Actually, it has its advantages.

    One thing my husband always tells me ……..”you are a mother to every child who knows you, remember that!
    (I am a teacher and a proud Auntie of 2 nephews).

  7. Kate B Says:

    In addition to some of us looking younger than our age, there’s also the people out there who think that it’s pretty easy to get pregnant into your 40s. Yes, for some people it is, but for most it is not. I think that many out there are misled by all the celebrities getting pregnant in their 40s. Those of us who know better see people like Kelly Preston getting preganant at 47 and we scream “donor eggs”. But most people, luckily for them, have not learned the lessons we all have. They don’t know the percentages, so they think it would be no big deal for a 40-something to get pregnant.

  8. mina Says:

    I sure would say that Kathleen should take it as a compliment. We all should.
    On the other hand I turn 40 this year but i notice that people seem to put me in a “category” with 30somethings or even younger than 30. One reason might be my dress style (still haven’t really gotten over that student look and my job doesn’t require “real” business look), or my face (lucky there) but one reason might simply be that – i’m not married and don’t have children. So i go in the age-category of “those who will (still/soon/in a few years) get married and have children”. I’m not only happy about that. For instance i have 10 years more work experience than someone who is 30. I also don’t spend my free time partying – i get tired to soon, because i’m not 28 anymore. I rather follow some peaceful quiet hobbies, and that doesn’t make me a bore, just someone approaching middle age. I have a clear opinion about certain things and i want it to be taken seriously – not out of youthful arrogance but out of 40 years life experience, not 30. etc. I really sometimes feel i’m not taken for a grown up before having produced some offspring.

  9. MJ Says:

    Oh, that’s hilarious – in a pathetic way. Pathetic being the hygenist having such a one track mind. When I was a senior in high school my parents made me attend an “alumnae dinner” at the high school, and that event made sure that I never, ever attended another – it seemed like every woman there was showing wedding and baby photos and doing nothing else. Oh, sorry, I forgot that’s all women can do….

    Feel sorry for the hygenist. Her brain is probably a nonstop soundtrack of wedding/baby/wedding/baby and some day, when she’s had one of each, she’ll realize that…her life is now lacking something, she feels empty, who is she?, what is she going to do with the rest of her life… and she won’t have the inner resources to cope. People who peak early are sad to see.

  10. SA Says:

    Gee,
    You must be one young looking lady.
    I’m jealous.
    I would have definitely taken that one as a compliment.
    Being childless, I do understand where you are coming from. So, I’m not trying to downplay your frustration.
    I’m just saying in this case, it seems the person was thinking of you as being in her & her friends age category.
    Alot of us would kill for a compliment like that.
    Have a nice day.


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