Put a Baby in Me: Part 4

I asked my aunt if I had given up too soon on trying to do this with a partner. We were standing in my parent’s kitchen and she could see the pensive look on my face as we were talking about everything that has been going on. It took all my strength to not break down and start crying as we were having this discussion because it’s overwhelming at times to think about. I often feel like I have failed at one of the most quintessential aspects of life because I haven’t found a partner and wonder if it will ever happen. The idea of choosing to be a single mom and taking on this life-altering and life-long experience alone seems crazy. What sane person chooses this!? After I asked my aunt this question, she shook her head no and tried to give me some words of support and encouragement.

She is childless by choice and after she told me that I had not given up too soon, she said, “You have balls, girl. I could never do what you plan on doing. I never had the guts to do it alone. You are so brave.” This is something that a lot of people have said to me recently, but I really don’t feel very brave for choosing this path. When people call you brave for doing something that you don’t need to do, I have to question if I’m truly brave or just an idiot.

Bravery pigeonholes you. It becomes something that people always expect you to be. You’re always the leader, the one who sticks their neck out, the decision maker, the one who speaks up when others won’t, the one that people look to for guidance or reassurance. There are times I want someone to be brave and strong for me, to do the work for me because it’s scary and difficult. Being called brave makes me feel like I’m not allowed to be weak and vulnerable, or to be taken care of as opposed to always taking care of myself. This is not to say that I don’t rely on people and don’t lean on people, but I feel like I’m supposed to always be the brave and strong one for everyone and not necessarily by choice but because I’ve been assigned this role.

I don’t know if this decision is the brave choice that so many people think it is. I’m trying to not overthink it while overthinking it, if that makes sense. I have my doubts, fears, and overall anxiety about this whole thing. I’m concerned about time management because my job really does require a lot of extra work outside of the classroom. I’m worried that I’ll always be tired and stressed because I am going to be alone with a baby to take care of. I’m more than depressed about the fact that I won’t be able to provide the life that my parents were able to provide for my brother and me. This is partially due to single parenthood but also because this world is ridiculously expensive. I’m trying to get over my hang-ups about being a burden to other people by asking for help, especially because this is my decision and no one else’s. I’m hoping that I don’t fuck the whole thing up, and by the whole thing I mean being a good mom. I’m guessing that a lot of these concerns are the same ones that many people who are thinking about starting a family worry about. It’s stressful.

So, when someone says that I’m “brave”, I have to disagree. I don’t feel like this is a sign or indicator of bravery. I feel like being brave should be reserved for situations that are out of your control, the ones where you step up to the plate when no one else will. This situation is under my control because it’s my choice, no one is pushing me to do it. I don’t exactly know how I would define this moment and who I am right now in my life. I’m just trying to live by my own rules and make this life the one that I want. I’m not brave, I’m just me.



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