This Is My Life, Not Yours…

Last weekend I was told that my biological clock was ticking.  I even received links (that I didn’t bother reading) about the risks involved in having a child after 35.  No…it was not my family hounding me about having a baby, but I felt personally attacked by someone who would tell you he loves me.

First, let’s take a breather and remember that I’m only 32 years old.  I’m not too old to have a kid, start a new career or to wear bright blue nail polish, even if some people in my life see fit to make me believe otherwise.  I’m in my early thirties.  I live alone, and I take care of myself, and I’m proud of myself for making major changes in my life.  I’ve experienced tremendous emotional growth, and I’m still changing.  I went back to school last year to pursue a degree in a field that has opened up an entirely new world to me, and I have recommitted to finishing what I started in weight-loss.

I’m 32 years old.  I don’t have a husband, nor am I in a healthy, happy relationship that would make me consider bringing a little human into the world at this point.  I’m not sure why it’s so important to married and unmarried people with kids to project those desires on me.  I’m a terrific aunt, and I love my niece as much as I could ever love a person.  Of course I’d like to experience that kind of love with a child of my own, but I’m not ready.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready, and that’s okay with me right now.

Having a child has never been a serious consideration for me because I’ve never been married, and for most of my adult life, I have been obese.  I realize that women my size often give birth, but I personally don’t see a reason to put myself and a tiny, helpless life at risk because of my size.  I feel more comfortable at this weight than I did at 400 pounds, but a child wouldn’t be on my agenda at this point, even if I had already fallen in love and married The Future Mrs. Kenz whom I’ve discussed here before.

It’s not easy to express how hurtful it was to hear that I have a couple of good years left before I should turn to adoption, or simply not bother.  (Adoption sounds like a wonderful idea, by the way.)  I know that the person who shared the statistics wasn’t being cruel intentionally, but he failed to see why his assertion that the only way to do it is to do so by 35, hit a nerve with me.

I would love to fall in love, get married, move back to the city I want to live in most, buy a place and live happily ever after – all in the next 2.25 years, but who knows if that’s in the cards for me?  What I do know is that shoving statistics down my throat from doctors who have never met me or examined me, and reminding me that 35 is the cut off before I’m “high risk” definitely won’t make anything happen any faster.  If anything, it will just squelch my desire to make any of it happen because I’m already “too late.”

Whether we are sharing our lives on the internet, or we are simply opening up to people that we deem trustworthy, we subject ourselves to thoughtless judgment.  If you know me, you know I’m no stranger to that realization, but I have also learned throughout my journey that sometimes showing love and respect to someone is more important than being right.  Sometimes taking feelings into consideration is more important than winning a debate, especially since changing someone’s mind is a difficult thing to do.

So if you think I’m too old to have a family, get a new job or paint my fingernails bright blue, then get ready for some major disappointment.  I’ve created goals and achieved success in my life before, but I’ve done it on my terms and in my own time.  This is my life, and I will live it in a way that brings joy and happiness to me and the people I’m lucky enough to love.

Until then…I’ll continue to wear blue nail polish if I want to.

nails

35 thoughts on “This Is My Life, Not Yours…

  1. Margi Hansen

    What????? That’s crazy talk. Whomever said that (and the other things) doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I have friends who had babies well into their 40s. Don’t worry about it, you’ve got YEARS. 🙂

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  2. Shelladawn

    What a load of codswollop! People OFTEN unintentionally hurt/annoy us. But you have the right mind set. You continually rise above the BS. 35 is the healthy cut off age limit to have kids? Pelleeze……………… the guy is a muppet.

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  3. Melinda

    I’ve had people say the same “helpful” things to me in the past and wish I had been able to think quickly enough to come up with such an intelligent response! You really put things in perspective and are an encouragement on the journey! Don’t let anyone make you unhappy with where you are and where you’re going.

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  4. Erin

    I just had my son in November. I’m going to be 33 this year. The only thing that happens at that magical 35 age is your risk factors go up. Pfffttt…pregnancy is always a risk. The changes you’re making now are only going to help you in the future.

    Honestly, I had my little guy later than I wanted, but it was the right time for us. I have friends who had babies at 19 and babies in their 20s. The big difference between me as a mom in my 30s and them? Life experience. I’m a completely different mom than I would have been in my 20s. I’ve done what I wanted so I don’t mind not being able to do anything and everything I want to do now. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I hope the mom I am now is better than 20s mom would have been. I’ll never know for sure.

    My mom always says, “Things happen for a reason.” You know what is best for you and your life. Don’t let anyone try to tell you differently. 🙂

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  5. Mandy

    Previous commenter Erin hit the nail on the head. Statistically, the risks during pregnancy do increase as you get older, but as my doctor said to me (a 6-months pregnant 31-year-old), “Getting pregnant is a risk. From the moment you get the positive test, there are risks.” So the argument to “not bother” after 35 is ridiculous. RIDICULOUS. You’ll probably have to see a doctor/midwife more often, but who cares?! I’d LOVE to go more often just to ask more questions and hear my baby’s heartbeat more often. 🙂 So just brush off that person’s comments as what they are: Ignorant, Inappropriate, and Uninformed.

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  6. mary

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME????
    why is it that the people who are supposed to be our support center and the ones who love us are the ones who feel it is THEIR right to inform you of what you can and cannot do.
    bullpucky!
    my best friend did not have her first child until she was 39 and she now has 3 and would not change a thing
    i personally made a decision to not have children for several very valid reasons for me and yes, i have received alot of crap about not being a mom
    please, i am going to be 50 in june and there are STILL people asking when am i going to get pregnant.
    listen hun…whatever you decide to do it was you want to do…you
    no one else
    know you are loved and respected by so many for so many reasons
    some people need to just keep their minds on their own issues
    xo

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  7. ronalda

    Girl, don’t have children because your biological clock is ticking. I’m 29 and I can’t even see myself having a child anytime soon. I still feel like I’m on my early twenties. It’s a huge responsibility. And if the man isn’t there yet then you’d basically be setting yourself up to being a single mom. Focus on yourself. If it’s in the cards, you will find someone that will make you feel comfortable in having a child, and also preferably putting a ring on it. Don’t let anyone pressure you. If they want to pay for the child for 18 years or more then sure. That’s what I tell people. Worse if they have none, I say you first. I strongly believe in adoption, taking care of the kids that are already here in this world and need a home and love. As I sadi before focus on yourself and making yourself happy. If you have the choice and don’t get pregnant by accident then stick to your guns.

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  8. Lisa

    Pppft (complete with “the hand”). That’s what I say to those people!

    I agree with all the above comments, but will add… go ahead and rock that blue nail polish!! My mom is close to 80 and she always wears bright colored polish. I’m sure I’ll see her in bright green this weekend! It’s just a state of mind.

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  9. Robyn

    Good for you standing strong to what is right for YOU, many people try to pressure their personal timelines onto your life and what’s right for one person might not be the right path for someone else.

    This especially resonated with me in my life right now “Sometimes taking feelings into consideration is more important than winning a debate”….

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  10. Roz@weightingfor50

    I GRRR on your behalf. Children/marriage etc…such a personal discussion and nobody’s business but your own. But at 32??? OMG…you have a good decade (or more) before it becomes “make or break”. And at 42, whatever is going on in your life, I hope you still wear that blue polish because its HOT!!!!!! 🙂 Have a great day Kenlie!!!!

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  11. KMB

    This drives me crazy. Like many many people have already commented, 35 is not some magical number where everything shuts off and stops working! My mom had my sister at 42 and wasn’t even trying to have a baby!

    People, now matter how well-intentioned, really need to leave other people alone with their choices. There are so many reasons to have or not have kids , and a supposedly ticking biological clock is not one of them!

    I’m 36 and have been married for a little over a year. My husband and I want kids, but we also want to be in a slightly more stable financial situation first. Much to my mother’s chagrin, we aren’t going to just have them and hope that everything works out. Growing up, money was always a worry and I was ALWAYS aware of it. We want to do as much as we can ahead of time to insure that our child(ren) does not have to deal with that stress. If we run out of time, then so be it, but we definitely still have more than a few good years left.

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  12. Eric Van De Ven

    Here is a new rule that needs to be implemented. Rule: Unless you actually own a vagina, you are not allowed to tell those that posses one, what they can and can not do with it. It irritates me to no end, that men, and I am one, so I apologize for my genders behavior, seem to think that they can tell women what they may do with their bodies.

    With that out of the way, my wife had our son at 38. She had a picture perfect delivery and pregnancy. This was before she started losing weight and running. One of our friends had her second son at age 42.

    There are more risks as you get older. However, we are not living in the dark ages anymore and modern medicine can help prevent many of the problems that can occur with an older mother, err, a “high risk pregnancy”.

    The only advice I can give to you, after all, I am “only” a man, who was there for virtually every minute of my wifes pregnancy and the delivery of our son, do what your mind and body tell you. You will be fine!

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  13. Ruchelle

    Honey you have plenty of time to have a baby….Two friends of mine just had babies and guess what they are both 40 yrs old.
    There are too many people bringing babies into this world just because they think their “clock ” is ticking. This isn’t fair to the children.
    Take your own sweet time and if children aren’t in the cards for you then so be it. God has a plan for everyone we just have to learn to trust him.

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  14. Tracy @ My Tiny Tank.net

    Age is one risk factor but there are plenty others. But who has a baby because they want to beat. Risk factor.
    You said something that hit home for me. I was obese and a career girl and never really considered getting married or have a family.
    I too was a loving aunt and loved Children but never felt pressured by myself to have children.
    When I met my love I still was not pressured to have children. It wasn’t until together in our married relationship did we both decide it was right.
    I’m not against unmarried parenting. It just wasn’t for me. And I can tell you now as a parent I am personally appreciative that I didn’t try to do parenting myself.
    Love and pregnancy are two things that come in due time if at all. Life is something we all have. And Kenzie you’re doing just fine.
    Btw. I’m a formally obese woman. Pregnant at 37. Perfect high risk pregnancy. No issues.
    Exhausted happy mom of a 9 yr old.
    Kenzie cheers to you. You keep doing what you’re doing. Living life. Love and kids come if meant to be.
    Peace.

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  15. Carina

    I call those people “breeders,” and they never go away. I actually think you’d hear it even more if you were married since some people at least will assume it’s a bad idea to promote being a single parent. I’m 37 and married for almost 4 years so I truly get that kind of remark ALL THE TIME. From people I love (extended family or in-laws), from people I trust (physicians), and from people I barely know (from coworkers to someone in line at the mall)! My husb and I are childless by choice, believing that many of our friends who have had children are actually LESS happy and we don’t want that. I’m well aware that I could change my mind someday, but I’m not going to let some assinine theory about “elevated risks” force me into making some choice that I might not like (and goodness, the world doesn’t need any more bad parents). So I reply back with comments about “if I weren’t afraid of needless surgery, I’d have the battery removed from that ticking clock,” but really, is it anyone else’s business?

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  16. Lorraine

    I ABSOLUTELY adore how candid you are in your posts. I’m in my mid 30’s and people often ask me when am I going to get married, first, have to find the right guy for me before I can go on and get married, and even then it doesn’t mean that I will get married right away and have kids just because I “found him”. People can say whatever they want to say, but keep on fallowing your dreams and doing things on your own time. As per the bright blue nail polish, I LOVE IT!!!!

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  17. Patricia

    I married at twenty nine. Had my first and only child at thirty five. Turned thirty six several weeks after giving birth. I was (and still am) over weight. I took better care of myself during pregnancy. It took me two years to loose about one hundred pounds. I will probably always be over weight. Pregnancy made me focus on being healthy. A little heavy ( fifty to sixty pounds) and healthy is better than being undernourished. At least I am happy.

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  18. Deborah

    God I hate well-meaning people and unsolicited advice!

    Having said that I kept thinking the right guy would come along and waited and waited. At 41 I finally started trying on my own (donor sperm etc) at 43 commenced down the IVF road only to discover that there was little likelihood I would fall pregnant (old eggs etc). I’ve always wanted kids though – assumed I would have them, so was devastated.

    It’s taken me a couple of years to think about life without a ‘family’ but I’m slowly getting there. I think ultimately we know what’s important to us. One of my friends was worried about the biological clock and so in her mid 30s, found a guy (‘settled’ in our opinion) married and had kids. Five years after she was single she has 3 kids!

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  19. Ximena

    Hi Kenlie,
    I got married at 35 , had my child when I was 37 and she was born a month and a half before I turned 38. She is a healthy and happy 3 year old. I enjoyed my pregnancy a lot, the only thing that bothered me was that that on every visit they were emphasizing my age and I honestly didn’t feel old at all. The important thing is that you enjoy your life and when the time comes you will make the right decisions for you and your significant other. Do not let people make you feel old, you have a life ahead and you are really young.
    Take care
    Ximena

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  20. Tina

    I hate when people do this. When I got married people started with the baby talk before we even cut the cake. I still get people who tell me I need to have another one. They obviously don’t know me well enough to make that assumption because if they did they would already know that complications during my daughters birth made having another one impossible. If they catch me in the right frame of mind I burst into tears and make them feel like asses

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  21. Michele

    Oh, Kenlie, I’m so sorry that you were told that by a misinformed person. It made me stop and think as here I am on the eve of the eve of my 44th birthday and feeling a little introspective. I am NOT married, I am NOT in a relationship, I AM obese and I DO NOT have children and oddly I don’t feel unfulfilled as a person in the least. However I did think about my closest girlfriends who do have kids and the ages they were when they gave birth and NONE of them had their kids before they were 35. Not a one. And not because they hadn’t met the right person, they were all with the fathers of their children before they were 35, but because the time wasn’t right for them until after they were 35. All the mothers and children, including a set of IVF twins born nearly 2 months premature, are happy and healthy and I love being Auntie Michele to all of them. In my case I believe if it had been something I really, really wanted I would have made it a reality but it never was and probably never will be a priority. You do what feels right and is best for you.

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  22. Jem

    I’m happy that you are not feeling pressured by everyone because relationships and marriage and kids are not things that you want to rush into because you feel incomplete. Take your time because it will never be too late. I know 80 yr olds getting married of course they aren’t having kids but its not for everyone. Enjoy your life! You deserve to be swept off your feet.

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  23. Patty

    I have to say I think about this all the time. Especially now with one ovary. Will I be able to when I meet the right guy? Should I freeze my eggs? Artificial insemination now in my “younger years”? Is a baby right for me at this time? I have NO idea what the answers are.

    And you know what? That’s okay. I think its better to live life in the NOW. If its going to happen then it will. I agree with you adoption is a beautiful option and one I’m not scared to tackle on my own down the road.

    This is my life…I’ll figure it out! 🙂

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  24. Valerie

    That is absolutely ridiculous. And it shows how little this person knows you that he would think it was okay to make those comments and/or have the audacity to assume his opinions would sway you, or indeed do anything other than hurt your feelings. I was exactly 35.5 when I had my first child and we are planning on another in the near future and I just turned 37. Far more than the statistics, what matters is your health, your choices, and getting the right care before, during, and after your pregnancy. Obviously if/when you are ready you will be ON all of that, so good for you for putting these silly comments in their place AND sharing the experience so others in your/our shoes would be encouraged.

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  25. Joy

    I am “36” and do not have kids. I waited until later in life to marry and have always hated that some people think you need to be married and/or have a family by a certain age. I think it’s perfectly ok to live your life for you, do not settle on any man but rather wait for the perfect one God has for you and then if it’s meant to be have kids. And btw…at “36” I wear blue, purple and even turquoise nail polish [sticking my tongue out at whoever made that remark to you :)] You are doing great at getting healthy – keep up the good work and hold your head high you beautiful woman!!!

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  26. Kim

    I agree completely with Eric, except to say that women are sometimes just as bad, if not worse. I would amend it to ‘Unless you are speaking of your own vagina, you are not allowed to tell those that posses one, what they can and can not do with it”. I am 33, not married and considering having a baby by myself once I lose weight. This is shocking to many people who are generally happy to give me their opinion. My favorite comment is always “but what will I tell my kids?” I always respond with “tell them they have to be in their 30’s with a doctorate and gainfully employed first”. Anyway, you do whatever is right for you, and feel free to tell the naysayers politely to stuff it! 🙂

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  27. goingloopy

    I love how people think their rude shit is “helpful.” And blue nail polish is awesome, no matter what age you are. (I also love green, purple, red, turquoise, crazy pink, all sorts of patterns, and glitter. I’m 38. )

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