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My Family Never Thought I’d Have Kids, But I Did: Black + Green Mama

Parlour’s first baby!

Today we’re introducing a cross-publication series with our former Politrix columnist Kenrya Rankin Nassel. Last year, she gave birth to our first Parlour baby, nicknamed Babygirl, and recently decided to chronicle her mommy tricks and lessons on her blog called Black + Green Mama. My sister said I should have mommy things on Parlour long ago, so here you go sis. Enjoy! 

When I was about 20 weeks into my pregnancy, I found out a little secret my family had been keeping from me: they didn’t think I was ever going to have kids. A year later, I realize it bothered me more than I recognized at the time. In hindsight, I think it made me wonder if they really know me at all. I’ve always felt I was born to be a mom. I have broken up with more than one man because he didn’t dream of gummy smiles and slobby kisses. Some women can’t imagine being with a man who can’t dance, or it’s tall enough to grab the cereal from the top shelf in the grocery store, but my dealbreaker has always been wanting kids (among other things—that’s another post). So it was a blower that they didn’t think I wanted children.

And then there was the reason why they thought I’d be childless: I was getting old! As the ripe and rotten age of 29 (I had Babygirl a couple months after my 30th birthday), I was, in their minds, late to the game. But I had a plan—undergrad, work, grad school, marriage, couple time, baby—and I was actually right on schedule. But to the outside world, I looked like a workaholic spinster, permanently fused to laptop. I guess compared to many of my family members who started their broods earlier, I was. Hell, at least they waited until I was pregnant to tell me.

As I look 31 in the face, I’m struck by how interesting that notion is in 2012, that if you don’t have kids by a certain age, it’s probably not going to happen, and that should make you feel incomplete. But I feel reassured as I look to my friends who are just beginning their paired-off lives and having tentative conversations about babymaking that don’t center around preventing it at all costs.

I know that a lot of women kinda hate mommies with their smug smiles and nonstop baby photos, and backhanded compliments about how lucky they are to have soooo much time on their hands. I hope that I continue to keep the faith and never make my loved ones feel that they haven’t really lived until they’ve carried life inside them for 40 weeks. I’ve been on the other side of that fence, and I wouldn’t wish it on any woman.

But there’s nothing I can do about sharing the pictures of Babygirl. Sorry, she’s freakin’ adorable. Have you seen her?!

How old were you when you got knocked up? Happily childless and tired of your mommy friends being bitches? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Last 5 posts by kenrya

  • Love the sentiment here. I wish mommies and non-mommies alike could quit warring and just be content with our own choices. I go back and forth on whether to be a parent someday but never begrudge that decision to those who, as you say, dream of gummy smiles. I love my friends’ kids and support them in mommyhood. Recently, one of my besties from back in the day told me she was pregs. I’m excited to rub her belly and be a play-auntie to lil Babygirl or Babyboy. Best of all, my mommy friends don’t look down on me just like I don’t feel superior to them (well, I DO appreciate having more free time and autonomy). 

    Finally, I’m so over people thinking 30 is OLD when it comes to parenting. This is 2012, we have options and we have time. If you’re anything like me, you were determined not to get pregnant in high school like so many others but then a few years later, you’re getting sideways glances because you’re walking about sans stroller! Mommy politics are so crazy. Just glad you did what you wanted in your own time and it’s working out. Happy Momiversary! 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much, Nakia! Yay for being happy where you are. It would be awesome if we could all refrain from judging other folks’ choices. And yay for free time. I remember it fondly. 🙂