A Series: Things I’m Glad I Didn’t Do Before I Turned 30

On kids

Vivian Nunez

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I’m a little over a month away from turning 30 years old. This time last year, I pulled together a list and on the top of the page wrote, “30 Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 30.” The list included things like zip-lining, mastering 4 recipes, paying off my debt, and a lot of book related items. Now that I’m closer to turning 30, I’m thinking more about the things I’m glad I didn’t do before I turned 30.

Top of my list is — I’m really glad I didn’t have kids before I turned 30. Motherhood, caregiving, and childbearing are personal choices, so this only applies to my own perspective and lived experiences.

My point of view starts with my own mom. A brown haired, 5 foot tall woman who passed away when she was 44 years old and I was 10 years old. It’s been almost two full decades since the last time we saw each other and it’s a chapter of my life I’m only just properly processing.

In therapy, I spent the first half of my year discussing whether I would ever want to have kids at all. (This article really helped.) Now, I’m spending the second half of my year discussing my relationship to my own mother. (No articles for that.)

And the biggest question I’m asking right now is the reason I’m glad I didn’t have a kid before I turned 30 — like, did my mom like me like me or did she just love me? (This, I’m finding, is the most important question I need to answer before I’m ready to entertain the idea of kids and it’s not a question I have an answer to yet.)

It sounds silly, right? Like of course my mom liked me, but the more I thought about motherhood, the more I equated it to labor and sacrifices. I wondered if how much fun she had with me made up for the 6 day work week and the barely making ends meet life.

Those questions led me down a rabbit hole of trying to learn more about her and by default learning more about myself in the process. It’s a chapter in my own self-discovery that I would’ve skipped if I had rushed into a pregnancy at any other point in my twenties.

If she were alive, I know she would said shoo away my doubts and tell me she loved every second, even the hard seconds. There’s a picture of us I turn to often that has “LOVE THIS!”…

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