That is what he told me, he said, “Women shouldn’t have children after the age of 35” as he continued to look at the laptop unbothered. I snapped, but in a professional way, what do you mean by that? He was my 16 year old high school student. Deep down I was offended and he wasn’t even directing that towards me. I couldn’t tell him that I was once married and wanted children so bad that I had test done to see why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I couldn’t tell him, I am this single woman that will be 33 this coming September and that I had little hope of finding “the one” and getting married and having a baby in less than 3 years. I mean, anything is possible right. But right now, I am tripping on how this young boy could make such a strong statement about a woman’s body. As a millennial living, learning, working and being, this hit me hard. So many millennials are not raising a family but more consumed with their careers so they say.
I am thinking, it might seem easy since you have 5 siblings, it might seem easy since there are some girls in your classes that have been or are pregnant, it might seem easy believing that relationships are easy at 16. But young man, you haven’t experienced the deep process of what it is like to have a child with someone you think would be the best father, caregiver, friend, provider, leader… sure, I can go and get pregnant by anyone, but do I really want to deal with that headache? Do I want to deal with the struggles of a man loving me for one night and disappearing like my father did? Do I really want to deal with a man that says he is a man, that SAYS HE IS A MAN but SHOWS he is not and doesn’t plan on being the MAN he keeps telling me that he is? Do I really want my child growing up in a household where the man is PHYSICALLY present, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually absent? Do I really want to have a child with a man that only is there because he knocked me up?
These were the thoughts I wanted to say but I didn’t want to make it personal. I am the teacher he is the student… although a great lesson to be taught, I was not the right person to teach it and at that moment, there in class.
This one particular student, which just so happens to be one of my favorites because he is challenging and he likes to challenge… He is one that ALWAYS makes such bold statements about race, religion, 45, etc… but my main goal is to ask why? You are not going to sit up here and say the things you say without saying why you believe that. I also ask that whenever he tries to bring me factual OPINIONS… I tell him to show me the proof, back that ish up, state your sources… Many times he has nothing, but this time he did. He came up with some site expressing that for better results women should have children before 35 and blah blah blah…
After I got out of my feelings which was tough, I pointed to some women that had children after 35 and their children was just fine. It was more for me than for him.
You see, I will be 35 in 2.5 years and that is scary. I have always dreamed of being married with children by now which just reminds me of how, although I saw the red flags, I went on and married my ex-husband.
I struggle daily as I watch my friends post ALL THE DAYUM time of their beautiful children, all the memories they are creating, all of the new traditions, all of the sweet and crazy moments… I desire that I do not envy them I am genuinely happy for them, I just want my own moments with my family. I really don’t think that is much, some will beg to differ, but I am holding on to hope!
4 Lessons I Learned from this whole ordeal is:
- Challenge everything… My student is stubborn as heck and when something rubs him the wrong way he speaks up. I personally am going to challenge that whole have a baby before you are 35 because I am not going to give up hope.
- Ask WHY… That may go along with challenge everything, but sometimes we don’t ask why… why people believe the way they do… Why it bothers you so much… Why why why!
- Find ways to encourage yourself, although though his comments weren’t directed at me I was deeply hurt, not at his comments but that supposedly there is the clock on my body to when I should have a baby… but I looked at people I personally knew and celebrities who have had babies after a certain age.
- Never let a man or woman speak on behalf of YOUR OWN BODY… When we had that conversation… it switched this thing on in my mind where I am like, where do you find the right to speak on behalf of my body? OR make decisions… First of all… my body does things on its own and I have no say so… so where do you get the right to have a say-so on what my body should or shouldn’t do.
So ladies… when a man or woman comes to you about a clock on your life, challenge the heck out it, ask them WHY do they care? Remind yourself that you do what is right for you and that you never have to answer to them for the choices you make.
I may still be trippin that he said, women need to have a baby by 35… but in my reality, my life is my life whether I choose to live by science or a greater power… I will live boldly and beautifully, unapologetically.
Peace and blessings and love all over!