Ashleee Karen

Made it 4 months celibate…now what??

“The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Do”

Posted by ashleeekaren on January 29, 2011

Yes, it’s Friday night and I’m at home blogging… I think I’m coming down with something and Fringe is on, so I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to stay in tonight.

Today I went to lunch with two friends of mine that I knew from my old job.   Mary is out on maternity leave and has a 5 month old bouncing baby boy.  Adrienne has a 10 month old adorable baby girl and has been back to work for a few months.  It had taken some time for the 3 of us to coordinate our schedules since we are all pretty busy, but I was glad to finally be able to sit and spend time with them and catch up.

Both babies were beautiful but…Mary’s baby boy made my heart stop.  Mary is Asian (like me) and seeing her baby made me think about what mine, if I were to ever have one, would look like…

We caught up briefly, asking about each other’s families, etc, etc and the talk soon turned to weaning baby off bottle, and at what point to start feeding solids… needless to say I had nothing to really contribute, but did my best to look interested and ask pointed questions throughout the conversation.  Mary wanted advice from Adrienne about sleep schedules and how to avoid diaper leaks at night…

I took turns playing with and holding each baby to give their mommies time to eat lunch and a moment away from fussing baby. I’m good with kids – I love them, and usually they love me.  I bounced Baby Boy on my lap, and wiped drool off teething Baby Girl’s chin, while the two moms chatted.  I was very intent on the crazy faces I was making to induce toothless, gummy laughter from both children, but I still picked up on the conversation.  And I heard this:

“Having a child is the most important thing you’ll ever do.”

If it wasn’t already mind numbingly obvious, I was the only woman at the table without a child, and on top of that, I wasn’t anywhere even close.

I politely pretended that I didn’t hear what Adrienne had said.  I didn’t want her to engage in an awkward reassurance, because she’s so sweet she would try.  And I didn’t want her to see the look on my face, because I’m not sure what it would reveal.

I look at my life and think for the most part, things are fine the way they are. Sure, I could use some help in the romance department, but otherwise, I’m pretty happy.  But that comment made me think – if having a child is the most important thing a person can do…what does that mean about my life?

Children are a wonderful thing.  A chance for you to leave something of yourself here in this world, long after your gone.  A living, breathing, human being whom you love unconditionally… I know why people want children.

I think I would like to have a child, but I don’t want to have a child just to have one… I want the whole package – mommy, daddy, and baby.  And I don’t want to have a child with just any man – I want to have a child with a man who will always be in his child’s life, regardless of whether the love between he and I, blooms or fades…a man who my child can always rely upon.  I know that if I never find the man that I am confident will be a great father, then it is likely I will never have a child.

So…if having a child is the most important thing I’ll ever do…what does it mean if I never have one?



31 Responses to ““The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Do””

  1. Charliej said

    I know you love your friends and wouldn’t want anyone to say anything negative about them…but I gotta say…That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! I get where she’s coming from because I’m watching my own sister change before my very eyes after she had a baby only months ago. The baby does become the MOST important part of their lives. There is this invisible string that attaches them no matter where she is.
    But think about it this way – if you never have a kid – it wont be the most important thing you never did! Hopefully you’ll have made a fulfilling life for yourself despite not following that particular social norm! And there will be something else that you can say was the ‘most important thing’ you ever did!
    If all the mothers in the world turn their pitying eyes on those who choose to be motherless, it will only be the insecure who flinch.
    Plus – on a completely different note – you are by no means even close to worrying about getting past the ‘child-bearing’ age. Give yourself a break. All that pressure on yourself will just make life seem like a great big chore. 🙂
    End of rant.

    • Not a rant! I don’t exactly think I feel pressure, since there’s no one to really pressure me into having children other than myself. I know right now, I’m not ready, and I don’t see myself being ready for awhile… there are things I would like to do before I even consider having a child. And again, I would like to have someone to raise the child with and GT isn’t exactly a prime candidate…

  2. I would go on a similar line to Charliej: If someone has a child, then taking care of that child should be the number one responsibility from then on. This not because having a child would be important, but because with the act of bringing a child into this world follows a non-negotiable duty to do right by and take care of it.

    As for the importance of having a child, I see that only as a matter of personal satisfaction and priorities. (From the POV of the individual—if everyone choose not to have children, we would be in trouble.)

    • If someone has a child, then taking care of that child should be the number one responsibility from then on.

      I agree! I think that’s a good way to look at it.

      And yes, we are biologically driven to procreate, and this manifests itself in the proverbial “ticking biological clock.” Of course with modern advances in science, women can, and are, having children much later in life.

  3. Solomon II said

    Women think whatever theyre doing at the time is the most important thing in the world. I wouldnt worry about it. Even cockroaches have offspring, so it’s not like your friends bringing their womb turds into the world like billions of women before them have done is anything special.

    Give me a call. I’ll knock you up, then we can see how special it is and write about it together.

    Once again, excellent post. I always enjoy your blog.

    • Even cockroaches have offspring, so it’s not like your friends bringing their womb turds into the world like billions of women before them have done is anything special.

      LOL, I was dying of laughter when I read this. You have quite a way with words, my friend.

      Give me a call. I’ll knock you up, then we can see how special it is and write about it together.

      I think that would be an interesting blog project. What would we call it? “The Spawn of Solomon and Ashleee”? Or perhaps, “The Biggest Mistake We Ever Made”? Be a good looking kid, I bet…Asian mixes usually are. Although I don’t think you’re much into Asians, huh Solomon? I haven’t seen an Asian chick amongst any of the the pretty young things I see half or fully naked on your blog…

  4. Solomon II said

    I have been associated with one Chinese chick, and a rather lovely Korean girl took up about 10 months of my time. Though I certainly don’t suffer from Yellow Fever (love me some Latinas) I’m all for bringing a half Asian half Redneck into the world.

    I say we do it as a social experiment for the blogs. We can call it operation Never Underestimate These Two: Solomon & Ashlee Karen (N.U.T.T.S.A.K).

  5. Solomon II said

    I didn’t forget your other “e” above. Stupid iPhone autocorrect…

    • It’s ok, it happens. The extra “e” is a joke between my friends and I – actually having to do with a guy who was trying to hit on a girl named “Ashley”. He exaggerated the “e” sound so I thought it would be funny to spell it that way.

      And they have a website devoted to iPhone autocorrect. It’s hilarious.

  6. jack said

    “Having a child is the most important thing you’ll ever do.”

    Bumper-sticker sentiment; nothing more, nothing less.

    • Have yet to see that on a bumper sticker, but if i did, it would be pretty funny… And I probably shouldn’t adhere to bumper sticker sentiment anyway.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. ASF said

    Well. Not everyone should have children, and there is nothing wrong with not having one.

    That being said, people who do not have children have no conception of what it’s actually like and the feelings it creates. You may imagine that you do, but you don’t.

    • You’re right – it’s tough to imagine what it actually feels like to have children. And I guess the difference between my friends and I is that they know both sides of the coin…so I think that’s what made me uncomfortable is that maybe they DO know better than me.

  8. Rebekah said

    Hi AK,

    I’m single and in my 30’s and have no plans for children. I think being a mother is beautiful and children are precious; I totally respect moms and dads for their hard work, I just don’t want them.

    I never feel that anything is missing in my life, and I figure if I haven’t felt it by now, I never will. Having a child is a huge responsibility — it’s not like they’re baby doll cute forever. It’s a life form that is completely dependent on you in ever way for the next 18 years, and someone to be considered in everything you do. I don’t envy moms their work.

    The only time I start to feel weird about my decision is when people intentionally try to make me feel weird about it — sometimes I think it bugs people that I am perfectly content *not* having children! Who knows, maybe there was a bit of that going on with your friend at lunch.

    I agree with the sentiments expressed above: it’s no amazing accomplishment to procreate, but raising children correctly and in a loving home is the accomplishment of a lifetime.

    • Hi Rebekah,

      Yes it is very easy to procreate and the tough part is everything that happens afterwards… And I know single people can sometimes make married people feel uncomfortable and vice versa for very different reasons. And good for you for knowing what you want. I think what caused me to feel a bit weird is that I think I DO want kids but have no current prospects of having one.

  9. Rebekah said

    Ah, I see. That can be very difficult. I’ve had a couple of close friends concerned they wouldn’t have children, one who is married and they tried forever. But, now they have 2 little girls! I’m sure it can be scary when still searching for a great companion who will make a great father, but I have every confidence that it will happen for you if it’s meant to be!

  10. The biological imperative is not to be trifled with. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a good place to start. Just be sure you start at the bottom.

  11. […] @Lisa: Operation NUTTSAK is played out in the comments on this post by Ashleee Karen: […]

  12. Not every girl is born filet mignon. Girls who are below 8’s know this treatment. And girls who are 8’s and above can afford to act like ground chuck and still get awesome things in life. It’s how it works.

    I definitely get treated better (taken out on dates, taken to formals, etc.) than a lot of girls I know by just not acting like a hoe. But I know for a fact that the slutty 9’s get treated better in some ways. I find it mind boggling but you just have to learn to accept reality when you’re a 2.

  13. Oh fuck that was supposed to go on solomon’s blog and I commented on yours. Wow. Brilliant job on my part. Feel free to delete I’m stupid today.

  14. Jason said

    Both my brothers have kids, two for one, and one and one on the way for the other. I’d like to be a Dad, but the fiancée and I may have left it a bit late.

    • Having nieces and nephews certainly makes my clock tick a bit…children are wonderful… if you and your fiancée want to have children, I think thats great. There is a lot of scientific development out there to assist couples who are having trouble with conceiving.

      Thanks for reading!

  15. Lady Thalia said

    Children are wonderful until they turn into teenagers. The most important component of all is a strong functional relationship between the parents. If that’s missing the kids might go crazy when they enter puberty, and play one parent off the other, and it only goes downhill from there if the parents are separated, or horrors, remarried and there’s step families involved. It’s a LIVING. NIGHTMARE.

    Don’t bother having a kid unless you find the one you want to spend eternity with, and you have known them for a long time, and seen them in every possible scenario. Angry, sad, happy, mad, overwhelmed, broke, rich, sick etc etc. Even a person who is ‘good with kids’ or ‘loves kids’ as a single person can turn into a completely hopeless or dangerous parent.

    And don’t bother procreating with anyone who runs away from conflict. Conflict management and resolution will be essential when raising kids believe me. I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it is to see pics of my precious perfect baby boy, who was breastfed, and lovingly fed organic fresh homemade baby food, given every health advantage and schooling opportunity available, spend his whole school year in Grade 8 high on dope because he chose to live with his dad, who was ‘good with kids’ and ‘kids adored him’ but allowed my son to smoke weed because he thought it was ‘no big deal’ and a ‘phase’, and that the boy would ‘outgrow it’ Yeah he outgrew it and dropped out of high school in grade 11.

    Don’t think you can be any more effective as a single parent, depriving your kids of their father is a cruel punishment that will always come back to haunt you as your kids become adults. I didn’t deprive my sons of their father’s company and they came to realize he is…. let’s just say ‘a very ineffective parent’ all on their own now that they are adults. They still have much to overcome due to their father’s lax views on drug abuse, and his inability to enforce rules and standards because of his conflict avoidance. But that is their cross to bear in this life. Just my 2 cents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: