The PANK Perspective (Professional Aunt, No Kids) - by Diane Morris
I’m almost 32 and am not a Mom.
I’m a proud Aunt of two boys (4 y/o & 5mths), and I love them more than I thought I could ever love anyone. I love them in a way that is different than how I love my boyfriend, my parents, or their father; who is my brother. The unconditional, twinkle in your eye kind of love I have for them makes me question the unbelievable amount of love parents must have for their own children. If I love my nephews the way that I do, why is it then that I wonder…do I or don’t I become a parent?
My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom until I was about 10. I would walk home from school at lunch to a prepared meal. I’d get help with my homework before Dad came home for dinner. We’d sing songs, make crafts and play games. I looked up to my Mom and told myself that I would be just like her when I was grown. I’d be a Mom.
In my mid-twenties, I met a boy, got engaged and bought a house. We set a date for the wedding and I talked about a honeymoon baby. I wanted to have our first child before I was 30. As our engagement progressed, our relationship digressed. We called off the wedding 2 months before the big day.
For 3 years I was on my own. I started a business. I bought a house. I was an independent woman enjoying the freedom that comes with having responsibilities that only pertain to yourself. Then, I met a boy. My boyfriend and I have known each other for 13 years; I was best friends with his sister in High School. We’ve talked about marriage and kids – but in the same way people talk about what they’d do with their lotto winnings. If we had kids, we’d have to do this. If we had kids, we couldn’t do that. If we had kids, our money would go here, not there. If, if, if…
I’m told I’d be a great Mom. I like children, but I also cringe when I hear a baby crying or a toddler yelling while grocery shopping. I like children, but I love being able to sleep in, have mid-afternoon naps and stay up late indulging in bad tv. I like children, but I like my tidy and organized home, the silence that a new day brings and being able to run errands whenever the mood strikes.
So, I ask myself almost on a daily basis…do I or don’t I become a parent? Some people I know tell me they couldn’t wait to have kids, others tell me that they changed the moment they knew they were pregnant and others say they had no purpose in life before becoming a parent. So, is that it then, I have no purpose until I become a Mom?
Having a child will change my life forever. Will it cause me to give up the things I like? Wreak havoc on my relationship? Cause me to regret taking the leap? Sometimes I think that since I’m not 100% sure if I want children, then that should be my warning sign not to. But, then I’m afraid that if I don’t, I’ll miss out on all of the experiences that come from being a parent. Have I become so set in my ways that I have forgotten the image of my happily-ever-after of a husband and kids, or have I simply changed and am no longer that person?
There’s no ‘right time’ to have a baby – this I have heard many, many times. So, how do you know if you should be a parent or not? Do you just do it and plunge head first into the world of diapers, sleeplessness and vomit and hope for the best? How do you know if you should be a Mom?
The Great Baby Dilemma continues.
About the Author:
Diane Morris is a PANK; Professional Aunt, No Kids and works for Mabel’s Labels as the Sales Coordinator. She’s an Aunt to two boys, and an “Auntie” to her boyfriend’s niece and nephew. She’s a sucker for romance, country music and peanut butter.