Growing up, I was never the girl who thought she would be the traditional “get married, get a kid-friendly job, have kids” type. My first dozen years were spent in a fairly traditional family environment in Russia, where that was pretty much exactly what women did, and had I stayed in Russia, I probably would have ended up on that track. But my subsequent and most formative years were spent in the US, where women could be anything they wanted and having kids was an option, not a given.
When I met Mr. Carrot, I met someone who shared my love for travel and exploration, and living in a major metropolitan area, we had plenty of adventure to pick from. With enough planning and saving, we managed to take some amazing overseas vacations, and our jobs were demanding and engaging enough that we generally felt like our lives were pretty complete. We bought a condo right outside our city, we formed a circle of friends that gave us plenty of weekend plans to consider, and we fell into a comfortable rhythm of being our own people and a young professional couple enjoying the kid-free life.
Mr. Carrot always wanted to have kids, but let me set the pace on that question. And for a long time, the answer was “no.” Not “not right now” or “I’m not ready yet” - it was a solid “no.” As much as I loved kids, I didn’t feel any twinges to have my own. I could come up with a litany of reasons why I didn’t think we were ready logistically, but I was also always rational enough to know that you never really can be ready. My deciding factor wasn’t readiness, it was my own instinct – I just didn’t feel like kids were something I wanted to do. A lot of people rolled their eyes when this subject would come up – “you’ll get there eventually” and “insert name of commonly uttered phrase about having kids here.”