Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 05 October 2012 00:00
Now that I’m an honest woman, as they say, people have started to ask about whether or not my husband and I are planning to have a baby soon. I don’t know the answer to that myself. Sure, I want a baby—babies are so adorable that I turn to mush every time I see anything that looks even remotely like a baby. I coo whenever they show a baby during a commercial, even though I know they’re just trying to sell me overpriced soap.
However, am I ready? First, there are financial concerns. I feel like I should wait until I have money safely invested in a house before I take on the responsibility of caring for another person. At the very least, I don’t think I could safely carry a baby up and down the steps to our two-floor walk-up, so if I had a baby in my current apartment, I would never be able to go outside.
But look at the situation from a biological perspective, and suddenly it’s very different: I’m 30. In a few years, people are going to start making those loathsome “your biological clock is ticking” comments. Apparently once I hit 35, the risk of birth defects goes up, and will continue to rise. If I plan on having a baby at any point, is it irresponsible to put it off, when I’m more likely to give birth to a perfectly healthy baby now?
There’s also the question of whether or not I’m ready emotionally. Becoming a mother means putting a child’s needs above my own constantly, and I don’t know if I’m prepared. Have I gotten enough of my selfish, 20-something dreams out of my system that I’m prepared to spend my time changing diapers? Or is that kind of selflessness something you only truly understand once you have a child, so I’ll never feel ready until it happens?
Pregnancy itself presents many areas of concern. My food cravings can already get pretty out of control; how bad will it be when I’m eating for two? I can just see the headline: “Pregnant Woman Devours Half of Downtown Mineola; claims beige buildings ‘looked like vanilla cake.’” I also frequently enjoy a type of prepackaged snack that my husband tells me rates somewhere between corrugated cardboard and mud on a normal person’s palatability scale; is it fair to inflict that on a defenseless fetus?
Plus, my understanding is that our scientific knowledge of prenatal nutrition is spotty at best. If my child isn’t a genius, will it be because I ate too much pizza during the pregnancy and not enough kale? Come to think of it, even if I’m obsessed with getting my developing fetus vitamins, there’s no right way to do it. I could take supplements, however they say you may absorb vitamins better from actual food. However, if I eat tons of vegetables and fish (for those healthy Omega-3s, of course), I’ll be exposing my child to pesticides and mercury, which could lead to birth defects. Will my every idle snack become a crime against the unborn?
Of course, there’s also the sad fact that not all pregnancies are successful; it’s possible I could have a miscarriage. Considering that I’m the kind of person who bawls uncontrollably at even moderately sad movies, will I be able to handle that kind of emotional blow?
Speaking of which, what if I pass on my emotional volatility to my child? I suppose my son or daughter could inherit my creativity and none of my psychological issues, but what if it’s the opposite? That hardly seems fair.
Or, what if my child has developmental disabilities? I would like to think that I could offer all the support any child of mine would require, but I don’t have any way of knowing that. On some level, rightly or wrongly, I think I expect my son or daughter to be academically inclined like its mother. If my child didn’t appear to be bright, would I come to resent them for it—and could I live with myself if I did?
Finally, even if by some miracle my child is biologically perfect and inherits only my virtues, how will we raise it? My husband and I were raised differently; we’re bound to have some conflicting ideas in regard to childrearing. It could be the source of a lot of marital strife in an otherwise peaceful relationship. Is it fair to a subject a child to parents who fight not necessarily because of them, but primarily over them?
Some people seem to believe that women aren’t qualified to make their own reproductive decisions. I’m willing to go one step further: absolutely no one is qualified to make this kind of decision. And yet, here we are.
Karen Gellender is editor of the Syosset-Jericho Tribune and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:08) Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
The first-grade classes at Hillside Grade School recently held its Thanksgiving Feast. The students made “apple turkeys,” recited poetry, sang songs, and made butter for their corn muffins. During class, they learned about the first Thanksgiving and how children long ago lived.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:03) Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A cold windy day did not stop the Manor Oaks School students from running in the Second Annual Turkey Trot recently. Gym Teacher Ms. Innella coordinated the event. In order to take part in the run, students were asked to bring in canned food. The food was donated to local families in need, so they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.
The kids had fun running the race. Some students dressed up as Pilgrims, Indians and even turkeys for the costume contest.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park recently participated in the studios 33nd Black Belt Graduation.
“Our goal at Charles Water’s Karate & Fitness is to facilitate mental growth enabling our students to reach their highest potential as human beings,” says Grandmaster Charles Water owner and director of the school. “Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The foundation for character building and success starts at home. The schools and role models that impact your child’s life assist in reinforcing the aspirations that you have for your child’s development and future.
Children learn this is Karatatot, a unique program offered by Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. Karatatot is a combination of exercise and karate in a format specifically designed for children ages 4½ and up. In a fun filled and nurturing setting your children learn concentration, discipline, respect, as well as an understanding of self defense at his or her own level. Children learn child safety and stranger training. They are becoming better students at school and better listeners at home.