As 30 approaches, cure needed for nosy mothers

Lesley Toth

I told myself I wouldn’t let it bother me. I said I’d get through it like any other day. But with the date nearing and a recent break-down already under my belt, my fast approaching 30th birthday has me a bit perturbed.

With my teens more than a decade removed and my 20s quickly slipping from my grasp, I’ve been pensive and reflective the past few weeks. I have tallied the accomplishments I have made so far, and tried not to dwell on the milestones I have yet to reach.

I know many of our readers are probably saying, “Hey, honey, come here! This young lady is about to complain about being 30!” followed by a sound fit of shared laughter.

While 30 may seem like a kid to one who has long since passed its benchmark, ask any second-grader what they think of the age, and they’ll tell the truth. I know kindergarten students who think their grandparents are as old as 30.

As one of those amusingly confident young folks, I had my entire life mapped out by the time I was 18. As I look back, that map has been numerously edited, redrawn and made obsolete by my actual life — and I’m just getting started. My 18-year-old self would be sorely disappointed in my soon to be 30-year-old self, who seems to have missed a few marked exits along this road trip. Even if I could get the two of them in a room, I’m certain my younger self would refuse any sage advice I could offer.

The most annoying aspect of turning this new, strange age, is the phone calls I have been receiving with all the more frequency.

“Hey! You’re birthday is coming up!” the conversation usually begins. “30, huh? When are you going to get around to having kids!?!”

The experience has led me to believe there is no such thing as a biological clock — just mothers and married women with children who seem to feel the need to constantly remind their child-free daughters and girlfriends, “Tick! Tick! Tick! Your time is running out!”

Perhaps it is because my 18-year-old Life Plan Item #15: Buy house at age 27 didn’t anticipate the housing market crash that year. Maybe it is because Life Plan #14: Marry Prince Charming, didn’t account for the fact Mr. Charming already has two children. Or perhaps it is because of recently amended Life Plan #14b: love and nurture Mr. Charming’s children as though they were your own, that I haven’t felt a strong urge to have a baby just yet.

But 29-year-old me is staring 18-year-old me’s Life Plan Item #18 in the face: Have a baby by age 30. Considering I have four days until the countdown ticks off its final moments, it appears another amendment is in order.

I’m not sure which is the motivating factor at this point — disappointing my youthful self, finally not having to explain a thousand times to all the mothers I know why I have decided to wait, or this fictional clock I’m still not sure exists.

I don’t know if “baby fever” is a symptom of turning 30, but I’m trying to take the equivalent of vitamin C to minimize its effects. I’ve hung out with my friends’ toddlers, researched and read all about the health and financial repercussions of childbirth, and I even purchased some embroidery supplies for a baby quilt I have yet to begin a single stitch.

So far, I seem to have the condition in check until my Life Plan items can align, even if they’re off by a few years. If only I could find a cure for pestering mothers who want to poke their noses in my uterus, we’d be all set.

My journey through life has taken many twists and turns, and things may not have always panned out the way I had planned. But like any good road trip, I have found it is much more interesting to use the map as a loose guide rather than a rigid rule. So I’ve traveled the back roads to Life Plan #18, and it’s taken me a little longer to get there. That’s OK. The scenery here is much better than the freeway.