Until recently, I thought there was no right time to have a baby.
My mentors had pointed out the pros of waiting (from having a better knowledge of yourself to being past certain career milestones) while my doctors showed me alarming charts (although the thing I always wonder most is: who gave the okay to call 35-year-old women “geriatric”?!). Doing my own mental calculus, I sometimes wondered if the best time for me to have had a baby was actually high school.
But now…never has there been a time when I have fewer reasons to leave the house. My work hours have never been more flexible. My wardrobe has never been more stretchy! Finally, could it be…the perfect time to have a baby?
I hear you – you’re worried about job security. You wonder if your local hospital will have capacity during the present pandemic. The world is warming and on fire, and you’re reluctant to bring a child into it. No matter your placement on the no-baby-to-baby spectrum, I’ve got a pitch for you.
- You’re bored, you’re cooped up, and you’re continually noticing how loudly your partner chews. Focusing on making a baby can alleviate at least some of this stir craziness.
- Nowadays, you might be feeling empty inside. Well, pregnancy is the literal antithesis of
- If you’re like me, you bought 10 bags of frozen spinach at the start of the pandemic and then realized you never really cook with frozen spinach. Could it be…finally a time for all that folic acid?
- Video chats don’t give away your baby bump nor convey the slight scent of morning sickness on your breath. Or that you’re eating for two.
- No one will give you unsolicited advice about your pregnancy.
- You don’t have to buy maternity clothes. I mean, who wears clothes anymore, am I right?
- No shame for your daily cup of coffee.
- No stuck-on wedding rings. No one’s watching to see if you wear your wedding ring in the first place! I’m a programmer who can’t wear her ring while typing, anyway. Let’s face it, it’s not getting much mileage to begin with.
- Nobody will touch your belly. Nobody will touch you at all. You’re alone. So, so alone.
- When you run out of Netflix shows, you and your partner will be able to play “Is the baby kicking?” for hours on end.
- Instead of wondering “Am I having a boy or a girl?” you’ll get to wonder exciting new things like “When does the Phase 2 reopening start?”, “Is there toilet paper at Safeway?”, or “Is humanity done for?”
- You won’t have to go through the trouble of hosting a gender reveal party, because you won’t be able to get a doctor’s appointment to learn the sex of the baby in the first place. And along the way, you won’t have to explain to your family members that gender reveals are dumb because gender is a social construct.
- Your partner is also stuck at home. You know what that means? Foot rubs. Anytime.
- If you go out, you can claim your belly is just depression weight from the social isolation.
- The only baby shower you’ll need to host is the monthly shower you’re currently taking during quarantine.
A Few for My Female Faculty in STEM Fields
- Everyone’s already getting a one-year extension on their tenure clock…no one will ever ask you about that one-year gap on your CV.
- No one will be weird about the pregnancy because no one will know.
- Need to tinkle or vomit? Your 2.5 baths at home offer three times as many toilets as the single women’s bathroom stall at your workplace.
- No need to use maternity leave because no one will notice the difference in your quarantine work output anyway.
- Your potential graduate students won’t pick non-pregnant/male advisors over you.
- It’ll be easy to get plenty of bedrest. These days, you don’t even have to leave bed…
- No one will judge you for nursing.
- No one will see your varicose veins, mainly because if you’re anything like me, you haven’t shaved so far during quarantine…
- Bringing your child to work still won’t be smiled upon, but at least there’s no alternative now.
- Any room that’s not at least 6-feet across is yours for the taking as a lactation room.
- Whether it’s during your third trimester or after the baby arrives, you can’t travel anyway.
- Your postpartum depression and anxiety will be well disguised by natural reactions to the modern state of the world.
- Your whole family will never be short on milk.