I was prompted by a discussion on Stepchicks to write this post. The discussion was about how stepmoms are asked constantly about our private lives and whether we want a baby- and then why or why not. By everyone.
To have a child should be a decision, but oftentimes it's an accident. "Choice" is referred to after the child is already created, but I consider it to be a choice beforehand. And, it's a choice between you and your husband. It's not something "you" want and he doesn't, or vice versa. It's both. Why are we stepmoms in the first place? Because of choices gone awry between couples that maybe should have never had kids in the first place or didn't actually agree about having kids (or having another).
Involved stepmoms are very, very aware of how much work children are. Sometimes we live full-time with the kids, and others only parent during visits. And sometimes "visits" are for entire months and summers. Either way, we do actually have knowledge of what it's like to raise a child, no matter how much controlling bio-moms want to say otherwise. (Is an adoptive mom not a mom because she didn't give birth? Do you only gain parenting knowledge if you give birth? Does anyone who's given birth automatically have parenting expertise? And by that logic...So dads aren't parents?)
But beyond anyone else, we are constantly harassed about having "our own." Complete strangers insist that we have our own babies, in order to erase the pain and frustrations of stepchildren.
Here's a list of absolutely bogus reasons I've heard:
Having a baby will make everything better.
Then you'll know what it's "really like."
Your stepkids will bond with you more.
Your husband will be more connected to you, because you will have shared a child.
The ex will have less control.
You won't feel left out anymore.
All bogus. Super, super bogus. Although some of those things have "come true" for some stepmoms, those are absolutely not reasons to ever, ever have a child. I also am of the belief that children should be brought into the world for a purpose other than "I want one" and the hope that a marriage might be salvaged (why many of us have stepkids).
Not only can I not imagine dealing with a baby on top of a full time job, my husband's full time job, and two stepkids, I can't imagine adding to our chaos of court, the kids' mom, and money debt. How stupid would it be to have a kid with all of that?
Not only that, but if I don't know you, and you don't know me... Don't tell me I should get pregnant with my husband. If I say "no", don't push me to explain why. It should be obvious that I already committed myself.