Having a baby in mid-40s is not something that I fancy
My dear uncle, Malume Nhlanhla, has never had kids of his own. He says there isn't even a possibility of a love child out there who may someday appear out of nowhere with Utatakho crew and claim him.
He used to joke that he was on the injection. Sometimes when walking out to the nearest booze pit, he would stand at the gate and shout to his mother ".ngisayo preventa!" (claiming that he was on his way to the clinic for family planning). I sometimes envy how he stuck to his guns.
I was on the pill when I got pregnant. I swear at some point I thought that "Naah man, the government did this on purpose." It was almost like the pregnancy just happened to me!
And I had to learn so much in so little time and ready myself for a life-long commitment to a human being who carries my blood and DNA.
I have since warmed up to the whole mothering thing and sometimes even sit and plan twin boys with light-brown eyes and bushy brows. But I am still conflicted, especially with the dreaded 40th birthday a mere two years away.
I have, however, noticed that many people are only settling into starting families much later in life. It is almost like the new mid-life crisis!
I swear growing up, most women in their mid-40s were new grandmothers, keeping an eye on the little ones while their children tried to continue with their education and secure brighter futures.
Nowadays, they are googling "how to deal with the terrible twos" and their retirement year coincides with matric dances and graduations.
Recent news that a friend, who is on the wrong side of 40, had just fathered a bouncy baby boy struck me with mixed feelings. I am happy for him, of course. this has been his prayer item for three decades. On the same breath, I feel sorry that he holds an infant in his arm while brainstorming for projects that define the peak of his career.
The bags under his eyes are compounds of gravity making way for wrinkles and all the sleepless nights singing kwaito songs as lullabies. And the back will not only suffer from bad golf swings, but also added pressure from the baby carrier.
All his peers are on one or the other pill to control everything from blood sugar levels to breathing. I guess he has to pop all sorts of supplements and vitamins now to keep up with a growing child. And sports a car seat on a coupé. yah neh!
I can imagine the moments of introducing his son to his family, and the baby's teenage nephews rocking him in their arms, with an endearing "ncuuuh, malume" before changing his diapers.
I don't know if I can still chase a baby around the house and pull him from climbing into the kitchen sink and trying to decipher baby-speak. And breastfeeding while getting hot flushes seems like something that requires psychological strength I may not possess.
Plus, the fact that my pension was always meant to be the one investment I get to selfishly enjoy when I finally have no obligation of maintaining a kid with penchant for Jordans and PlayStation upgrades.