I Really Want A Child, But I'm Just Not Ready For It Yet

by Zara Barrie

I don't know when it happened, I don't know why it happened and I can't quite wrap my head around this bizarre reality, but it's here and it's real.

I want a child. A baby. A KID. What the hell?

It seems like just yesterday I was a chain-smoking 18-year-old tripping on mushrooms in Amsterdam, not giving a shit about anything except dancing in gay bars and scoring a Balenciaga motorcycle bag.

I've always known, in the deepest part of my soul, that I want to be a mother. I've always had very colorful visions of being this totally chic AF mom, strutting around the Upper East Side of Manhattan with a chic AF Maclaren stroller, with a chic AF little baby inside of it.

I've fantasized about my "mom look" for years. Oh, honey, I'll have long hair like my fashionable mom always did.

I'll have a fantastic pilates body because I won't have a job, and I'll wear long, simple, Donna Karen circa 1995 dresses and I'll be very model-off-duty, toting around gorgeous twin girls each dressed to perfectly suit their INDIVIDUAL personalities.

Oh, honey, the family vacations we'll take. And oh, honey, my kids are going to be so cultured and cool. It's all going to be amaaaazing, babes.

Yeah, a totally delusional fantasy, but being a mom always seemed so far away, so who cares? (Did I mention I'm usually buzzed from wine when I have these very posh visions of motherhood?)

I mean, I've had the luxury of indulging the most glittery fantasies of motherhood because motherhood has always been at least a decade down the line. But shit, suddenly it's not a decade away anymore.

Suddenly, it's a few years away. And suddenly, this new, bizarre feeling has creeped in.

Like, I want a child. And not the fantasy of a child, but a real, living, breathing child. I actually want to be pregnant. I'm not even thinking about what kind of outfits I'll dress my kids in — I'm thinking of what kind of VALUES I want to instill in them.

WHO AM I? I'm googling public schools in the West Village because my brain is starting to wrap itself around the importance of a killer education.

And the weirdest part of the whole thing is, I'm thinking about how I want to be super healthy.

And not just so my skin glows like Gwyneth Paltrow's vegan fucking skin glows, but because, you know, I need to get this body in the healthiest condition so I can have a healthy baby.

As a girl who has notoriously deemed white wine to be a sufficient meal and can't fall asleep without a mega dose of Ambien, this is wildly out of character.

In the past, I only ever craved being healthy for vanity purposes. I mean, I quit a 10-year stint of smoking because I was worried my skin was starting to look bleak and was taking on an "ashen" color.

Now, I'm worried about putting GMOs and shit into my body because I don't want my future kid to suffer. I'm starting to go to therapy so I can be a good mom. It's all so weird; I can't even deal with it.

I get baby envy, too. Every time a friend of mine announces she's pregnant, I become super obsessed with her. I want to hear every single detail; I want to walk through the experience with her and live vicariously through her. I'm so ready to put to bed this phase of my life and enter a new phase of my life: Motherhood, honey. (Ew. I hate me, too.)

But the truth is, no matter how badly I want a child, I'm still not ready yet. I'm 30 years old. Most 30-year-old girls might be ready to rear a child, but I'm not there at this stage of the game. I might be there in the next five years, but the cold reality is, I'm just coming into my own.

I might be ready for motherhood in a few years, but the reality is, I'm just coming into my own.

I was drunk for most of my 20s. I spent a lot of my life feeling sad, hungover, anxious, lost. But in the last two years, the pieces began to fall into place.

I cut back on the boozing. I figured out that my passion isn't just being an actress who depends on casting directors to create art — I can write my own shit, too.

I didn't know that until two years ago. I'm still financially unstable. I make money, but I haven't quite mastered the art of saving it. And I still look at my bank account and have a heart attack every time.

Plus, I want to really give this all a shot. And by "all," I mean cultivating this amazing relationship with myself, traveling with reckless abandon, REALLY going for the BIG TIME career I know I'm capable of, getting totally sober, saving money and getting healthy (in both the body and the mind).

I've started the process of becoming not just a functioning human being, but also a thriving human being. But I'm nowhere near where I want to be in this life yet.

And yes, they say "there is never a perfect time to have a child," and I fully believe it. But the most powerful part of choice is making smart, informed decisions about when you choose to start a family.

I want to give my family the best shot I can give them because nothing in the world is more precious. Even if I have a child and I'm in a really positive place, I know it could all fall apart. But I want to actively stack the odds in my favor as much as possible.

This isn't a risk like starting a new job or spending all of your money on that life-changing trip, it's CREATING A PERSON.

This isn't a risk like starting a new job. It's ABOUT CREATING A PERSON.

So while I want a child right now — with every fiber of my 30-year-old being — I'm going to hold off a few years. It's painful because it's such a deeply rooted desire, but it's time I got real with my bad self.

I think having a child is the most awesome, profound, challenging, insane, intense experience I will ever have in my lifetime. So just a yearning to have one isn't enough to actually have one. I want this to be the one aspect of my life that I really do the right way.

I can dive into my work, plunge into impulsive travels, take risks in love, but I don't want to do that with motherhood. It's too profound and selfless of an experience to fuck around with.

Motherhood is too profound and selfless of an experience to fuck around with.

So while it's a big, giant struggle to want something so bad and tell yourself you can't have it, I know I'm doing the right thing, baby.

And over the next few years, I'm going to work on being the best version of myself so I can give an innocent, little human the best shot at a great life.