I Hear You, Biological Clock, But You've Got To Chill

by Sandy Reitman
Universal Pictures

I remember Captain Hook and Mr. Smee on the run from the Crocodile in "Peter Pan" (or the 90s movie "Hook," if I’m being totally honest), constantly tortured by the ticking clock inside the Crocodile's belly on their way to destroy Neverland.

He would have had you by now, Captain, if he hadn’t swallowed that alarm clock. But now, when he’s about, he’d warn you, as you might say, with his tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. - Mr. Smee

In this analogy, I’m Captain Hook, Mr. Smee is my gynecologist, my current reality is Neverland, and the Crocodile is my uterus and its ticking biological clock. I can hear that clock no matter how fast I run, and someday it will get the best of me.

A significant moment in a woman's life is when she transitions from worrying about getting pregnant to worrying about not being able to.

The conversation about birth control stops being about which kind works best and has the fewest long-term effects. The conversation becomes about which birth control is easiest to wean away from.

I’m somewhere in the middle. I definitely don’t want a baby with anyone I’m sleeping with now. But I want to be sure I can have one, if I want to, in the somewhat-near future. And as my friends continue to get married and have babies, my biological clock keeps ticking louder and louder.

Listen, biological clock. I hear you, but YOU HAVE GOT TO CHILL.

I have to get just a few things in order before I pop out some babies.

1. Traveling

Wendy, John and Michael flew around just fine with Peter's help, but this isn’t a work of fiction. Sure, you can travel with kids, especially when they’re babies. I know a baby that has more stamps in his passport than some of my friends, and he's hiked mountains I’ll never see.

But there are certain kinds of traveling best left to adults -- like backpacking through Southeast Asia and staying in hostels, or riding a donkey up the mountains of Peru.

More importantly, I want to travel alone. I want to go on adventures the way I see fit and experiment and indulge myself in ways that only I can. I want to meet new people and cancel my flight home.

I want to be able to do that. If I had a family, I would have to think twice about rushing to the aid of a country recently struck by natural disaster.

2. Thrill-seeking

Peter Pan and his Lost Boys can get into all kinds of trouble and imaginary fun. But when you’re bungee jumping in New Zealand or jumping out of a plane in Switzerland, the risk is real.

Once a kid is around, you’re no longer responsible for just yourself. You have another life to live for, and this life depends on your existence. I'm barely responsible enough to take care of myself right now.

Most importantly, I want to sleep around. I want to have the sexual experiences that won't come as easily when there's a baby crying at home (or a committed partner).

I refuse to subscribe to the idea that you’re “washed up” after having a baby, or your vagina is too cavernous for anyone to enjoy it post-baby.

But I would like to stick with one person after that baby is born. He will be the lone spelunker in my treasure trove. Which leads me to my next point...

3. Stability

You don’t want to bring a new passenger on a rocky ship. You want calm waters and loaded treasure chests.

Stability is essential for impending parenthood. You’ll ideally have a partner who is on board and can help keep chaos at bay. If my life were a novel, I would have a baby with a kind and generous man who would never leave my side.

We’d be in this together. Two stable people are always better than one. On an individual note, I personally want to feel mentally and emotionally prepared to change my life by welcoming a new person into it. And I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

And, of course, there's money. Like everyone says, kids are expensive. From diapers to clothing and daycare to schooling, everything comes at a cost.

Being financially stable before I have a child is the ultimate goal. Money is for spending, but putting money in the bank goes a long way when rearing a small human.

4. Certainty

Becoming a Lost Boy when you’re a parent is never a good look. This is a very big life decision, and you need to put thought into it.

You’re tied to this person (and hopefully the baby daddy) for the rest of your life, and you want to be sure you’re ready. Your life will forever change.

So will your body. You’ll have to stop the binge drinking and recreational drug use in order to stay physically on point.

A hangover with a screaming child can quite possibly be one of the worst experiences ever. Plus, I know I want to be in the best shape of my life before giving my body over to the birthing process.

We live in a world that has a few options when it comes to family planning. For me, I need a little more time in Neverland, and that f*cking clock can keep ticking.