lifestyle

How many babies do you think are born because of FOMO?

On a recent outing with four friends, it emerged three of them are probably going to try and get pregnant at the end of the year.

I was uprooted. Floored. Discombobulated. Why had none of them mentioned such a momentous decision to me before? Was I not even going to be consulted?!

Here’s how it went down.

There were five of us in a tiny car, heading to a gig. I was sitting in the backseat between Lucy* and Carrie*.

Daisy*, sitting up front next to the driver, Sarah*, casually mentioned how she and her boyfriend are going to try and get pregnant at the end of the year.

Zooey Deschanel just had a baby, and she seems fine. Tired, but fine. Right!? Image via Instagram.

I’m not old-fashioned, but they’re not engaged so it came as something of a surprise to me that they were moving right ahead to the next phase.

“WHAT?!” I demanded. “Does [boyfriend] Dave* agree?”

He did. Next up, it was Sarah. “Oh yeah, we are too,” she said casually as she steered us though Sydney traffic.

She and her boyfriend live in Paris. They’re not married either, and seem to live a glorious, international, peripatetic life.

And they want to add a kid to that?

Huh.

This is the only type of baby I’ve felt qualified to care for up until now. Could I care for the smaller, human variety?

Next thing I know, Carrie, sitting next to me, pipes up.

“I don’t really want a baby now, but I know future Carrie will, so we probably need to start thinking about it,” she said. She’s getting married soon.

“Well, I… I guess I do too?” I said, bewildered. My boyfriend and I are getting married (for the second time — long story) in April.

We’re in our early 30s, a time at which having a baby isn’t some crazy, we’ll-do-it-later concept. In fact, it’s almost leaving it a bit late.

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We haven’t really ever discussed it seriously, though. Only in abstract terms (“We’re not naming our daughter Stevie!” “Why not?!”).

The thought of all my friends becoming pregnant around the same time; bearing the trials and tribulations of pregnancy together; and having kids the same age evoked a condition in me normally reserved for more frivolous affairs.

I got FOMO, the acronym which describes perfectly what I was feeling: fear of missing out.

If I thought I was having a crisis, though, my friend Layla was having a worse one.

“Ooooh!” she said plaintively. “I want to, too!”

She’s recently gotten out of a long-term relationship and was feeling left out of our couple plans.

“I hope you all have boys!” she yelled, which I think was her version of this (no offence to any boys or boy-owners):

So after that one enlightening conversation, I have actually begun to seriously consider my child-having future. If my contemporaries, my very best friends, and women who are in roughly the same career and financial positions as I am, are planning to have babies, shouldn’t I too?

Is planning a pregnancy around your friends a terrible, terrible idea? Or will it make for a future of shared experiences, a wonderful support network, and a guaranteed four people who won’t be horrified by the size of my nipples after breastfeeding?

Did your friends’ reproductive endeavours have any bearing on your decision to have kids? Tell me about it in the comments!

*All names have been changed to protect the privacy of my friends and also because I don’t know if they’ve discussed this with their boyfriends yet.

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