Push it out your you-know-what. Let it suck on your boob. Clean up its excrement. Listen to it cry (and cry and cry and cry and cry).
And that’s just the beginning.
At this point in my life, I am not interested in having my own child, possibly ever. Speaking as an adolescent, I know I would not like to be on the receiving end of some of the terrible things I’ve said and done to my mother. I appreciate her for listening to my tirades, enduring my selfish, bratty behavior–and loving me anyway. But, the truth is, I’m not sure if I could do the same for another human being. I’ve actually thought about it quite a lot, so I made some lists.
Reasons I do not want to have a child now or ten years from now:
1. Kids are expensive. Babies can be really cute, but sometimes they look like potatoes. Regardless of your kid’s appearance, you still must purchase food and clothing for her. Even when your child is being an absolute brat, you can’t stop paying for her needs, unless you want the state to take her away from you. Babies need cribs and toys and mushed-up baby food slop and tiny spoons for the mushed-up baby food slop and blankets and onesies and diapers and more diapers and wipes and changing tables and strollers and bottles and high chairs and car seats and binkies and all sorts of other stuff (like containers for the mushed-up baby food slop). Then, they outgrow these things and require replacements. Children are a black hole in which you dump large sums of money, never to be seen again. And when (or if) they move out, they still might want money for food and somewhere–or someone–to do their laundry.
2. Kids are ungrateful. So as a parent, you pay for your child’s needs and sometimes more than that. You try to get her a good education, fun toys and nice clothes. You organize birthday parties and play dates, go on adventures and class field trips, watch her terrible magic tricks and awful animated movies, but for what? For your child to be upset about the color of sucker in her gift bag or the lack of a specific dessert in the house. Kids are often ungrateful little snots who only say “please” and “thank you” to get what they want.
3. Other people are mean. Among parents, children sometimes seem like a competition–a battle to see whose combination of DNA will be the first to say the ABC’s, make a soccer goal or graduate top of the class. If your kid does something wrong, sometimes other people think there must be something wrong with you. People are judgmental and gross, and kids are just another way for them to let you know.
Reasons why I think people have kids:
1. They haven’t thought it through. Having a child is not like having a cat. You can’t just dump a lot of Fancy Feast on the floor, close the bedroom doors and leave your kid alone for the weekend when you need to get away. Also, your kid might not be the mini me you always wanted, and she won’t be a cute little baby forever. In fact, puberty will happen, and your kid will probably look and act gross for a couple years. Are you prepared to deal with that?
2. Kids might bring love, emotions and lifelong connection. I mean, yeah, I suppose kids offset some of their negative qualities by doing something sweet every once and a while. They definitely love you when they’re little, and even if they feel distant during the teen years, they could totally swing back around and become lifelong friends. In other news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born last year for 18 years.
Right now, I’m not prepared to deal with issues mentioned above and others unmentioned. Knowing my mother has loved me through many of the circumstances that make me averse to the idea of my own personal motherhood just increases my respect for her. On this Mother’s Day, I want to thank my mom for persevering through my potty-training, my unclean room, my unkind words, my junior high drama and my college concerns. Based on precedent, I know that she’ll always be there for me when I need her, and I know that I will always need her. If I ever settle down and decide to have children, I hope I can be half as gracious and loving as my mother is to my brothers and me.