I love to blog. Partly because I love to write. Partly because I love to photograph. Partly because I love the idea of documenting Hooper and Van’s lives from the beginning. And partly because I love the community and support it brings. It’s because of the latter that I share what I’m about to share with you. I’m encouraging as much conversation and comments with this post as possible, for the sake of a dear friend. This friend has allowed me to share a personal struggle of hers: to join the journey of motherhood, or not.
For me, the decision to have children was very innate. I carried dolls around with me through my entire childhood and enjoyed playing house more than anything else. I never imagined my life without children. But I think it’s unfair to assume that everyone who enters motherhood does so without question if it was the right path for them. Anyway, here is what my friend had to say. Please comment below with your personal journey, advice, or opinion.
You asked why I’m afraid to have kids. Um, hello, why would I NOT be afraid to have kids? First of all, there’s Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and a number of other potential catastrophes to consider. Plus, would the world even be nice for my kid in a decade or so? Pollution, global warming, wars, financial collapse… need I go on? Even aside from those global issues, there are issues with me (I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true). There’s the fact that I’m pretty impatient. And I don’t have the best stress-tolerance. And I like to be selfish with my time. And I have a tendency to be resentful when I can’t be selfish with my time. And I’m a control freak who feels lost without organization. I’m pretty sure children make life pretty disorganized.
What if my kid is an asshole? All kids these days seem like ungrateful heathens with ADHD. And they’re sexting like mad! What about the time I want to spend with my husband? You know, sharing a bottle of wine, having spontaneous sex, trying new recipes, visiting fancy restaurants, going to middle-of-the-week baseball games. I’m possessive of that time with him. And I’m possessive of my time with wine. And beer. What if I hate my post-baby body? What if looking in the mirror makes me cry? What if sex never feels the same again?
Truthfully, I’m really fulfilled by pets. Can’t I just get some dogs? All they need is a walk and some food, which is totally manageable. Kids can talk, which makes their potential for annoyance way higher. Kids have tantrums! My kids are going to want to eat Kraft mac-and-cheese and hot dogs. I’m not down with that. A son could grow up to be like many lazy men I’ve dated who are perpetually broke and dependent on their parents for money, well into their thirties, when their hair has started receding. A daughter could grow up dressing like a ho at 12 and calling me a bitch on a regular basis. Ew, and I’m going to have to help with homework. Once I finished school, I swore I’d never do homework again. I have nightmares of being back in school and having a report due. Seriously. Nightmares.
What about gene pools? I have some crazy relatives. And I’m a little crazy myself, evidently. I don’t really like other people’s children. I’m not that social, and you have to be with kids so they have activities and friends and whatever. Ugh, I hate that word — “activities.” I would totally fall behind with my DVR. We all know how much I love TV. It would probably take me a freaking year to read a book. Forget having time to write or do yoga or catch up on celebrity gossip. And forget about having time with friends. Goodbye pedicures and weekend hikes and martini-fueled girl time.
Don’t kids cost a lot of money? They break a bone, they need braces, they want to sign up for soccer, they want to go to an ivy league college (my children are going to be brilliant, even if they are assholes). I prefer my life to be without financial concerns and pressures. I like knowing that I could lose my job and it would be just me who is affected. I’m not responsible for, you know, OTHER LIVES. Plus, financial stress means marital stress. I would definitely fight with my husband more if we had kids. How could I not? There is way more at stake. And he’d be in support of Kraft mac-and-cheese and hot dogs. I can see that being a huge argument.
I don’t do well without sufficient sleep. Period.
And, lastly, there are so many non-kid-friendly adventures to be had. Adventures in the wilderness. Adventures in countries where English isn’t spoken and food is of mysterious origin. Adventures that cost money, money that others would place in college funds.
The crux of it is that the pros of having a kid seem very vague to me. Yes, it sounds amazing to create a life with someone you love, but what if my worst fears as expressed in the previous paragraphs become realities? Then is it really that amazing? Maybe having a kid would help me get out of myself, let go a little bit, experience love in a whole new way, create a stronger sense of family. These things all seem very abstract though. I’m not good with abstract.
Am I alone with all these worries? Do I need to up my dose of anti-anxiety meds? Help!