I don’t think this baby is that cute. I mean, I know that it’s a
Cute Baby, but I’m just not that into babies. And you know what? I think that’s okay.
Over the past few days, my good e-friend Ellie has been talking about her decision to be child-free. I was leaving a comment on her blog when I realized that I had a *lot* to say about this subject, and I should probably write my own post about it. Then I realized that I have even more to say about this than I originally thought, and decided to split it up into multiple posts like she did. Thanks for the inspiration, Ellie.
Some men and women grow up and know that they want to be parents. It’s just a feeling they have. Some people don’t think about it at all: having kids is just the next logical step after marriage. Other people just kind of “fall into it,” and end up loving parenthood (or at least saying they do). And then there are people like Ellie and I, who give a lot of thought to the idea of motherhood because we never really had that feeling, and now we’re married and not sure we want to “fall into it.”
The other day, Ellie and I talked a little bit in passing about her decision to be child-free. I mentioned that I thought she’d raise some great kids. You know why I said that? It’s because she is so REAL.
My mom is real like Ellie is. She is honest and open, and she doesn’t put on a happy face just for the heck of it. If it weren’t for my mom, I’m pretty sure I would never have kids. I’m still not 100% percent sure, but I’m young and have plenty of time to get there.
It’s actually kind of funny how my mom helped sway me toward having kids; I don’t think that most people would hear what she had to say and think, “well, maybe I should have kids!” On the surface, what she said might be construed as Scary. My mom told me that right after I was born, she freaked out a little bit. She didn’t feel connected to me right away, and I was a little parasite and she couldn’t get a moment to herself.
In short, she didn’t always feel that I was a “miracle” or “the best thing that ever happened to her,” despite the fact that she feels this way now. This coming from a woman who really, really wanted to have a baby and had a hard time getting pregnant. I am so grateful to my mom for telling me this (I also feel like I should qualify her disclosure by saying that my mom and I are very close and I don’t tend to take things like this personally).
Growing up, I liked to play with toy cars in the dirt. I climbed trees, ran around outside, and wrote stories. I played with My Little Ponies and trolls. I hated dolls. Everyone was always giving me Barbie dolls and her accessories. Barbie herself rarely got playtime, but I used her car to drive my pet rats around. Baby dolls were abandoned in boxes. I don’t have a single memory of pretending to be a mom. I had no desire to play house.
At a young age, I remember thinking, “I don’t think I could deal with a baby. What if it wouldn’t stop crying? I’d want to put it in a closet and close the door.” Now that I’m older, I realize that those kind of thoughts are what PPD is made of.
My worries about having kids aren’t limited to fears of frustration, though.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a Dominating Fear of how my life might turn out. I am absolutely terrified of ending up in the suburbs with a minivan, being “just like everyone else.” I even mentioned this fear in a Random Facts meme awhile back.
The Dominating Fear is pretty much the crux of this issue for me, though, so I think I’m going to dedicate the next post to it, rather than go into it here.
I’m not sure if anyone’s going to have anything to say about this conversation just yet (since I have yet to really get into the meat of it), but I hope you do! If not now, then maybe in a couple of days.