Monday, January 11, 2016

10 Reasons I Never Wanted to Have Children:

Me with Brady - T-Day 2015
My Dad and Brady - T-day 2014
Brady with his Dad Brian, T-Day 2015

First off, let me say that i actually really really like kids. I'll admit newborn babies bore the shit out of me plus i'm always afraid i will break their neck when their parents insist i hold them. But once they get about 3 months old and smile at me I start to come around. I especially like kids when they get to be about 18 months and start talking and understanding so i have to start being sure not to say "fuck".

It's no secret I am nuts about my great nephew Brady, who turned 2 years old October 15.

Brady is the first son of my brother's first son Brian. Because Brady doesn't have a grandmother around Brian let me know before Brady was ever born that they were hoping I would step up in the surrogate grandma role. I laughed it off at the time and reminded him that i didn't have children for a reason. But once Brady was born and got past that fragile stage I got to where i was missing seeing him if two weeks went by. I would call THEM to babysit. I babysit about 3 times a month, at least twice and after a couple of weeks i am amazed at how much he learns in that short time. (I'm doing pretty good, haven't slipped up and said 'fuck' once!)

Having said all this, i do not regret having children of my own. Not once have i ever entertained having a baby in a real way. Here's why:

1. Being a mom means more contact with family and i don't want more contact with my mom than i already have had. I call my mom Two Drink Minimum for a reason and if I had a baby i would probably be in rehab right now because she would have been in my life more often than she has been.

2. Alone time has always been a huge thing for me, ever since i can remember past the age of the time i played with Barbies. Maybe because i rarely got it since my 6 member family lived in base housing that was mostly less than 1200 square feet and i always shared a room.

3. When would i be able to read? I can't imagine not having time to read books. This might be more important to me than even #1.

4. I would rather have a colonoscopy every week than be pregnant. Not to mention giving birth.

And let me just lump this here too with #4: the idea of breast feeding always kind of creeped me out. I think it's because i have this total need to NOT BE IN DEMAND. I do not mind women breastfeeding, (UNLESS you are a militant breast feeder and trying to make a point....for example i saw a woman in Nordstrom's Cafe once letting it all hang out while she breastfed across from a woman i took to be her mom. It just pissed me off. There i said it. Just cover up at least a little and i have no problem. )  The idea of that kind of demand is appalling to me. And don't even go there with pumping breasts.

5. I never got to go to college. So ignorant were my parents about college that i didn't even know about student loans. I got excellent grades in school and graduated with honors but slipped through the cracks because i went to three high schools. I would be kicking my kid's ass ever if i saved up my money to send my kid to college and they flunked out or didn't do anything with their degree.

6. I don't want to go to jail.

7. Vulnerability. OH MY GOD. i cannot think of anything that makes a person more vulnerable than having a child. And then people do this more than once? How are you parents all so brave? Seriously! I would be worried every freaking minute because i tend to be an overly cautious person about most everything. (Not to mention what stuff happens to them emotionally through bullying or what have you.) You cannot protect a child all the time. But i would want to. Seriously when i am babysitting Brady i am obsessively looking at the monitor (especially when he was a real baby) making sure he was sort of moving and breathing and i will admit to a few times charging up the stairs because i couldn't tell if he was.

8. What if, when they become adults, they marry someone you cannot stand? I know too well how a bad spouse can ruin a whole family. Christmas and Thanksgiving are screwed forever. Plus paying for weddings when i want to remodel my kitchen instead.

9. Even worse, what if you don't like your own kid? This is possible i know from personal experience because my mom didn't like me as a kid. She was totally jealous of me when i was a toddler because my Dad liked me so much. One time not long ago after one too many chardonnays she admitted this. That and the fact that she didn't get to go to France on my Dad's two year assignment because i got really sick when i was 2.

10. The final one? Because i like saying the word 'fuck".


Brian said...

What the fuck, we're not having kids? I love those pics of Brady with you and Brian. You are such an important part of your nieces and nephews lives and now Brady's. Aunt Jo has made a great impact on them :)

Amanda said...

Most of these things are true! I never wanted kids because I'm very aware of my own failings as a person and because both of my parents sucked so bad at it, I knew going in I'd be at a disadvantage. But, my husband is awesome, so I know I can rely on him to be the good parent when I go into major spazz mode.

Here's my experience:
1. My parents are fundamentally selfish people, so I still only see them a couple times a year. They've visited me twice since Harry was born. They never once visited me before, even in the year I lived an hour away. So, visiting me twice is big, I guess.

2. I miss alone time so much. I miss full day tv marathons and doing nothing. I get none of that time anymore. Ever. For an entire year. Before I had Harry and Ben, I literally could go an entire weekend without speaking to another person - and I loved it! From 5 p.m. Friday to 7:30 a.m. Monday, I spoke only to my dogs and it was perfect. Now my day is full of words. So many words. And no quiet. I miss that time to myself.

3. I have no time to read anything but baby books.

4. Giving birth was the single most traumatic experience of my life. I don't know that it made me a stronger person or anything either. I hear women say that, but I just wish I could cough without peeing. I also still look six months pregnant, so that's upsetting. (Did you know that breastfeeding can cause serious weight gain? In some women, the hormones cause significant weight gain and there isn't shit you can do about it. You can't cut calories because your milk supply goes down. You can't do much exercise because who the piss has time to exercise with an infant and your milk supply goes down. The doctor just shrugs and says, "Yeah, that happens to some women. You'll probably lose it when you're done breastfeeding." So there's that BS too.)

5. If Harry doesn't go to college, I'm donating his college fund to a farm sanctuary. I'm getting a barn named after me.

6. I don't know about jail.

7. The vulnerability is near-crippling. I have such anxiety, Jo. On top of my regular work shit (which is extensive), I worry about everything going on at home. I think I've aged a decade in the last year just from the stress. Guilt and stress. I want to be with Harry every day, but I can't because I have to work and work is so stupid compared to being with Harry! It's a level of love that cannot be described. I thought I loved stuff before, but nothing like this. It's very difficult knowing how tenuous everything is. It can all blow up in a second. I have panic attacks now. I wake up panicked. I go to bed panicked. Maybe it's easier when you have more than one kid? I dunno, but it's rough, man. Hardest part of this whole thing. The constant anxiety and fear.

8. I already know I'm going to be that mother-in-law if I don't like Harry's spouse. I need to spend the next 20 years working on my poker face and my backhanded compliments.

9. Before I had Harry, it was my biggest worry that I'd have a kid who was annoying or loud or smelly. Some kids are assholes. I hope Harry isn't an asshole. So far, though, he's the best thing that ever happened. In the universe. At any point in the history of matter.

10. I say shit a lot. Need to work on that. Poop isn't nearly as satisfying.

jojo cucina cucina said...

I love you Amanda!!!! You posted this quite a few days after I quit checking so I am just now reading this! I always love when moms tell the hard truth about parenting. Your Harry is such an amazing little guy ! If I could have had a guarantee for a child like Harry (or my great nephew Brady) I might have changed my mind!