Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gamble I'm Not Willing To Take

From time to time my reluctance to have children is completely validated.

I caught the beginning of the Diane Rehm show yesterday morning about parents of teenagers and adults. The phrase "endless despair" was used. Oh please, sign me right the fuck up to inflict endless despair on some young person. And if I could get some of that endless despair for myself as well, that would just be peachy.

Now I know that not every family experiences anything like "endless despair." I adore my own family, and I think they're the kind of people I'd like to hang out with even if they weren't related to me. But I get so completely sick of people trying to convince me that I need to have babies - that I'm screwed up or misguided if I don't want to.

Here's the kicker. I LOVE babies. I worked in childcare for seven years, and I miss being around babies and little children. Sometimes I crave the smell of tiny fuzzy heads and tiny squishy hugs and tiny little yawns on tiny sleepy faces. Teeny babies are awesome. Funny, smart, weird little kids who are learning about the whole world for the first time are awesome.

I would have one in a minute if the universe could absolutely guarantee me a few things.
That being pregnant and giving birth would not injure me, kill me, or inflict fascinating new mental illnesses on me.

That my child would be healthy enough and stay healthy enough to grow into an independent adult.

That nothing would ever happen to The Husband and force me to be responsible for another human being all on my own.

That I would always have all the resources I needed to take care of my child.

That my child would be a basically happy, well adjusted person who didn't suffer from anger or sadness that I couldn't understand and I couldn't fix.
Of course the universe can't guarantee me a damn thing, and if those are my conditions I shouldn't be a parent. I may be selfish or lazy or soulless or whatever child-having people would like to accuse me of, but I'm not ignorant and I'm not careless, and if that's the best I can do, I'm okay with that.


SerenitySprings said...

Today The Wife and I were discussing babies. I too love babies and adore playing with them, talking to them, singing to them, smelling them, etc. etc. But I am absolutely okay with NEVER going through child birth and breast feeding again. Jesus christ that was hard. And not in the fun happy way. In the OH MY GOD my insides were just ripped out and now it wants to make my nipples bleed?? Seriously.

I don't think you're crazy, I think you're smart. More people should be the kind of smart that you are.

Sparkling Red said...

I say absolutely "YES" to that list of conditions. Especially: Neither my better half nor I feel immune the stats on birth defects: he has his disabled and retarded brother, and I have a cousin who is so severely autistic she can't speak or toilet herself.
Also, I've watched "Intervention" enough times to know that even kids from loving families can be destroyed by drug or alcohol addictions.
AND yes to pregnancy and breastfeeding being fundamentally horrifying, or at least potentially so. If others find it fulfilling more power to them. But not this gal!