to having kids, right now and probably ever, and I don't feel bad about it.
*stands on large soapbox*
Now hear this! Now hear this! I don't particularly like children. They're cute when they smile, and they smell like baby powder and holding one for a few minutes is fine, but beyond that...I don't like the little buggers.
*and half of the readers of this blog go running into the dark, screaming words like 'childhater' and 'selfish'*
I remember fondly having the same dream that I imagine lots of other girls who are between the ages of 13 and 15 have about getting married and raising a pack of children. Then reality in the form of high school, college and the real world, slapped me around and made me realize that I don't usually want to take care of me let alone some tiny person. And this month's article in Bitch Magazine (issue no. 32) showed me that I'm not alone. Not that I thought I was, but its not something that people talk about.
I mean you don't see that lone female, guy or couple of a certain age, who are without the typical accoutrements of parenthood (read: pacifier, bottle, baby wipes, kiddie leash, etc.) and walk up to them and say casually, "no kids...good on you mate!" Its just not done. However, I did have a customer walk up to me on Mother's day and after wishing me a happy one "if you have kids," to which I responded without a beat, "Oh I don't like children." She was shocked, I wasn't. She quickly recovered with a refreshing, "I've never heard someone actually say that before." And surprisingly enough she wasn't offended at all. More like she was shocked to actually hear someone say it out loud.
I'll be up front about it, I'm selfish. I like my things the way they are, I like my body (sometimes) the way it is, I like having really cool glassware and going on trips (if I can afford them), and drinking a lot (if I want) and not having to worry about if some other soccer mom sees me, or if my kid's teacher sees me doing something else that isn't part of the parent approved behavior. I like being independent.
Having kids, while it brings a certain joy into the lives of some or many, doesn't do the same for me. It holds none of the happy, shiny thoughts it did when I was younger. In fact it has the opposite effect. I've got a niece and nephew and two godchildren. I haven't seen them in at least three years and while I take no pride in that, because I do have a heart (somewhere under this thick skin and through the barbed wire), I don't like being made to feel guilty by a society obsessed with procreation and everyone wanting, nay needing to have kids.
Instead, I'm perfectly happy to see my friends with kids, remark on how cute they are (or not remark at all if I don't think they're Gerber material), and move on. In ten years when I'm still childless and jetting off to Fiji or struggling to get pregnant I'll look back on this and either laugh at the irony of the situation or take another sip of my champagne in first class and wonder if I can fit a massage in when I touch down.