Friday, October 5, 2007
On the non-existent fruit of my womb.
About this baby thing...
I'm sorry, I don't want one.
Wait- no, I'm not one bit sorry.
Here's the deal:
Once I reached the ripe old age of 23 and started realizing that this dating thing could lead to more serious endeavors such as nuptials and procreation, I made a few decisions.
The first such decision was that if I happened to get "accidentally" pregnant I would seriously consider going through with it. (no reproductive rights debates here, please. You can have any opinion on this you wish, I just won't discuss/debate it here or now. The end.)
By "accidentally" I meant that if I happened to trip and fall into a penis and I happened to be feeling fertile and nature took its course...well, you know how this works by now, I hope.
At 23, when you think you're old and wise and are already so DONE with everything- and that's when one tends to make these sort of grandiose, sweeping decisions.
Other than a few anxious near-misses involving late menses, discount pregnancy tests and maybe me having bad aim peeing into the minuscule cup that (at the time, pre-pee stick) was provided, no such accidents occurred. Whew.
The other decision I made was that, should this "accident" never happen and I were to actually go on and live a child-free existence, I would refuse to take any shit from anyone about my decision.
So, I'm not taking any shit about the barren, rocky wasteland that is my reproductive system anymore. I'm sick to death of the pitying looks- like I really want one but have been unable to and I must be masking my disappointment with denial. Nope. I feel for anyone who really wants a child and it isn't happening for some reason- I really do. I can't begin to imagine what you're going through.
I just don't feel the same way.
When total strangers will rudely ask me why I don't have kids yet (generally after they have rudely asked me my age) I usually get "that look". The disbelieving look. That why would I deny myself this glorious and (I'm sure- thank you Mom, without you the mess that is me wouldn't be possible) truly rewarding endeavor look.
When I say "I just don't want kids", they generally launch into the sales pitch of why now would be an excellent time to change my mind ("You're not getting any younger, you know"). it's like they're trying to sell me a used, only slightly rusty car. "You'll love it- really it's hardly any maintenance at all! Sure, it needs a new paint job, new brakes and a new engine, but let me tell you little lady, this little beauty will give you years and years of happiness if you maintain it properly. And you know- you're not getting any younger..."
Or, I get the look like I must be a former hooker and crack addict and that's why I don't have any children- obviously my pimp took the 14 I had in the past away from me and sold them to the highest bidder. Yes, that's exactly it. My ovaries have been depleted and my body so ravaged that if I tried to conceive one more time I would give birth to something that resembled Milton Berle and E.T. with Britney Spears' intellect. Yup.
Or, I get the look like I'm some angry, mean child-hater. Like I kick puppies for fun.
Not even close. Kids loooove me. I will never understand why, but they do. They cling to me like I was made of gummy bears and unicorns. I figure maybe kids have a sense for people like me- they can smell my lack of maternal instinct and figure I'm an easy mark. I am. I love spoiling your kids and giving them toys that both make noise and make messes. Hahahahahaha!
I like kids. I do.
I especially like them in the post-baby years, around ages 2-8. They are frustrating and difficult, but damn they're cute, funny and charming.
Don't mistake this for wanting them though.
What I want is to travel more.
What I want is to have my free time be my own.
What I want is to buy more art.
What I want is to re-decorate my house.
What I want is to explore the hobbies that interest me.
What I want is to have the pitying, sad, disdainful and sometimes angry looks stop.
Am I being selfish? Maybe, but...
I don't give a shit if I am- it's my decision.
Have a great weekend, my little fluffer nutters.
Go out and don't give a shit about something just for me.
Posted by Whiskeymarie at 10:05 AM
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I've always been of the opinion that no one should have a baby (or even a pet, for that matter) unless they REALLY want one. It's such a responsibility--why would you let anyone pressure you into it? Good for you for knowing your own mind.
Here's to you and me being in the same, apparently unheard of, boat.
I applaud you for not letting the people bothering you get to you. One of my closest friends gets asked "The Question" all the time. She is so bloody sick of being asked why she doesn't have kids yet or when she's going to have kids. She has a whole list of snarky replies that she keeps to herself.
Hub-E and I are in the same boat as you: At 29 and 37, we still don't feel the need for kids. We value and appreciate our free time, our popcorn dinners, our doggies, hobbies, recreation, decorating, you name it.
Last night Hub-E asked me how his brother, who has 4 kids, does it. I said, "well, he's forced to do it". When you have kids, you just do it. (By "do it", I mean: feed them, clothe them, bathe them, play with them, raise them, etc.) Hub-E sighed and said he's so glad that's not him.
(Not yet, anyway! Hehehe)
I'm with you guys in that boat too, Suzel!
I've often said had I known the state of the world would be in 16 years ago when I got pregnant I would not have brought children into this world with all the hate. But then I never would have known the love of my kids and I'm tellin' ya there are days my heart explodes with love.
Hard decision at times.
I respect people who think like you. I have a few friends who feel the same way-they've always been great with my kids...I imagine they would have been equally as great with their own, but that wasn't their choice. I can appreciate and respect that.
Pah! If you really want it to stop just tell people you "can't have children"...and then mutter under your breath "because I really don't want them." They don't necessarily need to hear the second part. They'll just feel bad and clam up. Problem solved!
I'm glad you know yourself. Plenty of people have kids because they think they "should", then go on to have a bad case of the "gimme"s, making them selfish parents. If you know it's not for you, then please, by no means. :)
Really ? People actually come up to you and ask that shit ? How tacky!
My twins sis is of the same mind as you and we've talked about this before -in the context of why can't people respect one another for their decision to have or not have children.
Who on earth are they to question your decision. Bring them here...let me slap them for ya.
(oh yeah and I'm sure you get that all my little Whiskeymarie having a kid jokes and references are simply because I know you are of the opposite mind and well I just think its quite amusing to mess with you like that - wait maybe that makes me tacky...maybe I should be slapping myself...
I don't think you should be having kids anyway, seeing as how you live in an area frequented by the Workandallthingsworkrelatedzilla. that's kind of a hostile environment for children.
good lord, that picture freaked me out! It almost made me go to the next blog, but I stayed and read your post.
Even if you had kids, it wouldn't stop. We have 3 kids and we always here "So when is #4 coming?" People are fucking nuts!
Oh, Whiskey. This is why I love you.
I guess I could see myself asking someone IF they had kids - but never WHY THEY DON'T.
I will never question your choices - unless you join up with a certain myspace group that I hate. (Yep. Hate. That's all I can give them because that is all they spew.)
Slinger is right. It's that people just can't mind their own business.
You know what 90% of people's response is when they learn that Bella was stillborn? "So when are you going to try for another one?"
"How about never, bitch-ass? Does that work for you?"
I still can't figure out why I can't make friends with other moms.
Well-said. About a year ago, a guy I (briefly) dated broke up with me because I said that I wasn't sure about kids.
His reasoning? "I would never want to be with anyone who wasn't absolutely sure that she'd be the best mom ever!"
Um, yeah. Good luck with that one, buddy. Your children will be hellions!
good for you knowing what you want. I don't think it's necessarily 'selfish' to decide to not have kids - or no more selfish than having kids because that's what you 'want' - the only really selfish choice here is to have kids and then be too slack to look after them properly.
(and if I've made any joking remarks otherwise I hope they didn't offend you....I can see LOTS of lovely, desirable things about a childfree life - particularly at 5 am in the morning when I'm dealing with a sick child....)
YOu know what burns my bonnet? People who say things like that to people who don't want to have kids. People who hold judgement against someone for their PERSONAL decisions. Drives me freakin' nuts! One of my best friends has made this same decision. She does not want kids. She is career driven, and goal oriented and she wants her time to be HER time. She readily confesses that she is too selfish to have children, that she could not stand to share the limelight with them in the eyes of her husband etc, and it never ceases to amaze me the people that give her shit about it. I admire her for knowing herself well enough to have come to that decision not to have them rather then have them and be miserable and likely raise miserable children. Why can't these same people who see fit to share their opinions so openly go judge those who have the kids and aren't fit to be parents? UGH! I'm pissed off on your behalf! Next time someone says something like that, work up some tears, hold your stomache and say "My Dr. told me after the accident I could never have children, thanks for bringing up such a painful subject you insensitive clod!" and watch them squirm!
wow...I felt a little passionate about that didn't I? sorry...
I could not love this post anymore than if it were a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that made you skinnier after eating 6 pieces of it.
Good for you, for sticking to your guns. People are rude about asking/saying those sort of things. Which gives you the right to be rude back. After reading your witty blog, I'm sure you have a lot of fun comebacks in you :)
My husband and I want to wait a good ten years before having kids and even then it will be IF we feel like we want them at that stage in our life. I personally could live a totally satisfied life without ever spawning a mini-me or two, but my husband has always wanted to have one. So our compromise is 10 years and by then hopefully we'll be established enough that he'll be able to stay home with them. I've always told him that since he's the one who wants them, he'll be the one to sacrifice his career and he's ok with that.
But people think I'm a monster when I tell them that I don't really care if we don't end up having any, and that really annoys me. I find it really sexist to assume that every woman just MUST have that maternal instinct. Most days I find I have more of a killer instinct...which is good for climbing up the ladder of sucess in the job world, but necessarily conducive to burping babies and changing diapers in the middle of the night.
It's so funny that you just posted this. After I read your last entry, I read it and thought, "I bet she's pg." But as a lurker wasn't going to throw out my guess. And obviously, I was quite wrong.
Anyway, as someone who has been through tons of infertility and received tons of insensitive comments, I can totally understand how you feel. Having children or not is such a personal decision and I can't believe the gall of people and what they'll actually say or ask. It's none of their business!
DON'T DO IT. I have a kid, and I love him (of course, duh), but it's a crazy amount of work. And stress! Jesus! 7 years ago I was dating someone who's sister had a kid, and hanging out with her for any amount of time was like TOTAL BIRTH CONTROL. The kid totally LOVED ME, and I couldn't understand why! She would lock me in the bedroom with her and say, we're going to play and I was like, SAVE ME! But then of course, biological clock, and HEY! I HAVE ONE TOO! But YO. If you have any doubts, go KID FREE ALL THE WAY! You will always have a friend or sis or bro or something with some brats that you can hang with if you get the urge, and that will give them a break too! xo.
The double-stroller brought this on, didn't it? ;)
I heart you, bebe!
Good for you! We haven't decided yet if we want children at all or if we want at least five. That depends on how many hell-children were on the bus that day... But it's not going to happen before I am at least 35 (that's in ten years) or before I can afford a nanny for each of my kids. I don't think kids are the best that can happen to a woman, especially when you notice how some women warp from being an independent, smart and no-nonsense business woman to an oochy-goochy-baby-brabble-
Good for you. Not al of us are meant to be breeding machines.
Kids are definitely NOT something to have when you're not sure you want them. Why does everyone think every woman should have kids???
And why is it anyone's business when/if/how many in regards to kids? After my daughter was born it was always a non-stop barrage of "when's number 2 coming???". So we finally got around to having #2 and since he happened to be a boy everyone has decided "you won't have any more now that you have a 'perfect' family (girl and boy)". Newsflash: it was going to be 2 kids no matter what the genders. Duh!
I like the retort: I CAN'T have kids. And leave it at that.
I am trying to sell my car, and I think I may have used those exact words. Off to hell in a handbasket now, excuse me!
I would like to give less of a shit about so many things. I think I'll be keeping this post in mind next week at work.
Let's see, short answers for the inconsiderate morons who ask that question:
"I don't know. I was waiting until science figured out how to implant tact." Pointed glare.
"Oh, none for me thanks, you've already done more than enough for both of us."
Laugh gaily. Stop. "Oh, I'm sorry. You're serious? But how frightfully rude!"
You could launch into an exaggerated and morbidly detailed description of your last period.
Tell them your husband really wants to be the one to carry them, so you're waiting for technology to catch up.
Liz- We ARE getting a dog- we're ready for that much, I think.
Suze- (me, shaking my fist in the air) Barren wombs unite!
Chiada- If you feel it you feel it, if you don't..
Maybe you will maybe you won't.
Good lord- 4 kids would kill me.
Anon- Yay to us? If we're starting a club, I'd like to apply for the stylist position.
Kimmyk- I think that if I would have done it many many years ago, I would be o.k. with the decision, but now that I've waited, I know it's not for me. I respect people like yourself that have done it and are obviously amazing at it, like yourself.
Oh Lol- I heart you so much, I am sending all my estrogen and baby vibes your way, as I am so obviously not needing them.
3carn- I know! Even worse than the "I did this for me, not them" parents are the "we did this to save the marriage" parents. Ick.
Other WM- Yes, they do ask, and yes, they are rude no nothings. And no, I get the jokes. I KNOW you are joking, my dear- don't stop. I love that about you...
McGone- I heard just today that the Zilla ate an entire family down the block. Word.
Slinger- thank you for not being so offended by my baby pic that you had to leave. I like to think I'm pretty on the inside...
Butrfly- Love you back, mostly because you're as much of a misfit as I am, it seems.
Abbs- Pretty much sure you dodged a bullet on that one.
Rebecca- Yes, I am offended and we cannot be friends ever.
Duh, you tard. I know you're joking when the baby jokes come out. If you didn't joke I'd wonder why...
Stacie- I love you and how fired up you get. Seriously. You can fight for my honor anytime, my sweet!
Mama Chile- First, please make me that cake. Now.
Second- stick to your guns! It's o.k. to have a plan. Really, it is. It's your life, do what you damn well please.
Secret mom- Way to de-lurk! And seriously, not only do people ask, they often ask what kind of birth control I use. I want to ask them when they last pooped, just to gage the reaction. Oh my dear, sorry for your fertility problems, my heart breaks a little for you. I don't want one, but I totally get why people do.
Molly- Yes! So true! Why do so many other people just not get it???
Stac- Yes, seriously, it did. The double stroller thingy freaked me out. Hence the post. If I accidentally get preggers ever, will you be the fill-in mommy? I can be cool aunt WM that brings candy and whiskey to the lil' tykes birthdays.
Think about it.
Katrin- you still have tons o'time to think it through, my dear. I love that nanny idea, though.
Dr. Monkey- I was meant to be a love machine, and I don't work for nobody but my monkey.
Beret- they ask because they can, and they are too stupid to NOT ask. I think my new reply to this question will have something to do with alien abductions and anal probing.
Malia- What kind of car is it? Maybe I want it....
Feel free to not give a shit about anything you want next week, my dear.
Lala- after the alien thing, I'm picking your last response as my go-to for the next incident.
Always nice to hear from someone who feels like I do. It makes me think of that Wanda Sykes bit--she talks about people asking her and her husband when they're having kids. She says, "Well, maybe someday... But I just say that to make myself sound like a nicer person." Ha!
I'm a perfectly nice person, but I'm no good with kids. My talents are best employed elsewhere.
I'm still on the fence.I have no doubt, however, that you would make a great aunt if and when the time comes.
I'm with you sister. I made the decision a long time ago and made my peace with it.
And good for you for not having others opinions rock your world.
It is your life, your body. Do what you must.
Amen, lady. The "selfish" angle is sort of what gets me the most. As Liz Gilbert wrote in "Eat Pray Love," there are lots of reasons to decide not to have children, and none of them are necessarily selfish. Likewise, there are lots of reasons TO have children, but they aren't necessarily UNselfish. It's a personal decision and it's best to treat it as such: a decision. Not an expectation. The end.
Please post again soon because that scary baby picture is freaking me out!
That baby scared the shit out of me!
My sister is child-free and tells me all the time about people's misconception regarding her choice.
Just like you she tells them to just stop! Choice made, parts put out of commission on PURPOSE.
My children addore her and she dotes on them. Very, Very happy to visit with them but doesn't really want to take them home with her forever.
bravely stated. i don't think its selfish. its what you want. it would be selfish to give in to pressure and have a kiddo reluctantly, and end up a resentful parent. i know too many of those already...
By the way, Chiada, you ARE cute. crooked glasses and all.
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