I Want to Want a Baby
Those of you who know me well have probably just dropped a hot beverage in your lap, and I apologize for that. Let me explain myself.
I gave myself a little exercise the other day and tried to imagine waking up one morning to someone telling me one of two things:
- You’re pregnant
- You’re infertile and have committed a heinous crime and can therefore never adopt, and this is not The Young & The Restless so you cannot buy a baby on the black market and get away with it
Though I would feel some sense of relief at hearing either of these things in comparison to my current undecided state, I was surprised to find that Option 2 would scare me a hell of a lot more than Option 1. Having a baby would, of course, be terrifying – but at least I’d have the benefit of knowing that everyone else around me would be going through the same thing and I wouldn’t be alone, and that my remaining days would now be filled with a very definitive purpose. Going it alone with Option 2 means that I’d be, well…alone, and entirely responsible for defining my purpose in life – coming up with some reason why I’m walking the Earth and making meaningful use of my time.
It’s times like these where I just wish I really wanted a baby.
I know that in many ways, it would make my life infinitely more difficult. But aside from all the obvious (and slightly more noble) reasons why people have babies, there are also some pretty great perks when it comes to looking at social interactions and personal challenges. You’ve now got:
- Built-in conversation starters. Granted, your conversations now revolve around defecation patterns, but this will fall under “bonding”.
- No-questions-asked weight gains. Don’t worry about it, sista’, what mama has time to work out?
- A great excuse for never finishing your book/starting your own business. Most days, I’d love nothing more than to fling my laptop out the window (not as dramatic as it sounds, we’re on the first floor) or take a bat to it, Office Space-style. But I’d also settle for being able to quietly slip away from the world of writing and never have another person ask, “So how’s the book coming along?” But as a Childfree person, what excuse could I possibly have for not getting it done?
- The never-ending friend pool. Running low on friends? No sweat – you’ll probably meet someone at Timmy’s soccer game, or Ashley’s ballet lessons, or at one of the billion parental activities at the kid’s school. And if not, you can always join a Mommy & Me Yoga/Glass-blowing/OrWhateverTheHellElseTheyDo class.
- Unbreakable family connections. It made me a little sad to read the other day how common it is for siblings to majorly drift apart after the parents pass away. I’ve already got geography working against me with one brother in New York and the other in Chicago, but all of us having kids would probably ensure that we got together more often so the cousins could play.
As I tend to do with many of my posts, I’m oversimplifying things. There are probably many moms who still struggle for friends and conversation, are quite sensitive about weight gain, feel guilty or sad about goals they can’t pursue (or, they’re kicking my butt and actually accomplishing them), and don’t find time for their extended family or can’t afford to visit them. But for the most part, it does seem like many of these things would be a bit easier with kids, and isn’t there always something appealing about the easy route?
This, of course, is a complete loser’s attitude and I’m embarrassed to even be writing this post. A better person would pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be grateful they have the time and opportunity to accomplish personal goals, meet new people, keep in touch with family, stay in shape, and do all kinds of fabulous things that make for great conversation starters. I’m trying to be that person – I know that I WILL be that person if we decide not to have kids – but sometimes I can’t help thinking how much easier it would be if I just wanted a baby like (almost) everyone else in the world. There’s just one problem with that sentiment: I don’t. I may never.
So on that note, I’m off to call my brother, join a new kickball league, hit the treadmill, attend some fascinating lecture for good cocktail party chatter, or finish my damn book. Or maybe I’m having a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, watching decades-old British dramas on Netflix. Anyone’s guess these days.