Thoughts on Action
"Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live." ~ Nicolas de Chamfort

Guest Rant of the Week: Why I’m Afraid to be a Mom

Rant of the Week Iconby Fed-Up Francesca

Why  do  people  always  try  and  talk  my  husband  and  I  into  having  kids?  I  cannot   believe  how  many  times  we’ve  been  cornered  by  some  half  drunk  40  year  old  who   only  want  to  convince  us  that  having  children  in  the  best  thing  that  can  ever  happen   to  a  person.  I  wonder  are  they  trying  to  convince  us,  or  themselves?   And  I  always  want  to  say  “Oh,  by  the  way,  I’ve  met  your  kids  and  I  think  they’re   awful  and  lazy  and  why  do  you  keep  feeding  them  McDonalds  for  lunch?”  Does  that   make  me  a  bad  person?  Maybe,  but  it  makes  you  a  bad  person  when  you  say  “I  didn’t   know  what  love  was  until  I  had  children.”  And  “I  had  no  purpose  until  I  gave  birth”.     What?  I  don’t  really  love  my  husband?  My  job  and  volunteer  work  must  be   meaningless  because  I  don’t  have  an  infant?  Who  are  you  to  tell  me  this  crap?  If  that  is  what’s   important  to  you,  then  fine.  But  don’t  assume  everyone  is  going  to  find  that  much  joy   in  baby  poop  and  breast  pumps.

Also,  why  are  moms  so  mean  to  other  moms?  Every  time  I  go  to  some  women’s   interest  blog  page,  it’s  filled  with  mothers  bashing  other  mothers  on  the  way  they   raise  their  children.    Aren’t  they  all  supposed  to  be  in  this  parenting  thing  together?   But  no,  there’s  actually  a  term  –  “Mommy  wars”  to  describe  how  awful  moms  are  to   other  moms!  It’s  completely  absurd!

And  apperantly  women  hate  their  bodies  after  birth  (another  reason  not  to  have   kids),  but  I  just  read  this  really  crazy  controversy  about  some  mom,  who  actually   worked  her  ass  off  and  was  proud  of  her  body  after  she  gave  birth,  and  all  the  other   moms  are  like  “She’s  fat  shaming!  Why  isn’t  she  spending  more  time  with  her  sons!   She’s  a  bully!  I’m  a  better  mom  than  her  because  I  choose  to  eat  pancakes  with  my   kids  for  dinner  instead  of  working  out”.    Holy  hell!!!!     So  I  gather  it’s  like  this:  First  you  have  to  post  900  pictures  of  yourself  pregnant.     After  you  give  birth  you  have  to  hate  your  body.  Then  you  have  to  proclaim  that   you’re  going  to  accept  your  body  for  the  changes  is  made  because  you  gave  birth.   And  then  you  have  to  take  pictures  of  you’re  saggy  boobs  and  stretch  marked   stomach  and  post  them  to  body  proud  sites  that  embrace  things  like  that.     But  never,  under  any  circumstances  can  you  give  birth,  get  fit  right  afterwards  and   show  off  how  amazing  you  look  and  feel  because  it  would  make  others  feel  bad   about  themselves.

It  just  seems  to  me  like  have  a  kid  is  more  like  a  cult  these  days  and  I  really  just  don’t   buy  into  it.  There  are  all  these  crazy  rules  you  have  to  follow  (depending  on  what   fads  or  trends  you’re  following).  You  loose  your  identity  and  get  reassigned  one   (“I’m  _________’s Mom/Dad).  You  have  to  subscribe  to  crazy  dietary  restrictions  (which   I’m  pretty  sure  involve  little  gold-­‐fish  crackers  and  hotdogs  and  I  don’t  even  think   you  can  drink).  And  the  only  reward  it  assures  is  that  after  this  life  is  over   (parenthood)  your  next  life  (being  an  empty-­‐nester)  will  be  much  more  worth  it.     No  thank  you.  I’m  not  gonna  buy  into  it  and  I’ll  thank  you  all  very  much  to  quit  trying  to  get  my  husband  and  I  to  drink  the  kool-­‐aid.  We’d  rather  drink  red  wine   anyways.

5 Responses to Guest Rant of the Week: Why I’m Afraid to be a Mom

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am nearly 32, been married 1 year, and am watching my friends slowly become parents one by one. I do not have the desire to have kids, and I’m not sure I ever will. As they do, they of course ask me if I’ll have kids. When I reply, “I’m not 100% sure, but I’m leaning towards not having them,” they typically reply, “oh but you should! You’d make a great mom…etc.” While I know they mean well, it’s hard for me to hear that because it’s so pressuring… I have several reasons for not wanting kids, from passing on familial disorders, to financial insecurity, to fear of pregnancy and birth.

    But at the same time, I love kids. What really stinks is that people automatically assume you are opting-out because you are selfish. On the contrary, I think I’m being rather selfless because I don’t want to bestow certain things on my kids if I had them. Your comments about the “cult” like nature go motherhood really resonate with me. I’ve mentioned not wanting to be a part of that and my friends will say, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to… Really? Because it seems so unavoidable in today’s kid-centric, hypoallergenic, everyone is super and special world. I don’t know, I just feel like my time on this earth will be better spent towards other endeavors that I’m passionate about.

    Anyhow, thank you for reading my comment. I stumbled upon your blog by Googling “to have kids, or not to have kids” because I’m looking for more reassurance from the “not have” side. Thank you for your frankness and great insights. Viva la child free!

  • Carly says:

    Hey,

    Love your post. I’ve been coming to this site for awhile now, ever since, yup got married at 29 and have been baby badgered ever since.
    I’m in an interesting position in that I had a child at 16 and have raised my child with my now husband since our kiddo was 7.
    We HAVE a child and we STILL get harassed about “awwww having a baby!!”

    One thing I have to say about being a mom is don’t let the “baby stage” guide your choice. Poop and night time crying is a brutal part of it but the other 80plus years of your child’s life is really the big part that I feel you should consider. AND I AM SAYING THAT TO WANT TO HAVE BABIES AND NOTS. People who have kids because they want to have a “baby” drive me nuts. Have a baby because you want to have a person not tiny version of yourself. It’s like people who get a puppy but aren’t interested in dogs. Anyways…that’s tangential, sorry.

    As far as the “Cult” goes, I’m with you.
    Truth is motherhood has been (Sorry!) the greatest thing I have ever done with my life. BUT my husband and I look at our friends who are all popping out sprogs now and they do NOT make it look appealing. It’s all stress this and organic that and judgement this and overpriced that. This “new motherhood” to my mind is deranged.

    If you and your partner want to have a child together that you will raise and love until you die, do it. Just avoid the wackos and stay true to your principles.

    It is wonderful, but only you know if it’s right for you.

    Good Luck!

  • Southerngirl says:

    At Thanksgiving, my mother in law’s friend, whom I didn’t know asked me how long I had been married. When I told her 5 years, she asked me where were my babies at. She then proceeded to tell me that I need to to have a child and continue the bloodline and carry on the family name. I found the woman to be so obnoxious and rude I was left speechless. I never had someone have such an obvious problem with me being married and not having children. Nor pressure me so immensely.

    I think that people have a problem with people choosing not to have children because it challenges their beliefs. I also think the older generation expect a woman to be a mother, whether she wants to or not. Some people can not fathom that someone would purposely choose not to have a child or maybe they just never realized they had a choice. I’m approaching 34 and am going to have figure out if my life includes motherhood. I just wish people would be more accepting of people that choose different paths than them.

  • Shannon says:

    Wow! This really exemplifies some of my current feelings of ambivalence toward becoming a parent. Just two days ago I sat down to lament my indecisiveness about having kids with my therapist. Like the previous poster, I, too, am almost 32, except we’ve been married for 9 1/2 years and live in a small town where people think we’re delusional for not having a family yet. It’s a hard road to travel. Depending on the day, and at best, I’m feeling about 70% toward child free and 30% toward having one. That’s just not enough to push me over the edge to having one. My therapist challenged me to respond to the baby-pushers with a flat out proclamation that we’re not having kids. “What would happen if you responded politely that you had decided having kids wasn’t for you?” she said. My response? “I’m pretty sure people would throw things at me. They don’t get it.” Aside from the fact that I’m not ready to close that door entirely (but also nowhere near opening it, either), it seems easiest to just shut up and play along with whoever is pushing the baby issue. I constantly hear the “You’ll be a great mom”, “You’re so good with kids”, “It’s better when it’s your own”, etc. That’s nice and all, but just because I get along great with my nieces and nephews doesn’t mean I want to care for one all day, every day. Can’t I just pour my love into these little people? Why does society think it’s so critical that I have my own?

  • Jennifer S says:

    I so agree with this. There are so many “rules” when having kids now that I just wouldn’t be able to keep up. They’d take my kids away because of all the so-called “child abuse”.

    Things like: “that’s my cellphone, not your gameboy”, not giving a child a cell phone until they can pay for it themselves, not worrying every second where said kid is and giving them a minutae of freedom.

    So many kids today are so held back by their helicopter parents and the fact that their mom still comes to clean their apartment when they are off at college,floors me.

    I have friend (we’re 39) who just finished her education degree. When she went to classes on her first day of third year, there were parents (both of them) shepherding around their precious snowflakes like there was something wrong with them. How can kids grow and learn their own life skills when they are treated like that.

    It’s horribly sad.

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