Wednesday, May 24, 2006

the baby thing

So do you totally know that you want to have kids? Are there people out there that absolutely, without a doubt, just totally knew? Or was it that you kind of wanted them but weren't totally sure? Some people I know with kids have different reasons for having them, but I don't think any of them totally just knew for sure. People say "But who will take care of you when you are old?" or "what if you regret it later" and I swear there are a few out there that space them out so they don't have to work for a really long time (relax, nobody that reads this blog).

This baby envy that I am having right now will probably wear off. And I think a lot of it is boredom, which is not a good reason to have a kid. Will it always be just me and him and a series of dogs? But when you hold them and they smell good and sorta smile up at you or later when you know the conversion factors for feet to meters AND inches to centimeters off the top of your head and they look at you like you are the smartest person ever to walk the earth.....that is so totally cool and ego-boosting. And so I think it might be nice to have someone around who thinks I hung the moon. But again, not a good reason. I think I could do a really good job and produce a funny, smart, caring person. I mean look at some of the people having babies these case you haven't seen this photo, it's Britney Spears in curlers, with her child facing the wrong way in a babyseat, slumped over, in full sun.

And I'm such a worrier. Do I really want to introduce this person into my life about whom I will worry for the rest of my days? And then when I go places I look at older children and teenagers and I wonder when I see a little goth girl with 50 piercings in her face, or a young man with his pants hanging off his butt and yelling obscenities into the latest their parents still love them? What if I end up with something like that? Will I stand by them proudly and just hope it is a phase, or will I shrink in embarrassment if seen in public with them? I just don't know. Are there people out there that love their children so much that they see past these things? Is that possible? It is just something I just don't understand, I suppose.

When you hear the "it's the best thing that ever happened to me' line, most of the time I don't believe it. Once on Oprah, a long time ago, she quoted from a survey that 70% of parents would not have had kids if they had it to do over again. Is that true? Is there anybody out there that would have done it differently if given the choice?

Some friends say I think too much. That I shouldn't worry about things like that. I do. I think and worry way to much for someone my age. Anyway, sorry to go on and on. I get this baby fever every so often and it makes me all fuzzy-headed and confused and I rethink everything. And to top it off my husband acts as if it's just me that isn't sure, which totally adds to the pressure, as if I'm denying him a child because of my indecision. Ughhhh.


Blogger Liz said...

All the thinking is the reason why you're having doubts. We're not supposed to *think* about having kids... we're just supposed to do it. Once you start thinking of the pros and cons, it ends up spelling disaster for procreation. Biology doesn't want you to think.

I think alot too, which is why I don't have children. I've only had baby envy once, and for as cute as he was, I was so glad to hand him back to his mom after he puked on me. Kids are a lot of work, and I'm not sure I'm willing (or able) to do that job.

I have one honest friend who loves her kids, but acknowledges that they take a lot out of her. I've never asked if she would do it differently if she could, but I think people would only answer that question anonymously (hence, Oprah's poll results. I find that very interesting).

Some people say that it's selfish to not have kids, which is entirely possible, but by that token, it's equally selfish to have them. All the reasons *for* kids: because I want them, because I'd be a good parent, because they smell good, because they would think I was the greatest; are all selfish reasons too.

In the end, though, you need to decide what's best for you. I like my husband a lot, and think that having a little person around would take a lot away from our relationship. I like sleeping in sometimes. Or just going out for the day without all kinds of gear. I don't think I'm willing to give up the next 18 years of my life making sure that someone who may not share my values makes it in this crazy world. That's the other thing: I know that people say the world has always been messed up and full of strife, but it's never been so polluted as it is now. Add in peak oil, and water issues, and it's not a very bright future for the next generation.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh and people like Britney Spears? Don't forget she has a whole squad of nannies who can make up for her crappy parenting skills. It's unbelievable that she thinks she's doing such a great job that she'll have another go at it.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I agree with Liz. I have so much respect for good parents. The job is getting harder and harder! And certainly parenting is one of the most fulfilling, joyous things you can do in life. But remember, whenever a parent tells you it is the ONLY way to go...they haven't tried it the other way. :-)

12:49 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

One more note on the "polluted environment thing". I wasn't surprised to read
this article.

5:46 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I think it's starting to wear off. But you are right. I always get told that it is selfish not to have kids. Whatever...I'm selfish then. I too like to sleep in sometimes or eat popcorn for dinner or have an entire Saturday where nobody knows where I am and I just shop antique stores or drive somewhere I've never been. And the whole 18 year thing scares me too, and who's to say it will stop at 18. Nobody sets out to raise a loser but what if you do and they live in your basement til' they're 40. And what if I gave birth to a Republican? I dwell too much on all the things that could go wrong and I would be a totally panicky mom. But they still smell good.

On the polluted environment note...the southcentral part of Pennsylvania is doing a study in 6 counties to determine the level of pharmaceutical contamination in our drinking water and what can be done to control it. Great! I'm getting Viagra and Prozac through my faucet.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

They *do* smell good, I'll give you that. :)

There's a song by The Four Bitchin' Babes (I think that's the name. Suzzy Roche is one of them) that is about Viagra in the water. Life imitating art, or vice versa?

12:55 PM  
Blogger Garden Obsession said...

Great discussion and nice to see people who feel somewhat the way I do. I hope you find some peace with the decision not to have kids (or to have kids, either way). I'm not sure where my peace suddenly came from, but since I turned 30, it hit like a ton of bricks. I absolutely don't want kids and I'm absolutely okay with that. I do still get REALLY defensive when people "tisk tisk" me for not wanting them. I'm a patient, tolerant, sympathetic person but that stuff will get you on my bad side faster than you can say, "But you'll love 'em when they're yours."

Anyway, I spent a rough couple of years grappling with feeling like some sort of weirdo or b!tch for not wanting them. It took a lot of mothers saying, "I love my kids more than life itself, but there are days when I regret having them so much it's palpable." I finally realized that while there may be times in my life when I regret NOT having kids, that seems like a less bitter pill to me than the reverse. Now if I can just get DH to go get a vasectomy, we'll be in business!

2:53 PM  

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