Please Stop Telling Me I’ll Be a Great Mom
I’m 31 years old without children. You’re either thinking, “good for you,” “so?”, or maybe “hm, another 30 something who is going to rant and rave about why women are waiting longer to have children, and why it’s perfectly okay.”
First off, I’ll say that somewhere in this article you will most likely find the above underlying message. After all, science has proven that waiting to have children has its benefits. However, what this article is really about is how I’m sick of the following conversation:
Every person in the world: “When are you having children?”
Me: “I don’t know? I’m not even sure if I want them.”
Every person in the world: “Don’t worry, you’ll make a great mom”
Well, thank you for the confirmation kind human being! I remember myself specifically saying that I was terrified of being a horrible mother and that is in fact why I’m not sure if I want children. It, of course, cannot be because I simply don’t feel like being exhausted for the next 20 years, or that I don’t feel like handing my life over to a small being that is relying on me to turn it into a decent human, or that I have many things left that I want to experience, without child, or that I love my current life and the freedom that comes with it, or that I want to enjoy my marriage a little longer before it becomes one more thing I have to work at, or that I simply don’t feel like taking care of another thing (I already have a husband and four animals). Nah, none of those are reasons that I don’t want to have kids, it’s definitely because I am scared I’ll be a horrible mom.
A 31-year old woman not wanting kids is not a foreign thought. More and more women are coming out of the “do I really want children” closet. However, no matter how many women talk about feeling like they have another purpose in this world, aside from breeding, the world can’t seem to wrap their head around it. So instead of trying to understand, they just say things like “don’t worry, you’ll be a great mom!”
I’ll admit that having children is scary. Most of my friends have kids and most of them are more or less unhappy. You know the happy unhappy that your friends with kids talk about? It’s in the subtle (and not so subtle) conversations:
“oh you’re going to a movie tonight? I remember when I could just decide to go to a 5pm movie at 4:30.”
“It’s 11am and you’re still in your pajamas nursing your hangover? Must be nice.”
“I cried in the bathroom for 2 hours yesterday.”
“I love my kid, but he’s an asshole.”
“WAIT, WAIT AS LONG AS YOU CAN TO HAVE CHILDREN.”
In the words of Revenge of the Fallen, “I could go on forever baby!”
The point is, people with kids make it damn clear that shit isn’t easy, and I appreciate that. The really good parents will straight up tell you how miserable they are. These ones are my favorite; the parents who are taking it all in, and getting through it, but willing to admit that the puppies and rainbows lie far and few between at times.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a child hater, nor do I question why anyone has children. I mean I do a little bit when I’m out sipping a cocktail not having to worry about anything besides my Sunday run to Trader Joe’s and whether I should go early morning or afternoon. Or when I spend several hours on a Sunday binge watching Jane the Virgin and typing an article about not having kids. No, no, I totally understand why people have kids. I also believe people when they say that being a parent is the greatest thing they’ve ever done. I just don’t understand why it has to be the greatest thing that every woman has to do?
All I’m asking here is for a little understanding. A little understanding that parenthood isn’t for everyone. A little understanding that women can do great things that don’t involve being a mom. A little understanding that most of us will probably have children, in our own time, but until then saying things like “don’t worry you’ll be a great mom” only pisses us off. A little understanding that I have not accomplished everything possible just because I’m married, with a steady job, and I own my house. A little understanding that 31 is not old, and my eggs are just fine.
Yeah, lets try that. But don’t worry, once I am a mom, I know damn well I’ll be great at it.