To be or not to be a mother
Happy Mother’s Day, moms! (And a special shout-out to mine, thanks for all the labor pre- and post-birth.) I feel the need to thank you all: You’re creating future doctors, scientists, writers, philosophers, teachers, police, firefighters, politicians who may actually do their jobs and hooligans like the ones who tagged my neighborhood last week and stole four tires from an SUV down the street, leaving it up on concrete blocks.
This day got me thinking about why I’ve never felt the maternal pull. Sure, my body was engineered to create, incubate and birth life, and I won’t lie: I’ve felt the twinge here and there. But whenever I’m feeling this way, I scamper to the nearest Walmart for a reality check. Screaming kids and frustrated, expletive-wielding moms fill the aisles. All it takes is about five minutes and my ovaries have shriveled up like grapes morphing into raisins on a sunny day
However, my overall apathy toward being a mom is not the only reason for my decision. I have several more specific reasons:
#1: I value my vagina.
The definition of episiotomy gives me night terrors. I don’t have a lot of other things going for me physically: I need to lose weight, I’m one large freckle, and if I can find the inventor of a truly effective under-eye-bag-eliminating cream I will lobby for his/her Nobel Prize nomination. My vagina is one of my best features: It is unsullied, uncut. It has never witnessed (and played a vital role in) pushing a bowling ball-sized baby through a very small space. I’d like to keep it that way.
#2: My kids would either weigh 500 pounds or have scurvy (or both).
I’ve lived alone for 15 years and I’m currently single. Tired of cooking for one, sometimes dinner can consist of two sleeves of saltines and a bag of jellybeans. My fridge houses 652 condiments, but is void of any citrus fruit or milk. My pantry is stocked with more condiments, out-of-date cans of tomatoes and Fruit Loops. I can barely feed myself properly, let alone my morbidly obese, Vitamin C deficient children.
#3: I like animals better than children.
A dog runs out into the street? I will throw myself in front of the car (I speak from experience). Bird with a broken wing? I have the local wildlife rehabilitator on speed dial. Strays? Come on in and make yourself at home. A toddler runs out into the street? Kid, what kid? I’m too busy trying to save the Lab who just dashed into the path of a Range Rover. Child with a broken arm? Nope, I’m not going to sign your cast and please stop whining you little snot. Stray child? You should’ve bought that child leash, mom and dad. And speaking of…
#4: I never want to have to make the decision to put little Timmy on a leash.
Child leashes make the hair on the back of my neck stand up….but…what if I had one of “those” kids? The ones who dart and run and ignore any type of motherly guidance? (For example: The light is green don’t cross the street or stop shoving your tiny hands through the slats of the lion cage at the zoo). A leash may be unavoidable, and well, I just don’t want to go there.
#5: Children are expensive.
Unless I marry someone with a lot of Apple stock, I can’t afford a kid. According to a recent CNBC article, parents will spend $227,000 for food, shelter and other expenses necessary to raise one child – $287,000 when you factor in projected inflation. These dollar amounts do not include the egregious cost of college or anything related to the pregnancy and delivery. I like my lattes and expensive hair products and sushi. Kids, not so much.
#6: I’m a selfish asshole.
I like sleeping in occasionally. I come and go as I please, and when I leave the house I pack light. I don’t mind eating jellybeans and saltines for dinner. My housekeeping skills are suspect, and I don’t really care. I leave suffocating plastic bags out in the open, and my strangulating blind cords are dangling within easy reach of a toddler. On the other hand, I’d rather shove rusty tucks into my eyelids than change poopy diapers and clean up kid barf. I don’t want to answer 400 questions a day that start with the word “Why”. The soft, easily smushable head of an infant gives me agita. Packing a suitcase full of diapers, food and toys every time I venture more than a block away from my house is unappealing. Did I mention they’re expensive?
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