Why I Shouldn’t Have Kids

All my life, I thought I wanted kids. I just knew I’d be the coolest mom ever – the one my daughter’s friends would want to hang out with and my son’s friends would want to pork.

I’ve always considered myself a person of superior intellect and moral integrity and would surely pass these traits along to my offspring. They would grow into upstanding members of society who, ultimately, would make the world a better place.

But then I’d visit a girlfriend and observe her kids engage in a no-holds-barred bitch fight over who got the bigger scoop of Chunky Monkey. Or I’d watch my pregnant co-worker develop jowls and cankles seemingly overnight. Or I’d notice that all the moms I know appear noticeably more wrinkled and, well, tired than the childless women.

And then I contemplate my own existence. My shower doors are bountifully sprouting a new form of life. I’ve been driving around with one hubcap missing for more than six months. And now, as I glance over at my side table, I see that I’ve killed my lucky bamboo.

With all this ineptitude at life glaring at me in the face, I wonder how I could possibly take care of a child when I can barely take care of myself?

I Can’t Handle the Truth

First off, I cherish my sleep and would have extreme difficulty enduring nightly tit chewing sessions at three o’clock in the morning. Maybe when I was 20 and the guy had some good ecstasy, but not anymore. I would almost certainly be driven to throw a lactating labrador into the crib and let the kid suckle on her teats. My child might not ever advance to standing on hind legs, but that’s a risk I would just have to take. It’s either that or Baby Valium.

And once they get older, it doesn’t get any better. I mean, really? You need to eat three meals a day? Unless popcorn and frozen soybeans constitute a meal, I’m in deep trouble. I foresee regular visits from child protective services as permanent fixture on my Outlook calendar.

Beyond the burden of nourishing the child, there’s my decidedly low tolerance for a particular sound that comes out of these urchins that makes me want to immediately destroy the source. You are all familiar with this noise. The shrill, piercing shriek emitted at an octave so exceedingly high it normally can only be reached by a humpback whale or one of the Bee Gees. I sometimes hear this screech while in the frozen aisle at the grocery store. I fear the freezer doors will shatter and I’ll be mutilated by a flying shard of glass to the throat. And this would be preferable to the screaming.

My Dream Child

Years ago when I was a waitress at a fancy restaurant, an Asian couple came in with the cutest little boy dressed in a private school uniform, complete with beanie, bow tie and short pants. He couldn’t have been more than six, and he was the most well-behaved child I’d ever encountered. He spoke clearly, said “may I,” “please” and “thank you” and sat perfectly still throughout the entire meal. I began to think there was hope for humanity – and my sanity.

Then I thought about what those parents must’ve done to that kid to make him so mannerly. They probably whipped him senseless upon the sight of a skid mark on his underwear and locked him in a serpent-filled torture chamber if he brought home an A-.

And with these thoughts, a grin slowly crept across my face. I became giddy at this incredible opportunity I’d be presented with if I bore a child. Finally — I could let my real personality shine through and have a neat, well-mannered kid. Jackpot!

I began to dream up names for my progeny and decided I’d call it Fritz, regardless of gender… until a disturbing thought entered my head. I envisioned Fritz, 20 years later, discussing his/her “troubled” childhood on the Tyra Banks show.

“My mother was an absolute monster,” Fritz would tell Tyra, her naturally humongous breasts now grazing her size 20 thighs. “She would dance like Cha-Cha DiGregorio in the middle of Walgreens just to embarrass me, and she believed in weekly waterboarding sessions to keep me in line. One day I snapped. And that’s why I opened fire on all those people at the Maroon 5 reunion concert.”

I mused on this detail for a moment. It dawned on me that if Tyra Banks somehow wound up in this scenario, maybe child rearing wasn’t my strong suit.

I imagine there are many mothers reading this with mouths agape in disgust, thinking what a terrible, terrible human being I must be.

But in my heart, I know there are moms out there who are reading this now with a tear in their eye, clutching their breast and nodding their head, thinking, “At last, somebody understands me.”

40 replies

  1. So true about the aging – my ex aged like 3-5 years in one year with all the waking up with the baby. And yes, I wasn’t the best Dad the first year.

  2. I get all the points on the short term scale. But in reality, I think most people will regret not having kids when reach their senior years.

  3. It seems like everyone thinks this until some point in their lives. Whether it’s mid twenties, late twenties, thirties – you seem to have a moment when you get your shit together and realize you actually want a kid. You trade in popcorn and frozen soybeans for cooking real meals, you actually learn to like cleaning and cooking and then you’re like, “Shit, I could totally take care of a kid.” The waking up at 3am thing will always suck though.

  4. I wish it wasn’t a year later since you wrote this. But, yes to all of it. So true, and it seems like all the people who make it through their twenties, BOOM suddenly have to have babies when they turn 30. Like, W to the T to the F? Seriously? Not enough hints from our friends who ruined their twenties, got married, divorced and got to parent alone? Even the cool people who were fun singles try it and don’t fall for it. It’s just a great way to add more screwed up people to this screwed up planet. Like, even if you did do a great job, they’d be growing up with kids in THIS SOCIETY! Screwy!

  5. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m just not fit for motherhood a long time ago. However, I am equipped with one useful mom skill: the ability to tune out chatter and ignore nonsensical questions.

  6. Watching my twenty-something mommy friends age before my eyes is enough to keep me child free. Oh, you’re spending your weekend changing diapers, not sleeping, plugging your ears from the screaming and worrying how the hell you’re going to pay for college? Gee, I hope I enjoy my weekend as much as you do, what with my extra sleep, time and money.

    • You know what? Sleep (or lack thereof) is one of the main deterrents for me. I effing LOVE to sleep. And I am not a pleasant person — hell, I’m not a person — if I don’t get enough of it. I’m 100% certain I’d look like a haggard old witch within one year of childbirth.

  7. i find it weird that part of me still wants to have a child even though everything in the world is screaming it is a bad idea. its society brainwashing me since i was a child telling me that my purpose in life is to get married and have a child

    considering my genetics,my personality and this shit hole called earth. based on that i would never purposely procreate

    i seriously want to no longer have this desire because i know that when it comes i wont be able to cope.

    i think that some women need to stop having sex and get their tubes tied. the amount of maury show baby mama drama is getting ridiculous

    btw leave tryas thighs alone

    • Yes, the battle between the brain and the womb is fierce. There’s no telling who will win. Honestly, sometimes I think I just want kids so someone will take care of me when I’m old and decrepit. So I’m not, ya know, walking around with unchanged diapers or lying face down in the gutter.

  8. “Children are what you do in a relationship after you run out of other things to do.” – Unknown.

    Not sure where I saw this quote but it’s always been rather biting in it’s truth. As a person who’s never wanted children, I’ve watched so many girls I know go from people who had a name to a generic, Facebook style group known as “mommies.” They scare me.

    Upside? Trying to convince other players of “breeder bingo” that I should be allowed to use comments on this thread to fill in my bingo card. I’ve got like half of the squares covered!

    • Breeder bingo? Oh, you must share this game with us. Wait – does winning mean having kids or not?

      Mommies posting pics of their kids ad nauseum on Facebook make me want to gag. They should start another social network just for them, or Facebook should have a baby pic blocking policy.

  9. I had the exact same thoughts the first time I managed to kill a cactus plant…and that next time I killed a vase of lucky bamboo.

    I think its a good idea to think of these things. Too many people idealize having a baby then when they do get a really rude awakening when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. With that said, I’m like you and still think “Someday, maybe”

    • Isn’t it the worst when you kill your lucky bamboo? I’m always afraid it’s prophetic and doom will be upon me in my future. Plus, isn’t that shit supposed to be really hard to kill? I think we both need to be careful not to walk under ladders or step on cracks in the sidewalk. I’ll say a little prayer for you, girlfriend.

  10. Omg I just totally did this baby thing. Hubs & I procrastinated as long as humanly possible. It’s heaven & hell truly. Cocaine bliss & come down hell. I’ll never do it again but am so glad I did once. Weird thing – the cries don’t bother me at all – they actually make me sad for him. There’s some biological thing that kicks in so you don’t kill them. For serious. You’d be a rad mom single girlie, just like me. My observation is that peeps with only 1 offspring get their bodies back & don’t look so haggard & don’t end up with “mom haircuts.”

    • A lot of people tell me about this biological anti-infanticidal thing. I guess you actually have to experience it first hand to understand. But ooooh, that’s scaaaaary.

      I’m proud you haven’t succumbed to the mom haircut. Good job, girl.

  11. Hahaha yeah… I will spend the Christmas weekend with a 4 and a 6 year old. Have mercy. Though I have suggested to my friend that maybe we could give her kids some valium… or lots of Baileys… not sure if I should be giving child care advice…

  12. Oh, hey Girlie. Have we been hanging out lately and I didn’t notice?

    If so, I blame it on the fact that the nine-month-old I *have* been hanging out with (because I want to see his parents) is really effing good at taking all the attention. And not in the good way.

  13. I feel the same way, singlegirlie. I was saying “Amen” after every sentence. I love your blog because you say everything that’s been on my mind perfectly! Oh, and I know why that Asian kid was well-behaved. He was spanked with random household appliances–thick bamboo sticks and clothes hangers were my parents’ weapons of choice–every time he did something wrong. I know this because I had to endure the same disciplinary actions!

    • Aw, thanks! Glad I’m not alone.

      Yeah, those Asians don’t fuck around. I know all about those tiger moms. Sometimes I think they can teach American parents a thing or two. We let our kids run amuck then put them on shows like Scared Straight to have prisoners do the disciplinary action for us.

  14. Yes it’s hard but very rewarding at times. Other times it’s like chewing salted flaming glass shards.

    I did it once and that’s enough for me!

    • Salted flaming glass shards – owie! Yes, I hear it’s awful and wonderful at the same time. Well, not always at the same time. I’m just very fragile and not sure if I could handle the awful. But maybe…

  15. I used to want kids badly too – and then I started to travel through airports a lot. And saw the carnage. And heard the screams. And then watched friends get pregnent and not lose the weight and flip out about it. And then realized it’s so easy to fuck up a human that I’d feel guilty for doing everything…

    And so now I think I shan’t have children at all.

    • Yes, yes, yes, exactly. I think when we’re younger we idealize the concept – like we’re going to raise perfect little human beings. But then reality sinks in and you reconsider. And you have no idea if they are going to turn out to be a serial killer, despite your best efforts.

  16. I often think that child-rearing is not my strong suit — and I have five. You do what you gotta do, I was always afraid of the effects of children. Be afraid, be very afraid. That said, I’m not a regular mom, at least that’s what my kids say to my face. Whatever.

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