Tall Drink of Nerd: I Believe That Children Are The Future…Just Not Mine
A blogumn by Amy Robinson
Everybody is having babies. So many woman around me are new mommies, have the baby bump or in serious talks to get knocked up. An originally rural gal, most of my friends started having children right out of high school. A few girls from my class actually have kids in college at this point. And as the youngest of 5 in my family, I’ve had nieces and nephews since I was 10, and nearly all my nieces and nephews have gone on to creating more and more family members.
Me, I’ve never had the baby jones. My first memory of a “we’re having a baby” announcement could be the reason. My oldest sister was 17, she was about to graduate from high school and was suddenly with child. Our folks were anything but thrilled. They were pretty much out of contact with thrilled and making a close acquaintance with extremely upset. Mom had us praying the rosary every night for a few months. Then my brother knocked up his 16yo girlfriend. More rosaries. I’m thinking that the psychic energy of that reaction to out-of-wedlock, teen-mothered babies clung to me. (Just to clarify, both those babies, now in their late 20’s are PHENOMENAL people. We’re all very glad they exist.) Most of my 20’s, when I heard “We’re pregnant” my first thought would be “OH NO!!” Now though, having named and shaken the source of the “oh no’s”, I am sincerely thrilled for people when they announce gleefully that they’re cooking a bun in the oven.
There are a bunch of other reasons to keep me out of the family business; free-time, uncertainty about the future of the world, disposable income, mini-van ownership, total life-change, over-population, massive laziness. Those are just the big ones.
What’s crazy is the reaction people have to my baby-free life. I often get asked if I’ve discussed children with my husband or quizzed on why I don’t like children. I’ve even had a co-worker say, “Well, you probably wouldn’t have made a very good mother anyway.” Granted, she was a little slow, but there are times when I’ve wanted to be a smart ass: “Oh, we have discussed not having kids and it will probably be the reason for our divorce. “Or “we both just hate babies soooo much…” Once I responded with “I just can’t conceive of having children.” Which is a ridiculous joke, but it shocks folks into realizing that they’ve asked a fairly personal question; ask a stupid question, get a ridiculous answer.
FYI, I’ve got nothing against babies. I like their sweet smelling little heads and the way a toddler chews on your chin and can be cute while covering you with goop. Some of the best times I spent growing up are centered around helping out with my nieces and nephews. Just like a regular gal, I get melty when shopping for teeny shoes and dresses for baby shower gifts. I have a friend whose adorable 2 year old is so cute; he is a clear argument for starting a family. But miniature clothes and a friend’s cute baby aren’t reasons enough.
Seen and I have discussed the pros and cons. We’ve even discussed why pros and cons don’t matter and always come to the same spot. We’re just not breeders, no baby sustained urges between the two of us. We’ll hang out with new parents, have babies in our lives by proxy. So even though I know Seen would be a patient and fun Daddy, and I would be a pretty good Mom, I know that I’m just not going to Mommyville.