In their defense; 10 good reasons not to have kids, by the mother of 5…
I’m 24 years into this whole motherhood thing and still have another 10 years to go. I’m no movie star, activist or stand-up comedian. I knew from a young age my passion for life included dual tracks of both Mommy and Career. In many ways, I’ve built my career out of being a parent. I have been able to enjoy a fulfilling career working both inside and outside my home full of children most of the time, but after reading of comments from famous women celebrities who are choosing to remain childless, I feel the need to forcefully defend them in the court of public opinion. These women don’t waiver a bit and I don’t blame them.
Like any other career you don’t want to have, parenting sucks.
1. Giving Birth Sucks
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First off, to put the reproductive cheerleaders back in the stands, there is nothing innately feminine about motherhood just because women are physiologically capable of giving birth. Childbirth is the last thing I think of when I consider my femininity. Maybe birthing kids and raising them can be considered earth mama like (I seem to remember someone whispering that to me during my first labor) but come on folks, it all starts out with stirrups, a sore hoochie and lifesaving icepacks or big stitches across your mid-drift, proceeding to seriously raw nipples… a bout of cystitis or two and if you nurse, by the time you are ready to wean, your infant is most likely able to pull that nipple and snap it back like a rubber band before you can even start to let out the scream. The first moment you are forced to discipline is also no moment of femininity, it is just a plain ole’ piercing bite on the tit.
2. Kids vomit–a lot. And boogers.
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Next in my line of defense comes the whole vomit, poop, boogers and earwax thing. The bodily excretions we are just supposed to take in stride. One thing is sure, I never regretted marrying a doctor. He went to school and learned to be disciplined around bodily fluids ( he was officially on vomit patrol in our house). It was like winning the lottery the day my last kid learned to get to the toilet to vomit. The times vomit patrol was otherwise busy, were usually times I unknowingly brought an under the weather toddler to bed and woke up with vomit in my hair (not to mention the “your barf makes me barf phenomenon”). And poop well…for the working mom it kinda goes like this… is that coffee on my shirt? How’d chocolate get on my purse? Come on… at some point every one starts changing man size poops. (still nothing innately feminine coming to mind for me). You find things on the walls like boogers, poop and poop and boogers with blood… and even if it isn’t that, you get close and wonder if it is…and my kids, they know not to ever give me a good view of their ears… gold is for jewelry… just nasty stuff…
3. Your home usually looks like a warzone
Image Credit: Flickr user Nathan via Creative Commons
Moving on… my next point is the shit you find in your bed at night or in your pocket at work… and not shit as in the poopy phenomenon above… but the hoarding of junk all the little items that take over you life, like when you reach in your pocket hoping to find a pen to take notes with and alas all there is; is the pacifier… or stepping on the friggin’ sharpest piece of lego underfoot in the dark of night, rolling over on tickle me Elmo or having the electronic toy at the bottom of the toy pile shift position or go on the blitz beeping in the middle of the night, where was the damn tiny screw driver, cause the button is malfunctioning and the garage door isn’t thick enough. And sand… who invented sandbox play and tanbark anyhow??? the Washer and Dryer appliance repair companies?
4. Beauty sleep will become a thing of the past.
You will never ever, ever get your beauty sleep again, it just isn’t a glamorous job, especially if you are doing it right. And is there anything less fucking feminine than not getting your beauty sleep?
5. The Black Sheep of the family will put an end to your dinner party invites.
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I am most certain that if you ever give birth to a devil spawn, you will NEVER be invited to a friend’s house because of that devil spawn… Yes, certain kids just wreck your social life. There were long stretches of time in my life raising 5 children when only equally crazy families would ever invite us over, let alone going away for a weekend. Security lines with all the regalia??? Pretty sure we were top of the no fly list as well. That, of course, would make the filming movies in exotic locations less of an option.
6. The only type of date you’ll be having is a playdate.
Image Credit: Flickr user Sarah Gilbert via Creative Commons
Fine dining or day drinking gets taken over by a well scheduled calendar of playdates. Playdates SUCK, unless you get to drop off at someone else’s house, kids rarely want to go off to play alone without your entertainment, and who wants to share their stuff anyhow? Please, I need more boogers, saliva and earwax on my walls, so come on over and help me decorate?… um no.
7. Bills, Bills, Bills
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And having kids, well let me tell you it is a slippery slope cause then you might also have to get married, or divorced, maybe get a pet? Drive a minivan? The worst of all therapy bills go up!!! Having kids is expensive as fuck.
8. You won’t please everyone (or anyone at all).
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You think you have critics on your ass about your less than Oscar award winning performances now? After having kids you never stop hearing what you’re doing wrong…
9. You will never be alone-ever.
There is never a moment to yourself. Who cares about the paparazzi, telephoto pictures will be the least of your issues… a chance to take a shit in peace might become a new career goal or maybe how NOT to act genuinely excited at preschool drop off, your new dramatic challenge, pretend you can’t bear to part with your rug rat for 3 hours, you’re on set trailer might actually be the closest thing to heaven.
10. Cold pizza for breakfast.
Parenthood causes you to stoop lower than you’ve ever imagined you’d go, yes, to avoid the laundry you might even sniff the underwear in hopes that it could go back in the drawers… or teaching your kids the nutritional value of cold pizza or leftover sushi on the way to school. You might just be tired enough to spread towels out on the peed bed because your sleep is just far more important, super feminine. No?
So in conclusion…What the hell is the matter with this society, asking women without children why they aren’t having them?
Why am I not an actor or comedian? Because I didn’t want to be!
These women have fulfilling lives as it is, I assume they love what they do and are paid well to do it. They are women who can set strong role models for my daughters, exemplifying self sufficiency, a passion for their work and making the choice that is right for them. Women who don’t feel the need to be mothers should be revered for their open honest decision making, just as women who choose to be mothers should be revered for their call to motherhood. Because if you aren’t sure you want children, or are sure you don’t want children, I can promise you, you don’t! There should be no maybes where children are concerned. I think that is the real problem, people HAVING children who aren’t cut out for the job, because they think it is some role they must play, or it is societal expectation. To turn Westfeldt’s reasoning back around the other way, the chance that you’ll regret HAVING the kids IS a compelling enough reason NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN AT ALL.
You can read more of Tanya’s writing on her website Down To Earth Parenting.