As a lady, I find myself in the position of having my decisions publicly judged on a daily basis. From the old dude who tells me to “Smile!” because “It ain’t that bad!” to all sorts of legislators telling me what I can and cannot do with my own body, every day feels like a goddamn shitshow. But the one that’s really been the hair in my ass lately? People, some of whom I barely know, playing concern troll for my son’s lack of siblings. No, really. This is a thing that happens. I was just as surprised as you are! People really seem to care about the contents of my uterus, and seem to be surprised, offended, or a combination of the two when I tell them that I would prefer that it has no further occupants. Sigh.
Dudes. Duuuuuuuudes. Here is a secret about me that actually is not a secret at all if you talk to me for more than, say, 20 minutes. I don’t really like kids. Let’s back up because GOD KNOWS the shit flies like a swarm of killa bees when you make statements like that. I love my son. He’s mine, I made him. He is hands down the worst roommate I’ve ever had, but jeez, yeah, I love the shit out of that kid. And my friends’ kids? Sure! They’re okay too. Many of them are adorable, and some keep my own child occupied so we can sit on the porch with beer and Parliaments. But generally speaking? If given the choice of being around a bunch of kids and the opposite of that scenario? I will choose the latter. Some people are kid people, just like some people are dog people, others are cat people, and some are CENTAURS. (For the record, I am none of those things.) (Sorry if you thought I was a centaur.) Babies are cute, but I like to give them back to their rightful owner when they get fussy or poop up their backs. Kids are loud and mean and if I wanted loud and mean, I’d hang out with…well, me. I’d hang out with me.
Furthermore, I had never planned on having kids because of the aforementioned general disregard for them. But I found myself in the family way at the age of 24, so I went with it. As anticipated, my pregnancy sucked. I gained 72 pounds, got horrible stretch marks (which I noticed on my 25th birthday! creeeeeeepin’ up from the bottom of my stomach), couldn’t drink orange juice because it made me puke and holy shit orange juice puke is The Worst, and eventually had crazy high blood pressure so I had to get induced after being on bed rest and basically I did not have TIME for that shit. Labor was cake compared to pregnancy EVEN THOUGH MY FUCKING EPIDURALS DID NOT WORK AND I HAD THREE. Then came the actual baby. Not gonna lie: My kid was Not Terrible. But even the least terrible babies are pretty terrible. It’s not like they can tell you what’s wrong. Or sleep consistently. And mine just about chewed my goddamn nipples off (WHOLE other post, but JESUS). Yeah, it had its moments where I would be like, “Holy shit, I MADE this PERSON!” Then I would have to pack up my car with a week’s worth of rations to go grocery shopping and I was back to “Oh GOD, fuck this.”
And you’re reading this, going, “Well, YEAH, Delaney. This is what PARENTHOOD IS. Why are you WHINING?” And I would say, “Fuck you! This is MY post! I do what I want!” Then I would say, “I KNOW. Parenthood is not my jam! WHICH IS WHY I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH IT AGAIN.” So let’s recap: Parenthood isn’t my jam a lot of the time (as I had suspected!), so I am only having the one kid (who I love VERY MUCH). My son is at an age now (6) where he can fend for himself on Saturday mornings (string cheese for breakfast? Sure!) and can tell me what’s WRONG. And like I said, the dude is a terrible roommate, but shit. He’s highly entertaining and I can explain things to him and he doesn’t listen and then I explain them again and then he asks the same question and then Optimus Prime.
But you know what? It really riles my feminist sensibilities that it is assumed I want children just because I am a lady. I mean, it REALLY grinds my gears. We exist in the year 2013. It is now, we are there. Some women work outside the home, some don’t. Some men want to stay home! Sometimes people want babies! All of this is fine. My biological clock is broken, or maybe was pawned off in an attempt to purchase a case of PBR and a carton of Camel Lights when I was 19. I DON’T KNOW. But please, PLEASE! Don’t tell me I want more kids. Or, you know what? Do. Do tell me what I want! And don’t walk away when I give you a detailed account of my pregnancy and childbirth, the stitches that came with it, and what was presumably my post-partum depression. Because if you are going to tell me what I want? I can only assume to know what YOU want. And clearly, that is the definition of a “mucous plug” while you attempt to enjoy your lunch.