On babies

This post will come off cranky.

Believe me, I don’t mean it that way.

To those of you who clicked on this link hoping to see some sort of announcement, I hate to disappoint you, but no, I’m not pregnant.

And I know that once I have a baby I will love it and hug it and call it George. Well, maybe not George, but you know, I’ll do all that mushy baby stuff.

But this post is really just another confessional from the depths of my blackened soul:

I don’t like babies.

Don’t get me wrong; I like your baby. I like holding it and talking to it and giving it back to you. Your baby is beautiful and lovely and special, and I’m really not being sarcastic. Babies are beautiful miracles.

It’s just that I’m glad it’s your baby, and that I can go to bed and go to sleep and stay in bed all night and not have to get up to feed said baby.

This is one of those things that makes me feel weird among women.

I think there’s an expectation that getting married means you want babies. And that time will make you want babies. And that some sort of clock inside you will tell you when to MAKE THE BABIES. But not everybody is like that.

Don’t get me wrong, it is PERFECTLY OKAY to be like that. I am not dissing it. If you want babies, have the babies.

But even though Ben and I do want to have a few kids at some point (no, not now), I don’t think there will ever be a moment where all of a sudden I’m like HOLY CRAP CLOCK TICKING MUST HAVE ALL THE BABIES NOW ZOMG. Just not me.

Also, I happen to know for a fact that there are those among you who have borne a child who don’t actually really love babies or cute little clothes or fuzzy little baby toys or any of that. You love your kid, sure, but you’re not really a “mommy” type. Your blood curdles at the sight of a minivan and you don’t make your own baby wipes.

I’d like to formally use my authority as a fellow human being to absolve you of any guilt you feel regarding that. Go ahead and buy those baby wipes, go ahead and dream of the day when your littlest will be out of diapers and you won’t have to wash poop off your hands anymore. Dream.

Anyway, I’m not really sure what it was that prompted me to write this, but maybe it’s a piece of the whole being-comfy-with-my-identity thing. I mean, I love plenty of classically “girly” things, like pedicures, cute clothes, hair stuff, etc.

But I also love science fiction, space ships, movies with explosions (but only if they have good, thoughtful characters), theology, talking about random abstract ideas, and computer games. And I would say that these things are much more reflective of my identity than the previous list. I also don’t salivate over babies.

So maybe this is just my way of saying “Hi there, world. I’m weird. But I’m okay with that.”

And who knows?

Maybe one day I’ll wake up WANTING TO HAVE ALL THE BABIES.

It could happen. Probably not, but it could happen.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “On babies

  1. Schoolbus buddy

    And don’t even THINK about HAVING THOSE BABIES until your ovaries are about to burst into flame with anticipation, because there will come a moment when you wish you could shove that baby right back where it came from and go back to sleep, or eat the meal you slaved away to prepare, or take a quiet relaxing weekend off with your love without dealing with blown out diapers and spitup and colic, or for once just take a crap in private without a captive audience. It’s ok to find the joys of parenthood resistible!!

  2. Melissa K

    I was just talking today to a fellow female science PhD student about this today, and how neither of us particually care about having the babies, but we will probably eventually have them because our husbands really want them, and we will probably like the babies when we have them, but neither of us feel very nurturing or maternal at all. I think there are a lot more of ladies like us then people generally think, because I think people tend to assume all women want all the babies just because women have uteruses (uteri?)

    Anyway. I appreciate this post. We should also have a follow-up post called “shut up about babies!” where we admonish our relatives to stop asking us about when we’re having children already!

  3. Okay, Bethany, why haven’t you started a blog of your own? Your writing is freaking hilarious (and always was, I remember some of those high school notes). Believe me, I’m taking your advice – I have lots of friends who have procreated, and I know the consequences. I am enjoying every childless minute.

    Damn, I sound heartless.

    Mel, I totally hear you. Although I haven’t gotten a lot of crap about having babies yet…but I just feel so pressured by my news feed. SO MANY BABIES!!! AAAHHHH!! But the thing is, I think that even non-nurturers like us can successfully raise little people in our own weird way. We can do it! Eventually! There, I’ve come up with a good parenting motto for reluctant moms.

  4. Schoolbus buddy

    A blog of my own feels like too much commitment!! I can’t be consistently clever and witty and insightful all the time, and it’s terrifying to think of my private neurotic thoughts (usually produced on 5-6 hrs of fragmented sleep) being so exposed … yeahhhhh, maybe not. Way more enjoyable to stalk my old friends, psychoanalyze THEIR heads and drop random commentaries when inspired! 🙂 But I do apologize for my unintentional contribution to the BABY-TAKEOVER of your fb news feed. The thing about kids is, they pop out your nether region and with one mighty yell they obliterate your life as you know it. And I do realize that my childless friends don’t jump on fb anxiously hoping to hear about Gavin spewing the diaper-rash ointment that he ingested down my cleavage, or Silas scrubbing my kitchen sparkling clean with toilet water, unless it is to take a mental note to never, EVER accept a dinner invite from me again. But for now that IS my life, so my long suffering friends will be subjected to my bodily-function status updates for the next few years… but I’m sure this will serve as a reminder of why you are blissfully, deliriously happy about not being preggers! 🙂 (And YES, even “non-nurturers” eventually find themselves inexplicably swooning over their offspring and wondering how they ever lived a meaningful day in their lives without children. But don’t rush yourself to get there ….)

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