When you announce your engagement, everyone’s mind turns to one thing, and one thing only. Sure, you’ll get a few questions about your registry, the wedding, and how he proposed, but most people are dying to ask the bigger question. So, when are you having kids?
Not only is it a loaded question, but depending on your answer, it’s an awkward conversation for everyone involved. When I tell people I’m not having kids, suddenly the peaceful conversation becomes an interrogation. I usually mumble something about not being ready for that step and extricate myself from the situation. But what I wish I could say is…
10. I Can Barely Even Dress Myself.
Look, when you have kids you have to know how to dress them. Sure, sometimes I pull out all the stops and look stylish, but more often than not I’m inappropriately dressed for the weather.
It’s 90 degrees outside, but Mother Nature can’t tell me what to do. I’m going to wear pants until I pass out! Which I will because my body sucks at temperature regulation.
9. I Hate Homework.
I’m pretty sure part of having a kid is making sure they turn their homework in on time. Considering that I made it several years of school without turning in a single piece of work actually done at home, I’m not a great role model for this.
8. The Dog Hates Children.
He was here first, kids…
He’s old and set in his ways. He likes to bite children. Children don’t like to be bitten. It’s not a winning combination.
7. Puke Grosses Me Out.
I still can’t see someone puke without becoming a vomiting mess myself. I’ve been told it’s different when it’s your own kid, but I’m not exactly ready to test that hypothesis.
6. I Eat Like a Toddler.
How am I supposed to introduce my kids to a healthy diet? Sure, I don’t eat many starches and I’ve tried just about every trendy diet for stomach issues and autoimmune disorders ever, but when it comes down to it, I’m still the pre-teen that literally caused an oven explosion.
Last time I was left in charge of children, I fed them junk food until they told their parents that they wanted to come live with me. There’s something about a steady diet of macaroni, icees, and cupcakes that wins a child’s heart. However, it also winds them up and leaves them crashing from simple sugars, so I appreciate the ability to give them back to their parents.
6. I Suck at Being Encouraging.
One of the best things about my parents is the way they always encouraged me to follow my dreams, even when my dreams were kind of silly. For example, when I was in preschool and wanted to be a garbage collector, my parents told me that I would be the best garbage collector ever.
Now, encouraging your kids is so important. Seriously! Which is a good reason for me not to try to raise any. I try, I really do. But when people want encouragement, my brain freezes. I wind up patting people on the back awkwardly and nodding in what I hope is a sympathetic manner. Even if I don’t need to be sympathetic.
5. I’m Scared I’ll Mess Up.
Babies are so fragile. Especially if they’re birthed by someone who has a hereditary genetic disorder. Just thinking about all the injuries my brother and I had as children, despite being closely watched and practically wrapped in bubble wrap, scares me.
There’s so much that could go wrong, and as I learned with Fuzzy, if anything did go wrong, even the smallest thing, it would crush me. I’m the type of person who takes her cats for massages when they’re stressed. Can you imagine me as a parent??
4. I’m a Terrible Disciplinarian.
I’ve worked with kids several times, and let me tell you, they love me. You wanna know why they love me? Because I can’t bring myself to punish them. Sure, I can sometimes ward off bad behavior with my scary “Teacher Face,” which I inherited from my mom. But if pre-emptive measures don’t work? I got nothing.
3. I Can’t Even Have Them.
I’m a little bitter about this. But I have come to terms with it, using humor to hide any anger I may still have about the issues. However, the truth of the matter is, between my reproductive issues and my Ehlers Danlos, I really can’t have kids.
My family has had a lot of issues with having babies. My mom and grandma struggled to have kids and they’ve passed their issues down. It’s not exactly the kind of information I pass around to people casually asking about my life plan. But it’s one of the most serious reasons I’m not having kids.
2. Medical Bills.
Having kids is expensive. So are the thousands of medical bills I rack up every year. When I think of all the medical bills I would rack up while trying to have kids, it makes me shudder. When I think about the medical bills my kids would rack up if I passed my illness down? That’s just sad.
1. I’m Too Sick.
There are some amazing spoonie mamas out there. I respect and admire you so much! You work so hard to take care of both your kids and your health. It’s like having two full time jobs you can never get a break from. You’re practically Super Mom!
As for me? Until I get some proper pain management and a little help for the constant dizziness, I don’t have the resources to give a child what they deserve. Add in the guilt I would feel if I passed any of my illnesses down to my kid, and it’s just not the right choice for me and my husband.
That doesn’t mean it’s not right for everyone, and please don’t be like some people I’ve encountered who assume I’m a kid-hating curmudgeon! Just think before the next time you ask someone when they’re planning on having kids. Unless you know them well, you never know what kind of can of worms you are opening!