Sunday, May 31, 2009

To breed or not to breed, that is the question.

Yesterday evening we were unloading groceries from the car when our next door neighbor walked up with two itsy-bitsy little blond girls in tow. He introduced himself--he's in the Australian Air Force and is here until August for training. He said that his wife and daughters had just arrived for a month-long visit.

The girls are ADORABLE. They remind me of me and my sister when we were small, and appear to have a similar age gap. The older girl is five or so, and was wearing one of those Disney store Cinderella dresses. The younger is two or three. They had been down to the pond in the middle of our complex to see the ducks, and had come back to get some bread so the girls could feed them.

When I see lovely, well-behaved children like them, I think to myself that those are the kind of kids I would want, if we were to have kids. Most of the time, though, the children I see in public are so ill-behaved that I swear to myself that we are never reproducing. When we lived in Massachusetts, the kids we saw most often were Jason's nephews. I will simply say that the two of them do not inspire me to attempt motherhood.

I'm so torn on the subject. So ambivalent. I know that I have plenty of time left to have kids, so we're not sweating it. Jason is firmly in the "maybe someday, but not now" camp. It's nice to be on the same page in this regard. And so far both of our families have kept the "when are you going to have kids" badgering to a minimum. I'm the second youngest grandchild on my mom's side of the family (my sister is the youngest), so most of my cousins have already squeezed out kids. I'm the oldest grandchild on my dad's side, but my cousin is pregnant and has a stepson. And Jason's sister has two boys to keep his parents busy. I know my mother is anxious for grandbabies (and has names in mind), but now that my sister is engaged I am totally putting that on her. She, after all, definitely wants kids someday. We've mostly avoided the firing squad from both wings of the family thus far.

Actually, the people who are the most inappropriate about it are Navy people. When they find out that Jason is married, they always ask if we have kids (which is a fine question in and of itself). But when he says that we do not, they inevitably follow up with "why not?" I find this question offensive on multiple levels and if it were posed to me, I would feel compelled to respond rudely, because A) it's not your business, and B) why the hell do you HAVE kids?

There are so many things that we want to do and continue doing in our lives that do not accommodate children. For example, I can't imagine going to Six Flags with a child and still enjoying it. I can't imagine enjoying a lazy Sunday with children. I can't imagine having any sort of adult fun with a child around--and I am not ready to give up my adult fun. I am not ready to give up drinking swearing like a sailor's wife. I am not ready to give up the ability to hop in the Corvette and go wherever the road takes us. I am not ready to put myself second. I don't know if I ever will be.

There are plenty of bloggers around who are parents and seem to still enjoy such grownup pursuits. Frankly, I don't know how you ladies do it.

Maybe I was born without the "mothering" gene. I find the thought of being pregnant and giving birth utterly undesirable. Everything about having children sounds so inconvenient and annoying (far more so than having cats).

So I want to hear from you, readers, about your thoughts on children. Have them? Want them? Fear them? Hate them? I know my readership is a mixed bag, so some of you are in the same place in life as me, and some of you are already or are soon to be parents. Am I alone in my thinking? Am I completely normal? Will I ever stop being a self-absorbed cat lady who prefers booze to breastmilk? Are Ashlynne and Evelynne babies in my future, or should I adopt of couple of rabbit sisters and use those names on them? Please, weigh in--I'd especially like to hear from new readers. If you've never commented before, now's the time!

For the moment, I enjoy my self-indulgent existence and rarely worry about whether or not I am wearing pants, let alone whether or not my spawn is.


cybeel said...

Yeah yeah i often thinh that i was born without that gene too. My mum says that every woman is to be a mother. Well it's a very personalmatter and all about being ready or not

remember moments said...

To start I guess I would say that it's good to realize that you will lose ALOT of your freedom/personal time once a baby comes along. That's a given.

I don't think you were born w/o the Mothering gene. You are still young and have LOTS of time to do other things before having children.

I'm glad I had the chance to do a lot of the traveling that I did before E came along. I won't lie though, I miss traveling now ALOT. No more trips to Europe or Mexico in my plans for a LONG while I fear.

Anonymous said...

I hear you! Everyone said I'd start to feel the "I want a baby" fever around 26, 27 years old. I am well into 27 and I have the "I want to be a cool Aunt" feeling only.

Same thing though, no pressure from either sides.

So, thats good.

And I FIRMLY believe that children, especially little children are a total reflection of their parents, so the well behaved ones have parents you'd want to be friends with and the not so well behaved ones have parents you want to be acquaintances with.

Samsmama said...

I always wanted to be a mommy, then was told I'd never have kids. I was surprisingly fine with it. Then Sam came along, and he's the best thing to ever happen. And now I want another, but I'm not hopeful. It's great that you and Jason are on the same page. That is a MAJOR thing to disagree about. And I've seen it ruin marriages. Dad bails b/c he really wants a kid, or mom "accidentally" gets pregnant. And, come to find out, dad meant it when he said he'd leave. Done rambling now.

Bayjb said...

I won't lie, for as much as I say I don't want kids, I know deep down I do want at least two. But that doesn't mean I'm not still scared sh*tless about it.

Maris said...

I think I want one. I can't wait to have it but once it hits like, thirteen I want someone else to raise it! :)

Cary said...

I like being a parent. Yes, it's hard, and you give up a lot, but you also gain a lot. To me, the trade-off is worth it. My daughter brings tons of joy to my life.

I still swear, too. And we're going to Six Flags this week and will have a blast. So not all adult fun goes out the window.

You're young. No rush. Be married for a while. I was married 13 years before having a child.

April said...

Obviously you know I must want one (since he's set to pop out in about 9-ish weeks) ;-) and personally, I've ALWAYS wanted children. It's been a dream of mine since I WAS a child.

However I have a couple of friends who, for years now, have told me and anyone else who will listen that they have no intention of having children becuz they enjoy their freedom too much. The funny part is, now that we are all in our early to mid-30's I've had TWO of those "I don't want kids" friends change their minds. I'm blown away by this!

I say enjoy your freedom now while you've got it. and that is AWESOME that you and hubby are on the same page cuz that is most important!

ALF said...

I always think it's weird when people judge you based on whether or not you have kids. I guess you reach an age where people expect it. I don't know.

As for well behaved vs. not well behaved, I think that has a lot to do with parenting. You'd have well behaved ones, for sure!