At some point, I’m going to want my tubes tied. And at that point, I will tolerate no bullshit.
Children, for me, are a lot like apricot jam. They’re fine and all, but I don’t want a lifetime supply. And I’m not going to change my mind, and I know I’m not, and I’ll tell you why.
I’m not an easy person. I’m grouchy. I believe that Milk Duds and Red Bull constitute a balanced meal. According to the standards set by parenting magazines, I’m selfish.
I don’t want to raise myself, but I don’t want to raise anyone else either. I don’t want to raise a kid with my irritation, my secretiveness, my OCD, my ADHD, my panic attacks, my terrible eating habits, my reticence, my eyesight, my unexplained trust issues, my secret goth-girl love of clove cigarettes, my dangerous love of practically-raw hamburger, my detached ice queen demeanor, or my obsession with 90s pop-rock. But I also don’t want to raise some vaguely republican, sparkly-headbanded cheerleader who wears blue eyeshadow and dates a guy who drives a skateboard, who adopts veganism purely for the cache and thinks Semisonic kind of sucked.
Fine, so those are two extremes. The point is, I don’t know what I’m going to pop out, and I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie, so the risk just isn’t worth it.
I loved Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid, but only the first book. Because then they went on, and she got all maternal, and married Gilbert (which was, admittedly, sweet, and I sighed dreamily and all that). And then she started popping out babies. And then?—I stopped reading.
It was boring. Anne the Wife of Gilbert was fine—she seemed happy, and he was nice—but Anne the Redheaded Baby-Makin’ Machine was dull. She was dull way back then. She’s even duller now.
I could have the greatest kid in the world. That kid could be adorable, and smart, and preternaturally sweet, but I’ll tell you right now: I would bitterly resent every sacrifice I made for its adorable, smart, sweet little self. I’m not maternal. I never have been. I lack the desire to nurture or coddle, and I don’t think this is a failure on my part. We don’t usually castigate men when they claim an aversion to parenthood. I think of my womb the way I think of my appendix: it’s there, that’s fine, but if I didn’t have it, that’d be fine too.
Besides, I have a family history of bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, alcoholism, heart problems, some cancer, etc. My genes, they do not need to be passed on.
So what I’d probably get is a naturally messed-up kid who hides in forts constructed out of blankets, sullenly reads Dostoevsky, and wishes her mom were nicer. And then I would feel horribly, wretchedly guilty, and everything would suck.
I can be a sort of surrogate aunt to my friends’ children—the one with candy and weird-but-interesting stuff on the mantle, who keeps her Christmas tree up all year long and lets the kids trample through her failed garden and has a secret collection of young adult and children’s books in her study (because there are certain books I just will not give up). But a mother?—no fucking way.
I can has sterilization now please?