Much like my reaction to chocolate, my nose wrinkles at the mention of anything baby related. It’s involuntary—I can’t help it. Pregnant belly updates, ultra sound images, pictures of your adorable 6 week old? No thanks. No, really—I don’t want to see the 783 pictures you’ve managed to capture with your iPhone in the span of only 6 weeks.
Babies just aren’t really my thing. And the older I get, the more I realize I don’t think I want one.
A girl in my office recently brought her baby to work, walking directly in front of my open office door on her way in. She then started showing it off like a new engagement ring or fresh-off-the-rack dress, much to the delight of all my fellow women coworkers. They cooed and awed and crowded around it like it was the second coming of Jesus. What did I do? I sat at my desk, with my nose doing its little wrinkle thing, while trying to concentrate on my computer screen. Yeah, I could argue that I was just really busy, I had a design deadline, etc. But you know what really put it into perspective for me?
Just two days earlier, another coworker had walked the exact same path by my open door with an adorable little lab puppy in his arms. I actually was in the middle of an important design job then, but my butt was out of my seat and in the office common area in about 2.3 seconds to ooh and aww over one of the cutest puppies I’ve ever seen. Floppy ears, oversized paws…He. Was. Adorable.
And notice how I used he instead of it? That’s because one of the first things out of my mouth was, “Is it a he or a she?” The puppy owner didn’t bite my head off or fix me with an eat-shit-die expression. See, you can ask that about an animal, but not so much a baby. Go ahead. Try it. That new mom will look at you like you just asked if her child had devil horns growing out of its head. I’m sorry if it offends you if your newborn—who looks exactly like every other newborn I’ve ever seen—is wearing a neutral color with no telltale pink ribbons adorning its bald little bead and I can’t determine its sex without opening its diaper to check and see which reproductive organs are being squished by poop.
So, yeah…I’m not a baby person. I guess I’m missing that chromosome or whatever it is that’s responsible for passing on the mom gene. Either that or it has been wiped from my genetic code as I’ve grown older—similar to how I no longer think Timberlands paired with tubes socks scrunched up to my knees makes a fashion statement. I’ve changed. My wants and priorities have evolved. It’s not that I hate babies and children. I just don’t particularly like them—save for my nephew and my best friend’s son. But I don’t feel those really count. I consider them like I consider my family—I’m stuck with them for life, so I kind of have to love them. And I do love them and agree that they are, in fact, adorable. I’m just not clamoring to take either of them home with me for any extended period of time.
I know what some of you are thinking. “How could you not like babies?!!?” You’re probably rolling your eyes, with that all-knowing nod, thinking to yourselves how I’ll change my mind someday…it wouldn’t be the same if it was my child…I’m so young…blah, blah, blah. But, honestly, I have different priorities right now—like my job, traveling and a social life uninhibited by too many responsibilities (other than keeping my cat fed and cleaning out his litter box). And yes, I’m young. My biological clock has plenty of ticking time left on it. I just don’t think I would mind very much if it went and ticked itself right on out. I can’t see myself—even 10 years from now—being at a point in my life where I’m unselfish enough to want to have children. And that’s probably a good thing. I went over to my best friend Megan’s house the other day and couldn’t even get her toilet seat open due to the overly complicated child-safety lock adhered to it. I didn’t even know toilets seats needed child-proofing. I nearly pissed myself while running back into the den so I could ask her to please hurry and open the alien engineered claw fastening her toilet seat together before I pulled a “Baby Mamma” and relieved myself in her sink.
Joking and baby-proofing aside, I don’t think everyone is cut out to be a mother. I’ve witnessed my sister-in-law travel in warp speed from the den to the kitchen to dislodge a piece of food my nephew had managed to get stuck in his throat…all before I had even realized he was choking. I was sitting right next to him. My sister-in-law and Megan? They are wonderful mothers and I have a tremendous amount of respect for both of them, along with my own mother. Can’t we leave the parenting up to people like them?
Not everyone has to have children. For the time being, I’m perfectly content with just buying presents for my nephew and Megan’s son. I’m okay with being the cool aunt Linny. I think I’ll leave the having kids up to the actual people who want to have them.
Besides, I’m sure that by now most of you think I’m certifiably insane for not wanting to sow my seed and are probably figuring out how to have an extra kid or two to make up for my lack thereof.
So…go out. Multiply. Just don’t send me any pictures.
– lindsey archer
PS – I’ll try and post a writing update after the weekend. Stay tuned!