Not the Mama

Hey, it’s Mother’s Day. A day that was originally created by grieving mothers to spread peace that became an excuse to guilt your family into buying diamonds. WHEE!

First and foremost, if you’ve had a rough time as a parent or with your own parents, why don’t you hustle on over to Band Back Together, read some of the stories we’ve got lined up for today for our Mother’s Day Blog Carnival and give our Bandmates some support? I’ve got a piece over there, and so do a lot of my friends! If you’re not into the sappy stuff, we’ve got just the things for you!

As for me, unless it’s a kitten I don’t have maternal instincts. I just don’t.

I have the same reaction to spiderwebs.

This is not to say I don’t like kids. Individual kids are cool. I take my friends’ kids to the zoo, buy them cute clothes when I see them, get excited when they draw me pictures, and read them books. I treat them like tiny adults, which unsettles a lot of people for some reason. Why anyone would want to fall back on schmoopy-woopy-poopy talk when your average kid gets just as much out of a coherent sentence with actual nouns? Perhaps this is the lack of maternal instinct.

Here’s the thing: if you want kids, good for you. I respect your choice. If you’re knocked up I’ll make you booties, buy you diapers for your baby shower (I’m practical, okay?), help you paint a nursery. If you’re struggling with infertility, I will lend you all the support in the world. And if you’ve lost a baby or a child, I will do everything in my power to help you heal and get through your grief.

What I’m asking from people is to respect my choice not to have kids. When I say I’m not planning on having kids or don’t want to have kids, don’t give me that smug, irritating look that says you know better. Don’t tell me I’ll change my mind when I meet the right man because I’ve met him and he doesn’t want them either. Don’t say I’m going to change my mind after I turn thirty since I just turned thirty-three and I’m still not interested. You obviously do not know me if you tell me “You’d be such a great mother.” Since I was sixteen, I’ve known that I didn’t want kids. I’m not going to change my mind now.

Also, don’t give me the line about having kids so they can take care of you when you’re old. I’ve talked to and taken food to and sat for hours with folks at the nursing homes whose kids put them there and haven’t visited in years. I’ve also been told I should do it to carry on the family name, which is just stupid because I’m planning on taking Mister E’s last name when we get married and that means The Dad’s last name is going to “die out.” Guess who doesn’t give a shit? THE DAD.

This is how The Dad feels about kids.

I don’t need to have kids to be fulfilled as a woman or as a person and I take great offense to people saying that I do. I am not less of a person because I don’t want children and I am not a slut or being selfish because we use birth control. My family did not instill a sense of shame in me when it came to sex; they taught me I should make sure that when I had sex with someone that I did so safely and that it was preferable to make sure it was someone I really loved. As such, I was the chick in high school who not only was on birth control, I also handed out condoms like fliers for a rock show. I didn’t mind being called the Rubber Maid so long as I didn’t have to go to another freaking baby shower when I was 16.

This actually happened once at our house. With our white cat.

This may be hard for you to believe, but I’m happy not having kids. Mister E and I have a great relationship, we enjoy each other’s company in every sense of the word (see the above diagram), and we don’t feel like we’re missing anything. Because of this, we’re able to be happy for our friends when they get pregnant. Not because we’re relieved someone else is in “the club” but because we know they’re happy.

So the gist of all my rambling here is Happy Mothers’ Day to all my friends who are moms. Because you’re my friends, I know you’re doing a great job and you’d never say any of that above bullshit to me. And to all my friends who aren’t parents, Happy Sunday. Go drink something.

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