No Shirt, No Shoes, No Kids

Wow, that looks SO FUN!
I don't have kids, this you all know.  I decided this year, after many years of debate and some mind-changing epiphanies, I came to one final conclusion: I am not having any.  This seems to be a shock to a lot of people, and one hundred percent of them are parents.  They are always telling me things like: "Oh, you'll feel different when it's yours," or my favorite, "You have plenty of time to change your mind!"

I am not changing my mind, and how would it be different if the child was mine, as opposed to my friend's baby?  What? Why, because I made this crying, stinky mess it means I am going to love it more?  Nope.  I think what I am trying to say is, I have no interest in being a parent.  Some would call this "selfish" or again, one of my many favorite reactions: "Don't you want to use the gifts given to us as women?"

Okay let's talk about said "gifts" here for a second.  We get periods, pay twice as much for clothes, grow random chin hairs, are surrounded by images that may give us low self-esteem, or poor body images, we do the same work for less pay, supposedly men "age better" and we also have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves at ANY task.  

I saw yesterday on Instagram where a guy had left a comment on someones picture saying: "Yeah man, it's such a turn-off when a girl says she's into football."  And that would be because...she has her own interests outside baking and darning socks?  Good luck buddy.  I know there's the perfect wife for you out there who hates sports and just wants to bear your endless moronic children, chained to the stove, barefoot. Early congratulations to you!

By no means am I anti-children.  I am just not one of those girls who coos over babies, who was a babysitter all her life, who can muster that sing-song voice when talking to a youngster, or get down on one knee and call someone "princess" or "little man".  I hate those stickers with the family breakdown on the rear window.  I hate personalized license plates like LVMYKID or RYSMOM.  Please get a life.  Part of the reason I love my new job: there will be very FEW if ANY kids in my restaurant.  I just do not know how to deal with them.

I held a baby ONE TIME.  It was because my friend Pam LITERALLY tossed her child into my arms, and for a split second I had no idea what to do.  So, according to her, I caught her daughter "like a football, and then proceeded to carry her like a puppy."  Well?  You threw your kid at me.  What the hell else am I supposed to do?

I do find kids cute, but in small doses.  If your IG feed is nothing but your kid, either standing there (riveting), smiling (no one does that), or the old-oh look he walked over to the corner, let's take another picture, oh look he turned around, let's take another picture!  Shit.  I get it okay, you think he's cute.  It is this same marvelous parent who allows their child to stay up until three in the morning, and then cannot come to work the next day because they are "exhausted" or my personal favorite, "my kid is sick."  Would that work if one of my dogs was sick?  "Sorry, I can't come in today, Piddle ate some old pizza on her walk this morning and now she has the squirts."  HELL NO.   

One of my favorite blogs, Life With Roozle, is basically about just that, life with an adorable child.  The best part of the blog (to me) is the fact that the photography of this beautiful girl is so well done, so poignant that she is part of the art she is photographed near, she is captured doing random things, she is gorgeous in her natural habitat, and the spontaneity of the photography makes me love this little bug.  See?  I'm not pure evil.

I think that perhaps it is a very responsible and intelligent decision I am making.  I am not going to run a marathon, so why sign up for a 5K?  I don't have to do something just because everyone else is, or because society places this pressure on we early thirties ladies, telling us time is running out to make those babies!  I just don't think I have the skills to be a parent.  I don't have the skills to be a doctor either, that's why I'm not one.

In my life, and in my line of work, I have seen a lot of pain through the eyes of kids.  Whether it be an argument at the table, something that was said to a child, or just my co-worker's tales of this dad, or that partner or boyfriend and sometimes, girlfriends and moms too.  You need a license to drive a car, own a dog, basically everything in this whole world requires some kind of clearance before proceeding.  Maybe it is more responsible to recognize that I could serve youth better as a volunteer, or a Big Sister, or a counselor?  I see a lot of people making babies, and most of them can't even tie their own shoes.  

I don't want any of my "mom" friends to take this the wrong way.  I love you guys, and I especially love the way my pal Jess Elaine takes pictures of her little dudes.  They are usually wearing underwear on their heads and that entertains me.  I just don't have that feeling, that urge to be a mother.  I just realize I am not equipped, and it is not something that I see in my future.  

I have grown up with TWO excellent sets of role models in this department.  I watched my godmother travel the world in style, as a tour-guide and with her fantastic husband, as tourists.  I see them enjoying their lives, and being very active participants in the lives of their nieces and nephews and so on.  I think if you were to ask, they are pretty damn fulfilled.     

It was my cousin, Jan, who once said something to me in a car ride somewhere in the suburbs of Philadelphia, that has stuck with me forever.  I was asking her about her students (she is a Special Education teacher) and so on, and I wondered if any of her students' parents ever asked her if she had any children of her own.  She and her husband had elected not to have children many years prior.  She told me she gets that question a lot, especially from new parents or strangers they meet in their travels (oh, I think they have been to AT LEAST every continent), and she told me she had developed the perfect answer.

"Vic and I are child-free by choice," she said.  Well, so am I. 

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