Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Great Kid Debate

Saturday afternoon, I got stuck in an elevator at IKEA. This was my first time ever being stuck in an elevator.

I was riding from floor 2 to floor 1 with three friends from high school, two toddlers, three babies, two strollers and a shopping cart. It was hot in there. The alarm was ringing loudly. When I finally figured out which switch had been tampered with by tiny hands and the doors opened, I was hankering for an adult beverage.

The funny thing was that right before we got into the elevator, we were discussing whether or not I wanted kids. Whether I was really cut out for it. When we emerged from the stalled IKEA car, my girlfriend said, "That was a sign!"

I said, "I know - a loud one with alarm bells screaming DON'T DO IT!"

"No," she said. "A sign you should do it. You were totally calm in there."

And therein lies the debate that my brain and uterus seem to be having on a daily basis. My womb insists that I should for sure have kids, that I can absolutely handle it and that I might actually like it. Then my brain jumps in and explains that I love my free time, love dinners out with Mr. W, love drinking wine and traveling, am not a fan of poop or throw-up or bratty friends or sleepless nights. My brain reminds my baby parts about the news story I just saw about the kid in Florida who killed his parents with a hammer and the little girl on Oprah with multiple personalities.

For every positive I can think of, there are about a thousand negatives or concerns to match it.

The main being, I just don't really know that I ever want to take on that kind of responsibility.

My Creative Director at work has told me multiple times that I would make a great CD myself one day. Every time, I smile and say, "no way." I don't want the responsibility. I'm flattered by his confidence in me, but I'm a Peter Pan girl. I'm not looking to leave Neverland anytime soon.

You could totally handle the kids thing, my uterus, friends and family say.

I could probably handle running a half marathon multiple times in a month but I don't want to do that. I could handle giving up chocolate and wine, but I don't want to do that either. I'm a pleasure junky.

So the debate continues.

I'm kind of wishing they made muzzles for biological clocks.


LesleyG said...

I think we have the same friends and family, because I tend to hear that a lot, too. But, we know ourselves and we know loving kids and kids loving us doesn't equal being capable of changing your life that way. It is a big, messy thought process. Which doesn't make it sound that great, even if it is.

I know we're not given more than we can handle, though. So when/if I order up my children, I think they are not going to be the sticky ones. Or that I will magically lose some senses during that sticky period in their lives. Or that they will just be raised to think it's normal for a mother to gag and shudder a lot and hose them down like puppies. Ha.

Mandy_Fish said...

It's such a personal decision, I don't understand how anyone could advise you either way.

I myself never chose to get pregnant, but I did choose to stay pregnant. I didn't plan to be a mom, but when I found out I was one, I embraced it.

I don't know what would have happened if these happy accidents had never happened. I can't really see myself doing it on purpose. Ha.

Sizzle said...

This debate goes on in my mind/heart daily. I am 38 and pretty much 97% of my friends are married and/or parents. Could I do it? Sure. Do I want to? I'm not sure. I like my free time, sleep, clothes without barf on them... But my time is ticking away and I feel rushed to make up my mind. I hate the pressure of it!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Ahhh, the crazy conversations between the uterus and the brain. Sounds like a great setup for comedy. "Mel's uterus and brain walk into a bar..."

Actually, walking in the bar could make the decision for you if Mr. W. is around anytime during or right after...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is a very personal decision that only you and Mr. W can make. Right now, you both love your freedom, but life and times change and children make a wonderful completion of the circle of life. I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself right now as a new "bride". Enjoy the life; and maybe store some "eggs" for the future in case you change your mind.

Jeff said...

Here's a post I wrote but didn't publish because my wife was afraid it would hurt the kids. Your feelings are one more thing that doesn't matter once you have them:

What were you going to do with all that time and money anyway?

Increasingly it seems to me the only reason to have kids is so there's someone around to take care of you after the stroke. Why else would you endure what they put you through?

It's no secret kids change your life. The thing no one really tells you until after you're a member of the club - and I believe the reason is because misery loves company - is exactly how big that change is.

Remember those nice things you had, the ones that used to be in one piece without sticky fingerprints all over them? Say goodbye.

How about those cute, lovable babies and toddlers that used to listen to you, look up to you and want your thoughts on everything? Adios amigos.

Hey, wouldn't it be fun to just drop everything and go out to dinner? A movie? Vegas? Maybe in another life brotha.

Yeah yeah, would die for them.

Blah blah never loved anything so much.

Sure sure fun watching them turn into real people (whenever the f&#k that happens).

Sometimes it seems that the selfish, self-centered, eye-rolling, impatient, yelling phase will never end.

I know they're hoping I grow out of it soon.

laura said...

well you know how I feel about this....we can further discuss over an adult beverage if you'd like. :)

I started telling people we couldn't have kids because I get so tired of everyone asking me when we are, and inserting their opinions and horrified looks when I say we are not. Usually they feel guilty and pipe down we they find out we "can't"...except my friend at the gym, who offered me contact info for her fertility specialist. Seriously.'s your choice...and you don't have to answer to anyone.

laura said...

oh...and one other least your friends and family think you coulddo friends, family and husband have not doubt i'm not the motherly type. and they remind me of this on a daily basis. It's the strangers/acquaintances that think I should.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I have friends and family who used to tell me the same thing during a time when I wasn't sure kids were in my future. I never looked at it as them giving advice, rather just making observations of my personality versus what it takes to be a parent.

In your case? What I know of you? I think you'd make a fabulous parent. Mr. W and you would definitely make beautiful babies. And I'm quite certain the things that worry you about parenting will come very naturally to you.

BUT ... as someone else suggested, it's a very personal decision. And if the two of you decide you can live happy and fulfilled lives without becoming parents, then own it. It's nothing to be ashamed of and you'll make many a sleep-deprived parent slightly envious. =)

Anita said...

I think most people who ask come from a well-meaning place. If they judge you when your answer isn't what they want to hear, then they're just jerkfaces who don't understand what boundaries are.

While I stand by what I said, I also completely understand the feeling of wanting a life without the complexities that come along with offspring. Either way, the decision you guys make won't be wrong.

And just to let you know...this "Great Kid Debate" doesn't even end after you have one b/c the next question you hear is "When are you having another?" ARGH!

missmccracken said...

I know I want kids someday. But not today. My mother always says this that if you keep waking up day to day and only think of kids and think "I don't want to spend one more day without a child in my life" then you're ready. Because once you got 'em, you got 'em forever.
I'm in the same spot you are right now, where I think "Maybe, but the poop! Yuck!"

HunnerWoof said...

That's what nieces are for. Duh.

Mel Heth said...

I just wrote an individual reply to each and every one of you and stupid blogger gave me an error and deleted them! Thank you for your comments. I'm feeling to lazy to retype everything I just wrote!

Mel Heth said...

Also feeling too lazy to type the word "too" properly...

Anonymous said...

It's Friday - no need to apologize!