During my twenties I wanted a child so much that every part of my body ached. When I saw babies, they looked as though they were made by angels. Bear with me. This writing is about to lose its sentimentality. Just one more bit of saccharine sweetness: When I saw a kid, it was as though there was a huge magnet pulling me in their direction. I even cried at times from sheer broodiness. The feeling is so foreign to me now that I cannot identify with it in even the tiniest way, but I remember the yearning well.
Then a question mark crept into my brain that said, “Kids cry.”
“That’s okay,” I thought, “I’ll sacrifice anything for a child…well…except the time I reserve for isolating.” Then it was anything except my hours of writing. Then I thought, “But the writing arrives in its own time, and so do baby-screams. That won’t work.” And so gradually the exceptions grew until a molehill became a mountain.
At 30 I stood with my exceptions in one hand, my broodiness in the other, and made a choice: I would never have kids. It felt like a monumental decision. I thought there was some piece of enchantment that I was swearing off, but babies no longer looked like angels to me.
Parents told me that I wouldn’t know what life was about unless I had kids, that I didn’t know what real love was without motherhood. The logic didn’t hold up for me, though, because parents will never get to experience an entire lifetime without the responsibilities, joys, and heartaches of parenthood. It’s fulfilling in the most significant way possible.
They will never be able to leave with a car full of furniture and a heart full of expectations on their way to a new home they choose to make across the country at a month’s notice. They will not have the complete luxury of…oh, god…the utter and absolute silence that is in my head right now because I don’t have the overwhelming anxieties that mothers seem to perpetually sit with regardless of how happy their children are. I am so at peace right now that my entire psyche feels as though it’s being put through a vat of Belgian chocolate. I would not exchange it for anything.
I will never know the true core of parenthood, but I did get to play ‘mom’ to my much-younger brother. I touched the ‘feels’ of motherhood, and there is not a person on this planet more perfect than him. I love every cell of his being… did I say you’d heard the last of my sentimental ooze? I’ll keep my word. I am not attracted to babies one tiny smidgen of an iota. After their two year birthdays, man, those kids can spend eight hours at my place every single day and I’ll be happy. But after that, they must fuck off home to be fed and clothed by their mothers.
I will take care of your infant, but it’s not cute to me. Sorry, not sorry. I have lost my broodiness. Your baby is not getting warm fuzzy feelings out of me regardless of how much it gurgles. I just don’t have the motherhood gene. I fucking love my kid-free life. I have incredible respect for all you parents out there, but I’m a woman who feels complete. I’m at the peak of my joy, and 80% of it comes from things I have because there are no kids in my life.
I celebrate my childlessness as much as I once celebrated my broodiness. I am the type who wants to babysit kids who come pre-packaged with the ability to make words. Does that make me a crap person? Maybe, but fuck it. It’s my life, and I get to choose what I pack into it.