Friday, October 11, 2013

But, Everyone is Doing It!

So I'm at this point in my life where everyone around me has, or is in the process of having children, and I'm over here dragging my feet, having miniature panic attacks whenever I envision myself being responsible for:

1. Growing a fucking human and
2.  Being responsible for not TOTALLY FUCKING UP THAT HUMAN.

It's not that I dislike kids, or that I don't want kids.  I actually do want kids.  It's just that whole growing them from a tiny bundle of cells to a giant watermelon sized alien that will be squeezed through a hole the size of a lemon that squicks me out a bit.  And by a little, I mean COMPLETELY FUCKING TERRIFIES ME.  How's that for honesty?  But I also feel like it's not just the growing an alien being thing, because as traumatic as that might be, it's one of those things that has to come to an end.  It can't go on for a lifetime, it runs its course and it's done.  Plus, drugs.  Glorious pharmaceutical fog provided to you by the angels at Pfizer.  That's an option.  No, the scariest thing that I struggle with is the fact that I'm supposed to take a lump baby and turn it into a respectable human being who is a productive member of society, doesn't end up in prison, and also doesn't grow up to completely hate me.  How does no one else freak out about this?  I mean, it's not a "I don't know what I'm doing, tee hee, parenting is so confusing" fear.  I get the basics.  I get the general idea.  But it's the part about not making my children loathe me that I'm totally baffled about.  If we're doing a quick barometer check of the world at large here, people who know me and end up hating me > people who know me and don't end up hating me.  It's like a HUGE difference on the spectrum.  I ruin like every relationship I ever have.  Eventually, everyone hates me.  So now I'm supposed to go and shoot out a kid that, while very small, will be all unconditional love and stuff, but once grown will probably be like "Nope, everyone's right, you're a bitch.  Hate you".  Yeah, that's not terrifying or anything.

Beyond that, there's this huge worry that I'm totally going to lose my sense of self.  I won't be an individual anymore, I'll just be lumped into being "so-and-so's mom".  No more identity outside of being someone's mom.  It's not that it's necessarily bad to be someone's mom, but right now people know my actual name, and I am not reduced to a role that I fulfill.  I have an identity and I don't want to just be a role.  Plus, the idea of becoming one of those parents who has nothing to talk about outside of their preshus wittle spawn isn't all that appealing either.  And then I have to sit here and think "Am I the only one thinking things like this?".  Everyone around me seems to be so confident, so into the whole process.  So not afraid of shooting an alien out of their girl bits.  Then there's me over here, choking back the panic and wondering why everyone else is so excited.  The whole thing is terrifying.  You could SERIOUSLY fuck a kid up.  I mean, I know my last blog was all about how not making Mindy's Halloween costumes for her won't turn her into a stripper, but sometimes I have to wonder if being me and then being a parent on top of it would turn her into a stripper.  Like I said, I ruin everything.  So does that mean I won't ever have kids?  Probably not, though I do have to find a way to cope with the utter terror that courses through my body at the idea of embracing the "miracle of childbirth", and all of the unpleasantness that lead up to it like oh...I don't know, riding the vomit train for like 4 months.  I made it through my teen years without any bulimia, I don't really jump at the idea of having it forced upon me.  It just seems like the whole "miracle" of it all is so much scarier for me than it is for everyone else.  I'm a pragmatist.  I don't romanticize things.  I'm not going to be like "I puked non-stop for 4 months, but it's all for a good cause so I don't mind" like some people.  Fuck that.  I'm going to mind.  Like, probably a lot.  Anyone who "doesn't mind" puking all the time is way more full of crap than they're willing to admit.  It's annoying.  It disrupts your life.  You have to figure out how to manage your normal, every day life, while also fitting in a few vomit breaks throughout the day.  Not really my personal dream.

So I guess I'm mostly left wondering if I'm the only one who thinks about things like this, or if other people do and they just won't talk about it.  Like, we're all supposed to be baby making machines, right?  So talking about how maybe the idea of ruining the life of a tiny human being who might have otherwise turned out normal is pretty much the scariest thing ever, and then coupling that with the HORRORS of what I've read happen when you actually shoot a baby out of your vagina, maybe that isn't acceptable?  Maybe we're all supposed to have this instinct that turns off the voice in your head that says "You could really fuck this up", and I just don't have it.  I dunno.  Sometimes I just don't feel like I was made like normal women.  No one else ever seems to think the things I do, or have the same reservations about things as I do.  And maybe that's a part of it as well.  Maybe if I'm not a normal woman, then I'm not cut out for all of this.  Sure, at the end, the payoff is pretty nice and you do get a tiny little spawn of your combined DNA to show for your efforts but, does it come at a price of losing who you are?  Does the whole overwhelming love thing make that loss not matter?  No one ever talks about it, so I don't know.  And dear god, if I turned into one of those mothers constantly fawning over her PRESHUS PERFECT ANGEL who can't see anything else, I'd want someone to kill me.  I'd probably want to kill me.

I'd also really hate to have people think that if I did make the choice to have kids, it'd be due to the whole "everyone else is doing it right now" thing and not a decision I've agonized over for like....8 years now?  No one else shooting out some babies has led me to these internal conflicts.  If anything, it's just brought the conflicts into sharper focus for me, since everyone else seems so....not panicked.  If I have a kid in the next year, it's not because my cousins are doing it, or any friends are doing it.  It's because, hopefully, I'll have wrestled these demons into a quiet place.  Or I'll do what I usually do and just bite the bullet, suck up all of the fear and say "Do what you gotta do, and shut up about it".  That's how I handle most large problems.  But the idea of being seen as a "bandwagon" joiner kind of pisses me off.

Maybe the problem is that I can't control all aspects of the situation, and that's probably what scares me the most.

Is that normal?

I have no idea.  Probably not.  


Anonymous said...

I think you're totally normal, and way more level-headed about the whole thing than these woman who are like "I want a cute little fluffy child!" and don't think about all of the things that go with being a parent. For example, the kid eventually maybe hating you (or maybe on par with that- not needing you or wanting you around). Or, your entire life as you know it changing forever (which is a big reason I don't want kids right now!).

It might be consoling to think of the kids who have gone thru SERIOUS serious stuff, like abuse, and come out okay. I hear those success stories all the time (I watch a lot of Oprah). I mean, kids who are locked in a closet for a year, that kind of stuff, and they come out stronger and good people. They even seem to still feel something for their parent, shockingly. In comparison, you'll be great! lol. It's part of human nature to hate our parents during the teen years, so expect that, otherwise it will work out. Also, that's why two parents are needed- just in case one sucks there is the other one lol!! jk.

It was interesting to read this entry. I've seen all the babies photos on fb too, and it's a little hard for me because my husband and I don't want kids but still get asked. But who knows, maybe I'll change my mind someday. Not going to have them til I decide to, and not because of societal pressures though!

Tara Burdette said...

You aren't a bitch. You're honest. I like honest. Having kids didn't make me lose my sense of self, it amplified it. It brought out qualities in me that I didn't know that I had. Being called "Owen and Violet's Mom" isn't a loss of identity, it's a badge of honor. I have lost sleep, cut the crusts off hundreds of sandwiches, read thousands of books and kissed lots of boo-boos. I worked really hard for that title and I'm proud of it. Do I ever worry? Of course. I think every devoted parent does. Every milestone brings unfamiliar territory and so many situations that are outside my control. Luckily, life dishes them out one spoonful at a time and children are quite malleable and resilient. As a parent, you have to remember that you are doing your best, and hopefully they will grow up someday and realize that my best was all that I possibly could have given them- bumpy road and all. Is parenting all giggles and sunshine? Absolutely not, I hated being pregnant and it's definately not fun when some of your own less-than-stellar personality quirks are mirrored back at you ("How did you get so stubborn? Oh, wait..."), but when the sun IS shining and everybody is giggling- you better believe I'm gonna wipe the dirt off their faces, take pictures, talk about it, remember it and savor it. Being such a huge a part in the many attempts, failures and triumphs ("Did you see that? My kid just WALKED! After falling on his face for days...he walked!") that go into the human experience from infancy is what makes raising a kid so cool. Having your own kid versus watching other people with their own kids is kinda like reading a kick-ass book. They can make a pretty good movie about it, but it's never the same and will never come close to being as good as the book. Anyway, I think your fears are normal. I think you are responsible. I think the choice to become a parent isn't something that should be taken lightly, it's not for everyone, and it's very personal. Don't worry about the's not a matter of bandwagons, it's a life changing decision and it's your life. Do what makes you happy. ;)