I’ve never been a big fan of kids. I blame my years as a babysitter in high school. From toddlers to kids who were almost 10, those were the ages that I had the most experience. It was a nightmare. Not because the kids were terrors, but because it was boring. To me, there’s nothing less entertaining than playing some weird imaginary game with a five-year-old. And this is coming from someone who loves to play pretend.
Somewhere around 29 I decided kids weren’t for me.
If I look at my life and how I live it, kids would truly cramp my style. Yes, this is a selfish thought. But at least I’m aware of it, so I can’t be entirely judged for feeling this way. I even agreed to be part of an article for the NY Post where I announced my lack of desire to have kids, my noted selfishness and my need to have a life that “sparkled.” Honestly, I looked like an asshole in it, and the proof were in the comments – mostly from men – who said that the other women and I profiled didn’t even “deserve” kids if that’s how we felt. It was harsh. Just because someone chooses to not have kids, that doesn’t make them undeserving; it makes them aware that maybe they don’t have it in them to give 120% at all times. If that’s the case, it’s better they skip the baby train, and maybe fly off to Brazil instead.
I can appreciate kids from afar. Most of them are pretty damn adorable; they do tend to say some really funny, and often profound things, that a jaded adult would never even dream up. But it’s when they start crying, freaking out or wandering around a restaurant as their parents smile thinking that their kid is so cute and that no one will ever be bothered by the fact that their child is asking to taste your beignet, that I lose it. I know, in these instances, we have the parents to blame, and that infuriates me more. Some of us do not find your child’s antics cute; it’s a fact.
I’ve been saying for so long that I don’t want kids that it’s practically my mantra. Even when I see a little girl have a moment with her dad in the park or every time my nephew Jackson looks at me to tell me he loves me, and the tears start flowing, I chalk it up to hormones. It can’t possibly be anything more than hormones, because I’ve decided, through and through, that children are not part of my game plan.
Then something happened.
It was right after my therapist told me she was pregnant last spring. She had that pregnant woman glow and we were discussing how she’d be on maternity leave for most of the summer. Out of nowhere, or maybe coming from some place deep inside, a place I have forced all my thoughts with which I refuse to deal, I started crying. It wasn’t just a few tears, but inconsolable bawling to the point that I thought I was going to be sick.
There it was, plain as day: I did want kids. I was just too scared to admit to it in case it never happens.