It's 4:00AM. My guy friend and his baby girl woke me up with a response to a text I sent earlier. "Just saw your text, we are well and your niece is making me not sleep," he wrote back.
Too many times I've heard of the zombie days that come with having a new born baby. I've experienced it second hand through the birth of my younger siblings and 11 nieces and nephews. New parents walk around forgetting where they put things and talk incessantly about needing sleep whenever you ask them about the experience. The wonder and excitement I witnessed on their faces at the hospital slowly fades a bit when the baby makes it to the house. Parents quickly start to understand how much a baby cares little about their pre baby schedule.
I really do love babys and children. Let's get that out of the way. They're cute and cuddly and can make grown men exude warmth with their coos and facial expressions. I'm so used to baby talk, teething signs, and the anxiety new parents experience around figuring out what to do to please the new member of the family. I could probably write a book about motherhood even though I've never experienced 41 hours of labor like one of my girlfriends did recently.
What if I change my mind at 31 about having children? I've got so many around me that maybe I can just be the part time parent (on my own terms) without having to report to parental duties full time. I can clock in when it's convenient and hand back thing 1 (blame Dr. Zeus for this) with googly eyes and a loud cry back to their exhausted parents.
Ok put down the rolled up dirty diapers you want to hurl at me new parents. I know there are great moments wrapped up in the parenting process. The thing is, I'm not sure I believe anymore that part of my womanhood has to include giving birth to something that looks like me. Besides, if I had a baby right now sitting in this room, he or she would probably be a distraction from my blogging. I'd probably end up gaining back too much of the 40 pounds that I've shed excercising and running around Chicago from the stress of it all. I don't want to add to the stretch marks I already have. Plus, I know enough about multitasking without the need to experience rocking a baby in one arm while fixing a bottle with the other.
Yeah yeah yeah..I know there's nothing like having your own little booger (I mean baby). But maybe it's enough that I can see reflections of the kind of kid I'd have through the many kids I interact with. There's a special joy that comes with working on homework with a child after school when I know their parent will pick them up eventually. I throw my whole self into making that child feel special and laugh at his or her jokes genuinely and loudly. My non-parental status includes being excited about the fascinating things children say and do. That fascination could wane if I brought one into the world. On the other side of the cuteness, I think I'm kind of over the whole vomit on the shoulders thing and the "My mom is my favorite" bibs.
Ten of my friends have welcomed new babies home in the past 6 months. I'm currently experiencing the process of pregnancy with a few close girlfriends. There's a whole list of things pregnant women can't do and eat. I'm already dealing with dietary restrictions because of lactose intolerance and allergies to certain foods. I can already tell I'll be the kind of pregnant woman who can only stomach water and saltine crackers.
Half of the time my pregnant girlfriends are nauseated and paranoid about all of the weight they have gained or will gain. Maybe I can just cut out all the body metamorphosing issues and rent a baby every other month or so if I really want to experience the precious moments of motherhood. Really. Do I have to have one that I got to keep?
My life right now is first about me. I get up thinking about my schedule and not having to factor in who's going to watch my it while I'm at work. I'm not having to drag my feet to the kitchen sink to wash another million set of dirty bottles.
Tell the truth parents! This parenting thing can be a bit much!
I can just feel the shock of some parents crawling up my spine right about now. Just hear me out before you shove the pacifier in my mouth. I think your kid is super cute! They're even cuter to me because they're yours. I'm just not sure I want to go through the sleepless nights and eventually run into the phase of that cute kid trying to put everything in their mouth. Oh and let's not forget how their curiosity tempts them to do things like try to stick their finger into electric sockets or plunge their heads into the toilet bowl.
Babies really are wonderful! They usually remind one of what's really important in life and can make even a really mean person seem a little nicer. Babies can be a great source of inspiration...A baby got me writing at 4:00AM!!!
Right now though, I'm enjoying my skinny jeans, late nights out with friends, and the thought of traveling to Paris sometime in the near future.
I know single hood has its not so greener moments. Right at this moment though, it's feeling pretty damn good since I'm not the one up with a screaming baby.
Parents, more pampers ( I mean power) to you for the many hours you put in to care for your children. I'm just not sure I want to be a part of the breast feeding in the restaurant crew. For now I'm content with playing peek a boo with the cute kid with freckles marveling at my yellow shirt from across the room.
Maybe babies aren't for everyone...
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