Babies? Eh.

I’ve always assumed that I would have kids. As I get closer to that reality I realize I am secretly worried I’m going to wreck them or, worse, hate them and be stuck with them forever. That doesn’t seem maternal, does it? I haven’t told my fiance this because it would make him freak out. Is this normal or something I should investigate further (possibly with the help of a trained professional)?

Think of the biggest asshole you lived with in college. The one who peed the bed, had loud friends over, threw her dirty clothes all over the place, had severe boundary issues, and thought the floor was an acceptable place to keep unwrapped food. Imagine this every day for the next 18 years. There. That’s what it’s like to have a kid. They can be assholes.

It’s possible you’ll hate them on occasion, but unless you’ve been diagnosed with attachment disorder, I’m sure you’ll love them, too. I’m also sure you’re going to wreck them, but whatever. Everybody does that. No one is ever “ready” to have kids; until they’re here and there’s no turning back, you’re going to be scared shitless. And then you’ll continue to be so for the rest of your life.

If you really don’t want babies, though, you need to tell your fiancé. It’s profoundly unfair to marry someone who definitely wants children when you’re not sure you want them yourself. Being unsure means you could go either way; he seems like he’s already decided.

Therapy can’t make you want to have kids, but it could help you figure out why you’re so scared of wrecking yours. It could also help you figure out why you think you’re ready to spend the rest of your life with someone when you can’t even tell him something REALLY SIGNIFICANT like that fact that you might not want kids. Not having children isn’t a big deal–tons of people don’t have them and are deliriously happy. Pretending you want them in order to please someone, though, is a big deal.

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