CUTE KID ENVY
I hate mothers. There. I said it. Why? A) I’m not one. B) I’d like to be one at some point. C) That some point isn’t here and probably won’t be anytime soon.
When I see cute kids, I don’t think, “Oh my gosh, that kid is adorable. Good job, mother of cute, adorable kid.” I think, “Why the heck is that kid not my kid? Why is that your kid? What did you do to get/have/make that kid?”
The same is true for engagement rings and new houses and horses and miniature pigs. If you have those things, I probably don’t immediately think happy thoughts when you post a picture of them on Facebook or tell me about them. And that’s okay.
It’s okay, especially at 30, to be okay with not being okay. As a woman, there is so much pressure to conceive and to have a family, and when it doesn’t happen in your early twenties and you live in Southeast, Texas, well, you start to feel sort of faulty.
I’m saying “you,” but I mean “I,” and I’m obviously only speaking from and because of my own personal experience as a non-mother.
STORIES ABOUT YOUR CHILD POOPING
In the same way that my “mom” friends idealize my “freedom,” I idealize their ridiculous “you-wouldn’t-believe-what-baby-so-and-so-did-the-other-day” moments. Your kid shits on the rug. Funny. My dog shits on the rug. Gross. Your story is cute. My story is just sad.
BIRTH HORROR STORIES
For those mothers who had a kid the old-fashioned way, I am grateful, however, for the relief of not having something growing inside of my body like an alien. The one, singular thing that frightens the poop out of me about natural birth (See what I did there? Because that can happen!) is what it may do to my body. When you are creating a human and becoming a host for a giant parasite that is, in a sense, going to be stealing your life force for the rest of your life, the body suffers. The stress of birth, the stress of worry, the stress of worrying about the body after the birth, these things are all going to be there, sitting on my hips. Hanging onto me, hanging out of me. And though it sounds like a horror story, I’ve heard that if you have too many children, your bladder starts falling out. That’s right. Your. Bladder. Can. Come. Out.
Also, having a baby isn’t a miracle. If it is, I never want to witness a miracle again. I was there in the room for my nephew’s birth. What happened in that room was one step removed from Dead Alive. Keep your miracles to yourself. Jesus. Christ.
Do I still want to hatch one? Okay. I guess. I think so. Maybe. One day? Three years from now. After I go for my PhD? After I live in Costa Rica for a year. No. I think I’ll adopt. Only if it’s an accident. No. Yes. No. OF COURSE I DO. Tonight!
See. Here is the other problem I have with mothers. If you are a good mother, you’ve probably already started to limit your personal options. You drink less. You cook more. You’ve quietly and neatly and selflessly started closing off certain paths with child-proof safety locks, fastening those doors of opportunity from the inside. I’m a little annoyed that you now have a plan that consists of raising your spawn right and trying not to screw that up. I’m stuck with arrows that point in five hundred directions. My future is one big question mark. My sister is 21. She had my nephew, Alexander, at 19. She is one of the best, most energetic mothers I’ve ever seen. When she tells me things like, “Well, one day, when you’re a mother, you’ll understand,” (To be fair, she’s only said this once.) I want to run face first into the nearest wall. At least if I’m knocked unconscious, I don’t care about all those mommy perspective secrets, and I don’t care about not having something to care about.
Mothers lie. That’s the truth.
At first I think it comes from a good place. Santa Claus. Easter Bunnies. Tooth Fairies. I get it. Your mom always wants you to see the magic in the world. I’d rather my mom have told me about Leopard Seals. Those things are cooler than any princess or fairytale. See: http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_nicklen_tales_of_ice_bound_wonderlands
No, but really. My mother lied to me all of the time. I could walk in the kitchen with an oversized Korn t-shirt, a mouthful of braces, and play hackey-sack, and my mother would commend me on my talent and my style. She’d drop pearls of less than convincing wisdom as she balanced one of my sisters on her hip and opened a pack of Ramen Noodles with her teeth. She called my moles, “Beauty Marks.” LIAR.
All of this is weird to me. I want to tell my kids the truth. The first one being that they were hatched out of eggs by dinosaurs on another planet and then sent to me by the mail.
At my sister’s high school graduation party, I watched something so horrific I almost threw up. It was a two-year-old eating Cheetos Puffs. At the time, my best friend was watching my face. She said, “If you ever look at my future child that way, I’m going to punch you in the face.” She is now a mother. At her beautiful daughter’s birthday party a few months ago, I watched her grab what she thought was a piece of tape from her daughter’s finger only to find that it was a booger. I repeated my look. We are still friends.
I know you have them. All of you.
YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KID WILL LOOK LIKE.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you ladies that kill me with inspiration! I hate you. (but love you too) (a lot) (more than you know)
Non-mother, Ashlynn Ivy