I don’t really like kids very much. The idea of being a parent does not fill me with excitement, anticipation and exuberance. Usually I have a low child-tolerance (except for the exceptional ones like Nikki’s girls). Babies don’t give me a thrill either. I view them as instruments of excrescences and noise, sometimes both together. Usually if I hold one, it ends up crying. But then I guess usually if babies aren’t quiet, they are crying so maybe I have a 50-50 chance anyway.
I never really enjoyed babysitting (but, then, does anyone really?) and have had to work up my skills at cooing and gooing at infants; mostly if I think of how I talk to my cat I’m ok. (ah, Owwie woves his mommy, doesn’t he? what a cutey boy).
Why have a child? Certainly, the need to pass my genes along isn’t really essential to the very fiber of my being. If we had not conceived, I would not have sought any kind of medical intervention to help me do so. I do not see pregnancy as an absolute essential experience or any kind of validation of my so-called womanhood. It was annoying to not be pregnant when we were trying mainly because I didn’t want to end up being heavily pregnant during the summer-time, which is how it worked out anyway, so I guess I will be spending most of my summer in a kiddie pool to stay cool. The ‘pregnancy glow’ is attributable to an increase of hormones and skin oil, which makes more sense to me than being in the throes of creating a wonderful new being and isn’t that so wonderful.
No, I will confess the reasons here in black and white and you can judge me for the selfish beast I really am. Having a child is really all about my own personal development, to which there are several parts:
Part A: What if in 10 years I regret not having a child? There is no going back once it is too late. Also, while there is no safe bet that a child will be there to warm your lonely old age, it is a better possibility than the nursing assistants at the nursing home, even if they only end up coming to visit you once a week or something. Ingrates. My kids will probably be living abroad when I am elderly; I hope so because I am going to go live with them, like it or not. heh, heh.
Part B: Being a parent seems to me one of the few ways in which you are required to go outside yourself to a greater degree than almost anything else, unless you happen to be channeling Mother Theresa. It seems to me that it requires a kind of personal growth, development and challenge that can’t be met in exactly the same way elsewhere. Sure, it would have been much easier and more comfortable to keep going as we were, just the two of us, the way it has been for 11 years. We had just gotten to the point where we could indulge in little material luxuries that we had not felt comfortable in purchasing before (yeah, I’m talking buying a certain CD if you felt like it or going out to eat three times in a week instead of once or twice). But then, life isn’t really about material stuff so I guess this little adventure fits in with that philosophy.
Anyway, so that is why we decided to try to have kids. Hopefully someday we’ll get to bring in a little Asian baby but for now old-fashioned procreation was the way we went. And you don’t have to tell me that I will be madly in love with my child and that I will adore being a parent because I know I will. But I’m not all bright-eyed and bushy -tailed and thinking that it is not going to have it’s own particular miseries but since those are what make you grow, I guess I have to say, ‘bring it on, baby’.