(Click here for original Key West the Newspaper column with reader comments .)
When asked when I’ll have a kid, or why I don’t already have, to quote Scarlett O’Hara, “a passle of mealy-mouthed brats.” I can’t believe the reaction I get to my response that I just don’t want ‘em. People who barely know me tell me I’m selfish (which is so totally beside the point), or ask what’s wrong with me.
I love my life just the way it is. Procreating will not make me complete. And the choice not to procreate does not make me less of a woman.
Or a monster, as some men (surprise!) imply when I tell them I choose not to breed. I do not exaggerate when I say this reaction comes complete with facial expressions of shock and horror. I mean really, what do you care?
And what if something was “wrong” with me? There was a time I considered making up a gynecologic condition to explain away my childlessness, but in the end, I’m not afraid to own up to my decision. My choice. And thank god I’ve got the right to choose.
“But who’s going to take care of you when you get old?”
Um, if you’re having kids to ensure you don’t spend your twilight years alone, walk into a nursing home or assisted living facility and see what kind of guarantee awaits you.
Let me say, before I alienate all the mommies, that I have many friends who are great mothers. Because they choose to be. They’re doing the job they want to do, and they’re awesome at it. I give them tons of credit, because sometimes it’s all the energy I can muster just to shake some dry food into the cat bowl, let alone shake a much-anticipated dirty martini into ice-cold submission.
“But you’d be such a good mother!” Thanks, but no, I probably wouldn’t. I have a low tolerance for a lot of things. However, I can have fun with your well-behaved children and enjoy my time with them precisely because I get to leave them behind and head to the solitude of my home, and drink that martini in peace.
See? I’m not totally against children. Unless they are whining, or kicking the back of my seat on a flight, or throwing tantrums in a restaurant or store. Or kids who walk and text and run into you and instead of saying sorry, give you a dirty look.
I am totally against parents who reward bad behavior or ignore the child completely, falsely believing that the world is their babysitter. I’m wholeheartedly against people who have children just because they have the baby makin’ equipment to do so.
And what’s up with greedy breeders? Do you really need more than two children? The planet is overpopulated as it is. Why do the Duggars, at like 150 children and counting, get a television show celebrating the fact that they don’t use birth control, and instill that “value” in their spawn? We live in a day and age where you don’t actually have to give birth to your farmhands.
Would it surprise you that, compared to Democrats, Republicans are super breeders?
According to a recent article on thedailybeast.com, six Republican presidential candidates have 34 children among them. Part of my theory to overbreeding is that the husband wants to keep his wife busy and distracted and out of his personal “affairs,” but that’s a whole other column.
“You’ll never know what true love is until you have a baby.” Hmmm . . . if you define true love by someone’s complete and total dependence on you, well, I think there’s a whole host of issues there that should be explored with the help of a professional. Define true love for me when your kid can talk back.
Don’t judge me for making the responsible choice for myself. I’m doing it for you, too, because surely I’d end up with some kid who would murder me in my bed and then go shoot up a high school. Despite my best efforts.
So breeders, let’s call a truce. You keep your poopy diapers. I’ll always have Paris.