Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Baby or Not

At lunch today, I spent a few minutes gazing at baby pictures. I was thrilled to see that our friends had received the blanket I'd sent their first daughter in November, and was mooning over pictures of the little darling toddling over it.

It's amazing the way that biology works. Obviously, as a living creature, there's a part of me that feels it is my duty to procreate. But unlike the Bengal Tiger or the Blue Whale, I'm not compelled to do so for the continuation of my species. The human race will most certainly not die out if I never produce a child. (Personally, I think we'd all be a lot better off if more people didn't have children; there's plenty of humans on the earth already.)

In my rational mind, I think of the chores that come with having a child, the setbacks, the trials, and so forth. First comes the annoyance of pregnancy with a parasitic life growing inside one, not to mention the risks of developing varicose veins or gestational diabetes and all the other delightful changes that accompany the growth of the fetus.

I think of lost sleep, career obstacles in taking time off for recovering from giving birth, disgusting feces filled diapers, the pain of breastfeeding. I think of the torment that every new parents suffers as everyone and his brother feels compelled to tell you what you're doing wrong in raising a child.

And as the child grows older, there are other thing that come up. There are things I disagree about with Nate, such as how to explain gay couples (my theory is to just present them as a normal family that just happens to have two people of the same gender; he wants to mark them as different so that our imaginary child won't be labeled weird and beat up at recess). I wouldn't want to swear around a child, but while I could keep my curses to myself, there's no chance in Hell that Nate could, or would even want to.

And there's also the fact that I really would prefer having a girl to a boy. There's no way to work that out in advance (short of adoption, which I am open to and Nate is not).

But there I am, seeing the sweet daughter of our friends, and I feel that little tug on my heartstrings. So even though I have seriously uncuddly feelings about bearing and raising a child, there's no stopping the biological urge that whispers in my ears: "Don't you want one of your own?"

2 responses:

Vanessa said...

You look fantastic in your new picture!

mice said...

We have not one but two so I am compelled to say something.

Yes, it is hard. Don't let anyone lie to you. You don't get to do fun things. Its expensive. You don't get much sleep. Certainly not enough, ever.

Obligation or trying to sort out what the world needs or doesn't is a fool's game. Plenty of people will tell you that the world needs this or that. What you don't know is what could happen tomorrow. What if you child makes a discovery that ends hunger? What if there is a catastrophe and nearly everyone is wiped out? Then the world will need your child more than ever. In short having or not having a child for ecological reasons is a bit tenous. There are to many variables.

As for boys and girls they are both so sweet, if you ever decide to surrender yourself to having a kid I believe you won't care what gender they are in the least once they arrive. As a parent all you care about is that they are healthy. Its a cliche' but trust me it is based on reality.

My advise is don't think about it too much. No matter how much consideration you give this matter you have NO idea what is in store for you. Meditate about it. talk to your beloved about it.

Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, many of my friends think I am some sort of alien for having them. I proabably am. BUT, I am the happiest, craziest alien you will ever know.


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