Sorry, Mom

| November 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

I have perfected peek-a-boo.

I’ve got that shit down to an art. I’ve considered every factor – length of time you spend hiding your face, level of enthusiasm when delivering the “boo!”, length of pause as you wait for the giggles to die down before the next round – and created what I am pretty confident is the optimal peek-a-boo experience. There’s a trail of satisfied customers behind me that I’m 100% sure would sing my praises if they could speak full sentences. I also have former, older customers who don’t quite remember that particular service but could give you glowing reviews of my convincing car noises, my talent as a pretend school teacher, and my skills as a choreographer for High School Musical numbers.

I adore kids. And I never want to have one of my own in my life.

When I told my mom this for the first time I was pretty young. Young enough that I almost understand why, at the time, she had confidently replied that, “You’ll change your mind when you’re older.”

Now that I’m twenty years old – and at, I think, a decent age to know myself – I can say with just as much confidence as my mom had once upon a time that that change of mind probably won’t happen. I don’t want kids. I’ve never particularly wanted kids. And I’ll most likely never want kids.

photo credit: Merlijn Hoek Lois and Chelly via photopin (license)

photo credit: Merlijn Hoek Lois and Chelly via photopin (license)

It’s not because I don’t like kids. I love them. They’re funny and curious and noisy and say the funniest, weirdest stuff when you talk to them. I have so much fun watching them try to figure out the world. But I also understand that loving kids doesn’t always make you an awesome parent. I may have peek-a-boo down pat, but do I have the emotional availability to take care of a child? The patience to be there for someone 24/7? The ability to support and teach a little person how to survive in the world?

I’ve taken stock of myself and decided that… probably not. And a lot of people have told me that that’s sad. But, honestly, I think it’d be sadder if I brought a kid into the world while knowing that I wouldn’t be able to take care of them right. I’m just not well-suited to being a parent, and I’ve accepted that. And I think more people need to take a genuine look at themselves in the same light.

If someone asks you “do you want kids” and you respond in any way besides an immediate, enthusiastic “yes!”, I honestly, sincerely believe that you should probably not have kids. If your answer is “yes, but only if they’re straight” or “yes, but I don’t know if I could handle a disabled kid,” you definitely shouldn’t have kids. Kids don’t come tailor-made to fit your specifications. Love shouldn’t come with a long list of terms and conditions. You shouldn’t become a parent just because it’s expected of you as a woman. If you aren’t prepared to care for the child that you might bring into the world no matter what, don’t have a kid.

Because kids can tell. I’ve worked at a summer camp the past two summers and have interacted with so many children, and a majority of the loud-mouthed, rude, or just plain sad ones? They’re the ones who aren’t getting enough attention at home. The ones who parents are sending them off to a fancy summer camp for eight weeks despite the fact that one of them stays at home full time because they just “need a break” from them. As if a kid is a job they need a vacation from.

There are parents in the world right now who aren’t meant to be parents, and I don’t want to be one of them. But, hey, that might change one day. For now, though, I’m just going to keep training up my peek-a-boo skills to be the best damn aunt I can be.

featured photo credit: hz536n/George Thomas L-U-K-E at two weeks 2017 Explored! via photopin (license)

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Category: featured, Reflections, The (Sex)es

Isabella Amorim

About the Author ()

Isabella "Izzy" Amorim's hobbies include writing for Culture Shock, spending inordinate amounts of time in BU dining halls, and purchasing children's tickets at movie theaters with her baby face. Play the system, kids.

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