I will never be the woman who asks you about children. I will never ask you if you want them. I will never ask you if you’re trying to have them. I will never tell you that you should have them, and I promise I will never, ever tell you how many rich and beautiful blessings you are missing out on by not having children. Because have you met a child? They’re giant sticky time-sucks. I love my two little girls a whole lot, but there is a reason I only had two. And there IS a reason they are almost seven years apart. (However: I do love my husband. Here’s 15 things he does that makes me fall in love all over again.)
I do not have a child-loving personality. Growing up I hated babysitting the two times I ever tried it, and I have actively avoided other peoples’ kids ever since. I grew up in a home where children were not to be out in public unless they were on their very best behavior, so, needless to say, my sister and I were raised to handle adult situations, conversations, and sheer boredom without bothering my mom or anyone else.
When I found out I was pregnant, I decided—above all else—that it was my responsibility not to send an asshole out into the world, and I’ve tried to parent in a way that will prevent such a thing from happening. I’m not perfect, but I can promise you I will never bring a toddler to an rated-R movie. And if she does happen to throw a fork at the back of your head in a restaurant? I will buy your meal and march that child right out to the car after they apologize. (But then again, if I knew I had a fork thrower on my hands, I wouldn’t take them out in public in the first place. You’re welcome.)
The truth is I could write an entire post about how much fun it is to have kids. I may even be able to convince a die-hard naysayer that kids can be cool sometimes because they can be. My kids hug with their whole bodies and the unconditional love they have for me despite my flaws and tendency to scream is unfathomable.
However, I’m well aware that the grass is often greener and while I love a good cuddle with one of my little chickens, here are a few things I envy of those who choose to remain child-free.
1. The walk to your bedroom is not lined with LEGO shrapnel, viciously awaiting your bare feet.
2. Your dry-clean only clothes have never been used as a tissue.
3. The only bodily waste you have to worry about cleaning up is your own—or perhaps your pet’s.
4. You will never knock over a mini-potty full of pee.
5. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO POTTY TRAIN A HUMAN.
6. College savings can go toward retirement.
7. You will never wake up to a set of mattress-level eyeballs at 3 a.m. quietly staring at you.
8. You will never know the terror of finding a rotten sippy cup of milk in your car.
9. You can sleep in if you want to.
10. If you cook, you’ll be able to eat while your food is still hot, your cereal is still crunchy, and your beverage is still cold — all without whiney vultures hovering.
11. You’ll never have to find someone to babysit when you go out of town or to the gynecologist.
12. You will never have to take an inquisitive five-year-old to the gynecologist.
13. Your Brazilian wax will never be brought up by a tiny human to a grocery store clerk with the statement “All the hair out of my mom’s butt fell out.”
14. Keeping up the Santa gig is exhausting, but I don’t want to be the one who ruins it all.
15. You’ll never wake up in a cold sweat at 5 a.m. because you forgot to play Tooth Fairy and all you have is a $20.
17. Breastfeeding debates.
18. You’ll never know about Caillou or the kind of damage he can do to your already fragile mental state.
19. An open juice box will never get tossed into your brand new leather handbag and leak all over.
20. You don’t have to throw elbows when trying to do your makeup without “help.”
21. You will never be on the edge of orgasm and hear “MOM! I THREW UP IN MY BED.”
22. You don’t have to share your precious DVR space with cartoon characters.
23. Vacations are … relaxing.
24. No one will ever poop in your tub.
25. You could theoretically clean your house and have it stay that way.
26. You’ll never accidentally ask another grown adult if they need to use the potty before going out for the night.
27. You can go to the gym whenever you want.
28. You’ll never chaperone a field trip. Or realize you’re the only parent forgot to turn in the field trip permission slip.
With my husband as an attorney, I’ve also become really jealous of those who will never have to worry about bailing their child out of jail or hiring them a lawyer. (Just kidding, I won’t be bailing my kids out of jail because you know the best motivation my mom ever gave me to not get arrested? “I’m never bailing you out.” Fine then, I’m never getting arrested—and I didn’t!)
*Please note that I used the terms CHOOSE TO REMAIN and CHILD-FREE rather than “all of you without kids” because some of you ache to have babies more than you ache for anything else in the world, and I know that hurt. I would never tell you to “BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE SLEEP YOU GET” when in reality you’re probably not sleeping at all because you can’t stop thinking about why you can’t get pregnant/the adoption won’t go through/some other difficult situation in regards to adding to your family. Nope, this isn’t one of those posts.