‘There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.’
As humans, one of our most primary instincts is to procreate – carry on our species, grow a family, and continue to populate the world. Like animals we hunt and search for the best partner we can find, one that is optimal to mate with and raise our young. Of course not everyone wants children, and it is SO smart of you to acknowledge that if you’re not 100% into it. Trust me – this is a circus, with wild ass monkeys flying around and a wicked witch cackling and screaming at them all (Hi, I’m Jacqueline, nice to meet you!). Parenthood is definitely not for the faint of heart, and it’s OK not to want kids. Yes, I said it – IT IS OK TO NOT WANT KIDS! Society puts pressure on us and tries to make everyone feel that they have to be breeders or raise children, and listen – I totally get that it’s not for everyone. However, if you are on the fence about whether or not you’d like to have kids, I’ve written a small list of reasons for anyone still trying to decide if they want to take the plunge into parenthood, or stay on the shore – safe, dry and with their sanity in tact.
My Top 10 Reasons Why You Absolutely, Without A Doubt Should NOT Have Kids.
1. You could lose your hot body. A tummy pouch, bags under your eyes, a Dad bod – these can be the unfortunate side effects of becoming a parent. And with that usually comes the eventual realization that it really doesn’t matter if you have a couple stretch marks or look tired, because that healthy, fertile body you see in the mirror just made an entire human fucking being. You start to feel love and respect for your body because you know it created and is raising the most beautiful thing in the world, and you worry – how will the beauty industry survive with all that annoying self acceptance hanging around?
2. You always have to put someone else ahead of yourself. Needy little monsters that they are, unfortunately with all of their agonizing requests eventually comes the ability to learn some shocking truths, a big one being that the world actually doesn’t revolve around you. With this you are humbled and usually become a much more compassionate and understanding human being, especially toward other parents, children and people in general. Becoming a better person is another annoying side effect of parenthood for sure.
3. You have to share you partner. Because there is another very important person in your lives, you’re now forced to share his or her affection with someone else. Along with this they also have to share you, and together you will realize that seeing each other take care of your child is literally THE most wonderful thing you will ever behold, because there is nothing more attractive than a good co-parent. Love doesn’t get spread thinner when you have kids, it multiplies as your family grows together, and truly takes you to a new place in your relationship that you never knew could exist. But the sound level in your bedroom definitely needs to quiet down during bedtime for a while. Not worth the sacrifice.
4. You have to teach them everyyyything. And it’s so annoying for a short portion of your life! How do I use this spoon? Help me walk! Where do I poop? And the worst part is, when they actually start doing it themselves you get this gross feeling of pride and joy, since you have taught another helpless human being an actual skill that will help them survive and become successful for the rest of their life. Watching them develop and grow from all of your efforts and dedication is SO not that rewarding.
5. You lose or have to sacrifice all your fun activities. That brunch on a late afternoon with the girls or Monday Martini’s tradition? Down the toilet. Your nights will now be filled with boring and meaningful things like reading them stories, cuddling before bed, and teaching them extremely important life lessons that nobody else in the world can do. You start doing things with your spare time that have actual depth and meaning – yuck!
6. They cost a LOT. Who knew a tiny human could be so damn expensive?! You have to start spending money on diapers, swim lessons etc. and start thinking about boring things you didn’t before, like education savings plans and your own retirement. This new and forced responsibility with money usually makes you cut back on the frivolous and useless spending you did before, buckle down, and start getting serious about your financial choices. Becoming fiscally responsible, planning for your future or even just starting to appreciate the money you’ve earned and worked hard for because you’re spending it on someone else is great and all, but you won’t want to waste it on dumb crap like a Margaritaville 3-in-1 drink dispenser anymore. How will you survive?!
7. You lose most of your cool friends. All those amazing people that you used to party with till 3 a.m and would see every weekend slowly kind of disappear. And the worst part is, they get replaced with all these other family oriented mom and parent friends. You now have someone around you who understands what you’re going through and can relate to your struggles; therefore you start to have truly meaningful friendships, as they are usually very compassionate people who are experiencing the same highs, lows, struggles and achievements that you are. But no partner to do body shots off anymore. Bummer.
8. Parenthood is easy to get into, but pretty hard to get out of. Meaning that if you show them love, raise them well and treat them even just decently, it will eventually pay off and you are destined to have a best friend and admirer that loves and respects you obsessively for the rest of your existence. How annoying.
9. Everything is about them. Soccer games, travel sports, music lessons, yada yada. It’s so damn expensive and takes up ALL of your free time, and you have none for yourself. And as you see them start to excel, truly enjoy themselves, make lifelong friends and build up their self worth you start feel that annoying sense of purpose and pride creep in again. Another thing you develop is selflessness, because you realize you want to give them everything in the world, as well as what you may not have had growing up, activity wise, emotionally or otherwise. Like I said before, becoming a better person is almost always going to be an unfortunate side effect of parenthood.
10. They eventually grow up. And usually they go on, get married, and start a family of their own. Watching your children start a new generation; seeing these little babies you raised become successful and happy adults and create their own babies, carry on your legacy and a piece of you, and getting to experience the undeniable joy of grandchildren is great and all, but I mean…. I’d rather get to sleep in on Sundays, wouldn’t you?
Like I said above – if your’e going to do it right, parenthood is a ton of sacrifices, pain and hard work, and most definitely is NOT for everyone. But I guarantee that if you truly want to go for it raising children is the most amazing, exhausting, humbling, hilarious and rewarding thing you will ever do in your life. It is our most primal of instincts to raise our young to be the happiest, healthiest and most successful people they can be, so don’t fear if you aren’t sure about having them or not – follow your gut and do what feels right for you. However, if you do chose to jump in and have kids, congrats and welcome to the crazy train – it’s a wild, loud, and messy ride but truly a lot of fun! And if fate makes the decision for you – perhaps not completely by choice – know that there are no accidents, just encounters with destiny and it is in you to succeed, because when a child is born, the parent is born as well. So saddle up, hold on tight, grab some strong ass coffee and most of all remember that becoming a parent isn’t about what we gave up to have these kids – its about what we are gaining from having them. You’ve got this.