I don’t have a boyfriend, I don’t have a savings plan, and to be honest I don’t even have an apartment I can call my own. I’m pretty freaking far away from having my life together and I’m nowhere near ready to settle down. However, in a world in which feminism has suddenly become trendy (which I am SUPER thankful for by the way), and motherhood is becoming less and less desirable (I just read an article in Cosmo about how babies are mini life ruiners) I can say with 100% assurance that I want to be a mother someday. Despite the fact that I have no interest in reading Mommy blogs about breast feeding or trading in my corolla for a mini van (I’d honestly rather die), I want to be a mom, and I want to be a good mom.
Working as a nanny was the absolute best form of birth control (on second thought my iud has done a pretty good job). I spent nearly every morning being spit at, cleaning up cheerios off the floor, and forcing stubborn seven year olds to brush their hair and put on their shoes for school. I dealt with outrageous temper tantrums (because being mad at someone for looking at you while you’re eating your oatmeal is no excuse for screaming at the top of your lungs), hair pulling and name calling (apparently I have weird teeth). I spent more Saturday nights in college eating noodles with butter and playing “Diggity Dog” and “Spot it” then bar hopping. I’ve brushed teeth that aren’t mine, sung Taylor Swift songs as lullabies, and wiped away tears from hurt feelings by the mean kids at school. I can’t claim to have anywhere near the wisdom or experience or affection that a parent can have. I haven’t been forced to wake up at 3am to feed a sobbing newborn, I haven’t had to kiss my baby goodbye on the first day of Kindergarden and retreat back to my car wondering how my little person could grow up so fast.
I know two kinds of people primarily. I have friends who say carelessly “I’ve always wanted to be a Mom, I’ve never even had to think about it” when I ask if they ever want to have kids. I also have the friends who scoff “I hate children, they’re dirty and rude and noisy! I never want them.” and although I do agree that they can be all of those things I have had to settle for a sort of middle ground on the great parenting debate among young, unmarried twenty-somethings. Have I thought about if I want children?! UM YES! I’ve thought about it a lot. In fact, I can’t help but think it’s a bit ridiculous to claim you want to become a parent before spending a great deal of time with small children. Parenting is no longer about bearing offspring to manage farms or family businesses or to carry on our genetic traits…parenting is a choice and a big one at that!
Growing up with pretty immature and ill equipped parents taught me how serious the role of a parent is. I love my parents with all of my heart, I appreciate the sacrifices they made for me, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. However, I’m enough of an adult to realize my parents aren’t supernatural deities. My parents are people, and they just so happened to be people who found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy at ages 19 & 20, and those kinds of people are apt to make a few mistakes and there. Parenting at such a young age with so little education and so little money must have (for lack of a better word) sucked. I can imagine it was exhaustingly difficult, there was no way my parents could afford to hire a babysitter on Saturday nights let alone a nanny to help out on a daily basis. With the knowledge of my own childhood upbringing I know I’m not ready to care for another human’s entire life right now. I’m just not.
I look forward to having/adopting a child one day. There are a lot of personal goals I need to accomplish before that point, and I’m not overly eager to join any Mommy play groups or start shopping at Gymboree but when I am ready for that period in my life I will embrace it (and my little girl will absolutely wear the cutest little tulle skirts around).
I miss being a nanny, and I know someday, when I’m ready, I want to be a mom.
Have you thought about whether or not you want to be a parent someday? What led you to your decision?