Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks, Wallyworld

Whenever I get the urge to have kids, I'm going to make myself take a trip to Wal-Mart.

I hate Wal-Mart for a myriad of reasons, but I've some newfound appreciation for the hellhole now. Wal-Mart (and the like) is an overwhelming dose of daily reality, served in migrainous gobs of fluorescent light. My last trip there several days ago I saw a toddler making a game of repeatedly tossing his shoe onto the floor after every time the mother put it back on--it put a smug smile of satisfaction on my face. There are definitely worse behaviors, but the shoe-throwing is one of only thousands that parents must endure every day.

I have no hatred for children (quite the opposite) and I have utter respect for parents (the good ones). I don't know how they do it. I couldn't do it, no way.

The two times I ever consider reproducing are when I'm experiencing Evil Reproduction Hormones and when a Hollywood movie makes it seem fun and easy. Thankfully the hormones are infrequent and my mind has always overcome them, but during intense attacks it's enough to make me feel batty. Bipolar. Irrational. I can completely understand how women who experience the biological urge, and who have not thought seriously about the consequences of children, succumb to the hormones and become obsessed with being pregnant. What I've found happens to me during these days is that my emotional focus is on the cutesy fun things--a cute pregnant belly, buying all the fluffy blankets and baby clothes, precious snapshots stuck on the fridge, exciting Christmases, showing a child the wonders of the world. Never once does my hormonally charged body think about all the ugly things--sleep deprivation, post-baby body, no free time, spitup and poop, hospital bills, teenage rebellion, no money, college tuition, crappy sex life and being a perpetual babysitter.

But Hollywood makes it look so great! Happy couples with nice homes and plenty of free time tote around an adorable kid who is always well-behaved and respectable, smart too. Somehow the house is never dirty or noisy, and Mom is easily able to juggle home life and work, and look like a supermodel doing it. But then I take a look around me at the reality of everyday life. It's decidedly unglamorous. And exhausting.

Even though I am happily childfree and secure in my decision to remain so, it is still a constant battle within myself and with society because of the bombardment of social pressure. The notion that we CF need to explain and defend ourselves is ridiculous; but the fact is, we frequently must do so. I look for the day where deciding not to have kids will be just as controversial deciding not to travel to Hawai'i, but go to Florida instead. The internet is a fabulous tool for exposing the CF life and offering support for its followers; we who are CF need to offer positive exposure to the lifestyle by rationally discussing it with others, and by proudly showing off our happy selves. There are many paths to happiness, and I for one am tired of the arguing about it.


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