I have never wanted kids. In fact, I find children repulsive. Their high pitched screams that pierce the eardrum, their sticky, germ-y hands they touch everything with, their constant need for attention. And don’t get me started on the way they eat – the way they chew with their mouths open – it’s vomit-inducing; I seriously cannot look at children when they eat. I walk by a playground full of laughing, happy children and it quickly ruins my good mood.
The best thing I can say about children is they’re not quite as awful as babies. Now, babies are fucking disgusting. I honestly hate them. They never shut up, they are always hungry, and they shit their pants all day long. But the worst thing about babies has to be the way they smell. That new human smell – I could go without food for three days, smell a baby, and instantly lose my appetite. Just thinking about it is literally making me gag.
Aside from my extreme distaste for babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers, I do not particularly want my life ruined by suddenly becoming responsible for another person. That seems expensive, time consuming, and exhausting. I really like having money in my bank account. Money for vacations with friends, for nice dinners, and for super exciting things like fixing my car if it breaks down. I also like having time to myself at the end of the day – time to go to the gym, or to watch some TV/read a book in peace. I also like to spend time partying, and I’m guessing it isn’t appropriate to go clubbing on a regular basis and leave my kids with that sketchy neighbor I barley know. I do NOT want to spend my evenings at boring PTA meetings or my weekends at some T-ball game where all the parents think their kid’s going to be the next Jackie Robinson or Yogi Berra and can’t see that every kid sucks because it’s fucking T-ball and no one is old enough to have well-developed gross motor skills. And I especially do not want to be late to work every morning because I had to help my kids get ready for school because they’re too incompetent to dress themselves and grab some coffee and toast like a fucking adult (note, I’m being a little facetious here). I’ll be damned if I get passed over for promotions in favor of some blow hard imbecile who only shows up to work on time because, while he has five kids, his parenting ceased when he pulled out and wiped his dick on his wife’s t-shirt. (I do realize there is a deeper institutional sexism regarding employment and job promotion.)
I want to be clear about something: this does not make me a bad person, or a bad woman. Some people do not like dogs, are they bad people just because they do not want a dog? (Yes, yes they are, but that is a different issue. Really, what kind of person doesn’t like dogs?) I’m not defective or callus just because I dislike children, I simply have other desires and priorities. If I had children, knowing that I can’t stand them and that I have no affection for them, then I would be a bad person – or at least a bad parent. I would rather spend my money having fun and my time on my career and volunteer work. (Yes, I know it’s shocking, but this hardhearted, non-maternal freak of nature actually volunteers.)
And, being the overly prepared, ridiculously responsible, anal-retentive person that I am, I have always been extremely careful not to get pregnant. I always use condoms if I have sex with someone who could get me pregnant (read: not only cis man), and I was using NuvaRing at a relatively young age. As soon as I was able to make my own medical decisions, free from my conservative family’s watchful eyes, I had an IUD inserted. And in a few years, when I reach the age range paternalist doctors are willing to graciously grant women sterilization procedures (sarcasm alert) I will make certain I never get pregnant.
While, as a white, middle-class, college graduate I might be less likely than some other women my age to have an unplanned pregnancy (I’m hinting at the intersection of class, race, and gender in regards to reproductive healthcare), the anti-choice/anti-abortion polices being pushed through state and federal legislatures terrify me. What if I get pregnant and do not have access to abortion? What if I’m forced to grow a parasite (sorry pro-birthers, but a fetus fits the scientific definition of a parasite) inside of me for nine months, forced to go through excruciating pain to get the thing out of me, only to be left with a smelly, germ-y, needy, expensive, time consuming lump of human cells that I feel no affection for? It could happen; it could happen to any person capable of childbearing at any time. The definition of “unplanned pregnancy” is unintentionally becoming pregnant, usually at an inopportune time. It doesn’t matter if you’re careful and using contraception; contraception fails, people lose their jobs and therefore their health insurance, people have drunken one night stands and forget to use a condom. In summary, shit happens, and it would be nice to know that if I ever got pregnant I could have an abortion so I wouldn’t have to ruin my life and permanently scar some poor kid because their mother never wanted them.