I think I can handle the poop and the tears, but here’s what absolutely terrifies me about having children:
1. What if I lose one of them? I can hardly remember where I parked my car in a parking lot and am constantly buying new black leggings because my old ones mysteriously vanish. This makes me worry whether I should be entrusted with the life of a small and vulnerable human. I know they make noise, but so does my cell phone and I haven’t seen it in hours.
2. What if they tell people all my secrets? Even the Bible agrees that children are really just miniature spies. The real wisdom that comes “out of the mouths of babes” is more likely to be a repeat of some snarky comment you made when you thought they weren’t listening. Nothing is safe after you have kids—every errant fart or mumbled curse is witnessed, remembered, and announced to the rest of the world when you least expect it.
3. What if they grow up to be serial killers? You don’t have to watch very much Primetime TV to learn that mothers are almost solely to blame for the future evils of their children. Every single decision I make regarding breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and sleep schedules will inevitably increase the likelihood they end up with some sort of sociopathic fetish or fixation.
4. What if I can’t figure out how to feed them? I tend to eat the same things over and over, but I read somewhere that children have their own opinions and preferences and are apt to get hungry at various times throughout the day. If I happen to birth a child who isn’t OK with eating tilapia every night and doesn’t consider boiling water a “special occasion,” then we’re all going to starve.
5. What if I can’t afford them? When I was little, all I wanted was a washable teddy bear you could mark on with a pen. Nowadays every 6-year-old has an iPhone, an iPad, and a Minecraft account. I can’t even afford an extra charger for my cell phone; there’s no way I’ll contend with all the Moms who’ve turned Easter into the new Christmas and Christmas into a royal coronation.
6. What if I never get a good night’s sleep? My current sleep ritual involves two hours of preparation. I ban myself from exposure to “blue light,” lay out the next day’s outfit and am devoted to the bare minimum of 7 hours. Something tells me inserting a small child into this process might interfere with my ability to perfectly time my REM cycles to coincide with my alarm clock.
7. What if people overhear the terrible things I inevitably say? I can’t help overhearing moms in the grocery store who have to placate their children with boxes of fruit snacks and impulsively purchased toys. Someday this will be me, and when that angry little face screams “I HATE YOU MOMMY!” I will probably scream right back “WELL I DON’T LIKE YOU EITHER!” then someone will inevitably call the police and/or the local news.
8. What if I’m sick at the same time as my kids? It’s important I be able to act like I’m dying when I have the slightest fever or cold. My inability to leave my bed or pick up all my nasty tissues is doomed to be upstaged by the entrance of a little human who can’t even open a medicine bottle.
9. What if the SanctiMommies revile me? I don’t do well with having every single aspect of my life and decisions ripped apart for critique and condemnation. Hopefully there’ll be a resource available to inform me what I should and should not do in order to avoid the greatest amount of hellfire from all the women who are a thousand times more qualified to mother my children.
10. What if I never have sex again? It’s the cruelest joke of the universe that sex = baby and baby = no more sex again. This sounds like biting into a mystery chocolate and discovering it’s full of beet-flavored quinoa. I guess it’s possible the flavor could grow on you though, and maybe—just maybe—it might all be worth it.
Related post: A Letter To My Pregnant, Child-Less Self