I considered what a future child of mine would be like and what I would be like as a parent today, y’all. It stems from my lecturing on my dissertation material, namely the involvement of parents in sex education.
Before we get into why this is an unusual occurrence, allow me to describe this child and myself as a parent.
The kid would be a super nerd, but also amazing and brilliant. I’m thinking they would be somewhat embarrassed of their mother, a woman who discusses sex so nonchalantly, threatens to kick bullies’ asses, and is outspoken at PTA meetings. Ultimately, I’d be open and honest with my kid about sex and, while I would not necessarily want them to be having sex as a teen, I would provide them with the knowledge and resources so that they could be responsible. Still, it’s not like I’d be encouraging my 15 year old to go get laid. That would be nuts.
In terms of me as a parent, I think I’d be one of those parents other kids knew they could talk to, but parents gave a strong side-eye to. As in, “Please stop discussing nocturnal emissions with my kid. That’s my job.”
As to why this is an unusual occurrence — I do not see myself having children. My ovaries react to puppies and kittens, not babies. I don’t feel a sort of “oomph” or imperative to have them.
Having kids sort of scares the shit out of me. Yes, I realize children are resilient, but there are so many ways to fuck them up. They are sick a lot. They cost a lot. So much stuff could happen to them outside of my control. A kid is basically like your heart living outside of your body. I like my heart just where it is, two sizes too small just like the Grinch.
The whole concern of like “but who will take care of you when you are older” is not really something I seriously consider. I’d get help. I’d live in a Golden Girls situation. I’ll be fine.
Then there’s the business of having a partner. I want my partner and I to have a good amount of time together as adults. I don’t see myself exploring the world necessarily, but even adult vacations are somewhat hampered by having a kid around. I like my autonomy as well. I would not want my life to be subsumed under the life of my child.
Furthermore, I would have to be 100% guaranteed that I would not be shafted with the bulk of housework and childcare. I would not want to be taking care of a child and a man-child. Even if I don’t have kids, I’d want a partner who is self-sufficient and doesn’t require a lot of “training.” He can cook for himself and do his own laundry and that shit doesn’t come to a halt just because we’re living together and/or married. I don’t know how long it would take for me to be convinced of his potential for being legit co-parent. It might or might not be longer than it would take me to be convinced of his potential for being a good spouse.
Perhaps a man will come along someday in which I will just want to have his babies. I could be convinced. I’m not completely made of stone. There are women I admire who balance work and children and their kids appear to be awesome. They also seem to have the sort of partners who had their shit together and they got to spend a good amount of time just being adults with said partners before bringing kids into the equation. I’m talking years, not months.
Two other substantial considerations:
First, age. I don’t want to be an “older” parent, one who is nearing retirement when my kid graduates high school. I don’t think that I’d want to do IVF.
Second, location. I would want support from my family, specifically my parents. Or, at the very least, his parents.
I’ve already given way more thought to parenting and children than some people who have a condom break or decide to play their chances with the pull-out method.
I think I’m ovulating, to be honest, and that’s why I’m giving any sort of credence to these ideas.
I talk about practicing ambivalence and I suppose right now my feeling toward having kids is in the realm of ambivalence rather than disregard.