Newsflash to parents

Just because I dont want to have kids of my own doesn’t mean I hate them. I may not be a fan of babies, but when they get a bit older and start becoming little people, they’re so much fun. Until they cry or poop in which case you can have them right back.

But seriously, I do love hanging out with kids. My nephew and niece are just fantastic – the things they come up with make me laugh so much, and they are so easily pleased. (I’m going to enjoy this phase while it lasts.) I would love it if they lived closer so I could see them more often.

It always amuses me when parents are so surprised that I’m actually pretty good with their children. Kids love me and unless they are PITAs, I will likely love them too. But trust me, no matter how delightful your little darlings are, they do not and will never make me broody. Because when y’all leave after staying with me for a noisy, hectic, fun, crazy weekend of constant demands, it is absolute bliss flop onto my sofa with my two furry kids as my home returns to its usual calm, quiet, peaceful state.

Housewarming at 5.30pm?

Last weekend I went along to a friend’s housewarming party. She’d just moved into a new apartment and invited her friends over to see it. Now I know the days of raucous house parties seem to end with your twenties (and when we become homeowners, not tenants) but what got me about this one was that it was at 5.30pm.

5.30pm for a housewarming party? It wasn’t dinner – our host had provided some delicious snacks though. No, we had the party at 5.30pm because there was ONE couple there who had a toddler with them. They were there for a couple of hours; gone well before 8pm. The rest of us were all child-free.

I guess it’s only going to get worse as my EIGHT friends have their babies… But I do miss the days when parties were parties and started, not finished, at 8pm. Perhaps I should throw one of my own…

Not in the club

I have eight girl friends who are pregnant. EIGHT. That means eight baby showers I need to find excuses NOT to attend. (Actually, I think I’m expected to organise one of them… Aargh.)

I don’t want kids. I like kids but I don’t want my own. Certainly not while I’m single; probably not ever. And having one just to ‘fit in’ is Not A Good Reason!

But I feel so excluded because I’m not in the Mommy/Mommy-to-be club.

Are there any people left who can hold a conversation about topics other than scans, morning sickness, Pampers v Huggies, breastfeeding, etc.?

I don’t seem to have any single or childfree friends left. Hell, it’s lonely.

Baby showers

As a single girl with no apparent biological clock, I’d rather pull my own nails out one by one than sit through three hours of ‘Oooh look at that! A piece of foam that stops the baby falling off the compactum – how clever’ and ‘Aaah sweet, another babygro’…

I’d far rather go and visit the new mum when the baby’s born and take a gift then.

Am I the only one? Please tell me I’m not the only Babyshower Scrooge out there!

Unnatural?

A comment a friend of mine made a while ago preys on my mind from time to time. We are both single and while she really wants kids, I’m less sure.

She said that it is ‘unnatural’ not to want to have them. Am I missing some vital essence of being human if I don’t want to procreate? Or is it a person’s ability to think about something and make a decision, rather than acting on an instinctive ‘urge’ that makes us top of the food chain?

Perhaps my instincts just tell me I’ve not met a man whose genes I’d like to propagate yet 🙂

Meeting my nephew

On Tuesday I met my nephew for the first time. Apparently he was an absolute angel on the 11 hour flight here, sleeping most of the way. (Why can’t I have a kid like him behind me when I fly long-haul?!)

He’s just too cute. Blonde hair, big blue eyes, very tall for a 9 month old – and when he shot me a smile across the lunch table, my heart melted.

What was really interesting was to see how my brother and sister-in-law are with him. They have grown up SO much. They are both younger than me and have always been like big kids themselves. But now I see a whole other side of them: responsible, mature, calm. They have taken to parenting so naturally. I am really impressed.

Not that I want a kid of my own yet, but I am really looking forward to hanging out with Nephew over the next few weeks.

To breed or not to breed

baby… is a question I’ve been pondering for a while. As more and more of my friends become proud parents, and I’m inevitably asked whether I ever want kids too. I’m still undecided but currently leaning towards ‘no, thanks’.

It’s not that I don’t like kids. I think they’re great – as well as highly entertaining, (a) once they start talking and (b) before they learn what sarcasm is (they believe anything you say until that point – hours of fun…). It’s just that I think I prefer the odd few hours playing with (some would say ‘winding up’) other people’s kids than having my own. See, having my own would entail The End of Life As I Know It. I like sleep, going away for spontaneous weekends, peace and quiet… need I go on? All these are possible with feline children, but not so much with the human kind. Try leaving your children with an extra-big bowl of Iams and an indoor litter tray for 48 hours. See my point?

Friends (with kids, obviously) give me knowing looks and tell me that I’ll feel differently when I meet my Mr Right. That all I’ll want to do is have his babies. Hmm. I’ll never say ‘never’ but right now the thought of spending several child-free decades with my soul mate doing grown up stuff like travelling and eating in nice restaurants really appeals. And spending time with each other. Hell, it’s taking me long enough to find this guy – I’d really like to spend some quality time with him. Just US.

The Big Question I’ve been trying to answer is ‘Are there any unselfish reasons why people actually have kids?’ People tell me they have them because they really wanted them (selfish – it’s THEIR want); they want a family (ditto); they want to give their offspring education and opportunities (well why not adopt and make a massive difference to a child who exists already?), etc., etc.

So far the only unselfish reason I’ve heard is that one of my friends (who is extremely intelligent, as is her husband) feels that with their combined DNA, their child might just be the one who finds a cure for AIDS or manages to broker world peace. She didn’t actually say it in those words, but that’s the gist. For her it’s about creating a person who might just change the world – and giving her children an education and upbringing (and sense of responsibility) to guide them towards that.

I think she has a point. But I’m still not 100% convinced that having children is not a selfish desire. Ironically, a friend of mine who has been married for over a decade and who is still child-free (by choice, not that it’s anyone’s business – although apparently a lot of people she meets try to make it so) is frequently told by anyone from family to near-strangers that she’s selfish not to have kids. What?!

Anyway, I’m going to be around kids a lot over the Christmas season – one special one in particular. My 9-month old nephew is arriving from abroad with my brother and sister-in-law tomorrow and I can’t wait to meet him for the first time. They’ll be staying with me so I can’t quite wind-him-up-give-him-back-and-then-leave, so it should be interesting!