After one particularly heinous junk food binge, I stared down at my ridiculously bloated belly. I couldn’t help but think about being slowly yet surely, one of the last of my childless friends. This enlarged ‘food baby’ was about as close to experiencing pregnancy as I might get.
At 34 years old it seems there is a constant reminder thrown at me to bear children. From society, the media and of course… my mother. Apparently my ‘window of opportunity’ is getting smaller and smaller as time marches on. I have been told that the longer I wait, ‘the less likely it will happen’, ‘your ovaries are aging’, ‘you don’t know what you’re missing’, ‘children are a blessing’.
My child-bearing friends always insist that I have it good, that they desperately miss their freedom. These friends follow up with “but I wouldn’t trade them in for anything”. Let’s be honest here, what kind of mother would readily admit that the non-existence of their own offspring would make their lives so much happier? But the dirty truth does come out now and again, after a few glasses of wine of course, from friends willing to shed light on what really goes on in the homes occupied with children.
“It’s Alive!!! ALIVE!!!”….
The frightening stories of pregnancy and child birth alone are enough to scare off anyone with ears to listen. The permanent stretch marks, the constant mornings of vomiting yourself inside out, the weight gain that just doesn’t want to come off, the once sky-high breasts now resembling what could pass for tennis balls in a pair of pantyhose. Then there’s the ripping of one’s most delicate area….Is this a horror film?
Then you get to bring home what either looks like an alien or a really tiny old man, and listen to it scream all night long as you kiss goodbye to what was the last of your blissfully sleep-filled nights, along with your sanity.
No more peaceful five-star vacations filled with shoe shopping. Instead, insert loud, splashing, crying, hissy-fit filled trips to the lake and kiddie infested theme parks.
Then as they get older, you live in fear of quiet moments. Something is always going on when the house becomes silent. This silence is usually followed by some sort of art work on your freshly painted walls, done by your newly purchased nail polish, making its way onto your living room carpet for all to see.
The Puurrfect Solution
I think I will stick to parenting my cat. He spends hours a day sleeping by himself, is perfectly satisfied eating the same food, day in and day out, is easily amused by boxes and strings, AND… I can leave him alone in the house for days at a time, with his food on the floor and a place to go to the bathroom. When I return home, everything in the house is still intact as he runs directly to me, purrs affectionately as he brushes up against my face, then scurries off as if I never left.
You can leave a cat alone in your house for days but you can’t leave a child. Clearly I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure there are laws against that…