A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me she was expecting. While I was genuinely happy for her, I couldn't bring myself to light up with that baby-fueled glee most women my age seem to have.
I was thrilled in the same way I'd be thrilled if she told me she just bought a new car or landed a dream job. I just couldn't bring myself to gush about names or go to Armani Junior with her to look at knit caps and onesies for her unborn child.
In fact, immediately after she told me, the first thing I said was, “So I guess we can't really drink anymore, huh?"
My mind went to alcohol. There's something inherently wrong with me if I'd rather talk about bottomless brunch than silver spoons from Tiffany & Co. At least, that's what my family thinks. My grandmother consistently makes not-so-subtle comments about how, at 24, my mom already had a 4-year-old baby (me).
It's not that I hate children; they're just not my cup of tea. I'd rather spend my day making my silly faces and voices at puppies and kittens instead of squirming babies.
This wasn't always the case. As a child, I desperately wanted two girls of my own. I even picked out names for them: Rose, after my great-grandmother, and Lily, because I liked the name. Then Charlotte from “Sex and the City” killed my vibe and stole my baby names. F*ck you, Charlotte. You were always so basic.
While other people's babies are great, I'm just not interested in having one of my own. Why is that such a hard pill for others to swallow? Below are a few of my reasons.
I'm convinced I'll mess my kids up.
I don't know how parents do it, particularly when I see their kids screaming in restaurants and throwing tantrums in stores. It freaks me out, especially because parents always seem so calm about it.
As a parent, my knee-jerk reaction would be to kill my child (joking, mostly) if he or she so much as thought about ruining my Alexander Wang bag. I'm not a very patient person and I get angry easily. A child probably wouldn't thrive with me as a mom.
Not everyone has that maternal instinct, and that's OK by me.
When I'm on a group text with some of my new mom friends from high school, it's an utter clusterf*ck. Someone sends a photo of her kid doing something remotely cute, and one person -- usually another mommy in the group -- responds enthusiastically about how divinely precious her little human is.
The conversation becomes a trillion photos clogging up the group text, with everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing like this baby is deadlifting a car or something. Meanwhile, I mute the notifications because I have work to do. I'll follow your baby's account on Instagram. I'm a good friend, after all. But I won't turn on notifications for that sh*t.
I don't want to live a "kid-friendly" lifestyle.
I like to sleep. I love midday naps, falling asleep at 4 am in front of the TV, going out to eat at weird hours and blaring loud music with bad words. Where the hell am I supposed to fit a living, breathing child into that?
Sure, I could change all of those things about me. I could start going to yoga more and listening to classical music. I could even join one of those mommy jogging groups on the Upper East Side. But I happen to enjoy my lack of a schedule and admittedly sh*tty lifestyle, so why would I change?
Many seem to believe I'd somehow be more fulfilled if I carved out room in my life for a child. It's like my hobbies, passions and lifestyle are insignificant and are somehow "less than" because there's no child in the mix.
At the end of the day, my accomplishments, values and story make up my legacy. To me, that's just as legitimate as a child.
Besides, I already have two kids: my dog and my kitten. They take up too much valuable nap time as is.