During a short MegaBus commute between Dallas and Austin today, I listened to a baby’s throaty, gurgling laughter and thought ‘Awww, how cute!’–until an hour and a half (and several frayed nerves) later passed and she was still guffawing. Oh, the joys of babyhood, a time in life in which one finds humor in a freezing cold double-decker bus instead of sharing my annoyance with the lady behind me for mindlessly breaking the silence by screaming into her cell phone in Spanish.
As both the baby and the loud-mouthed lady continued to blabber, I recalled running around the block with my trainer early this morning as we approached a park filled with the sound of excited children.
“Kids,” she muttered, “they scare me.” At the moment, I was trying hard to convince myself that the cramp in my side wasn’t a burst appendix, so all I managed was a breathy, “Yeah.”
Translation: The thought of having kids scares me more than any horror film ever could, for a number of reasons:
What about life?
Work + Marriage + Side Hustle + Friends + Family + Personal Interests + Sleep + Endless List of Other Important Stuff = Where the hail am I supposed to fit a kid in this equation? The answer must be linked to one of those imaginary numbers I heard about in algebra class.
What about what pregnancy/childbirth does to a woman’s bawdy, specifically those who are 30 and up?
Before someone else mentions it, I know Halle Berry just did it (again), but so what?!? Yeah she’s 40+, but she’s been physical perfection for quite some time. I’ve just now become dedicated enough to regular exercising to develop some visible muscle definition and get through several 30-second sets of nonstop burpees without seeing spots. Vain as it is, I’m afraid that if I have a kid, my not-so-youthful body won’t soon recover from the trauma of giving birth. Besides, Halle is a rich celebrity so I’m pretty sure that grants her the ability to burn hella calories during labor, thereby shedding all her pregnancy weight in the process. As we speak, she’s laid up in the hospital, looking all motherly and skinny and shit. Based on my utterly ordinary existence, I fear I won’t be that fortunate.
What about personal hang-ups that have yet to be addressed?
The pointless pursuit of perfection before becoming a mother literally has my womb on lockdown. I fear that any children I have will instantly detect my daily hotmessness and utilize their first steps to literally head for the hills. Throwing a kid into the mix of a struggle with self-acceptance sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Barring these concerns, I do realize that no one is perfect, even moms. Facing off with these pre-child concerns only increases the respect and admiration I have for mothers, including my own. Who knows what will become of my womb? In my heart of hearts, I hope motherhood is in my future, but for now I’ll have to approach the possibility with baby steps.