A question I get asked almost daily is if I have children. I pretty much always make a joke out of it and explain that I am the mother of 8 furry children and quite frankly, that's plenty of maternal experiences in my life. I'm not entirely sure why this matters to people but I must say, I'm feeling outnumbered and annoyed that the world doesn't take the child free very seriously. Promising me I'm going to change my mind and desperately want a baby when I'm 40 does nothing to strengthen the argument. Because I've got time before I turn 40 and to be honest, I have a ton of things to do and none of them include a toddler running around my house waking me up at 4 a.m. because they have peed or shat upon themselves. No thank you.
I realize that may sound harsh but the mommies of the world, the ones we never heard from or really thought about because they were stay at home mothers and virtually invisible, they're here now. They're loud. The internet has brought these women out of the shadows and now they are speaking their truth and sharing their lives and I think it's awesome. One of the hardest things about being a stay at home parent is the isolation, the lack of adult contact, not to mention the lack of respect given to what is considered to be the hardest job in the world. These women deserve to be heard and I follow several of their blogs because they are incredibly smart, funny, and often heartwarming/heartbreaking. From what I can see, having children is like stitching your heart to your arm and doing everything you can to keep it from getting broken while simultaneously battling ignorant school systems, dealing with bullshit from other parents, bullying, video games, the early sexualization of children thanks to media nightmares such as Toddlers and Tiaras, and a constant fear that you're not doing enough, you're doing it wrong, and your child is going to be a serial killer or, worse, never move out of your house.
I appreciate the honesty mommy bloggers have brought to the world, to my world in particular, because I really don't think I'm meant to be one of them. When I was a kid I hated baby dolls. One Christmas in particular I got one of those dolls that you can feed and then they peed all over the place. I hated that bitch. She not only pissed herself, but cried about it! So annoying! And gross! I much preferred my Pound Puppies and Popples (yes, I said Popples!) to keep me entertained and happy.
Here's the thing though - I love kids! They are awesome and cute and funny and all the wonderful things parents talk about being worth the trade-off of their comfortable lives and sanity. Children and teens are, and always have been, the heart of my therapy practice. It is an amazing and humbling experience to help a child in pain. I love and appreciate this opportunity and am grateful for it daily . I will go to the wall for any kid who comes my way to keep them safe, make them feel heard, and help them understand that they are innocent bystanders in the lives of adults and therefore have done nothing to deserve whatever situation they find themselves in. I have huge respect and empathy for parents because after I've spent an hour with their child, I am ready to get the hell outta there. Seriously, that's long enough, I'm all set.
What really drives people nuts is they see me with their kids and see how good I am with them and how easy it is for me to hang out with them and get them to open up. Do you know why I can do that? Because I'm NOT a parent. That's why. I don't have to deal with the fears and insecurities and emotional devastation children can and do bring. I am safe from all that baggage and anything that kid has to say to me isn't going to bring down my whole world. Being the messenger isn't always a hoot but it sure beats the hell out of being the recipient of said message.
I have struggled with this whole baby thing for years and years. I keep waiting for some biological clock in my uterus to start beeping at me but so far, nothing. It's crickets up in this womb you guys. Sometimes I wish I wanted a baby. I wish to hear that clock ticking or to feel my ovaries doing the cha-cha. That would make me "normal" right? I wish I wanted to make a tiny human and be a part of that world. Babies R' Us is a really cute store and I totally love shopping there for my friends with babies! OMG tiny shoes are always cute! But...they belong at somebody else's house. And I do wonder about the intensity of love parents feel for their children but honestly, I don't think I'm made for that. I'm way too emotional and I have seen myself dealing with my dogs when something goes wrong. I'm a freaking mess. I seriously doubt I would handle human issues with any more grace or aplomb. And God help the kid or adult who messes with my kid. If people approach my cats or dogs the wrong way they hear about it immediately. There is no biting of the tongue. I will straight up yell at a stranger (or non-stranger) if I don't like the way they're treating my furry babies.
I will cut a bitch.
So thanks to the parents out there who allow me know and enjoy their children. Who allow me to spoil them or swoon over their cuteness then go home to my peaceful, quiet home where the only one allowed to have a tantrum is me.