It's Not That I Hate Babies

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A lot of my friends are moms and a pretty consistent refrain I'll hear on social media is, "I miss my babies" or "I wish they were small again" or "just you wait until they're older." I feel like with so many moms this starts when their babies are like nine months and I'm guess will continue until they have grandbabies or pop another one out in the final quarter (ie early forties). Recently, though, I saw an old high school friend talk about how every stage her kid is at is her favorite and I was like "ME TOO!" Finally. 

It's not that I hate babies, because babies are super cute. The cheeks, those little sweatshirts with animal hoodies, all the firsts, and how sweet they feel when they nap on you. Don't forget, though, the total and complete incapability to control their bodily functions, their lack of concern about sleep, and the fact that they really don't communicate all that effectively. 

Toddlers? My toddler was a gem- never once did he throw one of those nightmarish fits and he was capable of doing very quiet, tedious activities like putting stickers on paper for hours. Watching them learn so much about the world is absolutely delightful and hearing them talk is the best. But, still. They need help with EVERYTHING. I mean, sometimes I don't want to put shoes on another person. Put on your own shoes. It's not that hard. 

Then, they become tiny people! Hooray! They're housebroken, then dress themselves, they put cream cheese on their bagels, they have conversations with you, their hobbies start emerging, and you can rationalize with them (most of the time). It's great.

I've worked with all ages of elementary between teaching, student teaching, subbing, and whatnot, and I've been at the high school level for more than a decade. I know that aging doesn't make kids void of flaws, and there are always hiccups along the way. There are many inevitable, uncomfortable things headed my way in the years to come, I know. 

But still.

I'm glad I don't have a baby anymore. Maybe it's because I waited until I was thirty to have a kid and had a good, long taste of comfortable adult life while not being responsible for a human. Maybe it's how I'm wired? It's not that I'm not maternal, because I think I am, and it's not that I hated pregnancy, because mine was fine. I just love not being responsible for an super tiny creature and I thoroughly enjoy seeing my son become more grown up. 

Ultimately, it's a commentary on motherhood, and out society's expectations of women. We're supposed to make comments about our ovaries aching at baby showers and get weepy when looking at old pictures of our little munchkins. Taking it a step further, we're supposed to want babies in the first place, and at least two, since we'd never want our first o be *gasp* not have sibling (please, so many people don't even really like their siblings, ever- not me, I love mine). Don't even get me started on whether we're supposed to do crying it out, institute allowances, fight with our spouses in front of our kids, or any of the other seven million things people have such strong opinions on. 

(If I was grading this, I'd give it an abysmal score for staying on topic and being organized)

I love my son and he was the cutest baby I've ever seen in my life, but I'll take a conversation about Harry Potter, an afternoon of him playing upstairs with LEGOs while I read, or (when COVID is "over") an easy travel partner any day over those pudgy little cheeks. 

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