She asked me because she was on the fence about whether she should have them. I remember that time in my life. I think I’m still at that time in my life. Should I have kids? But she was asking me seriously. I was her closest friend with real baby insight. What was the deal? Do the heart melting moments outweigh the bad stuff?
As usual, I am a focus group of one. There seem to be a lot of people out there who think having babies is The Most Fun Ever. They are all like, “Oh my god! And then I get to quit my job and FINALLY buy that house in the ‘burbs and make crafts All. Day. Long. and sing songs and OMG I cannot wait!” And I think those people are actually incredible. Those people have a different genetic make up than I do. I think my kid is awesome. All two hours a day I spend with him. And then I like to put him to bed and think about how I can’t go anywhere because it’s basically illegal to leave the house. JUST IN CASE. (There’s a lot of just in case in parenting. I want to tell people to go ahead and stop talking, just in case I get violent.)
But when posed the question, “it is totally worth it?” I really can’t answer simply. On the one hand, I have a tiny person– I own a 28 inch human being. He has tiny human pants and little New Balance sneakers and he thinks I am awesome. Like, really awesome. He sees me and he’s all oh thank god it is you I have been waiting on you since forever and i have no concept of time so that’s basically my whole life. And he smiles and makes ‘ahhoooohhh” noises that are pretty funny because he thinks I’m totally following what he’s telling me. Mimic him and his mind is blown. We speak the same language!
No, tiny retard, I have no idea what you’re getting at.
But then other times he is a tiny life terrorist. He’s the biggest, most selfish dick bag in the history of the world. He wants what he wants when he wants it and that’s exactly thirty seconds before it’s humanly possible for you to have it. All the toys in the world aren’t shit compared to an outlet or a live wire. He stole everything I knew: my life, my professional life, my social life, my sex life. I put meat into a blender and then taste it. Pureed meat. Shit is fucked up. He’s turned my cat into a manic depressive who no longer stares out the window, but rather tries to throw his body against the screen in an attempt to break through to his death.
And really those things are not made okay by him being cute. When he loses his mind–straight from a deep sleep– right as Castle is starting, only to smile and laugh when I go into his room, I frankly think him a deviant little fuck. A tiny human who was sent to this earth to make me think long and hard about who I am and what I believe.
But that’s not an answer. “Is it worth it?”
So I answer like this:
Having a baby is like losing your leg and winning the lottery. Winning the lottery does not make it okay that you’re without your leg, but it does give you enough of a distraction that you don’t completely lose your shit. Your leg is missing, but you’re on a yacht. Would you rather be in a trailer with a leg? Who knows. Depends on whether you felt like going for a jog.
My leg is gone. Blown to smithereens. I have to relearn how to walk and dance and run and everything else I used to know how to do, but I won the lottery, so that’s going to help.
Of course I miss not having a baby. When people say things like, “I don’t even remember what it was like!” I cannot relate. I remember exactly what it was like. IT WAS AMAZING. I drank in bars on weeknights. I made last minute plans. I could get on an airplane without two Xanax and a booster brew and a sincere prayer that the small boy doesn’t lose his mind. When I made a decision, it was with very little than my own comfort and convenience in mind. Those things come dead last now.
No one can tell you whether you should have kids. And that whole, “waiting until we’re ready” thing. Right. You ain’t ever going to be ready. When the tiny human commeth, all bets are off, and the question of whether or not it’s worth it isn’t the question at all. The question is how you make it worth it for them.
9 thoughts on “But what’s it really like to have a baby?”
I’m realizing your pre-baby life was a lot cooler than mine… See if your life is already pretty boring, then less change =)
I. LOVE. THIS.!!!! OMG!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I stay pretty current with your block, and I am in tears laughing so hard with every read. I am at that stage in life of deciding if I should have children of my own. More than likely I will, but the worth part is out the window for me. IMHO, it isn’t worth it, but hey maybe that will change. Doubt it. All Moms say, “That will change once you see that little face.” Barf Bag. My life will completely change, and I will never be ready for that…
Good start on Huffington piece but voice still needs work…no one wants to read meditations on motherhood by your seventh grade self.
I love this – it’s the funniest and most honest account of motherhood I’ve read (and I should know… I’ve done it twice!) I think your voice is perfect!
BTW you should maybe check your link from HP – it didn’t work when I tried it, so I Googled your blog to find it.
This post was amazing. So clear and concise and absolutely true. Your unvarnished take on the awful-mazing daily push/pull of being a parent was spot on. Thanks for your honesty and telling it like it is.
Yes. I appreciate this more than anything I’ve read in the past who-knows-how-long. I want kids, but I’m too selfish to have them, and none of my mom friends get it. I’m so glad someone else does. Thank you!
Nailed it! Laughed out loud.
Thank you, for telling it like it is. This article gave me reassurance that I’m not the only one out there who has wistful moments about life before it was hijacked by nappy changes.