Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids, Not for the faint-hearted

In the word of "Eat, Pray, Love*", children are like a tattoo on your face. You really have to be committed.

In my group of friends, I've always had a couple who don't want kids and I don't blame them. I don't like other people's kids... well, the majority anyway.  And that's actually gotten worse since having my own. 

Kids are not a hobby.  They are not an after school activity.  The literally suck the life out of you and, strangely enough, it's your pleasure to allow them.  You see, once you become a parent, you are mutated into a whole new breed of human.  You are never the same. 

What gets me here in Brazil is that not wanting kids isn't really acceptable.  If you are not immediately and directly argued with about it, it's only because they have decided you'll grow into wanting them eventually.  Of course if you have a Vagina you want kids!  Why else have one?! Well, I can give you a couple of reasons but this is a semi-family friendly blog. 

So let me climb up on my soapbox and give you my speech on it. It'll take a minute, I have two boys hanging off of my ankles.

Don't have kids if you don't know if you want them. You know if you want kids! And guess what, they aren't going anywhere... ever.  They wake up at night to tell you they farted.  They puke every single time you forget to bring extra clothes.  They will never eat their vegetables when your Mother-in-law is over and watching.  They learn the curse words you mumble after an argument with your husband and then tell their teacher that when Mommy is mad she calls Daddy ________.   And at least once in their life, they will crap on your floor.

Of course there is the other side.  They will hug you with their whole selves, body, spirit, and humor.  There's a real beauty in being the only thing that comforts an upset or sick child in the middle of the night.  You will smile all 300 times a day your toddler says monkey because it's the first real word they have mastered.  It's amazing to see them grow and develop. It's like sea monkeys without the smelly tank.  And if you keep the right mindset, you'll laugh more than you ever have in your life. These little people are hilarious, even when they crap on your floor.

So what are you, pro or against babies in your life?  Why or why not?

*FYI: I hated the movie and wasn't all that impressed with the book.


  1. too funny. Brazilians always ask me if I have childern? Then they ask me how old I am, I say 28. Most of them are in shock. When are you going to have a baby? ALL of my students...

    Getting older and studying the whole time, I see how hard it gets, the older you get. When I was younger I totally could have nailed the books, been Betty Crocker, worker bee and Best mommy. Sad to say those days are over with... Until work and school are in order- no babies.

    I also have a this strange fear of twins, which run in my family. I feel like I am might faint if I think about twins. There are many Brazilians who get what I am saying and tell me I'm doing the correct thing. But others don't understand why I am not 6 months pregnant right now!

  2. hahahaha! Thats true: not have babies is kind of abnormal for brasileiros. At 28 I got married pretty late acording to our standart. So, few months late my family started asking when finally i would show off pregnancy. When i said and repeated that I am absolutely not having kids, my mummy cried, like it was the end of the planet. She was so said like if i had said i am very sick or so. i dont understand at all.

  3. I had wanted kids, and if I’d ever gotten the relationship part down I probably would have decided to have a few. But as a bunch of my close friends have started having babies I’ve discovered a few things that make me happy I’m not. First…sleep. Most of the parents I know are exhausted, and I can understand why. They have not been able to sleep for a full 8 hours straight since they got pregnant. The second is travel. I mean, sure you can take your kids on a vacation (though it rarely looks like a vacation for the parents…cause they are still parents) but it limits you. It’s not like you can pack them up and bring them to war torn Africa to volunteer for a couple of months, or on a month long thru hike, both of which I’d like to do in the relatively near future. Third…money. Plain and simple kids are very expensive, and boys, well I think they are hollow inside because that is the only way you could fit as much food in them you do. When it comes down to it, it’s all about freedom. And as I’ve told my friends and family, kids are about the only thing in the world I’d be willing to give up my freedom. And if I don’t have kids there are plenty of other ways to live a fulfilling and wonderful life. And when I need a kid fix, I’ll borrow my sister’s kids and give her a break for a few days.

  4. Becoming a mother, perhaps especially a SAHM, is by far the hardest and most thankless job! It's basically an unending marathon (with very few breaks) that lasts a minimum of 18 years (in some cases).

    I've said this several times before (on this blog) and will repeat it again for those who have not "crossed over to the other side" yet:

    Motherhood is a complete and total LIFESTYLE change that can never be reversed. Your life will never the same, you will be tested in ways that you never imagined (and never get any credit for it anyway), and yes your life and soul will practically be sucked out of you. Your life is no longer your own. You always think of your child before yourself.

    On the other hand, it is also very rewarding in many ways that only a parent can understand, but it's impossible to understand what that feels like until you've already made the leap of faith. And by then it's too late, and there's no turning back!

  5. The best part about being the terrific, spoiling, gay uncles is being able to say: "Bye bye. See you next time. Be good. Bye!" LOL!

    I am in awe of active, good parents. And for those with more than one... wow.

  6. Indeed, Jim. I remember the good ol' days when I was "just an aunt." Never realized what my sister was experiencing as a mother until I became one myself!

    And I'm with you on being in awe of those with more than one. I can barely handle one!

  7. It's the best thing that ever happened to me! I waited until my mid 30's to have a child, and while I am so glad I waited and experienced the things I did, which would be impossible now, I find myself wanting another one, in fact another two or three would be great! It's a hard job, but it's also the best reward in life. = )

  8. I thank you Jean for convincing me never to have children.
    Oh, and Eat Pray Love the movie was TERRIBLLLLE. Especially Javier Bardem as a horribly offensive Brazilian.

  9. I always swore I'd never have kids.

    Three + years of marriage to a Brazilian MAN who I can see as a father has made me rethink that point of view.

    Dreams to travel in Europe and the "tattoo on the face" notion have led me to wait even though my new Brazilian family is applying the subtle yet steady force from all sides.

    Fortunately, living with you MIL also has its benefits--and this situation is one of them. "But you're 32..." they say, and I can quickly reply, "Mas não posso colocar ele na minha cabeça! Vamos encontrar uma casa primeira e depois falar sobre o bebê" (I can't put my baby on my head--let me find a house first then talk about babies!) as I give a sweet smile.

  10. Rachel,

    Gil and I have been trying to have babies, the logistics (adoption, surrogacy) are a bit complicated for a gay couple, but we are not giving up, we want a big family.
    I have two sisters and one brother all in their 30's, all living in Sao Paulo, all married and or partnered and no one has had kids yet.
    I have to say, our Brazilian mother is in shear panic!
    We are trying...I tell you, the gay couple might just have children before my 3 straight siblings...
    : )

  11. Ray - my mother has since calmed on this issue. Three of her four children turned out gay or lesbian. At one point she begged me to have a baby with a best (female) friend while in college.

    Luckily my younger brother turned out straight. He has since married and he and his wife have three adorable kids.

    Grandma saved.

    [LOL! the posting security word just given to me was "in genes" Google is scary!]

  12. Jim- LOL! Google IS scary! Kind of reminds me of that TED talk ( where Ze Frank demonstrates how you can google what you will say next and it's accurate, but a joke of course. :)
    That line from Eat, Pray, Love was the best line in the movie. I think the book must be better, but yeah-- Javier messed up big time. "Tengo"? Jeez. Almost as bad as Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, or Keanu Reeves in Walk With the Clouds. Jeez. But did anyone get the subtle joke about the bad taste in American music stereotype? I LOLled in the theatre and no one else did.
    About the post-- I just want to give props to all the parents out there. Really one day, I might do it... hasn't happened yet, and when my friends first started having babies, I thought they got boring... but that's the typical single person's response. Now, I see how amazingly fulfilling and life-changing it is to have a child. You gotta be ready for letting your guard down, making mistakes, being tired every moment of the day for the first few years, and yet getting to be there for every little exciting milestone of your child's growth. I love my nephew and neice and my best friend's daughter so much-- it is so fun to be an aunt...

  13. It is fun to be an Aunt. I will be one day when my kids are older and they consider me so lame that they'll have nothing to do with me. At that point, I will sleep, have sex, and drink too much wine at night. Maybe, on special occasions, all three at the same time! OMG!

  14. I lived in Honduras for a year with my first husband of just a 45 they just did not get that I never had kids! They would ask me over and over again, but what about before you married Jim??? We married late in life and decided to not try to have a child, maybe an adoption or foster child will come our way one day, but no natural kiddies for us...there are enough in the world already. By the way, we volunteered at an orphanage in Honduras...where the kids are because so many people are having kids and can not take care of them!

  15. I'm a lady who said i would never have kids but only adopt.. that was until i found out i was pregnant at 17 and kept my baby.. now i have 4 kids ( ages 19,15,9 and 8) and every day they teach me something new about myself..
    I never got to fulfill my dream of becoming all the many things i had hoped of, but i don't doubt one day i will come close to them.
    I sacrificed many a nights sleep and many of my friends to have each of my children.. and i love them( my kids) for all they are...
    but to everyone who has said you have to make the leap of faith.. i totally agree.. I have many friends who are my age (37) and are just either having their first baby, finding difficulties in having their first baby or considering having their first baby.. They are scared, worried, over read and under prepared for all that becoming a parent involves and means..
    So many smiles, laughs, hugs as well as tears, doctors, and angry I hate's you.. But in the end i am glad for all that i have done with the life i was given and the roads i have traveled for without it all... who would i be now..
    But Leap of Faith is just what it is.. The life we all lead is ours to live and as long as you live it true to you.. and you are making choices that fit your beliefs.. well then my respect is with you..
    Kids are a huge responsibility that is taken far to lightly for many people and we are left with broken homes, families and children..
    Many of you have spoken of 'kids just not for you' and i respect that..
    it is hard to watch the women who think kids are all they want or it will make things in their lives so much better and then leave their kids because they can not take the loss of freedom..