I’m not one for babies. I’m no Mary Poppins. I think I was born without the maternal instinct gene. I’m not sure I even get broody. I am child free and so far I’m okay with that.
What? I hear some of you gasp. I’m sorry to say not everyone is a fan of babies.
But it’s a funny one. While I don’t desperately crave a little one, I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a mini me and if if I never have a baby will it be something I later regret? The fact is, having a baby is a massive, life-changing decision. I’m under no illusions. A thought that, quite honestly, makes my heart race, my palms sweat and a feeling of fear engulf me.
At 38 (nearing 39, shhhh) over the past two decades I have watched friends around me start families. In my early and mid 20s it was a case of ‘thank goodness it’s not me’, shudder. By my late 20s, early 30s it was more ‘hmmm should I be doing this?’. Now it’s a case of ‘I think I’m bit too old, set in my ways’. Surely people don’t just have kids on a whim(!?) because it seems like a fun thing to do.
It’s quite nice to have a little cuddle of a friend’s bundle of joy. Their cute little hands and feet, squidgy cheeks. But when new mums bring them into the office, I’m the one who carries on working abstaining from all the coochy cooing and not at all mesmerised by the tiny being.
From what I have witnessed first hand it doesn’t always seem that pleasant to me. When I think of babies and children this is what springs to mind:
1. Sleep – Or lack of. This is not something that would phase me too much. I get up early and can go through a sleepless night and still function. Although I have been told by wide-eyed, sleep deprived, bordering-on-psychotic friends, ‘you don’t know what it’s like until you’ve had children’. No okay, calm down, point taken.
2. Gunk – I don’t mind dealing with poo, wee, or vomit. I do have a thing about slimy bogies. Wretch. I could probably handle the crusty ones though at a push.
3. Dependence – The thought of being responsible for a small human’s survival is daunting to me. I can just about sort myself out let alone have to think about a baby.
4. Patience – You need a lot, I have none. How would I handle that? I’d find a way if I had to I guess.
5. Worry – I’m a born worrier. I worry about everything. According to my mum you ‘never stop worrying, even when your children are 38’. That must mean me, sorry mum.
6. Money – You need a fair old bit for a fair old time. Bank of mum and dad doesn’t close when kids turn 18 anymore. It’s still going strong with its any-day loans somehow, and they don’t charge interest. (Result).
7. Work – How do they do it, working mums? I admire one of my friends who’s got a top job and still manages to be a mum, run a house, look after pets and have a life.
8. Social life – It’s gone from what I can tell. Everything revolves around baby time. Surely that’s what grandparents are for though.
9. Noise – When I’m out and I hear a child crying and screaming I recoil in horror. I know it’s not their fault, but hands up I’ll admit I am one of those people who tuts, huffs, and mutters ‘Can’t they make it be quiet? We don’t all want to hear it’. Shame on me.
10. Mess – Not only can babies be messy (nappies, food on faces and hands, the dreaded bogies) but their ‘stuff’ takes over the house. More to keep tidy.
Once you’ve got over all that they grow up. Enough said. At least they make their own way in life, leave home, get a job. Oh, well, that is if they can find one these days.
I’m just not convinced it’s for me. Luckily my other half is umming and ahhing too. I think he thinks I’m a child, therefore he’s already got one. And as I like to say ‘With choice comes consequence’. So I’ve made my choice, I don’t want any consequences just yet.