I don’t come from a large family. I was never exposed to lots of kids when I was younger. I don’t much like them, as I’ve already explained.
I wondered if my view would change when I got pregnant. If I would suddenly be overcome with the ‘miracle growing inside me’. Yeah… sorry, but ew. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because I know there are many women the world over struggling with infertility and that makes me one of the lucky ones. But I can’t deny that I personally don’t love the idea that there’s something growing inside me I was never under any illusions about what being pregnant would be like, and I always figured it was unlikely that I was going to suddenly become enthralled by tiny clothes or drooling kids. I see a dog, I grin from ear to ear, I see a child, and I cross the street!
My mum had often told me she doesn’t much like kids either, but it’s different when they’re your own. And I’m the proof of that! She once famously gave me the anti-grandchild talk, which I so appreciated. Instead of putting pressure on me to have kids, she sat me down before I got married and said that they were happy either way. Grandkids are fine, but no grandkids are also fine. Which is kind of the opposite message that society puts on you, and really should be the norm. After all, it’s a big commitment and a decision that should not be made lightly.
It’s not that I’m not looking forward to it. And it’s not like I’m not going to love the creature.
But I haven’t changed. I have no desire to learn how to put on a nappy. I’ll learn with my kid. I have no desire to paint the nursery or even do anything much more than throw in a cot and put up some curtains. I have no desire to buy cute baby clothes. Or research prams. Or ask too many questions. That’s why I’m grateful for my friends. I’m taking all the advice I can get. Putting it in a mixing pot, and making my own way.
The thing is, one thing I’ve learnt is that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not weird or strange, except in my own special way. We are not all built with an innate desire to reproduce, and that’s ok, whether you choose to or not.