Article Makes The Childless Terrified To Have Children

Illustration for article titled Article Makes The Childless Terrified To Have Children

Perhaps wishing to offset the US's booming birth rates, Raina Kelley tells us the "8 ways her son is torturing her."

Just to give you the idea of where Kelley's coming from: "Before I had a kid, I was funnier, more spontaneous, less judgmental, better dressed, and a good cook. Now I'm guilt-ridden, smelly stress ball who's getting more strident by the day and eats cashews and licorice for dinner."

She then gives us a litany of the humbling moments, stresses and petty tyrannies her adorable toddler has imposed on a previously well-ordered existence. It's cute (I especially liked that little Gabe reserves the title of "Mom" for his beloved toy cars) and designed, as the author tells us, to dispel the myth that she, as a dispenser of advice, has any more answers than any other new mom. But two things really niggled at me as a young woman contemplating procreation (someday): First - she does actually like licorice and cashews, right? I happen to heartily dislike both (black jelly beans are an exception) and hate to think that along with everything else, the advent of a small child would somehow cruelly impose upon me a diet of only my least-favorite candies. Or do the hormones change your tastes to the extent that you suddenly like heretofore despised foods? That wouldn't be so bad!

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But more pressingly, I was left, as I often am by pieces on parenting, at sea. Nowadays, there is such a dichotomy at work: the hazy romanticizing of baby culture wars with the it's-a-nightmare/I-don't-love-my-child/I-wanted-another-sex" backlash and while one is surely designed to remedy the other, those of us who haven't had a baby are left, ironically, with no very clear idea of the reality. Which is maybe the point that every single account - whether glowing or traumatized - is really getting at. Thank goodness Babies will be out in a few weeks.

The Real Joys Of Motherhood [Newsweek]

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arianabarr
arbarrtheaardvark

I was my mom's second and last. After being born, I would throw a tantrum whenever I wasn't laying on my mom's chest. As an infant and small todler, for half of the year, for about 4 hours a day, for no apparent reason, I would throw an enormous temper tantrum (I get insomnia the same way now, so we don't know why this was but seems to be related to some kind of allergy or sunlight sensitivity perhaps). Growing up, I lied a lot and stole money from my parents (couldn't understand why it was bad if I used it to buy books haha). I destroyed the house constantly, and had very bad hyperactivity problems, leading to things such as me falling out of my chair at dinner, and frequently injuring myself and needing to go to the doctor. I was, quite simply, a horrible kid. But my parents don't think of those things as defining my childhood - they think of the funny, happy times, and the sassy take-no-shit attitude. All of those awful things I did were stressful for them, but to them, part of loving a child was helping that child to learn to deal with their problems and shortcomings, as well as celebrate their victories and strengths.