Concerning the subject of offspring and bearing children, most of my close family and friends know where I stand. This matter has always plagued the back of my mind because as a female I feel like I am almost expected by society to have maternal instincts and a nurturing nature towards certain things or people. Sometimes I believe that gene conveniently passed over me when I was conceived because where most girls look at an infant and see a cute, fresh, tiny little human they ooh and ahh and exclaim how adorable the child is. My reaction has always been a bit different. While others are holding their arms out to hold the baby, I run as far away from it as possible. My mother was always asking if I wanted to baby sit her coworker’s kids and I always declined, no matter how much the family offered to pay me. Most people may think that I dislike the idea of having a baby because I’m not ready, because of the great burden of responsibility, or maybe because I’m selfish. These things aren’t inaccurate, but they are not the main reason that I refuse to have my body sacrificed so that another person can enter this world. No, the one thing that deters me above any other reason to not bear a child is the simple fact that one day that child will be exactly like me. It will depend on me for every moment until it comes to that age where it will begin to question the rules of the home and school. When that happens and puberty starts to take hold, the child starts to grow in ways that it wasn’t growing before. When I started rebelling against my mothers home rules and when I started breaking the law by consuming drugs and alcohol, she tried everything to hold me down. All her efforts only drove me further away, and to this day, our relationship suffers and most days I fear we will never see eye to eye. But that’s just the thing isn’t it? My mom sacrificed her body to have me. She cried as she gave birth to me and she cried when she took me home from the hospital. She cried when I went to my first day of school and when I graduated from my last one. I’ve made her cry by screaming “I hate you” to her face, also when she found out I was smoking marijuana for the first time. She cried the first time she caught me with a handle of vodka and when I ran away because she had caught me with it. She has lost countless nights of sleep wondering where I am, wondering if I would come home. She has tried to do about two or three interventions on me. Not to mention all the money she has spent on me that I will never be able to repay. I went to college for 3 years and then never finished. Tuition cost in America is ridiculous; can you imagine taking over 50,000 dollars and just flushing it down a public toilet? Because that is what I basically did with all that money she used for me to go to a good university. Let’s face it, I gave my mom and dad a childhood so rough that my father once said to me, “And I thought your sister was bad!”. Yet they still raised me and loved me and continued to finance me until I told them that it was best for me to move on and out of their hair. Even when I did move out they still tried to give me money, which just made me feel even worse. I felt like I needed to pay back the debt and it just kept adding up. Maybe some day I will, maybe I won’t. I don’t even know myself. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to give them all the money I wasted right back to them, it’s just that I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance. Now, what does this have to do with me being a parent? Everything.
I don’t want to end up like my mother and father. I don’t want to spend seven hours in labor, have my vagina stretched to the point where it won’t go back to normal, and lose sleep to a crying infant for the next year only to have my child grow up and despise being around me. Only to have it waste my money, or to instill values that the he or she will only spit back into your face eventually. It’s heart breaking. I try to imagine what it’s like but there’s no possible way for me to understand unless I experience it first hand. I’m sure you feel very much like you did all of that work for nothing. As if giving that person life means nothing to them anymore and they just used you to get out into the world and on their own. I can see that they take your heart with them when they go. I know that being a mother also means a strange unconditional love that can’t be shaken. Someone once told me that no matter who your mom was, even if she was on meth or drunk all the time or if she abandoned you as soon as you came out of her, that she did the best she could to raise you. And many people take that for granted. I don’t want to put that much work into something and get nothing in return except for probably… the worst feeling in the world. I can’t imagine it. I don’t want to imagine it. So if my mama did the best she could and still had to spill all those tears just for me, then I don’t want any part in this so called “gift” of motherhood. Basically it all boils down to this one fear that I have: what if I pour my life into this child and they are as ungrateful as I was?