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okay, i don’t hate kids. i think they’re sort of funny. i like that you can talk to them like an adult and they’ll make sounds like they understand. i taught one kid “phosphorescence” and he looked at me and said, “they could just call it glowing if it means something that glows.” the kid undid the entire science community in one sentence.
but i hate kids.
or really, i hate how they’ve always been expected from me.
when i was five i was given “babies.” i hated the hardness of dolls, disposed of them for dramatic stories between stuffed animals. i knew how to wrap, feed, and care for a baby before i could spell my last name. when i was nine i was already “watching the kids”. i was only four years older than my cousins were. i wanted to go out and play. instead i was expected to have responsibility. by the time i was thirteen all of my friends had told me about how many children they were going to have in their twenties.
my hips were “child-bearing” hips. my brother was a scientist, or a fireman, or a steamroller. i was going to make a good housewife, or mom, or nanny, or mom, or mom, or mom.
and when my body hurt, i was told it wasn’t really my body, not really, it belonged to my future children. i couldn’t cut or snip or tie anything; i was trapped by the potential energy that hung above me. a boulder, threatening. i couldn’t get tattoos, because what would i tell my children? i couldn’t kiss a girl, because what would i tell the children? i couldn’t be risky or wild or anything but a lady, because what about the children?
and when i said “i don’t want children” - not biologically, at least, not when cancer and depression and a whole other host of terrible things lives inside me - do you know what they said? “it’ll change, wait and see” “it’s not bad” “you’ll get used to it” “when you meet the right man” “you don’t want to be lonely”.
i don’t hate kids. i’m great with them.
but then i’m told again that my life will be forfeit to them - something in me snaps angry. “wait until you have kids” “you should travel before you have children” “you’ll be more happy.”
i hate kids! i’ve snarled. i don’t mean it at all. but god. please, leave me alone. i don’t want to be a biological mom.
it’s like we’re born with a uterus and told “this is your whole life. your singular purpose. your job.”
i want to be my own purpose. not here for the sake of passing genes on.