*I’ve never been good with kids. I mean, I think they’re cute. From a distance. I love my niece and nephew with all my heart.
That doesn’t mean I wanted to baby-sit them after they were born. Now that they’re a bit older and can pretty much fend for themselves, no problem. But back in the days of diapers and pacifiers?
Nope, sorry. If you’d like me to mow your lawn or something, that’s fine. Just don’t ask me to watch your kids. Never tried to make extra money as a teen watching other people’s rug rats and I’d consistently pass on those precious opportunities to hold the latest offspring at family functions. It’s just never been my thing. My sister, who is very maternal, just couldn’t relate to my feelings. She kept insisting that it would change someday but I swear it’s like I’m missing a chromosome or something.
After a recent flight from Indiana to Los Angeles, I came up with a new law that I’m considering lobbying for the airlines to put in place. It goes like this. Anyone flying with children under the age of 10 is required to sit in the last 4 rows of an aircraft. That way those of us who would like to fly in peace and quiet without our seats being kicked for the duration of a flight will know exactly where they’ll be on the plane and can plan accordingly. I’ll let you know how my crusade goes.
The really funny part is that no matter how much I’ve tried to keep my distance from kids, they don’t seem to have a problem with me. I’m the “cool” auntie, no matter how many times I’ve bluntly told them to go away and leave me alone. For some reason they think I’m hilarious. Go figure.
Here’s the thing about having kids that’s always scared the crap out of me. Once you do it you can’t take it back. That’s it. You can’t just throw in the towel or get a Mulligan. You’re stuck with them for the rest of your life!
I remember at one job back when I was in my twenties a rash of pregnancies broke out. We used to joke that it was dangerous to drink the water in that office but I literally would not drink that water. Back then I wouldn’t even date a man if he had children. Do not bother giving me your number. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Fast forward to the present. My current honey pie has 2 adorable little ones and as much as I love him, adjusting to that fact has been real work for me. Luckily I’m a person who puts a high value on personal space. So for that most part when I can’t be with him because it’s “Daddy Time” I take that time and enjoy doing things like brunch with the girls, curling up with a book or dancing around my living room in my underwear with my dog. (It may sound odd but trust me, I have a blast!) But on those occasions when we do activities as a “family” I feel so awkward. And I’m fully aware that it’s not the kids (and it doesn’t hurt that I have a playful, kid friendly dog to distract them) but my own discomfort that’s to blame.
Again, even though I’m not their mother, his children seem to think I’m the “bees knees” and are always happy to see me even if I felt I was stiff and uncomfortable the last time we met. They even ask him if they can come and visit me when I should be the last thing on their minds. Amazing.
So here I am well into my thirties (and LOVING it) and I’m finding it’s time to adjust my thinking on this subject. I’ve come to realize that I’m somewhat of an anomaly. At my age many people have kids. It’s just a fact of life. But also at my age it’s difficult to change your lifestyle to adjust to something so common place as little kiddies. I’ve never been one to put much stock into that whole “biological clock” theory, but perhaps mine started ticking recently because I’m starting to consider the possibility of adding one of those bobble-head humans to the population. And my sister’s frequent comments about my eggs getting old and dusty don’t help.
I’m convinced the cold temperatures in winter make people get busy because I can’t go anywhere lately without seeing a woman with a human being gestating inside her swollen belly. (Should I call Sigourney Weaver to fight off this latest infestation?) Then I look at my boyfriend and see what a fantastic father he is and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to make a baby with him. (Of course his rather unsubtle suggestions that maybe I don’t need to take my birth control every night may be adding to this.)
It’s amazing how things change as we get older. Here I am, a serial objector to procreation, cooing at alien head babies out in public and making plans to fit a little one into my monthly budget. Will wonders never cease? I won’t be jumping to join the “breeder crowd” any time soon. (Surely I have at least two years before my eggs are indistinguishable from mothballs.) But I’ve definitely moved from “Never gonna happen” to “Yeah, I think I could do that.” Until then my dog and I have a date to rock out to some 80’s jams this weekend. Wish me luck.
About Dee Sanderson
Dee Sanderson is a relationship expert and author of How To Marry A Loser Without Even Trying”. For more tips and information visit www.marryaloser.com and follow her on twitter @marryaloser.