No, really. I still don’t want to be a mom. I’m excited to be pregnant, and it wasn’t an accident. I’m looking forward to our lives with blobby little screamers, then later with kids, but I still don’t want to be a “mom.”
When I was in my twenties, especially in my early twenties, it never occurred to me that I might have kids. Babies seemed sort of cute, like somewhat interactive playthings that you get to dress up in funny hats. But then, babies sometimes smelled bad and sometimes they made horrible noises. Older kids, meaning ages three to teenagers, were outright loathsome. And me, being in my twenties, I could not imagine such things in my life. I got used to the idea that I’d never have kids. I wasn’t disappointed.
When I was that age though, I wasn’t thinking I’d ever get married, either. I wasn’t against the idea of marriage. I just couldn’t imagine finding someone I liked enough to want to spend the rest of my life with them. I didn’t even like myself enough to spend the rest of my life with me. Back then, it was less like a viable option and more like something I’d never attain. So then, naturally, I convinced myself it was my personal choice. “Not interested,” I sniffed.
For a good chunk of my life, I was thinking I had nothing but time. I was so young! At 20, I was so young! At 25, I was so young! At 30, I was so young! At 35, wait a minute, I was not so fucking young. I don’t know how it happened. At 35, I was in a city I no longer felt healthy in, I had a job with a deranged psycho boss, I was flailing with money issues, and I was not so young anymore.
So if you’ve followed me along at all, you have an idea how much has changed for me in the past five years. Honestly, it all happened so quickly, I sometimes wonder how real it all is. I don’t know if you’ve ever made a sharp trajectory turn in your life, but a little piece of me always sort of wonders if the new direction, so wildly different than my original, is really just a temporary aberration. I know I’m not going to make a physical return to my old life. But I am occasionally awed by the chasm between the old and the new. I wish sometimes they were not so distant from each other.
I just know that I have changed a hell of a lot. Now I’m fricken married, which I never thought would happen. And I’m fricken pregnant, which I never thought would happen. When you live your whole life convinced that some things would never happen, it sort of freaks your shit out when they do, actually happen.
Which brings me to this whole “Mom” thing. It does not feel like a fate that was predestined, and is now finally, gloriously happening to me. All the mass marketing directed at Moms never applied to me. That mythical, universal archetype of the Maternal figure never entered into my thinking. That familiar construct, the societal convention of “Mother,” never, ever fit in my brain. I always, actively, resisted it. And really, I came to dislike the idea. I still do.
But what I struggle with, is the convention of Motherhood. “You’re a Mom now, so you’re a completely different person.” Soon, I shall be buying anti bacterial soaps, a pile of plastic toys, and a library of DVDs to park my kids in front of so I can just get a second to think for myself. I’m going to buy jeans with a 9 inch fly. “You’re no longer a woman, you’re a Mom.”
Okay? I’m not just a psycho about this, I’m a psycho about anything that comes with a wagging societal finger that demands adherence to convention. It would be better for my mental health to brush off those expectations, as I know many parents do. I know hippie moms, I know thoughtful moms, I know there are plenty of people who become parents and don’t lose their fucking minds. But I detest the smug attitude that when you “cross over” to the other side, no matter how hard you may battle, you will eventually become a cliche. You become the vacant eyed, consumerist shell that retailers, media and politicians pander to and worship.
It’s not just a minor irritant that I ought to keep in perspective. It full-on pisses me off. And I can tell you, I block the hell out of people trying to market to me. We don’t have a TV. We don’t listen to radio. I have multiple ad blockers on all my web browsers. I don’t use free apps that have blinking ads in my face. So when I do see ads on TV, it’s like visiting a different culture. And all it takes is one stupid laundry detergent commercial to make me howl and froth at the mouth. But look at how it gets the grass stains out of little Timmy’s pants! It’s a miracle! This laundry detergent will make all my Mommy dreams come true!
I know. I know I’m a little nutty. But I’m not making this up. I can’t wait to have kids, and I can’t wait to wag my own big fat middle fucking finger at the idea of conventional Motherhood.