Things I want to punch in the face: Baby Worshippers

November 9, 2010 · 45 comments

Last week I introduced a new series “Things I want to punch in the face.” I was blown away by the number of people that expressed interest in submitting something they want to punch. Seeing that I am feeling a little under the weather, today is the perfect opportunity to turn the mic over to Kelly (a.k.a. “Cordelia”) so she can rant her brains out.

Kelly is the author of a newly launched blog, Cordelia Calls It Quits, in which she seeks to redesign everything in an attempt to live a more awesome life.  Having tried the 9-5, bottom-line mentality on for size (and found it sorely lacking), she is now on a mission to live deliberately and on her own terms. You should check it out. Begin guest post now…

Creepy Dad

Since Ninja was so bold as to kick this series off with the controversial topic of cat hating, I’m inspired to venture my own risky vote for things I would like to punch in the face: People Who Insist I Should Have Kids.

Let me start by saying that if you have kids, or want to have kids, that’s cool by me.  More power to you. The people I have the irresistible urge to punch, are those who can’t seem to accept that fact that I have no desire to have kids myself.  I don’t know if they take it as a personal affront to their value systems, or if maybe they’re afraid I have something against all children and I won’t rest at not having my own kids, but will soon be coming for theirs.  I don’t know, but it has to be something along those lines.  They’re the only reasons I can think of for the extreme reaction I get from some people.

I have no problem admitting that some (o.k., most) of my reasons for not wanting kids are totally selfish:

  • I like getting 8 hours of sleep a night.
  • I’m bothered by things that are inexplicably sticky.
  • I hate movies about talking animals that go on adventures.
  • I like eating Cold Stone Creamery for dinner without feeling bad that I’m not setting a good example for someone.
  • I like knowing that when I leave the house, I can just toss my dog a few treats and she’ll be fine till I get back.  She may chew on some laundry while I’m gone, but she won’t stick her paw into a light socket or anything.

But even if I try giving some deep, philosophical excuse like, “There are enough children in the world already” or “I’m a wuss and I can’t imagine ever going through that much pain,” it doesn’t matter.  There are some people who seem to believe, with almost religious fervor, that I will forever rue my decision not to have kids.  And they try their hardest to convert me and save me from the sad little half-life I’ll be living otherwise.

Things will change, they insist.  You’re too young to know what you really want.  To which I say, I’m pretty certain I will always enjoy sleeping and not being responsible for the formation of another human being’s complete life experience.  And if things ever change so much that I find myself raving about how awesome “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” is, you have full permission to punch me in the face.

You don’t know what you’re missing! they insist.  It’s totally worth it! This is usually after they’ve regaled me with stories of how their kid stuck gummy bears in all their electronics and then went on a two-hour tantrum bender.

Or, my personal favorite (told to me by more than one relative, disturbingly enough):  Mistakes can happen.  Ahh, now I see where you’re coming from!  Who doesn’t want a nice little “mistake” in their lives?  Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?

Again, I’d like to state that I have nothing against kids personally.  They’re cute, they’re fun, and if you want to have a dozen of them, I respect that.  I think you’re insane, but I won’t try to stop you.  I just don’t want any of my own, and I don’t see why I have to convince other people that I mean that.  You can show me videos of your newborn’s first diaper change or hold up his impossibly tiny little socks all you want.  I’m not budging.  And you can’t make me.

And besides, if I ever were to become a parent, I know that my child would grow up to have a plethora of psychological issues. Not the least of which would stem from the fact that his name would be Washcloth Excitement a) because his father thinks it would be funny to name a kid “Washcloth,” and b) because if the poor kid has to go through life with a first name like that, the least you can do is enable him to say, “Excitement?  My middle name is Excitement!”

So yeah.  If you still think I’m the sort of person who should become a parent, I welcome your argument.  It had better be a good one.

Ninja’s Comments: There are two things I’ve taken away from this article. 1) People need to stop getting all up in other peoples’ business. 2) Washcloth Excitement sounds like a horrible name for a child, but not as bad as a teacher I know who had a student named Shithead. No joke. It was spelled exactly like that, but pronounced Sha-theed.

If you would like to be considered for a “Things I want to punch in the face”, guest post get in touch with me and hopefully we can work something out. Only rules are it has to be funny and you have to be passionate.

1 StackingCash

Sha-theed! LMAO!

2 jessica

I’ve come to realize the real reason why people won’t let this kid thing go: misery loves company!

3 Mo D.

You got that right, Jessica!!

4 Victoria

Awesome post! I am right there with you. (Except that I don’t really like kids at all.) I’m heading rght over to your blog now, to check it out!

5 Mo D.

OMG!! AWESOME!! TOTALLY AWESOME!! Cordelia’s got a new fan in Mo D!! I couldn’t agree more with your comments! When Hubby and I first met, I kid you not (no pun intended), one of the first questions out of his mouth was “So, do you have kids?” My answer… “No, why, do you??” I was upfront and honest right from the get-go that I had zero desire to procreate, and Hubby was beyond thrilled, as he felt the exact same way. We like kids, don’t get me wrong, we get along with them great, we’re fun people, but we like being able to do what we want to do when we want to do it. Sleep in ’til noon on a Saturday? No problem! Feel like going away for the weekend? Bags packed in 10 minutes, ready to go! Gonna work some OT to punch our debt in the face? See ya at home later!

Mom was at a BBQ shortly before our wedding and one of her friends said, “I guess they’ll be starting a family soon, given Mo’s age” (I was 35). Mom said that we weren’t having kids, and her friend said, “Why are they bothering to get married?” Mom told me she didn’t know how to answer… I told her to tell her friend it’s none of her #*%^ business why we don’t want kids.. geez!! Even my BIL wondered aloud what was wrong with me because I didn’t have kids before Hubby and I met (I was 32)… what…ever….

I’ve got loads of friends that have kids, and I’m thrilled for them because becoming parents was something they wanted to do, but don’t judge me because I don’t feel the same way. And to those people that say, “but who’ll look after you in your golden years?” Who’s to say our kid(s) would want to? We’re sockin’ $ away so we don’t have to depend on others.

6 Red

My family is the exact same way! Even my coworkers, which is humiliating. One actually told me a few weeks ago, “So, are you going to take some time off now to have kids? Come on, don’t wait too long!” I’m 23!

I don’t want children for quite a few reasons, and when people act like I don’t know what I want, I think, “Really? You want to convince someone who at least SAYS she doesn’t have a desire to have kids to procreate?” I really wish people would stop pushing this decision on everyone else. There is no rule that says everyone has to get married or that everyone has to have kids!

And the whole eating candy for dinner because you don’t have to be a good example thing? So worth the “half lives” we’ll be living! ;)

7 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

If you change your mind later, just adopt or steal a kid.

8 TwinsMama

I totally get your post. It was the most frustrating thing to have people (family, friends, even strangers) try to convince me that I was missing out by not starting a family when I was younger. I knew I wasn’t ready and I am so glad I didn’t try to force myself into being what others wanted me to be. Especially given that we did not even have twins on our radar…I can’t imagine not being ready and then finding out you have 2 babies to care for!

Some people will never be satisfied. Now we get asked why we are stopping at 2 kids…we’re still young, why not try for another. And of course, (I love this one that we’ve been hearing for years now) well you’ve been married for X years now, why not settle down and buy a house so you can plant some roots. Never mind, we are just (this year due to the bubble burst) at the point where we can afford to buy a house. And just yesterday I was told…hey you know the kids would love a dog, you should get them a pet.

So no matter what direction you take in life, whether you stay this course or chart a new one…there will always be something else that someone wants for you. Stay strong and determined and don’t let anyone sway you!

9 Kristen

Thank you for writing all the things that go through my head on a daily basis!

10 Student of Finance

why have your own when you can rent a friends/family members for a day or weekend spoil em do all the fun stuff and send em back so mommy and daddy can deal with the BS parts?

11 Honey

My boyfriend is an attorney and we are in our early 30s so we get this all the time. Given overpopulation and the number of children starving and abused all over the world, I think ANYONE who wants their own biological children should be the ones justifying their decision, not people who don’t want them.

12 Amber, Blonde and Balanced

OMG! LOVE this series!!! This post was great and I’m about to go check out her site. Baby worshippers are annoying. I do plan to have kids one day, but most of my family thinks it’s crazy that I’m 27 and kid-free. They claim that by having kids early “you can enjoy having them grow up earlier so you can enjoy the rest of your life”. Um what? Why did you have kids anyway? AND by having kids later, I get to enjoy my twenties, so BOO-YAH!!!

13 Tom

We have to win the baby war! This is the U.S. of A! Everyone must do their patriotic duty and have as many babies as possible. You don’t want to be unamerican do you? =)

14 Rogue

I totally respect people who don’t want to have kids as long as you respect my decision to have them and have as many as I want.
I have a ‘friend’ who called people with children breeders and says that babies are little demon spawn that need to be drowned. No joke, she is very serious in her hate of children. She is someone I would not ever want to have children. I wish everything from her wasn’t about how much she hates kids just like I’m sure people who don’t want children would prefer every thing from there friends with kids isn’t about jr and how much he spit up today.

There needs to be respect on both sides. Tho yeah I agree people without kids get it pretty bad. Lucky my family is encouraging my husband and I to wait a little bit till we are a little more financially stable (omg student loans!) and most of my friends aren’t really marred or having kids yet

15 Jillian

Ah, the baby dilemma. Honestly, I haven’t solved this riddle for myself yet so I appreciate you writing this post. There are so many things to consider when having children that I think I will probably create a very rudimentary pro/con list before I even start to rack my brain around it.

My dad reminds me how he’s glad that he has children so that they can take care of him as he ages, so that he has peace of mind that my mom won’t be alone if anything happens to him. Honestly, I think these are good (albeit selfish) points. By no means am I saying that this reason alone is enough to create a being that you’re going to need to nurture and care for for the next 18+ year, but I think its valid. We don’t, however, need to have progeny to accomplish the goal of a sustained family structure. Adoption is an option that I think most people over look.

I also think that basic biology plays a very big role in the “decision” (and I use that loosely–we know that many “mistakes” are made) to procreate. It’s something that some of us just can’t help; we are hard-wired to spread seed & nurture.

Finally, I think babies have been romanticized in our society. Yes, I put baby and romantic in the same sentence. There is a mystique about combining sperm and egg from two different beings and creating a whole new being. Something that looks like you, but has the belching ability of your partner. A child with your grandmother’s nose (or so everyone thinks), but the hair color of your spouse’s sister. This being is yours to nurture & develop. Maybe it’s a god complex that makes us want to procreate.

16 Sara

HAHAHAHA I love it! This goes in the same category as “people who keep asking why we’re not married yet” :P I agree especially with the “I’m bothered by things that are inexplicably sticky.” however you could also replace sticky with “wet” or “stained” and I’d agree just the same.

17 Honey

It would never have made this blog because it’s not funny, but here is my boyfriend’s and my reasoning:

http://20-forty.com/2008/09/04/the-ethics-of-having-children-guest-post/

18 MyMoneyMess

While I love being a parent, I’m smart enough to recognize that some people don’t want to be, and some people that shouldn’t be. Let’s face it some people simply should not breed. Unfortunately those people usually do.

There is a financial incentive for having a kid though – Child Tax Credit! Somehow I doubt that will change Kelly’s mind though. ;)

19 momninja

More power to you, if you don’t have kids they won’t grow up to write a blog and embarrass you….just kidding we love our little Ninja’s and repsect the right of others who don’t want them. Great post!

20 Mauricio

People hate to have their ideals questioned directly or indirectly by someone not following the formula of how “life is supposed to be.” College, marriage, kids. I’m not ready to settle down yet, I’m not ready to be responsible for another human beings life, it’s too much of a burden for someone that is still working on themselves. To each his own! Right?

21 Makky's Mom

I wanted nothing more than to have children. In the end I had 3. I love them fiercely and am soooo glad they are in my life…. HOWEVER… there are days when I question the sanity of having kids, there are days when I want to sell them…no GIVE THEM away to the first person who walks by… there are days when I want to pack my bags and RUN as fast as I can (and yes, I CAN still outrun them all! ha ha!!) to a house that is deliciously SILENT! Some days if I hear the word “mommy” one more time I think my brain will explode! THIS, from someone who desperately wanted children and would have had a big piece of her heart die if she never had children! I love my children, but there are days… Believe me! If you don’t WANT children, you should NOT have them just because society expects you to!!!

22 Stephanie

“I hate movies about talking animals that go on adventures.” Not even Milo & Otis?

Yeah, I’m still not entirely sure which side of the “children line” I fall on. Love kids – the ones around me are cute, funny and entertaining…and yet, I still think I make a better aunt right now. But, I will probably see The Revenge of Kitty Galore – it has Bette Midler in it! And I’m so not giving up my cartoons either.

23 Sandy @yesiamcheap

I might not want kids, but I do drag my little cousins to see the cartoons because I need a plausible excuse to go see them myself. :)

24 Amy

I’m 45, no kids by choice and SO GLAD I didn’t have them. I never wanted them….I knew from a very young age that I didn’t have that “spark” in me to be a good parent, like mine were. Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago how things were going…I said great..no stress, I’m taking dance lessons with my husband, facials once a month, massages twice a month, work is fine. The reality: Our condo is paid for, the car is paid for, we have two full time jobs, we have no debt, a 4 year “emergency fund”, and just got back from Scotland and Ireland. They said “oh, living the dream, right?!” and I realized that yes, I was. I have a great life that I really enjoy living. I don’t fault people for having children (actually, I view parenthood as the hardest job there is) but it just wasn’t for me.

25 Money Hangry

It’s nice to know we’re not alone. It always feels like we’re always having to defend why we LIKE being single, why we DON’T want to get married, and why we DON’T want to ever had kids. I told my Dad when I was 8 that his grandchildren were going to be 2 golden retrievers and he better get used to it. I do want to punch everyone who ever reacts to my saying I don’t want kids with, “Oh just wait till you’re 40 and you’ll see, you’ll have babies galore!” Seriously, knuckles to face, repeatedly till they stop with their silly notions that everyone wants to procreate. If every female in the world procreated, most of civilization would fall because you need breaks, a human can only take so much sleep deprivation. There are childless “aunts” out there because it does literally take a village to raise a child. Imagine if there were no babysitters, nannies, family members that could help you with “looking out” for your kid for a day because they had their own litter of spawn to take care of, the world would collapse.

26 Mo D.

My Mom gave me a door plaque a couple years ago that said, “So, my grandchildren are really cats? When I opened the bag, I said, “IT’S FINALLY SUNKEN IN!!!”

27 Jenna

Isn’t Shithead from Freakanomics?

28 Mer

Yep! As well as Orangejello and Lemonjello (Pronounced “ohr-ANJ-ell-o and luh-MAHNJ-ell-o)

29 jesse.anne.o

I couldn’t agree with this sentiment more, unlike the cats one!

I like my friends’ kids and some strangers’ kids but that does not mean that I want to have any of my own.

30 Neena

Oh man, I am so with you!! But you should try living in Utah where 99%+ of the people breed like crazy AND think you should too. There’s no other way of thinking to these people. The thought hasn’t even crossed their mind that they really don’t HAVE to breed- that they actually have a choice in this day and age. It’s still amazing to me…but sometimes I really do hate being an outcast. :(

31 Sandy @yesiamcheap

A big AMEN to you. I decided at 16 to NOT have kids and at 32 I have not ONCE changed my mind. No biological clock ticking, no desire to pop our a screaming child from places that will hurt. I have a dog and let me tell you, some days the dog is too much. A baby?! I’d end up on CNN.

32 Executioner

I say “right on” to everyone who makes the mature decision to NOT have children even though society expects them to. There are way too many people in the world already as it is (and most of them seem to be stuck ahead of me in traffic).

33 Michelle

I totally agree. You can add to it people who are married. They always say “oh when are you getting married”. They only say that because they want you to be in the same “boat” as they are in. Somedays it is sinking, somedays it isn’t. As for kids, I do have 1 and yes it was planned, I swore my whole life I would never get married and would certainly never have children. I guess Never Say Never. I know am married and have a child. Very colorful blog I love it and will start reading more when I drink my coffee in the morning.

34 TG

Well said. I totally agree with you.

35 CJ Williams

I have five kids and they are a great blessing….I can’t imagine life without them. Everyone’s different, but if you ask me, I think people miss out on a lot when they decide to just live for themselves and not have kids. Parenthood, like everything else, is what you make of it. If you can only see kids as a huge, horrible responsibility that will hold you back in life, then that’s what they’ll be. If you can enjoy them, have fun with them and take them as a blessing, then that’s what they’ll be. “Like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127)

36 Mer

Just because you decide not to have kids doesn’t mean that you’re simply out to live for yourself. I know many childless couples that devote more time, energy and resources volunteering for family, loved ones and charities. Deciding not to have children isn’t just for selfish reasons…it can be concern for the environment, overpopulation and not wanting to bring another human being into the mess of a society we’ve made.

37 babybluewater

I LOVE IT! I totally agree. Being in my mid-30’s and not getting any younger, I hear it all the damn time. It gets old! Not everyone wants kids, get over it. Sometimes I just think that misery loves company…

38 Nicole

I have a confession… for a while after I had my kid, while the hormones were coursing through my veins, I was telling everybody they HAD to have a child. (I also thought militant thoughts about formula-feeders-by-choice though I was rational enough not to voice them.) After the hormones went away I went back to NOT CARING. I also went back to thinking babies were wet and sticky (which they are, but you don’t mind when it’s YOUR wet and sticky baby… after the wet and sticky went away, I went back to “ick”) and not finding them particularly cute. (Though I pretend.) I had a kid because my biological clock went off like crazy, otherwise I don’t think my kind could ever reproduce… I just don’t like kids that much. (Mine is great though.)

So I apologize to everybody I told they should have a baby back when I had a newborn. I no longer care, just like I didn’t care before I had a newborn. Also, to my siblings, you are welcome. I totally took one for the team so the parents would not ask you about your marriage/baby-making plans.

39 Mel

Well said. I’m also of the no-kids-for-me sideshow. Oh, the lengths of conversation I must go to get people to understand why I didn’t want children.

Even better? Attempting to explain why I don’t want to get married. You know, as a bonus dagger to the heart of my friends & loved ones. I like to think at age 33 (and a half), they no longer think I’ll “change my mind.”

40 Stephanie

I’ll admit, I love playing with babies, as long as they’re not crying or pooping. But I know for certain I’m nowhere near ready to have kids. When visiting with friends that do (especially older friends) they point out that my boyfriend is a natural with their babies. I like pointing out to them that I’m not getting married any time soon, so I’m definitely not having kids any time soon. I think they want you to do what they are doing, either because they actually love it, or because, as others have said, misery loves company. :P

Same goes with buying a house: my older sister bought a house over a year ago, and she’s been hounding me to follow her lead.

41 Alyssa

I have one child, and people keep asking me when am I giving a little brother or sister. Folks need to stay out of my uterus. Usually my response is I’ll have another one whenever you take on the responsibility for him/her. That shuts them up real quick.

42 Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

I’m 27 and have been married for 5 years…all I ever hear is “When are the kids on the way?” I’ve just started answering “haha, not yet” or “my husband was an 8th grade science teacher – that is the best birth control ever, haha”. I only go into details if they sincerely seem to want to know. Great post! I feel your frustration!

43 Clare

Oh how I love this post. I would love to direct the author to a happy place called http://stfuparents.tumblr.com/

44 Kelly

Brilliant! Excellent recommendation.

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