catch you at the club for cocktails?

One of my friends recently told me that she and her husband are waiting to have kids.

I said I thought that was great.

She seemed surprised, and said "that surprises me." (I've always been good at reading people. I'm basically an empath. Like right now, you seem like you want to roll your eyes. I'm right, aren't I? It's a blessing and a curse.)

I asked her why she was surprised and she said, "I don't know, I guess I just always thought you were really pro-people-having-kids."

Parents have this totally shitty reputation of being the naggiest naggers when it comes to recruiting friends into the fold. And to be fair, a lot of parents DO have conversations like:

"Soooooooo when are you two going to have a baby? Ohmygod it's such a blessing, you'll never even realize how empty and selfish you were before you had kids." 

"You mean how empty and selfish we are right now?"

(Awkward pause as everyone listens to the deflating-balloon-whistlefarting sound of a friendship dying.)

Yes, I do get really, really excited when one of my friends gets knocked up. For the following reasons:

1. If I'm not pregnant, I'm so excited not to be pregnant. Haha. Sucka.
2. If I am pregnant, I'm so excited to have a pregnant buddy. "What the fuck made us think this was a good idea?"
3. A friend who becomes a mother becomes a closer friend. It's the same reason we hazed our-- sorry, according to my attorney I meant to say ANSOLURELY DID NOT HAZE our pledges. When you go through fire together, you're friends to the end.
4. It's a huge life change and a blessing and a mitzvah and it's fucking exciting!

But I don't ever ask a couple why they don't have kids. For the following reasons:

1. It's deeply personal and none of my fucking business.
2. There is no number 2.

I do not need to justify my choice to have kids, and I don't think anyone else needs to justify the choice not to. There are a lot of fantastic reasons not to have babies. 

Here are a few of the things I miss about my pre-baby life:

- earning a paycheck
- going on a real vacation
- Sundays
- dates with Ryan
- happy hours
- training for marathons
- wearing nice clothes and fun shoes and feeling like I could turn a few heads if I walked like the rent was due
- going out dancing
- staying up late drinking wine and listening to music with Ryan 
- cooking fancy food (I mean, Ryan cooking fancy food.)
- being able to enjoy my pet
- adult parties 
- long, long dinners at cozy restaurants
- being the happiest table in the joint
- talking about my career with other people who had careers
- getting to go to the movies every weekend 
- sleep
- reading challenging, important books
- watching sad, important movies

Before I had babies I participated in culture. I had an income, self-worth, and self-care. I miss those things. I miss that life. Sure, the shadow of marathon training still lurks around the corner, when I get to go for a run once or twice a week. If I schedule my weekend out to make sure Ryan can take the boys, and there will be enough pumped milk for Buster, I can hit a happy hour with a girlfriend. And I still get to talk about my career with other people who have careers - those careers are just different now. Let's call ourselves Momtrepreneurs.

Actually, no, let's not.

But seriously, it's not that your whole old life vanishes when kids arrive. It's just that instead of getting to sit down at a heavily-laden table to feast upon the life you loved, you get to snatch a canapé or two as the cater-waiters run by with their trays.

They told me that when I had a baby I wouldn't even be able to remember what it was like before he came. 

I call bullshit.

I remember. Because it was fucking awesome. 

Yes, my life now is awesome too. I have committed to a long-term project that demands everything I have all day and all night every day and night for the rest of my life. That is a thrill ride for sure. 

But to all you childless out there, no matter the reason you haven't had kids, I want you to know, I'm super fucking jealous.

Do me a favor. Take that paycheck and buy a ticket to somewhere sunny. Sit in the sand and drink 6 daiquiris, read a fascinating book, dance all night, take a nap, laugh with your friends. Turn a head or two. 

And if someone dares to ask you why you don't have kids, you have a choice. You can either say, "that's none of your fucking business. I SAID GOOD DAY SIR." Or you can pick up your frosty rum-based drink in one hand and your good book in the other and say, "this."


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