Since turning 30, with every passing menstrual cycle, I wonder if I have dropped my last viable egg. This worry, though, that I have shed my procreative capability is like light spotting compared to the heavy flow of fear I have for mothers. Mothers terrify me. Amy Shearn and Devon Corneal provided us with lists of things never to say to stay-at-home moms and working moms, lest we insinuate that mothers aren't the single hardest working people around, and we are unthankful for the benevolent burden they have undertaken to propagate the species. I am in awe of mothers, whether they be working or non-working, partnered or single, and amazed by all that they do. But as a woman trying to decide whether to become one, I just wish they would stop spitting up their woes all over my naiveté because ladies, you seriously make motherhood sound like the worst sorority ever. Who would ever want to rush it? With these kinds of poopy pants pitches, you are never going to get any freshman to pledge this sisterhood and join the ranks of exhausted moms everywhere who will exchange a knowing, yet slightly judgmental glance with you while grocery shopping with your kids. To assist, I have put together a list of those things which you should never, ever say to a non-mother of childbearing age so that we, too, may look forward to motherhood with the same innocent excitement that you once did:
1. Your body is never going to look the same
The last time I had this talk, I was 13 and my parents had given me the book "Where Did I Come From Book?" for my birthday. It was, in a word, awkward. Just as it is when you tell me that my poor little vagina is going to look like a half-eaten bowl of spaghetti post-baby. This is especially upsetting for me because I love carbs.
2. Say goodnight to a full night's sleep
You know sleep deprivation is considered a form of torture by Amnesty International, right? A hamster kept awake for three days will die. So when you tell me I am going to be up for the next eighteen years, it kind of makes me nervous.
3. Your husband is going to do everything wrong
Why do you have to insult my husband? What has he ever done to you? Nobody tells my husband he is doing everything wrong except for me.
4. You will never have time to yourself again
I think it is this that scares me the most. I really love spending time alone, walking aimlessly through the city and going to the bathroom with the door closed. If I have no "me time" anymore, how am I going to write blog posts complaining about not having any "me time" anymore?
5. My cat and dog will be just a cat and just a dog
Maybe so, but I'm hoping I can love all of them, that there is enough room in my heart for all three. Don't people have more than one kid!? I can only assume that the people who say this have pets that are not nearly as adorable as mine.
5. You will never go to another movie
Now this just can't be true because I hear babies crying in movie theaters all the time. At comedies, no less!
6. Laughing will make you pee
As a writer, it is my life's ambition to make people laugh until they pee. Having a baby and spending time around an audience more inclined to do this can only help my self-esteem, which will apparently be in short supply, given that my body has irrevocably changed, I'm exhausted, perpetually angry with my husband, have no alone time, resent my pets and can no longer go to a movie to distract myself from my self-esteem issues.
I know you are tired, moms. I know you are overworked, I know you want to tell us for how long you were in labor and I feel for you, I do. But please stop scaring your sisters, because if I do decide to join you and have a baby, apparently these will be my last days of solitary, flavored yogurt-eating, judgment-free fun. Let me have it.