"Why do you say that?" I asked.
"Well, because child birth... it hurts. And it's not worth it".
'Wow', I thought, 'Do I really make this whole mothering thing look that bad? I mean, I'm struggling (because the struggle is real) but I didn't know I was doing a great job of ensuring I'd never babysit my grandkids'.
Other voices chimed in from the other seats, "Well I'll only have one" and my wild child affirmed many children for her future, which is not surprising considering her free spirit and her "dance-to-the-beat-of-her-own-drum" nature.
"Ok, it's your choice and well this is not something you have to think about now." I said, reassuring her that all the tough decisions she has to make shouldn't happen today in her booster seat. She then looked at me and said, "Well what are the things one would consider when making a baby? Like what do you want to make sure you do?". I definitely could have begun to talk scientifically about sex, but instead, I wanted to teach them about the power of choices. In the animal kingdom, females are very choosy, but it seems that human females are often either too choosy or not choosy enough when it comes to mating. I can't say I've practiced this uber discretionary rule of thumb for every "potential mate" I've encountered, but generally speaking there are a couple things they should always consider...
- You need to think if you can trust if the person you make a baby with will be there for you during and after you make the baby. Is the person going to be around to help you raise the baby or are they going to leave you to do it alone. Yes your father and I aren't together, but I can trust that man has my back for real and that he will be here for you guys through it all... (insert miniature head nods)
- You need to think about if you want to see this person's face all the time. Genetics can be cruel... your child may come out looking and acting completely like the other person and your genes are nowhere to be found. If you don't like the way the person acts, meaning their weird personality quirks or even looks- like their nose or eyes, well maybe you shouldn't have a baby with them. Yes, people will say love is blind, but it really isn't. We live in a vain world and we all like to gaze upon what we like. Some people may say that this is superficial but I don't think so. I look at your sister and all I see is your father's face. Yes we aren't together but I don't mind it. He has a nice face. Her version is a good upgrade on his theme. (insert miniature giggles)
- You need to think about if you and the other person can support this new being for the next two decades of your life. You all know this, because I say it all the time... kids are expensive. Kids are always growing, need education, training, activities and enrichment. That's not free.
- You need to think about your career. Have you accomplished all that you want? If you haven't, the world isn't over, but you need to consider if you need help so that you can be a great mom and follow your dreams. I have been really fortunate to have had a great amount of support for both you guys and my career/life goals. Children have lots of demands that if you're ready you should be excited and willing to meet, but lots of people are resentful and regretful when they have kids too soon and leave their dreams by the wayside. Be honest with yourself. It's ok to want to pursue a career and by the time you guys want to be moms I'm sure society will have found even better methods to balance both".
So this was the advice/tips I gave them. Excuse me if you disagree, but love is not the only thing that will keep two people together raising a child effectively. Love is a small but important component to the massively intricate puzzle we call a "functioning family". I would be a fool to allow my daughters to believe that if they fall in love with the right person, those two stand a chance... it's 2015.