"Mom I don't want any kids.", the affirmation came from a very confident voice in the back of the minivan.
"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...
"Alright, first, let's be clear that the choice to make a baby will not be coming for a while but here are a few things that you need to make sure happens when you want to make a baby...
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.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working in edtech. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.