When Ad Man and I had been married for a few years, I went through a period of being conflicted over whether I wanted kids or not. I once said to him, “What if I decide I don’t want to have kids?” to which he lovingly replied, “I would leave you.” (I have witnesses.) Clearly, Ad Man suffered no such ambiguity. I think it’s notable to consider who ended up stepping away from HER career once we did procreate. (Can I get an, “Amen, sister”?)
During this time, I searched for a book that would help me weigh the pros and cons of having children, but I came up empty handed. The opinions of my friends with children weren’t helpful because, much like a foreign terrorist group, part of a parent’s job is to recruit others to the cause. As I am nothing but helpful and don’t take orders well, I have decided to break with protocol and give you a real, constructive way of determining whether parenthood is right for you. You and your partner should sit down and ask yourselves the following questions.
1. Trying to decide whether to get pregnant? Are you comfortable discussing the following with strangers?
- The exact scheduling of your sex life
- The quantity and quality of your husband’s/donor’s sperm
- The evils of formula feeding
- The evils of breastfeeding
- The evils of starting a child on solid food before the age of 6
- Whether or not you will circumcise a potential child who may or may not have a penis
- Mucus plugs
- The diameter of your cervix
2. Are you willing to contend with the following?
- Rock hard porn boobs (I’m guessing your partner will give that one a thumb’s up)
- Cracked nipples
- Heartburn that makes Flaming Hot Cheetos seem mild
- Leaking milk in public
- Catching vomit with your bare hands
- Having poop in the crevices of your wedding rings
3. See your young, beautiful body? Imagine you look exactly the same but for the following small changes:
- Add dark circles under your eyes
- Add wild eyebrows, hairy armpits and an unruly bush
- Delete manicure and pedicure
- Take your perky B cups and replace them with one of the following: 1) droopy A cups that look like deflated balloons, or 2) enormous D cups that require major structural underpinnings and make all your tops fit like that half-shirt you wore in 10th grade
- Add stretch marks (this one’s optional, but you don’t get to choose)
- Add one muffin top
4. Imagine not being able to do any of the following again for a long, long time…
- Have sex
- Poop in private
- Sleep 5 or more hours in a row
- Eat a hot meal
- Be on time for anything, ever
- Have an uninterrupted conversation
- Put your makeup on anywhere but in a moving vehicle
5. To visualize your home, which you’ve so stylishly decorated, with a child living in it, make the following alterations:
- Add approximately 5,000 garishly colored plastic objects
- Add a film of filth to every wall measuring from the ground up to approximately 3 feet high
- See that handy guest room? Remove guests and add a bunk bed
- Throw all your clothes on the floor
- Gather all the objects that are irreplaceable and smash half of them
- Replace that Diptyque candle with the scent of a teen boy’s feet after marinating in sweaty sneakers all day
6. Listen to a 72 hour recording on a constant loop that says…
“Mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, moooooooommyyyy!!! Now, how do you feel?
7. A few more considerations that become more important as your hypothetical kid gets older…are you willing to:
- Have your intelligence insulted on every subject?
- Be the cause of constant embarrassment?
- Be viewed as nothing more than a chauffeur, chef, ATM?
- Receive late night calls from the police?
- Listen to the same Taylor Swift CD over and over and over again?
- Age 20 years in the next 5?
If all of the foregoing sounds like a fun adventure to you and your partner…congratulations! You are now ready for some super hot, rigorously scheduled sex. If not, then run! Run for your life! That is until your hormones take you hostage and send a ransom note demanding a soft, pink, sweet-smelling, little ball of love who will steal your heart and trash everything else in its wake.