Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Want to Punch You in the Crotch

People seriously say the stupidest shit to each other.

I have written before - more than once - about all of the reasons you should never ask a single, childless woman, when she is going to settle down and start a family. It's unhealthy and inappropriate, and trust me when I say, she leaves the conversation wanting nothing more than to punch you in the crotch. I know because I am this single, childless woman, and whenever someone asks me when I intend to land a man, shoot a baby out of my vagina, and get my hypothetical shit in order, I want to punch them. Right in the crotch.

But what I have never explored before, is the things people say to the single, childless woman's mother, about when she's going to "convince" her daughter to start a family.

Let me just lay it out there for those of you who don't know me. My mother does not convince me of anything. She does not tell me what to do, nor has she attempted to in the last 15 years. I am an adult. Recently one of my ex-aunts suggested that my mother "make" me remove a blog post that she'd found offensive. My mom's response was along the lines of, what the fuck am I supposed to do, ground my thirty-year-old daughter from her laptop?! While I respect my mom's thoughts and opinions and (usually) allow her to give me some life input, she certainly does not convince me to do things - and no one is going to convince me to change my entire life plan and ruin my lady parts with a kid coming out of it.

Anyway, so I am at that age where it seems all of the women I know are having babies. Many of them actually are having their second babies. Which means my mom is at the age where all of the women she knows are becoming grandmothers. And while I am getting harassed by my peers about making babies, my mom is also getting harassed by her peers about her kids making babies. Because both my brother and I have chosen to enjoy our adulthood in other ways. You know, by selfishly spending all of our hard-earned money on ourselves and living our lives on our own schedules with no one else to worry about.

One of my girlfriends is in a similar life situation that I am - she is in a relationship, but she's not married and she doesn't have kids. She's currently planning a trip to Bolivia instead of waiting for her boyfriend to propose to her, and just like I post photos online of my cat, she posts photos of her pet rabbits. We've been friends since 4th grade, so our mothers are friends as well. My mom and her mom were recently having a conversation at a work function, and my mom's friend said "isn't it funny how all the other girls are posting photos of their houses and their babies...and our daughters are posting pictures of their pets??" And my mom just laughed. Yep, that's our girls...traveling, working, dating, and posting photos of cats & bunnies on the internet. Because we are awesome. And because fur babies are a sufficient amount of responsibility for us right now.

Fortunately for me - and also for my girlfriend - our moms are aware of appropriate boundaries and the respect their daughters deserve regarding our life choices. Would our mothers like for us to settle down, start a family, buy a home, and make some babies? Maybe. I really don't know, because my mother respects me and the choices I have made, and does not ever pry about when I intend to do such things. She understands that my decisions about children are my own business, and that her thoughts and opinions are not welcome or up for discussion.

Just so we are all clear: your mother cannot force you to have a child for her.

Apparently some people are not aware of that.

There are lines that people need to seriously stop crossing. This is one of them. At no point ever, is it appropriate to guilt or coerce your child into making you some grandbabies. At no point ever, is it appropriate to guilt your child into getting married, into buying a home, into really doing anything outside of what they want to be doing. And in addition, if you are at the age where you may be a grandparent, it is no appropriate to guilt your friends into trying to guilt their children into making you some grandbabies.

The big argument for people my mom's age wanting to make my mom force me to get pregnant, is that it is "so much better to be a grandma than a mom." Because as a grandma, you're not responsible for raising a happy, healthy, well-adjusted human, but rather just get to have all the fun parts of a child. Just so you know, all of you grandma-aged people who keep talking shit to my mom, you can also do that with a dog or a cat, or your husband, or a niece or nephew, or *mind blown* a child with a shitty family who needs some extra love and attention. My mom works in a daycare. I have, like, 21 cousins with young children. My mother has no shortage of small humans to love on when she gets needy. There are thousands of children out there who have benefited from my mother's amazing ability to connect with children; I don't need to pop one out for her to spoil rotten and ruin. And she knows that.

The other big argument against respecting your adult child's decision not to reproduce, is that you are somehow missing out on some huge important life milestone by not watching your kid writhe in pain in a hospital bed as she produces a tiny person "for you." Umm. If you want a tiny person, make yourself one. Don't rely on someone else - your child or otherwise - to make it for you. Oh, you don't want to have a baby? They're hard? You're too old for the responsibility? You want to enjoy your child-free life and do what you wanna do? US TOO!

What it comes down to - and I have spoken to this point repeatedly - is that people need to be about one thousand percent more respectful of personal boundaries involving reproduction and life choices. Just like my peers don't know all of the reasons I choose to stay childless, my mother's peers don't know all of those reasons either. What if I desperately wanted a baby and was physically unable to make one? What if my mom and I were at each other's throats over the fact that she wanted me to have a baby, and by bringing it up to her, you were making it worse? What if I had just chose to have an abortion or had just suffered a miscarriage? There is no shortage of reasons it is absolutely not even remotely a tiny bit okay to ask a woman why she is not making babies; it just isn't something you should be asking.

It's very simple: What I do with my vagina is no one's business but my own. If I choose to keep it in one piece, free of the dangers of vaginal delivery of something as large as a human child, that is my right as a woman. If I choose to have a baby later in my life, that's my business and no one else's. Hell, if I choose to line it with crystals, that's on me. Mind your own business about my body and what I do with it. And leave my mom alone too; she doesn't get to call and beg me to make her a baby, so you don't get to call her and make her feel bad about it either.

Call your own daughter and yell at her for being single, childless, and happy.

And then offer to pay her therapy bill while you have her on the phone.