My mom was pregnant or nursing from the time I was 8 until after I turned 18.
I was the primary caretaker of the children after she had them.
That I have anxiety related to children, parenthood, the concept of families and babies is an understatement.

When my mom announced she was pregnant with the last one, I was 17. Later that night I secretly looked up what my options were to sterlize myself.
I didn’t have birth control as an option at the time. But I knew that a life of having and raising children was not for me, and I wanted that ability gone.

Unfortunately, I had no permanent options until I reached age 30, and living at home where my family believed medicine was evil, eliminated any temporary options, but I wasn’t sexually active either and if I had to live my life a virgin to not have kids, I would.

Of course, that makes me unmarriable.
But my future spouse didn’t want kids either.
So I started birth control, and being Childfree became a large part of my identiy.

For a while, my life looked like this: peace and quiet with no baby statuses …. it’s a little lonely though.

Then a special person got pregnant.

I didn’t really take the news as well as I would have liked.
Thanks to a combination of other stress and my meds not working, I got totally shitfaced.

I spent the night vomiting up my feelings.

(Bad idea kids. Don’t drown your feelings in alcohol – your abs will ache for days and you will not have a 6 pack.)

But after that, I felt a lot better and decided that all I really cared about was that my friend was happy and felt supported in her decision, because it’s *her* decsion.

And after that it was time for a fun existential crisis! YAY!

I want to be a good friend –
does this mean I have to like babies?

if I’m okay with it
does that mean
I secretly want babies?
is everyone right?

How do I balance being adamantly not-wanting-kids, and being supportive?
How do I walk the line between what is a huge trigger and being
the kind of friend I want to be?

 

I valued our relationship more than I valued making snarky parent jokes. Which is a lot, by the way. I make snarky parent jokes to cope.

I’ve kinda come to the point where I know my limits, trigger wise, and try to pay attention to those.

Thankfully, my friend didn’t overwhelm me with triggery baby content <3

It took longer than I want to admit, but I finally realized I could be both.
My life choice doesn’t invalidate anyone else’s.

 

Here’s the thing. Babies, children, families, parenthood….still trigger me.
Being okay and supportive of my friend doesn’t make it go away – especially because most people aren’t as awesome as my friend is.

I believe in my friend and her ability to do anything – including be a really fucking awesome parent.
And that’s the point really.

It’s my instinct to feel like people with children are somehow a sort of threat.

Because society tells people who have uteruses that our value is dependent on whether we use them or not.

If you choose not to, you’re a monster and something is wrong with you.

but that is THE MOST BULLSHITIEST BULLSHIT.

My friend isn’t a threat to me more than I’m a threat to her.

I’m happily childfree and my desire to remain that way has only increased over time.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, or I can’t be happy for her without giving up my desire not to procreate.

Fuck. I have plans to introduce her kid to Green Eggs and Ham.

I still don’t want kids of my own, but I’m happy she’s happy, and I’m happy her baby is here safe and healthy.