I have several people I love dearly who are considering taking the plunge into reproduction. Not a one of them has asked me for advice (I can’t imagine why), but if they did, I’d ask them a few simple questions:
- Have you ever been in that relationship where you want to be together all. the. time? Like, full physical contact all day, every day, with no breaks, even to go to the bathroom? Someone always touching you. All the time. Clinging, hugging, crying with heartbreak if you ever want to be apart. Okay, first, if you have been in a relationship like that, you probably need to see a therapist, and secondly, you still have no idea how much you will want ten minutes to yourself.
- What are your feelings on sleep? Did you know that sleep deprivation has been used throughout history as torture?
- If you’re going to be getting pregnant, or cohabitating with someone who’s getting pregnant, was puberty fun for you? Do you enjoy the wild ride of hormones, emotions, and total lack of control over your own body, which is suddenly changing into something unrecognizable? (if you were that one kid in high school who managed to always look beautiful and never had acne or bizarre growth spurts, I hate you)
- How long have you ever gone without showering?
- Do you have pets? How would they feel about being ignored for the foreseeable future? How would they feel about being ignored for the foreseeable future by everyone except a tiny screeching monkey who thinks tails are for pulling, and tries to steal her food when no one is looking?
- Have you looked into childcare costs in your area? And then compared them to your rent/mortgage/the annual GDP of a small country?
- Do you like sex?
- Do you have friends who don’t have children similarly aged to yours? Just how important are those friendships to you?
- Is your living space clean, organized, and recently vacuumed? Is your kitchen unrecognizable when all the dishes are put away, or do you have a Mount Kilimanjaro of dirty clothes on the floor? Do any of your dirty clothes have human waste on them?
- On a scale from 1-10, how much would it bother you if a complete stranger stopped you in the street to tell you how your life choices are completely wrong? 1 being, “I hate everything,” and 10 being, “I kill everything.”
The final step in this questionnaire is to throw all your answers out the window. No one ever had a kid because of well-reasoned logic. The continuation of our entire species is predicated on the fact that we’re all dumb, emotional animals who like to bone and think babies are cute. Shit, knowing what I know now, I’m still glad I had the tiny monster, because the manipulative little buggers somehow manage to make you feel lucky to have them in your life.
Most of the time.