« The Rules of Envy | Main | Rotisserie Chicken and Republicans »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hmmm... with that long list of what-ifs, you sound like a mom already! :) Actually, some of those questions are ones I've given as to why I won't have kids. So, I definitely see where you're coming from.

I'll have to check back to see how your journey to parenthood (... because I'm quite sure, from the little I've read, that you'll get there ...) is going. Take care.

Yo S,

What if you didn't have to make a "What If" list...and you made a "What Is" list....

Peace - 22

I've mentally checked off some of these as "accomplished" -- the boring, the not cooking, the no time to write, the no nanny, etc. etc. But I wouldn't give up my kids for anything, so maybe you need a matching "what if" list? :)

I know this is an old post, but can I just say that I've already had so many of these "What Ifs" come true?
-Had a baby, then suddenly only had 20 hours of work a week (I'm freelancer, my husband was unemployed -- everything's better for the moment, though)
-Lost health insurance
-Worked too much and missed some of the good stuff!
-Found being a mom boring
-Didn't have time to write (Whatever! if you have time to pee, you're having a luxurious day – this counts if you only see your kid at dinnertime, too. Once you walk in the door, it’s all over.)
-I’ve hurt my kid – every parent at some point accidentally snips some skin with a fingernail and makes blood gush out, or something equally horrible
-Made some of my parents’ mistakes – though I’d like to think I’m winning on that front
-Can’t deal with being an exhausted zombie
-Um, barely work out and still have a massive amount of so-called “baby weight”! Good thing my pre-pregnancy self can’t see me now
-Can’t deal with having no time to myself – seriously, the bathroom is a GREAT place to hide, if you sneak in there
-I don’t cook – I just microwave. I know when I’m licked.
-My daughter made a kid cry when we were just VISITING daycares. And she’s recently started BITING – particularly one little boy at school. When we try to discuss it with her, she looks like the cat who swallowed the canary. Um, can you say too much self-esteem? At least she’s not a Republican – so far.
-I am CRAZY jealous of my kid. First, I’ve never seen my husband smile like that. Second, once your kid is born, you will NEVER FINISH A SENTENCE AGAIN. It’s true – no one wants to hear what you have to say! They just want to coo over the kid.
-Trust me, there will be times when you are both a mean mom and not strong enough. Sometimes in the same five minutes.
But overall, you’ll live to fight another day. And I mean it when I say it’s a good thing my pre-pregnancy self couldn’t see into the future. You can’t really prepare for motherhood. It tears through your life like a hurricane. But then you’re…in Oz? Not sure about that metaphor. But you will find that you are capable of incredible things as a mother—because you just have to be.

...boy oh boy - I love that "What if" list - as it reflects that someone has considered the inalterable ramifications of giving birth to another human being: ( a new person that matters ) - something that I'm not seeing - people "popping out" babies for the most inane reasons ie: ( for a baby bonus paid by the Gov't or so they're not lonely in old age ) & we wonder why we have a lost generation: ( "Gen.Y" & the one following them - whatever their called ) & I see this reflected in our society = sad to say.............yes - I will not be having kids: ( doing my part for "Zero Population Growth" & have no desire to pass on my genes - however worthy of being "passed-on" ) - but I think the best thing that our society can do; is be honest about this issue & if someone feels that they do not want kids or that they aren't innately maternal / paternal or that; that "What If" list has scared them: ( as it scared the "Begeezus" outta me ) = hehe ...... then don't have children - it is ok - both stances are valid - having said all that - I am a positive person & love the world I live in: ( in all it's kaleidoscope of complexity ) - endlessly fascinated by the diversity of what I see around me & beyond - God's wonderful lil' experiment............the fact that you have decided to "go-for-it" despite the "What If" list is what impresses me most & I wish you all the best & LUCK in the future.........love this blog - even for us "sterile" folk.......hehe...........you are smart / a thinker - you know of what I speak is true!!!

great list...now, shred it. you will drive yourself bonkers thinking about any one of these things and you just don't. think about them, i mean. with kids (even just one), you're too busy to worry about that meteor falling on your house and aiming directly for the nursery (actually a fear my husband had after watching a movie, so much he went to check on our daughter). you get them fed, dressed, and loved. not in that particular order.

Hi! I came across your blog from the Happiness Project. I'm a little late commenting on this, but I want you to know that motherhood is hard. Period. It is rewarding, true, but you will be remade from the inside out. Most of your "what ifs" will happen...but they're not the end of the world. You get up, you love and serve and do it again. You can do it. Get a good support system in place - friends, family, wanna-be friends. You will need time off to keep some semblance of self even as your new self emerges.

It will change your life forever.

SI-- "Remade from the inside out." I love that sentiment-- it sounds powerful and positive. And exciting!

On Sep 27, 2009, at 2:43 PM, [email protected] wrote:

Not sure where to leave this comment but I'll do it here since your list left me asking myself the one What If you may have already answered: What if I don't have a kid?

Which is a round about way of saying I've been thinking about several of the same thoughts you're talking about here (the blog, not this post in particular) for a couple of years. It's strange to say but finding your blog has finally made me feel like I'm not crazy for considering having a kid on my own and that I'm not alone in struggling with the idea. So thank you, for writing about the experience and sharing it with us.

What if your kid says "you are great mum"?
What if your kid finds their passion and changes the world?
What if your kid is President?
What if your kid is the best thing you can ever leave behind when you're gone?
What if you find that you can't do it alone and are forced to ask friends, family for help and they appear and really help you in a way you have never seen them engaged before?

One note: What if my kid thinks I'm lame? This is not a what if... this is called the teenage years.

Another note: I don't believe that you can "instill values". If you want your kid to read, it is better that he sees you reading than that you read to him (or her). I heard this and started reading downstairs rather than always in my bedroom... and my daughter now picks up her book and sits next to me to read (before asking for cartoons to be put on the TV). You clearly have strong values. Your kid will see how you are and will internalise what he sees. He will rebel as a teenager and deliberately test you, but around 35 years later he will come to you one day as a father himself and say "did you really do all this for me?" "wow." "Alone?" "wow." "you are the best mom ever. Thanks."

This is terrific-- thank you for reminding me that there are just as many 'what if's' in the positive column. (And, for the record, I took no offense to the starfish thing!)

I'm glad I'm not the only one out there with this list! Thanks for your honesty.

What if ... that's the ultimate reason you are alive? Your raison d'etre. Seriously.

Sure, the job is cool, as is the life you've made for yourself. But is that the reason you exist?

What if ... your ultimate reason for existence is to continue the evolutionary journey you are on right now?

What if ... having a child offered the potential for you to glimpse immortality?

What if ... raising a child offered you the chance to shape a life and pass along your wisdom, your insights, your experiences, and your joie de vivre (not to mention your genes).

What if ... having a child was unlike any other experience you could imagine.

Then what?



Wow. Thanks for that. I like the way you think!

Most, if not all of your what ifs have happened to me as a divorced mother. My son is 30 going on 20 and I'm starting to believe that if his dad and I had not divorced (it's a long story), he'd have a better sense of himself and a clearer picture of the world, in general. And, maybe you'll get lucky and have a child that is not "strong-willed" (a euphemism for pain in the ass) as my son was from the time he could talk! Unfortunately, I only had one child, so my view of children is painted by him. I am not one of those mothers that complains about their child and then says, "but I wouldn't trade him for the world". Right now, I'd rather not have had the experience because all that hard work has turned out a product that should be recalled.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Books (with Elizabeth Craft)

  • 'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.

    Publisher's Weekly said: "Full of romance and adventure, laughter and tears, the story is a reminder that veering from the straight and narrow road doesn't always lead to a dead end."

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter
    Blog powered by Typepad

    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
    small twitter icons
    Happiness Project

    Google Analytics