...and Baby makes you stupid
I'd like to rant for a little bit about a trend I seem to see taking place lately. A worrying, disturbing trend with no real end in sight -- people making babies. Correction: young, immature, irresponsible, and possibly even stupid people making babies.
Now, don't get me wrong -- I like babies, as far as I know. I haven't had much to do with them, but I haven't anything against them. I'm certainly in no big rush to start making miniature copies of myself, that's for sure. Hell, I have days I don't have the energy for my cats, and they leave me alone for hours at a time to beat each other up, sleep, and lick their butts -- I'm not sure babies can do the same.. but then again, I have yet to read the manual on them.
I realize that I am not at a place where I feel that a baby has a place in my life. Financially, I could support one, but emotionally and mentally, I don't feel I'm ready -- and I'm not especially young, especially compared to these others (although realistically, I'm not that old, either, I know).
But the trend I've noticed lately is to babies having babies -- and deliberately. I can accept that accidents happen, and sometimes people (okay, girls/women) get pregnant, and hat you choose to do from there is entirely up to you, but
-- it's another matter entirely, in my oh-so-unopinionated opinion, to go out and deliberately get yourself knocked up when you are not in a position to look after your progeny to the best ability -- yours or anyone else's, within reason.
See, babies are expensive. And time-consuming. And expensive. And require lots of attention. And expensive. And unlike other hobbies that may occupy your attention for a period of time, then move aside for a new one -- babies are permanent.
You will not be able to stay up until 3 a.m. playing PS2 or computer games when you have an infant that wakes up at 6 a.m., and stays up until at least mid-afternoon. You will not be able to travel to 6 exciting cross-country destinations with a newborn. Late-night dinners at tiny restaurants with your sweetie and/or friends will no longer be a regular event. Hell, leaving the laundry for a few weeks won't be a luxury you'll have anymore.
If money is currently tight, it's going to get worse. If you're relying on friends on your LJ-list to supply you with everything you need, you're not ready. A bit more controversially -- if you don't have a career you've begun, or if you haven't invested a great deal of time in one, you're going to have a very difficult time 6 months, a year, 10 years or 20 years from now when you decide to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Life happens. Relationships end, people get in accidents or die and can't work -- thereby depriving you of an income, and nowadays people frown on sending the wee ones out to work at least before the age of 6 -- and people leave one another for other people. Life becomes a bit less scary and/or stressful when you're self-sufficient and independent, able to look after yourself with the minimum of aid.
Babies do not solve relationship issues -- they often amplify them. If you thought he was a lazy, immature ass before you got knocked up, the odds aren't necessarily in your favour to this helping him grow. If she refused to touch babies for fear of mussing her nails, hair, clothes, shoes or cigarette -- knocking her up isn't likely to change that.
But these are only my opinions and biases. In my perfect world, I'd have a number of years invested in a career -- thereby ensuring something to which I could return, if I so chose -- and a number of years invested in a mature, stable relationship with someone important to me, someone who was also ready to spawn and who would be a good father. Having or raising a baby with someone means you're irrevocably tied to that person, for better or worse. There have been many relationships whose dirty I was ecstatic to shake from my feet -- an option that would not have been available to me if I'd creaed offspring with them, no matter how eager they may have been.
But again, my biases. I've always been drawn to strong, independent personalities -- men and women, boyfriends and friends. Guys, girls -- don't be afraid to say no, you're not ready. If someone genuinely loves you and really, honestly, truly wants your babies -- they'll still want them in a year or two, when you're both older, and theoretically, wiser. That gives you both more time to do things like save up money, baby-proof your lives, party, argue about what religion you'll raise your little darling, and where it'll go to school -- for starters.
In the meantime, remember -- just say no
to reproducing. Especially if you're barely 22 fucking years old (and younger in terms of maturity), haven't completed post-secondary education, don't or haven't worked (goes double if it's both of you), couldn't practice basic hygiene with an instruction manual and team of experts, and or/simply have your head(s) up your ass(es).
Just say no. Please.
posted by Jen on 1:25 PM