Kid-free Zone

by Angie Mansfield

I'm not exactly mommy material. I find it a challenge to ensure I'm wearing clean clothes every day, let alone drag my butt out of bed at some unholy hour to tend to the needs of a small human. Heck, I can't even keep a goldfish alive for more than a week. My dog is lucky that she's an adaptable, tenacious survivor-type.

I've never had an overpowering urge to have kids. For one thing, I lack the patience. Babysitting as a teenager, I learned that kids are okay before they can walk and talk, and little horrors after. The four hours in which the parents were out was about the limit of how long I could stand to deal with sticky fingers, bickering siblings, and whiny toddlers. I was always more than happy to hand the little heathens back to their mommies at the end of the evening, collect my pay, and head home.

My biological clock is permanently stuck on "snooze". I pride myself on the fact that I learned this about myself early, before inflicting my lack of parenting skills on a new generation.

But my mother continues to hold out hope that, one day, her eldest daughter will find a nice boy and settle down to the task of making grandchildren. Never mind that at this point a "nice boy" in my age group will be perilously close to drawing Social Security by the time any potential children of ours graduated high school. Or, at least, he'd be reminiscing about how, when we were young, there was this thing called Social Security. And then we'd laugh and laugh, until we cried and made the children uncomfortable. It would all be very awkward.

So when I learned that I had a condition, inherited from my mother, that causes fibroids to grow on the uterine walls, which then cause constant, sometimes heavy, bleeding; and that this condition is serious enough in my case to require a full hysterectomy, you'd think I'd be perfectly happy. "Hooray," you're probably imagining me thinking. "No more pregnancy scares for me!"

But here's where human nature comes back to bite me in the butt. See, it's fine for me to decide I don't want to have kids -- it's my choice, and I can change my mind any time I want. But to have that decision taken away from me, when I'm still only in my 30s...it takes away a bit of the happy-fun-times attitude. Add to that my general aversion to hospitals, and you've got the makings of a seriously sobered silly person.

Of course, the silly is such a major part of me that it can't be held down for long. I'm already delighting in telling my mother how I'll be "spayed" soon. She winces every. Single. Time.



  1. *Big hugs*

    Make your mom wince for me (but don't tell her I said so - I have a reputation as 'lovely' among the previous generation). :-)


  2. Teehee...I'll be sure to tell her my friend Adam told me to. :-P

  3. Good article! Live for yourself, Angie. And take care of you.

    One of the things I always say (or at least think to myself) is "I'm not in this world to please others."

  4. Angie, I am glad you are living your life to please yourself. It is not easy to stand up to the expectations of others and say, "This is how I am living my life." Good for you knowing that motherhood was not for you. I am sorry about the fibroids and the hysterectomy. They do make things so final even when you don't want kids but the honest truth is that you are fully and totally freed to "give birth to yourself" because all expectations are now gone for the duration.

    Good luck,


  5. Insightful. Thought-provoking. Deep. Not what you usually expect from a Zeeba. I like it.

  6. Great post, one I can truly relate to. After my kid brother was born, all those maternal instincts were used up in about two years and they never came back. It's just as well. If I had a baby, I'd be wondering why it never used its litter box. Sorry for the surgery, though. I'll save up some especially naughty jokes to tell you during your hospital stay.


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