I Don’t Want Kids Because I’m A Selfish Bitch

How I Need To Improve In Taking Care Of The Family I Already Have

My fiancé and I had dinner Saturday night with his parents and Granny while she was in town, and somehow the conversation took a brief turn toward children. Naturally, I told her the truth: she’s more likely to get a great-grandchild from his sister or brother than she is from us, that neither of us has any desire to have a child. Naturally, she — like everyone else — replied, “That’ll change.”

It won’t, and you can read my thoughts on that, too:

Maybe if I were just unapologetically blunt, people who don’t even know me well enough to know what I think would be less inclined to try telling me. So here goes:

I don’t want kids because I’m a selfish bitch.

It sounds so flippant to say it that way, like it’s something to be proud of. I’m not proud that I’m a selfish bitch, but I’m not going to deny it, either. The fact is, I was not born to be a caretaker, so I’m not going to pretend I was. I’m not going to pretend I would be a good mother when I know I wouldn’t.

Case in point: I woke up the other day to find that sometime during the night, my dog — my child for all intents and purposes — had thrown up on the carpet, and instead of being sympathetic to her upset stomach, I got mad at her.

Mischievous though she is, Penny is sweet and well-behaved. She likes to cuddle in the morning. She loves people. She likes to play but is also content to lie around the apartment for hours at a time, and for a large, high-energy breed, she’s adapted quite well to apartment living. She’s always had a sensitive stomach, but that’s not her fault and it’s not fair to get mad at her for throwing up — especially as she got up so as not to vomit on the bed. My parents never got mad at me for that — instead, one of them would still get up in the middle of the night to come check on me, even when I was 22.

I should’ve just rubbed her ears and cleaned up the mess and given her something to settle her tummy. I shouldn’t have grumbled about having to perform my role as a caretaker, because this is what I chose when I decided we needed to adopt her. It’s a decision I don’t regret, even when the consequences make my life a little more complicated.

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In Sickness and In Health

My fiancé suffers from migraines. Horrible headaches that often force him to stay in bed or on the couch with an ice pack for his head, trying to sleep it away in as much darkness and quiet as we can give him in the apartment while still allowing me to go about my day.

The problem is, I haven’t mastered the “in sickness and in health” vow and would usually prefer to go about my day without having to take care of him, which is incredibly selfish and irrational of me because he doesn’t even ask for much.

There are ice packs in the freezer already, and to put ice cubes into one of those hot water bottles that can double as ice packs doesn’t take more than two or three minutes. The Keurig doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to brew him a cup of coffee, and it takes me probably 45 seconds to stir in some heavy cream, MCT oil for his keto diet, a squirt of monkfruit extract for sweetness and a dash of cinnamon. Thirty seconds or less to grab a handful of pills and a glass of water. Then, breakfast can be a smoothie that doesn’t take very long to make because for him, it’s protein powder, heavy cream and almond milk. So, by the time I’m done getting him set for the morning, I’m usually annoyed that I’ve had to use all of…five to seven minutes.

He doesn’t want to feel this way. It’s not his fault he suffers from migraines that can only be helped so much, and it’s not unreasonable whatsoever for him to ask me for help. It is unreasonable for me to blame him for something he doesn’t have control over, and it’s poisonous to express anger and resentment — the kind of poison that can taint not just the day, but our relationship as a whole.

There are many aspects of myself that I need to improve, but how I treat him is definitely at the top of the list.

It certainly seems like we are most likely to hurt the people we’re closest to. So if I’m having a legitimately bad day, or even if I just woke up crabby, I’m most likely to bite off my fiancé’s head without stopping to think about the negative effect it will have on his day, on my day, and on our relationship. I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed yesterday when we talked on the phone while he was at work, and I remember raising my voice until I finally broke down into tears. It didn’t really have anything to do with him and we both knew that, even though it didn’t stop me from directing my frustration toward him.

I’m grateful to him for being stronger in that moment than I was. He gave me what I needed by knowing and understanding where I was coming from, and calmly talking me down from my hysteria. He’s been frustrated and stressed out, too, and he could’ve easily just snapped back at me. But he chose not to, demonstrating a level of maturity that I know I’m capable of, too, and should reach for more often. If he can do it, so can I.

I crawled out of bed today at 7:15 and he asked me to put his lunch together while he finished getting ready for work — another minor source of annoyance for me, because it’s not my responsibility and why doesn’t he just do it the night before. I threw together some meat and cheese for him, which was really all he was asking me to do. There was just a small amount of grumbling on my part. But, ultimately, a small step in the right direction, too.

I like to write things that make people uncomfortable.

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