Saturday, September 16, 2017

Don't Do It

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, as one does on a Saturday morning, sipping my coffee, when I came across an article (from a radio station) about how "Motherhood is less and less appealing to Jennifer Lawrence" or J-Law as apparently we're supposed to call her.

Here's my advice. Don't do it.

I am the mother of two. I love my kids. They are without a doubt the best things in my life. And I ABSOLUTELY wanted to be a mother. My whole career was literally planned around it.

But, man, is it hard. Like, hard.

There are days (perhaps one or two this week) when I want to give up. When I want to run and hide. And my kids are older (13 and 10). We're not in the screaming all night, potty training, "I do it myself" phase. My kids are relatively self-sufficient human beings. In fact, the 13 year-old made the coffee and delivered it to me in my room, complete with a biscotti (side note: I highly recommend teaching your kids how to make coffee). But it's still hard.

There are days that are totally awesome too. My kids are fantastic, and I hope will be fantastic adults some day. But they are also strong-willed, smart, clever, and self-directed. You know, kids. I often feel like I'm the bad guy. Like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. Like I'm repeating myself over and over. Like I'm repeating myself over and over (whoops, sorry. Nothing I say is ever heard the first time).

There are sleepless nights. Messes you didn't make that you have to clean up. Laundry. Bodily fluids that don't belong to you. But even worse than those are the intangible things. The fights with friends. The school struggles. Learning disabilities. Attention deficit disorder. Teachers who don't get your kids.

It sometimes seems that society still expects every woman to want to have kids. I know several who don't and never do. Some of those women succumbed to pressure and had kids. Guess what? It doesn't turn out well, either for the mom or the kid. Moms deserve so much credit. They're the unsung heroes. But I also have the utmost respect for the woman who says (and sticks to it) that she doesn't want kids. If you don't want them, you shouldn't have them. There should be no judgment. There should be no convincing. No means no. We need to stop speculating about what Hollywood starlet is going to have a baby next. We don't ask when the male celebrities are going to have kids. Often male stars become fathers and we barely know it until their girlfriend/wife/significant other delivers. Meanwhile, women can't eat a burrito for fear of sparking rumors about their bumps.

It's time to stop.

Being a mother is a hard, often thankless job. It's the most important thing I will ever do, but that's my choice. Let's support our sisters out there who want a different choice. Let's make it not a thing anymore.

And if you don't want to do it, don't do it.


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