Right it seems half of all my female (soon to be ex-)friends are wobbling around with big fat bellies. My problem is I don’t get excited when they proudly announce their ‘happy’ news. And this is a big problem, not wanting to say ‘congratulations’ with a big smile when they tell me. Instead, my first and true reaction is to want to delete their contact info. Because I know our friendship is about to be over, or at least totally change. In reality, I won’t have to delete their numbers from my phone, or their email addresses from my gmail, because as soon as that baby sees the light of the world, they will disappear into a world of expensive show-off strollers, diapers, stretch mark creams, playgrounds etc. And when they do suggest a rendez-vous, they will be tired and want to go home early, or they will be distracted, constantly checking their phone, worrying that something will have gone wrong while their spouse was in charge. And I will be bored too, as I’m not the least interested in seeing pictures of their offspring’s first tooth or them playing the keyboard with their little pink paws.
Then, I must delete them from my instagram, or else my feed will be hijacked by chubby child photos, that are so irrelevant, except for the grandparents maybe, who will call them ‘life’s dessert.’
My best friends will always be the ones who have chosen not to do what everyone else is doing, who have chosen not to burden our already near depleted and totally overpopulated planet with yet another child. My best friends will be the ones who want to keep on having interesting conversations that sometimes last from dusk to dawn, and sometimes involve large amounts of alcohol, uninterrupted by toddlers. My best friends will always be the ones that attempt to live a life less ordinary. Even when it’s hard. Straying off the beaten path always will be.
I know, I know, it’s biology; the urge to procreate. I’m just a weirdo, an anomaly, a deviant, who never heard the ticking of the so-called biological clock, even though I’ve passed into my forties. I should just accept and even respect that this is life, this is what you do. We are programmed for it.
Still, just because you have a strong urge to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it. I constantly hold myself back from doing things I want to do, like kicking the side mirrors off SUVs that drive dangerously close to me when I bike around Berlin.
But why put a child into this mess of a world? Does anyone honestly believe that the planet really stands a chance? Why not adopt a child that’s already been born and who needs a loving home? Or why not care for a foster child?
Women that don’t want to make babies often get accused of being selfish, I think it’s the other way around.
I think that it’s quite obvious that an own, biological child is the ultimate extension of the ego.
Watching the Swedish party leader debate via web TV last night, it struck me that it’s this building of the nuclear family that makes society unfair. Someone who doesn’t believe in private schools will change their mind after they have kids. Maybe not in theory, but at least in practice. Of course MY kid should have the best possible education, fuck the rest …
According to Eastern philosophy; Hinduism and Buddhism for example, true love is realizing that everyone and everything is connected, that there is no separation. Not between me and you, him or her, the tree and my arm. My child and her child. But the animal instincts will kick in when someone becomes a parent, and it will get increasingly harder to find the way to this, to samadhi, and a parent will put their kids’ needs before other kids’ needs, leading to a really unjust society, like the one we know have in Sweden, with shitty, failing inner city public schools, where most of the pupils are of a non-European background, because all the white educated parents who love their offspring more than anyone elses, have taken their kids and put them in private schools, far away from the ghettos and the broken Swedish.
I feel nervous and slightly nauseous about writing this on my blog. Because it’s super-taboo to not be happy about your friends having babies. I feel nervous that one of my friends will read this and feel hurt. If one of all of you pregnant friends happen to read this, I’m sorry, I feel bad too, that I can’t be happy for you. Part of my problem is that I’m a selfish cunt, and that I’m just sad about our friendship changing. That you won’t be as much fun anymore. That some little creature will be way more important to you than I ever can be. That’s one part of it. The other part is the moral aspects of procreating when the world is what it is.
Still, I need to try to respect my friends’ desires and choices. I need to try to feel their happiness and support them in their decisions. I am trying with varying (bad to shitty) degrees of success. But I find it really hard.
I generally am so much more interested in other peoples’ dogs than children … I’m always up for cute dog pictures clogging up my instagram feed. And when a friend decides to adopt a puppy I’m truly ecstatic … no need to fake it …
I’ll end with a list of childless badass women!
Simone de Beauvoir