Tag Archives: parenthood

7 Reasons Why You Should Vote For Me This November

Or, 7 Reasons Why We Ought To Just Bypass This Whole Democracy Rigamarole & Make Me Queen of America

1. I will improve the education system by requiring courses in personal finance, practical life skills, and apprenticeships.

Look, I’m a liberal arts proponent. I’ll save my more detailed arguments for another post, but in a totally simplistic summation, liberal arts courses educate the soul as well as the brain. Which is great, right? Yay souls! However, as you’ve no doubt spotted, we also have bodies which must be fed and clothed and sheltered. This means that upon adulthood we are obliged to enter the workplace, establish financial stability, and manage a household. Many of us, alas, struggle mightily to acquire the essential skills for this independent life (I’m recalling the house I shared with four dudes right after college—sweet mother!) and that’s  just dumb. Being a grown-up is something we all have to be good at, or our lives suck, and that suckitude seeps into other people’s lives, so WHY aren’t we teaching students this stuff before it’s too late? Thus, I will decree that high schools require classes in budgeting & banking, home maintenance & domestic tasks, and basic car repair; additionally, colleges must facilitate at least one year of practicums or internships for each student as a degree requirement, regardless of major. After a few years, America will be peopled with competent non-idiots who can cook a healthy meal, write an interoffice memo, change a flat tire, treat that stubborn stain on the living room carpet, and contribute to a 403b like CHAMPS.

This is how I remember that house full of boys. Possibly a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Photo from here.

2. I will legalize pot, tax and regulate it, stop putting petty criminals in jail, give the economy a boost, and use the resulting extra moolah to add bike lanes to all major roads and highways.

See what I did there? I solved, like, a mofobillion problems in one fell swoop. No more spending millions arresting and prosecuting people who grow, deal, or smoke pot. Fewer people in prison. More jobs as a result of a brand new industry. More tax revenue. Paper made from sustainable hemp instead of irreplaceable rain forests. More oxygen. Once our bike infrastructure was complete, there’d be more bike-riding, less dependence on foreign oil, better fitness, fewer carbon monoxide emissions. EVERYONE WINS. Except fools who ride bikes while high. They can pay giant traffic tickets to support my next initiative: spay & neuter all the stray animals!

3. I will legalize gay marriage. 

This one follows on the heels of the previous point. I don’t smoke pot, but I don’t see why the heck the government should tell me I can’t. As a legal adult I have the right to drink alcohol and use tobacco, so why don’t I have the right to use marijuana too? Why does the government get to pick and choose my freedoms here? It’s illogical and annoyingly paternalistic. In the same way, I’m not gay, but you can bet your sweet aspercreme I don’t want the government telling us who we can and cannot marry. I mean, are we seriously starting down that road? In my mind, the purpose of a government’s existence is to protect the rights, health, and safety of its citizens and provide support for infrastructure, education, and economy. Private, personal choices like choosing a life partner, deciding how many kids to have, what career to pursue, what beliefs to subscribe to, what clothes to wear—those should never be under the purview of the government. Ever. When such things do become regulated we enter freaky 1984 territory. Have you read that book? Not to spoil anything, but it ends with rats chewing off people’s faces. Just FYI.

Haven’t read this? You probably should.

4. I will put all (government-employed) teachers, police, fire and rescue workers, librarians, and politicians on the same salary—starting at $60K a year for entry level. 

Actually we’ll probably need some sort of sliding scale that takes cost of living into account. I doubt even 60 thousand cuts it in some places in California. But anyway, everyone gets what is essentially the same rate of pay with incremental raises to keep up with inflation and merit raises if warranted by good performance. First of all, people in these occupations deserve a decent wage. Secondly, politicians shouldn’t be making any more than anyone else in civil service. And maybe, just maybe, this equalization would discourage typical politician types and actually attract real people to elected positions—people from diverse backgrounds and experience with an honest interest in improving government. Seriously, is anyone else completely sick to death of old rich dudes with law & business degrees? Can we, like, get some more ladies up in here? Also, how about some architects and preschool teachers and car mechanics and programmers and chefs and air traffic controllers and nurses? Probably a few farmers would be good too, plus it never hurts to have a librarian around.

5. I will establish a national holiday dedicated to making, decorating, and eating cupcakes.

This one speaks for itself.

cupcakes

I personally will celebrate National Cupcakeapalooza Day by making and devouring these pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Click the picture for my recipe 🙂

6. I will pass a law giving fathers paid paternity time.

Why is it that dudes get the total shaft when it comes to having a baby? Um…I’m pretty sure they’re not getting any sleep those first weeks either. Plus it’s crucial for them to bond with their new spawn just like moms. I hate hate HATE that dads get no respect, like they’re somehow useless in the parenting process. That stereotype haunts fathers their whole lives and it starts the day their kid is born. Ok yes, moms have boobs full of milk. Right. I know. But I don’t understand how that translates into “Only Mom can care for baby, meanwhile lameass Dad over there is zero help at all so he might as well be at work.” I’m pretty sure there’s more to handling a new baby than breastfeeding. Also, marginalizing a father’s contribution to the family unit is stupid and sexist. Enough with that rubbish, America.

7. I will regulate health care even more. YES EVEN MORE!

Let me preface this by saying that I know jack about health care policy. Seriously, I just don’t even know. I’m shamefully uninformed. That being said, here’s how I’d do it. Everyone gets health care. Every single ever-loving soul in this whole big country, no matter where they fall on anyone’s “deserving————>undeserving” spectrum. Healthcare companies could remain private, there could still be competition between service providers to keep costs low, everyone could have the opportunity to use the provider of their preference, blah blah blah. Premiums would be deducted from pay checks like a federal tax. Those between jobs could still get affordable coverage by paying providers directly. Retirees or people receiving unemployment/disability would be covered by Medicare or Medicaid-like programs. Kids and non-working spouses would have policies under the working household member. And that’s that. Everyone’s covered. Everyone gets the best treatment available. And this Queen of America sleeps a little easier in her bed at night.

This is how I imagine myself as queen.

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5 Reasons Why I Don’t Want Kids

Or, 5 Reasons Why I Always Second-Guess Myself When I Decide I Do Want Kids

1. I like being responsible for only myself.

I have a niece and nephew whom I love dearly. But one time I spent a few days taking care of them and by the end I was a ball of raw nerves. I lived in constant fear of them swallowing something dangerous or falling down the stairs or poking out their eyes with sharp objects. One night, my nephew was jumping up and down in his crib after I put him to bed and he managed to bust his lip against the rail. When I came in the room and saw him covered with blood, I damn near died. You know, I already have my hands full just taking care of me. Keeping my hair brushed, taking my vitamins, feeding myself decent food, making sure I get enough sleep…it’s a big job. Looking after additional humans would tax my endurance to the utmost.

2. I enjoy peace, quiet, and order.

Children are essentially the opposite of all those things. First of all, anything involving kids also involves my archenemy: CLUTTER. No, seriously, this is a big deal for me. The crazy whirlwind inside my brain is calmed somewhat if my environment is tidy and serene; conversely, my mental state is severely aggravated if the space around me feels crowded and disordered. Thus, my life is just one endless quest to vanquish the clutter monster (sometimes as I’m feverishly clearing floors and surfaces, I imagine myself in a superhero outfit). My hypervigilance allows me to maintain a fairly clean home most of the time, but I know all that would go out the window if I had a child. The house would suddenly fill up with toys, clothes, shoes, blankets, bottles, diapers, diaper bags, high chairs, cribs, playpens, strollers, and car seats. I’d be powerless to stem the flood of extra gear that accompanies child-rearing and too exhausted to keep it organized.

In my head, the Clutter Monster is like a combination of Jabba the Hutt and Satan.

Then there’d be the mess associated with the baby itself—food and poop everywhere. Babies never manage to stay clean for more than an hour at a time. Add constant noise to this scenario (crying infant, shouting toddler, endless-question-asking-kindergartener…) and there goes my sanity.

3. I am fiercely independent.

It’s hard for me to even express how jealously I guard my solitude and personal freedom (the more so because they were often trampled upon during a difficult childhood and adolescence). I will never, ever take for granted the ability to do what I please when I please—it’s one of the primary joys of my adult life. I don’t want to answer to anyone but me. Unfortunately, for a parent that isn’t possible. The kids must always come first, especially when they’re small, since they can’t feed or dress or wash themselves and they need lots of attention and entertainment. Parents are on the hook for all that. All the time. My life would no longer be my own. As I get older and the kid question occupies more of my thoughts, I’ve started keeping a sort of mental list of all the pleasant things I’d have to give up:

  • Staying up late
  • Sleeping late
  • Reading whole books in one day
  • Deciding not to cook meals and eating random snacks instead
  • Going to movies
  • Grocery shopping by myself
  • Spending Saturdays at thrift stores and antique malls
  • Taking long, hot baths
  • Watching entire seasons of TV shows on Netflix in a few days
  • Working on time-consuming DIY projects
Plus, I have this fear of losing my own identity—of becoming a sort of mom drone whose own thoughts and feelings get lost among the constant demands of a caring for a child. I struggled for a long time just to be my own person and I treasure my autonomy with a Gollum-like fervor. I don’t know that I could relinquish it very easily.

If and when I do get pregnant, my first reaction will probably look like this.

4. I dread the choice between a career and full-time mommyhood.

If I had a child I’d definitely be torn about returning to work for a number of reasons. Being separated from my sweet little infant after six short weeks would just be hard, and I’d worry about someone else caring for my baby instead of me. But on the other hand, living on one income would be a pain in the ass. Plus, I love being a librarian. I accomplish important things, I connect with like-minded colleagues, I exercise my intellect, I find uses for my talents and abilities. Without that outlet, I’m afraid I’d go nutso (as if I’m not halfway there already). The only other choice would be a halfway arrangement where I tried to balance some work with some time at home, which would no doubt result in my almost having a nervous breakdown every single day. That’s a sucky decision to have to make, and what makes it worse is that any option you pick comes with plenty of built-in guilt. Whoopee.

5. Pregnancy and childbirth are horrifying and gross.

YES I SAID IT. Have you read about the things pregnancy can do to your body lately? Well, don’t. Otherwise you’ll wake up in the night screaming (sorry, husband). And let’s not even talk about the actual birth, during which unspeakable acts of violence occur in delicate regions of the body and one’s natural modesty and reticence are most callously violated. Oh lawd. I’m getting the shakes. Someone hand me my smelling salts.

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4 Reasons Why I Do Want Kids

Or, 4 Reasons Why I Second-Guess Myself When I Decide I Don’t Want Kids

1. If I had a baby, I could dress it in this.

From Geekling Designs on Etsy.


Not to mention other ridiculously precious and tiny articles of clothing and footwear. I mean, have you seen the kinds of things they make for babies these days? I can hardly walk past the baby department in Target without blowing a brain fuse from all the cuteness. If you see me in there wandering around with a vacant look and drool on my chin, that’s why. Just move on. Nothing to see here.

2. I’d be doing something meaningful with my life.

Raising a child is probably one of the most important and amazing things a person can do—the more so because it’s freaking hard work. And I’m the world’s most obnoxious over-achiever, so if I don’t have a kid I’ll feel like my life is futile and insignificant. I realize how unreasonable that sounds, but I also realize how unreasonable it is to attempt to keep the spice rack in alphabetical order. Doesn’t stop me from doing it.

3. Kids are fun.

Seriously, it’s kind of a drag being a grownup. Holidays and special events are dull. Life is an endless cycle of responsibility and boring chores (feed self, feed cats, pay bills, worry about money, clean house). And although I do occasionally color a picture or blow some bubbles, the zest is gone. Having children would mean feeling excited again about Christmas morning and birthdays and playing games and taking trips to fun places.

See what I mean? Don’t you remember how everything was awesome and entertaining when you were a kid? How much you looked forward to stuff? I do, but now I’m just old and curmudgeonly. I need some youthful enthusiasm around here before I turn into a grinch.

4. The warm fuzzies.

I have a husband and a family (not to mention four cats) I care very much for, and they all bring me a good deal of joy and fulfillment. But I know that parents feel a totally unique kind of love for their children—a feeling that no other experience in the world can give. I want that, even though I know I’d be trading sanity and time and energy and peace and independence for it (and also in spite of the fact that my reasons-to-not-have-kids list is actually longer than this one ::nervous laugh::). The heart wants what the heart wants, amirite?

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