michael and i used to joke that we weren't going to have kids until we could afford to pay someone else to take care of them (at the rate we are going, we'll be ready that financial obligation about the time i hit menopause). i have always anticipated working outside the home and raising a family, but i wonder sometimes about what it would be like to raise children full-time.

this week i did a trial run when i babysat my niece stella.* stella is the perfect baby: she doesn't cry, she doesn't fuss, and to top it all off, if there were such a thing as america's next top model baby edition, i'm pretty sure she'd would clean up.

so there i was, with the perfect baby. the only problem is that i was bored out of my tree.

don't tell her mom this, but i probably let her nap longer than she should, just because i didn't know what to do with her when she woke up. what do you do with a one year old?

according to my mom, you should read books to one year olds to help develop their language skills. i looked through stella's books and decided that i'd let her nap a little longer because i'd rather read my book of short stories by anton chekhov than her book of stories about a little pony (ponies freak me out).

if stella has delayed language skills, i accept partial responsibility. the idiots who write books for babies (that make adults want to chew glass) are also culpable.

my adventures in babysitting tell me a couple of things about myself:

1. i might not be up for the riggers of full-time motherhood.
2. i might not really be a baby person.
3. i am selfish as all get out

people say it is different when they are your own kids. it might be, but it might not, which is why we diligently put money into a nanny fund every month.

i have all the time in the world for women who stay home and raise their children....but are there people like me out there? people who maybe just aren't that into babies, or who don't want to look after their kids full time, or who think ponies are weird?!? tell me i'm not alone!

*oh and in the interest of full disclosure, i only watched her for four hours. it was enough.


Abbie said...

Ha ha! You are so funny. I had to watch a friend's baby about 3 months before I had Ella and I was counting down the minutes until they came home. Not because he was a difficult baby but simply because I was bored and wanted to get back to my life.

Trust me, I wasn't into babies and I'm still not. I still don't hold babies and think, Oh, I want another one. Instead I think, man, I'm glad I can sleep through the night! :)

I don't want to look after Ella full time but still struggle about what I do want. I have no idea. Ponies are weird but what's weirder is that you're afraid of them. :)

Am I a terrible mom for feeling the way I do? Probably not. I accept how I feel (most of the time). You'll be fine once you decide to have your own. Trust me. I was like you and I'm fine. I think.

Alan said...

It's different when it's your kid... you'll see Mercedes, you are going to be a great mom when you choose the time is right. And your children will be very stylishly dressed to boot.

When my brother's son used to come around and wanted watch barney or some similar crap I would cringe. Now I watch wizards of waverly place when the girls are in bed... yikes, I'm one of them.

Mercedes said...

abbie: thanks so much for your comment. i am glad to know i'm not the only one who isn't gaga over babies. i keep trying to tell michael that if canada gets nationalized child care we are hightailing it back north as a matter of mental health!

alan: wizards of waverly place! oh my. you are just about as bad as me and world of warcraft. my child(s) will be stylish: mohawks, diesel jeans, tiffany's bracelets. i am also hoping for big math dorks and science nerds.

thank you both for your positive feedback....i will not be mommy dearest!

Regina said...

Okay, I get this. But I also know babysitting kids can be a lot of fun, seriously. I have been babysitting the same little family of 4 kiddies for 2.5 years now beginning when the youngest was only 8 months, I used to read her collections of Walt Whitman's poetry, Dylan Thomas and some french poets. Poems sound melodic to a baby, but for me it was reading things I love. So not bored.
I don't really think about having kids, because right now I am very happy to babysit 4-8hrs each friday and go home to my child-free apartment .
anyways, if you are ever in the need for great activities for babysitting let me know! 3 out of 4 of the kiddies are now great little chefs! The 4yr old can make chocolate chip cookies all on his own!!

Mercedes, if and when you decide to have kids you'll be a great mother, I have no doubt! Send them over here if you need a break, I'll keep them busy so you can recollect your marbles.


nikki said...

You are funny. I was always afraid of babies because I didn't know what to do with them. I was still that way with JH after he was born. I was always wondering what I should be doing with him. It's a little different now that he's 16 months... there are rarely dull moments except when the weather is bored and we are both bored out of our minds from being stuck inside all day. Kids are awesome. They aren't stupid and like doing things you are doing because they like being with you.

Bonnie Tonita White said...

I agree with Nikki - they become fascinating in such a short time. It flies by quickly. The trick always I think is to make sure that you have some time for your goals and interests each day or frequently. I ran remember? It wasn't ideal to leave you in charge so young, but trust me, it would not have been pretty if I had not.

Andrea said...

You're not alone - I found with the first I might have been bored, but by the time kid # 2 comes around it's chaos. As they get older, it's more fun too. (I've got an Iron Chef in the making ~ I love the Food Network too ;)And according to me, a book is a book, so forget pony books and bring out what you want to read.

Hope it's okay I added my 2 bits ;)