Why I’m just not into babies (and I’ve got one!)

Guest post by Razor
I Suck onsie by Etsy seller SmarteesbyMaria
I Suck onsie by Etsy seller SmarteesbyMaria

I am blessed to have a beautiful, healthy 18 month old daughter whom I love to the ends of the earth. I would do or sacrifice anything for her physical, emotional, and social well-being. And I show her a lot of love and affection. But I’m just not into being a mum with a baby. I certainly don’t let my baby define who I am as a person.

I haven’t been particularly gushy or boasting about milestones and cute baby stuff as much as the other mums I know. I’m not really into other people’s babies either.

Maybe it’s because I am an only child so never had the experience of having a new baby in the house and growing up with another child. Perhaps another fact is that I had never had a lot of experience with babies prior to having my own. Another contributing reason could be that when I was introduced to my 3 step-children, and started to care for them, they were already school-age and nearly-school aged so again I didn’t have the experience of being used to being around babies.

Never the less, these factors would not be the only reasons why I’m just not the “baby type.” I just have never been particularly clucky about babies, except for my own sometimes.

Think about it… Babies are kind of cute but useless. Sometimes they are down right gross, with all of their over-sharing of bodily fluids. They fill your heart with love but just kind of sit/crawl/toddle around, and make lots of noise and mess — both physical and emotional mess. (At this point I would like to acknowledge parents with all kinds of special needs children — Of course, every milestone is a world of achievement when you are experiencing, caring for, and loving a child who has difficulty reaching them.)

I am really looking forward to being a parent of a child whom I can have discussions about life with. So like… from about six years old onwards I guess? I can’t wait to teach her what I know to be true about life so far and support her to grow into a passionate, empathetic, assertive, confident woman. I look at some mothers relationships with their school-aged daughters– observing the sometimes-dysfunctional love, misunderstood intentions and lack of communication — and wonder if perhaps they hadn’t had much forethought about how their relationships with their child would be as opposed to caring for an infant or toddler.

I, too, no doubt, will experience what it’s like to struggle with the transition from baby to young child to older child. I am already starting to feel it. And I am by no means saying it will be an easy transition, but I hope I can embrace the journey with love and an open mind, knowing that it is important to put myself in her shoes and remember what it was like growing up.

But I fully admit that I am excited to one day be done with the nappies, snot, and sippy cups, and reach the point where I can really watch my baby girl flourish into a beautiful young woman.

Any other parents feel a similarly? I’d love to hear from those who may understand where I’m coming from.

Comments on Why I’m just not into babies (and I’ve got one!)

  1. Totally feel ya – one on the way, and I feel like I’m some alien species because I’m not losing my mind over how exciting a baby is.

    • I’m here with you. I’m due in November and very excited to eventually have a 2+ year old. I’m hoping I’ll like my own kid better than most babies (and I’m sure I’ll love him or her), but I’ve always preferred kids who can walk and talk to infants, and I don’t really expect that to change.

  2. I’m a mom of a 10 year old, and I have LOVED the past 7 years. The first 3? They were okay, but once she could talk and have a full on personality and some independence? That’s when parenthood became awesome.

    My spouse & I always talk about how if we could get another child when they’re 3+ years old, we would totally do it and would have way more kids.

    • You totally can!! You can adopt! Kids who aren’t babies are often the hardest to get adopted, sadly.

      • I’ve heard that adoptions are really expensive (like $30,000). We would love grow our family by by adopting a healthy older child (realistically, I don’t think we have the capability to take care of a sick one, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone), but if it is as expensive as we hear, I don’t think we could.

        • So happy you brought that up- it’s a common misconception. A *private* adoption (usually of a newborn) is often very expensive- and more expensive if you adopt a baby from abroad, since that includes a lot of travel.

          HOWEVER… adopting from the US system, particularly an older child, is not only FREE, but you actually get FREE HEALTHCARE for the child until he/she turns 18. In some cases, you may also get a living stipend for the child (for instance, if you’re fostering until the adoption is final, or if the child requires significant medical care outside the norm). Adopting a child through the state is certainly more time-consuming than a private adoption, but I assure you it is free (most states will reimburse you for your home study visit)- and you also get to write off a huge amount on your taxes the year after you adopt- I believe it’s currently $13,000.

          Just sayin’!!!! <3

          • That sounds good. Do you have any references or websites that would be helpful for someone interested in getting started? We would love for our child to have a sibling, and for us to parent another child; but I don’t even know where to start!

          • Yes, I’d love to read a full post on this! Any info on domestic adoption (if that’s the name for adopting from the US system) for infants, too. I’m clueless.

          • I see that some of you were interested in adopting kids from the United States child welfare system. Here is the link I found very helpful while researching this process- you can also search “Adopt (Your state here) kids” and you should also find resources.
            http://www.adoptuskids.org/for-families/how-to-adopt

            Hopefully that helps!

            This is such a great conversation. I would much rather adopt older kids than have my own- I feel confidant I have the skills and ability to connect with older kids who can communicate, even taking into consideration the trauma and struggles they would be handling having come from the foster system. Babies… eh. I could handle babies. Toddlers horrify me. They can’t reason, but they can run into the road, and hurt their siblings, and they are perpetually sticky, loud, and spreading mess everywhere. It’s like my worst nightmare. I didn’t like other kids when I *was* a kid. However, my particular family unit is polyamorous, and I don’t think we could roll that by the foster and adoption crew without getting blacklisted, so adopting an older kid (or kids) is sadly unlikely. I am married, but our third partner would be the primary caregiver if we were to take on the whole kids concept. I know that if I were to stay home I would be resentful and unhappy, and the money I make is less than we would have to pay a nanny for child care. We might try and have a kid in the next five years or so- I would have the first one, and our partner would have the second one. We would raise them as siblings. But first, we will see how we all co-habitate for the next couple of years!

      • I would just like to add though (as a total adoption advocate), please do not adopt children just because you think it will be “cool” to have an older child. Older children come with backstories that can, and often will, define their lives. They may have behaviors that seem inappropriate for their age. They have experienced loss—there is no adoption without loss. I am 100% pro-adoption and have personally traveled down that road and had a fundraising organization and helped 9 kids find families. But you have to go into it with an appropriate mindset. If you’re adopting an older child, it won’t be exactly like raising a birth child at that same age. (I’m not sure if that last sentence made sense, what I mean is, when your kid who you gave birth to is 9, an adopted 9 year old may not act the same as them.)

  3. See I’m the eldest of 4 girls but I was only 5 when my youngest sister was born. However my mum was a young mum so alot of her friends didn’t have babies until I was 5-12 so I did get alot of exposure to babies but I wasn’t expected to look after them. I alway thought this is why I’m not overly excited about them, that I saw the reality early on or I was jealous of my mum’s attention on the babies. I certainly didn’t like being one of 4 growing up.
    I don’t think there’s a formula for liking babies or not. There may be some biological explanations – maybe we’re less maternal or have less estrogen or something. All I know is my 2nd sister loves them and I have an almost phobia of them – why do they always cry around me?!
    Older children are fun though, I don’t get the people who love babies but have no patience with a 5 year old.

  4. Well said! This right here is why I always thought I’d have a child:

    “I can’t wait to teach her what I know to be true about life so far and support her to grow into a passionate, empathetic, assertive, confident woman.”

    Yes!!

    But once my husband and I got married and realized that, wow, we could go ahead and have that kid any day now, reality set in. It sounds awful, but we find babies to be repulsive. Contrary to what everyone insists, they smell terrible. They are moist and sticky. They would stand between us and our crazy, exhilarating, creative careers. And the sleep we need in order to be successful and creative.

    Oddly, we are thrilled to rescue and foster sick and needy animals, but we cannot stomach babies. So I guess we shouldn’t. 🙂 We are okay with that.

    • What about rescuing and fostering sick and needy children who aren’t babies? Tons of them in the system 🙂

      • Morgan, you need pompoms 🙂 I love your posts cheering for kids in the system.

    • This really echoes how I felt after getting married too! Like, in theory I maybe wanted to have a kid, but once I got married I was like “Eff that!”

      However, after 10 years together and 7 years of marriage the time is right for us, and we are expecting in July. Now I see having a kid as our next adventure together!

  5. Never enjoyed babies and don’t plan on having any, but re: the age when you can have conversations, I’ve found that 3 or 4 is when it starts to get really fun. Their brains light up like christmas trees and they pick up everything. I love teaching kids new words and ideas, and explaining life to them (like, “Sorry dude, you won’t be able to drive a car for another 13 years, but then you can help your mom with grocery shopping all by yourself, and you can make money, and buy as much Gogurt and Legos as you want!” Mind blowing.) I love conversing with a sweet 4 year old. So funny and curious. Babies make my teeth hurt when they cry, and give me anxiety when I don’t know how to help them. I really don’t enjoy the company of humans who can’t verbalize.

  6. Ha, i don’t think there’s a set of conditions determining whether you like babies or not. I’ve never understood people who are so enthusiastic about every single thing their icky, grizzly, incredibly dependant… no thats not for me. The idea of pregnancy really freaks me out as well (not to mention makes me dysphoric) and I can’t imagine having a Baby, props to people who enjoy that but I don’t think I could. If I ever do have dreams or imagine children they’re always older, whether that older is three or twenty three varies but babies never ever feature. Funnily enough, I often look after other people’s children and I seem to be pretty damn good at it- and its pretty amazing once their head for language just clicks into place – so much so that people have suggested I make a career of it but it just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe years down the line I will adopt (my future hubby has a host of genetic conditions we both agree shouldn’t be passed on so adopting would work) or maybe i just, won’t have kids. I’m good with that.

  7. I’m completely the other way around. I love babies and toddlers, they’re adorable and easy to entertain. But I have absolutely no idea what to do with children between the ages of, say, 5 and 15. What do you say to them? What do you talk to them about? They don’t know stuff, they don’t understand stuff, they’re not interested in the same stuff as I am, they want to argue, they often have little or no common sense… and so on.

  8. Holy cow; this could not have been a more perfect post for my birthday as it describes me exactly. I have an amazing, funny, smart 2.5 year old but I am still excited for when he’s about five and can really start having interesting, deeper conversations (for whatever reason I see age 5 as kind of magical).

    As far as other people’s babies, nope. Sorry. I don’t like playdates (though I’ll do them for his benefit since he’ll likely be an only child… largely for the reasons you describe). I don’t do babysitting (my husband is the more-than-capable babysitter for our friends’ children). And I don’t particularly feel like I’m part of Mom Culture. And I’m more than okay with that.

  9. I wanted to address one part of this post specifically – “[I] wonder if perhaps they hadn’t had much forethought about how their relationships with their child would be”. As the parent of a 4 year old, I’m starting to get an inkling about what some of the struggles of having an older, more independent child might be, and for me at least, too MUCH forethought is looking like more of the problem. Although I thought a lot about before I had kids about what I wanted my relationship with my children to be like when they were older, the one thing I have no control over is who they actually are. The gap between parenting the child of my imagination and parenting the child who’s in front of me is the hardest part.

  10. I totally understand where you’re coming from. My daughter is 18 months old as well, and I’m finally starting to kind of enjoy being a mom. She starting to talk and her personality it really starting to show, but I’m really ready to get through the toddler phase. I’m absolutely dreading potty training.

    I’ve also come to realize that I really don’t like children unless I know them on a personal level. I love my daughter, and I love my nieces and nephews, but for the most part I don’t like other children. Granted, I don’t really like other children’s parents either.

    I hated being pregnant too. I felt fat, ugly, and I was tired the entire time. I was nauseous, but couldn’t throw up. I swelled up like a balloon. I was moody and miserable, and I was always hot. I do want another child, but it won’t be until my daughter is older, and I definitely won’t be having anymore biological children. I’ll be going the route of adoption when I finally decide I’m ready for more children.

  11. I sure hope you like negotiating! I sometimes long for the simplicity of making everything right just by changing a diaper…

    Mom of an assertive confidant out-going eight-year-old girl, who despite the “sometimes-dysfunctional love, misunderstood intentions and lack of communication” in dealing with a grade-schooler, has a really close-knit relationship to her. However, my child is not a mini-adult to talk philosophy with, and my role is not to be my child’s friend: I am her Mom. My role and yours, as parents, is to teach them and yes, they will fight you as you have clearly witnessed.

    I would really appreciate a follow-up post in, say, five years.

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