(This was published in Times of India Crest)
I am not a mother. And because I am 40, married and a woman I get to have many conversations with people, mostly parents, who out of the goodness of their hearts feel they must step in and let me know that, despite my advanced age, it is not too late to change the outcome of my miserable, lonely, directionless life.
“Rads you should have one kid! AT LEAST ONE! You will make such a great mom.”
While this is a nice thing to say it is sadly rubbish.
First of all no one knows if anyone will be a ‘great mother’, whatever that even means. Secondly, I can’t get too excited about that compliment; it’s a job that needs no real qualifications, and one that 16 year olds without high school diplomas have been doing all over the world. And last but not least, has anyone EVER told a woman she would make a bad mother? Can you even imagine saying the words, even if they were true? Just try it – try telling a woman that she is a bad mom and watch her tsunami your ass off the planet. The only thing worse is telling her she is a bad, fat mother. People are supposed to tell women we would make good mothers, it’s an unwritten rule. Because if they don’t tell us that we would all stop having kids and there would be no people left.
Motherhood is a rough game. I understand the unbridled joy of watching your child walk, speak and wipe his own bottom for the very first time, but in-between all that is a lot of hard labor that I am personally not inclined to. The truth is I am a shallow, shell of a person who wants a life with as little responsibility as humanly possible and so, while I don’t think I want to be a mother, what I wouldn’t mind being is a father.
Think about it, a dad has it all. For one thing he does not have to get pregnant, he doesn’t have to sacrifice the joys of drugs and alcohol for the requisite amount of time it takes to bake a baby. He can go out and get shit-faced and not worry that some little girl is going to have a hand sticking out of her head because of alcohol poisoning. If men had to quit smoking, drinking and drugging for even just the 9 months it takes to grow a kid – never mind the whole run up to getting pregnant and then the breast feeding time after wards – just the 9 months – you watch, we’d have a lot fewer kids running around.
Then there is maternal guilt that no father is ever going to have to deal with. As a dad no one will ever judge you unless you mess things up big time, and by that I mean you need to really go out of your way to be a prick. There needs to be alcoholism, wife-beating, cheating, or jail for someone to call you a bad dad. For the mothers on the other hand not giving your kid her cough medicine on time makes you unworthy.
Do you think working dads sit around at work worrying about how they can get back home in time to play with the kids, help with their homework, feed them, bathe them and put them to bed so that the child feels loved and won’t turn in to junkie, pole dancing, anorexic? No – of course not! And you know why? Because the moms already have that covered. These women are damned if they do and damned it they don’t. They have advice coming at them from everywhere, their friends, mothers, sisters, mothers-in-law, blogs, websites, magazines, and books. Everyone thinks they know how it’s done and they keep heaping more pain and aggravation on the moms of the world.
And finally my favorite part of being a dad – you can become fat and bald and no one will ever say ‘wow he really let himself go after the baby’. Look around you. Where are the hot dads?
Thanks to my close association with many mothers I have been forced in to several children’s birthday parties and there are always a bunch of hot moms, being all hot and sexy for the kids and the other moms – you know the type – the ones who smugly managed to knock off all the baby weight and wear tight t-shirts, tucked INTO their jeans, “Oh my god, after Suhaila the weight just came off, no problem at all. I am very lucky like that! See!” Loads of hot mommies, but no hot dads. Instead we have a bunch of middle-aged guys in those awful dad-sandals and flappy shorts, swilling beer and not even trying to hold in their gut.
Do you have any idea what I would give for that life?