Spring is peeking its lovely head from behind the big, broad backside of Old Man Winter, and we’re all anticipating some sort of something to look forward to in the warm weather months. Eva Longoria, who split from her dead weight (and rather weird looking, if you ask me) hubby Tony Parker back in the beginning of the year, said that spring fever is giving her baby fever. So to speak.
She ain’t the only one. I’ve been catching myself hovering around the infant and toddler department in Target, smelling fresh packs of Pampers, and awww-ing over every teeny tiny sock, shoe, or onesie on the sales floor.
There’s just one eensy teensy issue: we’re both single. As in not married (me, I’ve never been and the former Mrs. Parker over there is a has-been). Which begs the burning question: should women who aren’t married make an executive decision to have a baby anyway?
My knee-jerk reaction is to say heck micky flicky no, real attitude-y and sassy-like. Single parenthood is hard. Hard. As in extremely difficult. There’s no one to help balance out the thousand and one demands of running a household and a little person who by far surpasses you in importance. You’re flying solo in the finances. You’re the only go-to person for pick-ups from afterschool practices, the sole contact for parent-teacher meetings, the lone caretaker if Baby Girl or Boy Child falls ill and needs a lap to lay in or a shoulder to barf on. There’s no switching duty. You’re on, all the time, 24/7. This is the glamorous life of single motherhood.
So why would someone knowingly sign up for it?
It’s one thing to make a bad, condom-less decision that leads to a bundle of joy. I don’t regret having my daughter at all, even though I was barely old enough to take care of myself when I got pregnant. Still, I was in 4th grade health when Mrs. Baker dropped the bomb about what happens when an egg and a sperm get together to party. I made the conscious choice to have sex without protection and ta da! I had me a baby.
But I’ll tell you what: I wouldn’t make that move again. I miss having a cuddly infant, and I do want another one — especially now that that first beautiful baby is a stretched out Tween Starlet. The desire to dive back into 3 a.m. feedings, a gatrillion poopy diapers a day, and trying to translate 50 different types of cries does run deep, but I would never subject myself up to becoming a second round baby mama just for the sake of bearing another bundle of joy.
And I wouldn’t recommend it for anybody else either, whether you can afford a nanny like Eva or your biological clock is ticking louder than Big Ben. It’s not only a hard road to travel as a mother, it’s unfair to the child whose mama willingly created them without having a dad in the house to be there to support and cheerlead and encourage and discipline them, too.
Parenting is a team sport, for those of us who have learned — the hard way, through divorce, death, or deadbeat-ism — how valuable a mom and dad duo really is. So next time around, I want a husband. I’m going to have someone to nudge in bed when an infant holla breaks the silence of our house in the wee hours of the morning. He’ll share diaper duty and the excitement of potty training, babysitting responsibility, and the joys of being freshly dressed only to have a bodily fluid or perhaps, if he’s lucky, some pudding or a gooey cookie, mushed all over his dapperness. He’ll be loving and nurturing and interactive with our little sweet pea.
With no prospect for a relationship in sight, some of my real-life homegirls — and apparently even desperate housewives — are threatening to make the procreation process into something like a business deal. Nothing says romance like adding a calendar appointment to your iPhone so that you and a dude can use your ovulation period to get the baby making going. But I still think, no matter how trendy un-nuclear families may be, that there's something to be said for the traditional equation of mom + dad + baby.
Should single women make plans to have children, even with no marriage prospects on the frontier?
Image via ellasportfolio/Flickr