The Joys of Being a Wine Aunt and Why Having Kids Can Wait

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t necessarily dislike kids in general.

There are certainly some little hellions out in the world that get under my skin, but my opinion of children at large is neutral. There are kids I’d give both of my kidneys to, kids that I’d do backflips for (that’s a big deal. I’ve never done a backflip before), and kids I’d run a mile over hot coals for; HOWEVER, I’d sell all my molars on the black market before having one of my own. 

At least, that’s how I feel at the moment. All such feelings are subject to change. I anticipate wanting children eventually, just not now…or in the near future…

The best advice I ever received on the topic was from my dad, who, after suffering the consequences of fathering five children, offered me this little nugget of wisdom: 

“You shouldn’t have kids until you cannot imagine your life without them. Save parenthood for a time when you feel like it will do nothing but add to your happiness – when you won’t mind how drastically and fundamentally kids change everything about your life.” 

I’m lucky enough to have parents who care much more about my personal fulfillment in life than satiating some primal urge to see the family legacy go on for another generation, so I never experienced the intrusive demands and external pressure to pop out a mini-me that many (I’d even say most) young adults receive from their parents and relatives. Maybe that’s why I feel this way now. 

The bottom line is that I’m selfish, and I don’t want to share the time, energy, and money currently allocated to my interests and pleasures with a tiny human being that will entirely depend upon me to keep it alive. I don’t want that kind of responsibility, and I’m afraid of unintentionally causing permanent damage to a helpless creature. I think kids deserve better than whatever I can give them at this point in my life. And I understand that lots of kids are born to parents who aren’t ready for them, and those parents often pull themselves together fabulously, but I would rather not take the risk.

I will be the first to admit that I am very privileged to have access to multiple forms of contraceptives that I can use at once, so there’s really no excuse for me to not do everything in my power to have kids at a time when I can offer them the most.

In the meantime, I have so many plans that just aren’t baby-friendly, and the life I lead right now is characterized by the most fantastic sensations of freedom and spontaneity. My boyfriend and I talk about all the trips we want to take, all the restaurants we want to try, etc., etc… and we’re at this magical point in our lives when we can just get up and go when we want. Just today, we spent the entire day flying by the seat of our pants, rolling on a vibe. We slept in, tried a new lunch spot, got coffee from my favorite café, window shopped at Perkins Rowe, saw “The Little Mermaid” (which was fantastic, btw), and ended the day at the outlet mall, where I spent entirely too much money on myself. Because I can.

I’m happy this way. I love being able to pick up and go whenever I want without having to make arrangements, hire a babysitter, and sweep the mom-guilt under the rug just to enjoy a weekend with my friends, with my boyfriend, or by myself. I’ve settled so neatly into my prestigious position of ‘wine aunt’ that sometimes I feel like the title was made just for me. And I’ll tell you what, there are few things in this life that are more epic than strutting into the family function with presents for my Godson in one hand and a bottle of pinot noir in the other.

I guess the point of this post is that people should be selfish when it comes to starting their families. Take as much time for yourself as you need because kids are a life-long commitment, and they come with earth-shattering consequences that are both profoundly beautiful and terrifying. At no point am I saying that children aren’t precious and worthy of the moon and stars, but you should have them because you intend to love them until the day you die, not because your old-ass family members want a new baby to coddle.

Life is short. Spoil yourself for as long as you want to. It will benefit everyone in the end.