Back in the day, we picked up a very drunk guy in the ambulance. (Actually, this was back in nearly all the days. Ambulancing is a drunktastic field.) I was driving and my partner was in back, when the drunk guy suddenly yelled very loudly at my partner: "You're a breeder! BREEDER! I bet you have twenty babies! BREEDER! B...R...E...E...E...DUR!"
Then he fell silent, leaving me and my (childless, as if it even matters) partner to contemplate the strange ways of the world.
Anyway. I was idly (idly! IDLY!!) pondering the concept, as we talked in the ER today about seeing a pregnant 15-year-old and a pregnant 50-year-old on the same day, of what breeding would be like.
-Excuse to participate in kid activities again.
-Sort of cute-ish, at certain stages, if you get a cute one.
-Opportunity to indoctrinate a human mind.
-Theoretically sort of a fun relationship project.
-Passes on amazing genetics for super-intelligence.
-Opportunity to find out what breastmilk tastes like, try ice cream and cheese recipes.
-Parents may enjoy grandparent role; would certainly shut up about it, at least.
-Creates "family," whatever exactly that means.
-Opportunity to practice high-minded notions of childhood autonomy and personhood.
-Would be totally awesome, dude, to do in utopian poly commune context where the kid would totally be raised by a village, dude.
-Some sort of magical joy thing I couldn't possibly understand.
-Enters my legacy into the human race for all time, sort of, maybe, if you want to do it that way.
-No takey backsies.
-Birthing process unspeakably horrifying.
-Costs infinity dollars.
-Totally unfeasible with current housing and work situations. Also many likely future housing and work situations.
-Finding care for guinea pigs over vacation hassle enough. Apparently children are not supposed to be left at home for even like ten minutes? DEAL. BREAKER.
-Genetics other than super-intelligence not so amazing.
-Child likely to rebel against my righteous indoctrination.
-Poor track record with cacti (RIP Spike), goldfish (RIP John, Paul, George, Ringo), gerbils (RIP Salt, Sugar), geckos (RIP Baby Geck), hermit crabs (RIP... large bucket of dead crabs).
-During certain stages of socialization, child will be either tormented outcast or horrible little fascist.
-Big mess of patriarchal associations and obligations taken on with "mother" role.
-High-minded notions of childhood autonomy and personhood prone to sudden, catastrophic collapse first time child acts like unreasonable little shithead.
-Difficult to explain poly/BDSM to six-year-old. Impossible to explain to thirteen-year-old.
-No magical feeling of internal, intrinsic desire for children.
On balance, childbearing and rearing seems like an interesting little adventure, but not something I really want to shape my whole life around. If I were more assured that I could have kids on the side and still basically be me, I might consider it, but as things stand, it seems like that's--financially, socially, culturally, practically--just not possible.
Maybe what I really feel is that I might want kids, but I wouldn't want to be a mother. I'm just too damn selfish. I know my own life is limited and I want to just enjoy the hell out of it, and if that's a character flaw--fuck, better that I recognize it before I inflict it on some helpless little kid, right?