Everyone I Know Is Settling Down & Having Kids, But I Still Have 700 Pictures Of My Dog On My Phone

I’m at the age where just about all my friends are starting to get pregnant and start families. Somehow, though, I still feel like I’m a long ways away from wanting to bring kids into my life. The only “babies” I have in my life are my dogs, and this is why I’m happy to keep it that way for now:

  1. I am broke as a joke. Parents, I’m so proud of you for doing what you do, but how do you do it? No, seriously, how do you have the money to do it? I still fall on hard times where I live off of rice and canned black beans before my new paycheck hits. Am I that fiscally irresponsible? I stow money away and pay my bills on time. I only occasionally buy things for myself, but I never have money. If I brought a little nugget into this world, how could I give my little booger all they needed? And how could I work and have appropriate child care at the same time on my salary? Day care is expensive, y’all.
  2. I don’t take care of myself. This is real, and probably shameful, but it’s embarrassingly true. I haven’t been to the doctor in longer than I care to admit. Why? Because I don’t want to pay a copay for someone to tell me I need to watch my cholesterol. I can’t be the only person who doesn’t go, either. Whenever I need to go for something like birth control, they ask who your physician is, which makes me feel more guilty. I always say things like “Oh, I just moved here,” or “I still haven’t found one,” to dance around it. If I’m this bad at tending to my own health, I know I’d be horrible at taking care of a child.
  3. Newborns terrify me. I’m an aunt to six beautiful, funny, quirky boys. I held them moments after they were born, changed their diapers from that weird tar-like substance no one ever tells you about, and lotioned their little bums, so I know my way around a newborn baby. But one thing every first-time mother will tell you, I’ve learned, is that it’s completely different when it’s your kid, and that’s terrifying to me.
  4. I lose everything. And I mean everything. I routinely forget where I put my shopping cart when I’m in the store, and while I’m there, I always forget at least one item on my grocery list even though it’s written out right in front of me. I never know where my car is parked, and I’ve lost my phone on several occasions only to find it eight hours later in the refrigerator. How am I supposed to keep track of a tiny human being? Thank goodness my dogs follow me around like ducklings.
  5. I’m thoroughly enjoying being an aunt. My nephews are my whole world. They’re cute and funny and gross in all the best possible ways. They hug you when they see you, you can let them eat cake for breakfast and not have to feel too responsible for it, and at the end of the day, you can hug them tight and send them off to their loving (and increasingly more annoyed) parents. Being an aunt gives me all the fun parts about having kids without all the not-so-fun stuff that I’m just not ready to deal with.
  6. I have a fear of the…ahem…aftermath. What if I can never look at my hoo-ha again the same way? Also what if I poop myself in labor? This is a legitimate concern. As long as I’m still fearing stupid things like these, I’m clearly not ready to have kids. I never have a fear of pooping myself when I’m running with the dogs. Well, okay, I rarely have a fear of pooping myself when I’m running with the dogs.
  7. I’m still pretty selfish. That’s kind of the premise of this whole thing, right? There are still so many goals I’ve yet to accomplish. I’ve never been to Vegas, I haven’t seen Hamilton yet, and I’m still training to be a Jeopardy champion. Goals are important, and kids get in the way of them.
  8. I want to be more independent. The only expense that my parents still pay for is my phone bill. That means I’m one loose tether away from being fully emancipated from the bonds of parent-child financials. Maybe that says a lot on paper, but I still have things like “call dad to ask about taxes” and “ask mom the best way to clean the oven” penciled into my planner. I want to be able to take care of myself before I bring a kid into the mix.
  9. I still want to sweat the small stuff. Ultimately, I’m not done learning yet. I’m still learning all the big things like what a deductible really means on my insurance, how often I should get new tires, and figuring out what exactly a Roth IRA is. But I still have so much room in my life for the smaller issues, like learning how to use a sewing machine and keeping up with the laundry on a regular basis. Until I get it all figured out, I’m more than happy with just my “furry kids.”
Samantha Brown survives predominantly on a steady diet of coffee and tacos. Her dogs are named Blanton and Basil Hayden, and they're better company than most people, she argues. She is ambidextrous. You may recognize her from such publications as the New York Times, bolde.com, Blasting News, and others. When she's not writing, she's reading, running, cooking, or crafting. Follow her jumbled thought process on Instagram and Twitter @sambrown0923