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August 28, 2012

Nobody told me everyone was getting pregnant

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Written by: Hayley Rafner

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When I was in middle school, I sat in my life science class and watched a video of a woman giving birth. It was supposed to be informative while educating us about the cycle of life and how we came into this world, but I think it scarred me for life. I never thought I would look at anyone the same way again. Not only was the birth totally and completely gross, but the video had to have been at least 20 years old, and, well, you remember grooming standards in the ‘80s.

Almost 10 years later, I can confidently say I feel the exact same way now about giving birth as I did then: horrified. If that video wasn’t supposed to be informative, it must have been our first form of subliminal contraception. I know with full confidence in my almost-22-year-old life, the thought of rearing a child is not only completely and totally blasphemous for too many logical reasons to count, but like, ew.

To be completely blunt, I don’t even have my life together. Sure, I just moved into a super cute apartment in North Park and I have a decent retail job. I also have a really good relationship with my parents and the best friends I could ever imagine. But sometimes I’m sitting pretty with $34 in my bank account to last me a week and a half. I’m not responsible. I’m not mature. I laugh at really stupid jokes. (Did you hear the one about the pizza? Nevermind, it’s too cheesy). I fall in love at least three times a day and I spend most of my time trying to keep up with the Kardashians.

Basically, what I’m saying is I can barely live my life as a successful young adult; so how am I supposed to bring a child into it? Besides, one key factor missing from the equation is a man. My feeling toward most of the male population of San Diego is simple: this city is filled with frat boy, Pacific Beach jerks. I couldn’t even fathom having a coffee, much less a romantic encounter, with even 1 percent of them.

I think if the generation I’m a part of is known for one thing, it’s breaking boundaries. I wish I could say I was talking about boundaries that actually mattered. It’s not boundaries of medicine or science. We aren’t discovering new planets or curing cancer. We’re breaking social boundaries. We’re killing social norms. We’re wearing slutty clothes when we’re teenagers, we’re caking on makeup fresh out of middle school and we’re having sex and getting drunk when we’re freshman in high school.

Now, I say “we” as the “royal we.” I never did any of that. My mom wouldn’t let me wear makeup until I was 16 and I had my first sip of alcohol (which I didn’t even like) when I was 17 while I was hanging out with my older friends. Every night after dinner I played H.O.R.S.E. with my stepdad in the cul-de-sac outside our house. I liked spending my Saturday nights having sushi with my dad instead of hanging out with friends and being an idiot.

I know I’m not weird. I know I’m not the only person like this. But it doesn’t matter because every time I log into Facebook and scroll through my newsfeed, six more people I went to high school with are pregnant. I sit there and think to myself how this can even be possible when the only thing on my mind is whether or not wearing glittery eye shadow during the day is socially acceptable.

How can people my age be ready to have kids? How can the lack of a steady relationship not factor into whether or not having a baby is a good idea? And why is Instagraming a picture of yourself holding your positive pregnancy test (complete with a duckface) allowed? These are the moms of the future.

The moms who will dress their babies like hipsters. The moms who will get stupid tattoos about being moms. The moms who will single-handedly create a generation of too-young mothers raising their kids to be just like them.

Meanwhile I’ll be sitting at home sleeping until noon, being irresponsible and wasting my money on leopard jeans while they’re all out buying diapers and wondering where their golden years went.

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About the Author

Hayley Rafner





 
 

 
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