That is the question. There’s nothing like babysitting to remind you of why those birth control pills have been your best friend for 10 years… and that was my exact experience. With my husband, I’ve been about 50/50 on having a child with him or not. Yes, I would love a little him running around, seeing who the kid looks more like, doing the process how it’s “supposed to be”. The thought of actually being excited for a positive test, wanting him to have the full dad experience, wanting to share that with him… all those are awesome and things I never had with my son. BUT… I babysat for his brother recently, and it was pure hell. A few hours with them, and I was done: patience GONE, sanity GONE, love-approach GONE. I had told the 4-year-old not to draw on anything but the sidewalk with the sidewalk chalk. Well, she sneaks to a plastic tube on the playground and draws all over it. I go to her and say, “I told you not to draw on anything but the sidewalk. Give me the chalk.” As my hand is there for her to put the chalk in, she looks at my hand and chucks the chalk out of a hole in the plastic tube. No. I’m all for having fun, but I couldn’t handle the blatant disrespect, so I tapped her leg, let’s call it a love tap. Then, I asked her a question that most kids can’t answer, “Why did you throw that when I asked you to hand it to me?” And she actually responded (complete with shocked look on her face), “Because you’re not my mom.” To which I responded, “You’re exactly right, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore what I ask you to do.” SO, basically, in moments of stress, I went right back to my old parenting style. Is that style wrong? Who knows. I’m sure there are opinions from many sides; however, from the majority of what I’ve seen, this kid is more animal than human. So, this leaves me wondering… nature or nurture? If nature, is this what I’d be dealing with if we decide to procreate? After this 3 hour experience, I’m now about 20/80 with the percentage in favor of not having another kid. I’m just like… my son is now in the double digits. I’ve made so much progress. We’d be starting over completely. I was just starting to warm up to the idea. Fortunately, my thoughts today don’t have to be set in stone for the rest of my life, so let’s see how long it takes me to shake off the PTSD from this babysitting gig.
Hurtful truth: Husbands… don’t volunteer your wife to babysit someone’s kids if you want her to have another child.