The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



During the 2022 Shave for the Brave event, members of the community volunteer to shave their heads in support of the fight against pediatric cancer. Photo by Gabe Meyers.
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February 22, 2024

I’m never having kids

Illustration by Nate Garcia.

Many people I know fawn over small children and babies, saying that they can’t wait ‘til they have one, but if you’re like me, you can’t wait to not have one.

Babies are gross. They smell weird and make messes anywhere they go. Whenever some mom with her maternity shirt from the JC Penney sale rack has her fifth kid, everyone melts over the baby’s smell. Babies don’t smell good. In fact, I think foul odor may be a better description than smell. Maybe, to some chemically imbalanced people, infants smell like roses and vanilla. But in reality, they smell like spoiled milk and dirty diapers. Not once in my nearly 15 years of being have I sniffed a baby’s head and thought to myself, “Huh, I wish I had a candle that smells just like this!”

The mess that these little creatures make with everything they cross paths with is unbelievable. You can’t leave them with anything valuable to you. Want to entertain them with your phone? After they’re through with it, not only will they act like you are taking their last parcel of food during the Great Depression, it will from that day on, have an inexplicable stickiness on the screen.

Feeding babies becomes a whole thing on its own. They hate just about anything that is placed in front of them except the worshiped baby super food: plain Cheerios. When someone offers them any other food besides cereal, they just scream and cry.

Nothing in this world pains me more than hearing an infant cry. And not in a maternal and caring way, but that I would give up my kidney to cease the perpetual wails. Being in a confined area with a child who, for no valid reason, decided to sob, can be hellish. Then you see the obviously frazzled mother gazing around, frantically apologizing, and you feel obligated to make eye contact and nod in solace.

Speaking of other people’s kids, I never know what to say when they ask me to hold their kids. I promise you, 10 out of 10 times, if asked, I will refuse to hold your kid. I have no problem making eye contact, but it makes me so indescribably uncomfortable when a baby looks at me. They just have this blank stare on their faces that is so hollow and vacuous. Mothers often assume that since I’m a teenage girl, I want to hold their kid and smother them in compliments. Yet, I would rather be up Schitt’s Creek without a paddle than tell Karen how cute the little alien is.

Infants are chubby and loud. Essentially, it’s one of the weirdest phenomenons that people can look at them and say “cute!” It puzzles me. They are rotund and look as extraterrestrial as possible. It appears unfathomable as to how their brains are hardwired to be dazed in the presence of the tots.

“Eleanor, you were a baby, too!” Yes, I was. And that part of my life is not something I am proud of. I didn’t ask to be a baby. My parents decided to have me, I did not decide to be born.

“Money can’t buy happiness,” said philosopher Rousseau, but to quote a wise woman, Ariana Grande, “happiness is the same price as red bottoms.” Not only do you have to pay for having a kid, thanks non-universal healthcare, but then you have to buy them other things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t feed and house your kids, but when I’m older I will not be spending around $14,000 per year, according to CBS, on a child. However, my five dogs will be incredibly spoiled.

I’m not super confident, nor am I someone who looks like they belong at fashion week, but I really would not be that person if I had a kid. Don’t get me wrong, some women look great pregnant and have this maternal glow. With my luck I’d look like a Beluga whale.

However, the thing that irks me most about babies, is that everyone assumes, just because I’m a girl that I have to have one. Not to go all ‘feminist agenda’ but I think that that comes off so rude and sexist. When I say something along those lines, it becomes this travesty and an act of egocentrism, but when my brother does, it’s accepted.

Every time, at some family event, I will say “I’m never going to have kids.” Someone who drinks one too many glasses of red wine chimes in saying one, or more, of the following: “Oh don’t say that”, “That’s selfish!”, “You say that now, but I know you’ll change your mind!”, or my personal favorite, “That’s what I said and now I have five!”

It’s as if I insult all of my ancestors before me when I speak those words, according to Aunt Cindy, who ignored me for the rest of the Thanksgiving evening when I said I’m not having kids.

Babies are the way that life begins for all of us. This isn’t me saying not to have kids or you must share the same views as I do; pursue your path of happiness! Whether it be babies, dogs, pigeons, whatever, you do you. But please, for the sake of all of us, do not show me any baby pictures when the time comes.

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About the Contributor
Eleanor Creelman, Former Staff Writer
Eleanor is currently a staff writer on The Stinger; her favorite aspect is getting to know a diverse range of members in the community through interviews. Besides The Stinger, she cheers for the high school, is a senator in the Student Government Association, writes for Collage Magazine, participates in Latin club, and is a member of the National Honor Society. Eleanor is a people person and is always making time to see her friends in between school, work, and naps. As for hobbies, she loves going to the gym, learning about astrology, wearing cowboy hats, reading tarot cards, and napping.

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I’m never having kids