I never planned on being a single parent, and, while I love my children, there are a few challenges that stand out from the rest.
I don't hate kids. I really don't. In fact I can say in full confidence that I like them. It's only once a month that I curse kids as unsocialized apes and wanna bite their digits off with my bare teeth while making grunting noises. But that's when I turn PMS Crazytown, and most of you ladies know how that is. Other than that? Kids and me... we cool, we cool.
So like almost every female will at some point, I considered my biological stats and asked myself: Whatever shall I do with my unfertilized eggs -- which I imagine are frantically screaming in Chris Rock's voice: "use me or lose me, b*tch!"
But thankfully I came to my senses and reminded myself I live in New York City, the greatest city that could convince any gal who's generally ambivalent about having kids to build a mental diaphragm of steel and clip her Fallopian tubes as easily as if she were holding her bangs back.
So for you fertile New York chicks who are kinda whatevs about children, I'd like to offer you the most inspiring and creative forms of birth control this concrete jungle has to offer. These various observations and insights have given me resolve and confidence that, by the end of my life, the only poo poo diapers I'll ever have to change will be my own or my partner's. And if I can feel this way, I'm certain you can, too.Mom carrying a stroller with her baby in it as she heaves up the subway steps.
This is one of the most exhausting and debilitating sights I've ever witnessed. It's like having a taste of the third world, as if you're on your way with your babe to a refugee camp hundreds of miles away. And if you're not being chauffeured around like the one percent, it's also a sorry reminder of your "New York poor" status (albeit "New York poor" being pretty relative).
Oh but it gets worse. As you're gasping for breath on the uphill climb, you may get the bonus experience of inhaling the fresh aromatics of urine from both man and rodent. This may spark a cycle of hate within you: you start to resent your kid for turning you into a modern slave, you then move on to hating your fellow commuters for not offering to help you out, and you realize that they in turn think you suck for slowing them down.
And an added no-no for me? The climb would make my quads get even bigger.
Mom barfing out obscenities while threatening to kill her spawn while they act like wild animals on the subway pole.
Riding the train in NYC has many health risks, which usually involve possible suffocation via the morning commute (aka "the sardine effect") or stank inhalation by a homeless dude entering your car. I've experienced both countless times and have somehow managed to survive. However, as women, I feel that the theatrics of the embittered mom and her gaggle of kids (who usually look less than one year apart) are also slow killers of the reproductive parts.
The horror scene usually goes a little something like this: The little tykes hijack the train, running from one end of the subway car to the other, while temporarily making pit stops to swing on the poles as they almost knock your teeth out. Like deja vu, embittered mom senses she's been in this situation before but her rage overtakes all rationality. Spitting out pieces of soft pretzel as her Winstons fall out of her purse, she screams bloody murder (e.g. "Shut the hell up and sit cho a$$ down before I break them legs!"), indicating she's lived a damn hard life. In response the kids often blink with immunity and proceed to cackle at her threats, while holding an open bottle of Mountain Dew as remnants of potato chips and candy fall out of their mouths.
Hearing a third grader ask his parents whether his fruit is organic and talk about how great yoga class was.
Let me put it this way: When I was in third grade, I was a latchkey kid who ate bologna slices filled with nitrates and wondered how I was going to avoid farting during my sit-ups test in P.E.
Being a precocious kid in New York is pretty much a given, but when these little joeys speak like adults (e.g. "Ugh. Stop being facetious, mom."), worry about whether Monsanto got a hold of their Granny Smiths, and can stay in tree pose longer than you can meditate, it makes you question the definition of today's childhood and reaffirm your definition of "little jacka$$." You feel you're doing mankind a favor by not contributing to the Dakota Fannings of the world.
Double-wide strollers on sidewalks.
Foot traffic on New York sidewalks is usually toe to toe, which causes some of us to reenact the pedestrian version of The Fast and the Furious, while deftly dodging dog crap. But whether you're walking briskly (the normal New York pace) or if you're Vin Diesel veering around in Converses, we're all on the road to nowhere when The Wide Load Carriage appears. I'm talking about the parents who decide that double-stackedstrollers just don't cut it and instead inexplicably opt for the double-wide strollers in order to take up the whole damn sidewalk and make everyone behind and in front of them miserable. And the kicker is when these entitled parents are ticked at you, as if you're in their way. Oh they're gems.
Also, the double-wide stroller is a very visual reminder that these parents have just blatantly doubled their carbon footprint. Do I really want to increase the world's pollution, contribute to global warming, and thus, the end of mankind? I think not.
The Trifecta of Wrong: Ugly babies in affluent neighborhoods riding in state of the art German-made strollers steered by foreign nannies.
When I walk past an ugly baby, it's enough to frighten me into not having one myself. Why? Because I kind of believe in karma, and I fear that my passing judgment will channel its way into my womb like an "Ah ha! You get a freak face, too!"
But what's worse is when you realize that the ugly baby is being pushed around in an obnoxious three-wheel powder coated baby-mo-bile in a manicured neighborhood. Your mind zooms from: 'Wow, that poor kid's mug' to pure resentment 'That spoiled brat will never appreciate what he has!' (the resentment comes from being secretly jealous).
But what seals the deal is when you see the foreign nanny manning the whole operation. Just imagine all the emotional displacement going on between the rich parents, their ugly baby, and the nanny who's spending all her time with junior in order to send back moolah to her own young kids, who are thousands of miles away craving her love and affection. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
The New York City public school system. (Let's not even talk about private.)
It's a dog-eat-dog world in the uber competitive New York City public school system, and your kid learns that by the time he/she starts kindy-garten. No joke.
What you learned as a freshman in college, your crumb snatcher will know by age 10. Between all the tutoring fees, diagnostic testing, interview technique courses ('Remember to give a firm handshake and look 'em in the eye, sonny!') that you'll be paying to have little Gustav ready for middle school, you'll have become a functional alcoholic or CrossFit douche to keep your sanity.
For conscientious parents, the pressure of getting your kid into the right school feels like life or death, absolute success or abject failure: If my kid doesn't get accepted into School X, it could mean the difference between him/her becoming the next Einstein or the next Jesse Pinkman! The next Hillary Clinton or the next Amanda Bynes!
I'm quite sure NYC isn't the only city that has amazing birth control to offer its lady population. For you fertile femme fatales in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, D.C., Atlanta, and heck, Wichita and Juno, I seriously wanna hear what things keep your uteruses sparkling new!
This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.