Whenever I get tired of hearing myself whine about all the things I’ll never get to experience because I’m childfree—feeling a second heartbeat within my body and beaming with pride when someone says “She’s just like you”—I find I can put an end to my self-pity party by thinking about some of the annoying things I’ll never do. This includes:
1. I’ll never ruin another couple’s romantic dinner because I’ve let my toddler run amok in a nice restaurant.
2. I’ll never keep an entire airplane full of stressed-out businesspeople and weary travelers awake with my screaming infant, because if I can block out her cries, surely they can make an effort.
3. I’ll never insist that, because my child is actually the smartest/most talented/most gifted kid in the group, he should get special treatment.
4. I’ll never have to schedule a vacation to coincide with school holidays, so I won’t be part of the masses of humanity standing in line in front of you to get into the museum/amusement park/restroom stall.
5. I’ll never say the words, “How would you know? You’re not a mother.”
6. I’ll never offend a stranger by asking him to hold my child while I lift up my shirt, fumble with snaps, and flash my breasts before taking the kid back for a public feeding.
7. I’ll never saddle a colleague with extra work because I have kids.
8. I’ll never blow off a friend because I have kids.
9. I’ll never tell my husband to go take a cold shower because I’m worn out from taking care of his kids.
10. And I’ll never, ever con extended family into going on a Disney cruise.
What’s on your list?
Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on eHow.com.