License to Procreate – A Little Mom Humor From the Suburban Jungle

Should Parents Need a License to Procreate? - Mom Humor

You need special credentials to drive a car, take out a book and get a credit card, but there are no prerequisites to raise a child?

As a fairly normal adult with the means to raise a child, I admittedly had no clue what I was doing with my first child. I remember leaving the hospital thinking, He’s mine? I own him? You guys trust me to walk out that door and raise a child because I made the obligatory poop and demonstrated my ability to put him in a car seat?

Isn’t it baffling that everyday people like us are allowed to procreate without first passing a test or getting some kind of license? Think about it. You need a library card to take out a five-dollar paperback, because you can’t be trusted to return it in a period long enough to read it four times over. You’re also required to pass a test to drive a car, sell a house or be a lifeguard. You can take a class to learn how to give birth, but once that baby’s out, you’re on your own.

There wasn’t even a test at my OB’s pre-pregnancy interview. All he asked was, “Do you have insurance and are you taking folic acid?”

“Of course, I’d never think about bringing life to this Earth without the recommended 3 gagillion mgs of folic acid per day… I’m also shooting heroin, but you didn’t ask me that.”

What if I don’t feed him, bathe him or water him? I could let him swim after lunch without waiting the mandatory 30 minutes, or dress him in generic clothes from the supermarket. I could drop him off on the first day of middle school, roll down the window and scream, “Mama loves her Snuggle Buggle!”

At the very least, there should be some kind of “Mommy Aptitude” screening. During your interview, they could call your mom. Mine would say,

“Jenny always dreamed of being a mother and loved playing house. Her dolls were mostly naked, and she liked to cut their hair down to the hair transplant plug scalps. Sometimes she would detach their limbs and try to put them back in the wrong sockets, possibly to amuse herself, though I found it rather disturbing. Have I said too much? No, really, she would be wonderful. They would be so clean; I recall how much she liked bathing her naked Barbies.”

Doctor’s response: “Put in a 10-year IUD, give her supervised visitation with a hermit crab, and make sure someone counts the legs.”

Not only do gynecologists promote the concept of “Motherhood” to anyone donning a wedding ring with reckless abandon, they encourage us to have more. Otherwise known as repeat business. The second my daughter arrived, my OB said, “So, when am I gonna see you back in the saddle?”

Great, a stirrup joke. “Take it easy Doc, the placenta’s not even cold yet.”

Well, a month and a half later, I ran into my OB again. Actually, I had an appointment, so it wasn’t as random as I’m making it sound. He said, “At six weeks you are extremely fertile, so now is the time for another romp in the stable.” I immediately went home to tell my husband the doctor said, “Now is the time I am extremely unstable, so no romps for at least six more weeks.”

How about a probationary period to see if you’re any good at this parenting thing? When you get a new job, they evaluate you every six months. They certainly don’t give you more responsibility until you’ve proven you can handle your current load, unless you work at McDonald’s.

How does my OB know how I’m gonna solve disputes? When my children are fighting over the last lollipop, who says I won’t shove them all in the closet, lock the door and say, “Last one standing gets it”?

Well, lucky for me, I’ve turned out to be an excellent mother (ask my children), regardless of not being licensed and accredited.

(Please note: this is meant to be a mom humor piece… Though I wouldn’t be opposed to some “What Do We Do Now That We Had The Baby?” classes)

9/16/13 – I just put the share buttons on this post! If you like it … Please use ’em

XO Jenny From the Blog

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38 thoughts on “License to Procreate – A Little Mom Humor From the Suburban Jungle

  1. cherie

    Loved it, but I will say, you turned out to be a pretty good mother. I guess the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree…but wait you haven’t reached the teen years yet, their the most fun…Enjoy!!

  2. Gretchen Seefried

    got to love it. I have always wondered how we all get away with this parenting thing every day. To celebrate my second oldest’s 20th birthday yesterday we bought him a cake from Target in the shape of a purse (twizzler handle and all) and lit it up, sang, while his 10 year old brother held up a photo of the birthday boy (who happened to be in NYC and not at the table), then we snapped a digital a facebooked it to him and his partner. Not your typical all-american family celebration but hey, what fun would that be?

  3. Karen Baitch Rosenberg

    Great post, JB ~ our hermit crab cooked itself on the tank’s heating element and all of his legs fell out. Had this happened before kids, I might have thought twice about making babies.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Karen- Too late now. So far all limbs accounted for, You’ve done good. Thank you Cheri, Bari, and Jamie for pointing out my excellent parenting skills. I managed to nurture rather than torture, despite my sketchy childhood. Jenna- I love that you mashed your Barbies together. Mine too were always naked and necking. Gretchen- Love your family tale, is there a typical all american family anymore? I think being not norm is more the norm, which is good for me cause I’m all kinds of not normal.

  4. Bari

    Jenny, your article poses the perfect argument for new legislative acts requiring people to take courses in relationships and passing the required exam before any license to marry is given and then requiring classes in parenting and exams passed prior to allowing copulation! I agree with Cheri in spite of your apparent lack of parental studies your ability to parent is supreme. It must be the love.

  5. Barry

    Great piece. Parenting might even be tougher for hubby. While little girls were pulling off limbs and doing bad barbering, their counterparts, us guys, were doing slingshot stuff ,teasing sisters and cowboy quick draws with their six guns. You may have diapered the dolls with sandpaper like cloth, we guys had to wait until ” D ” Day to learn. That first time was a real trip. Thinking back, only g-d knows how my kid survived.

  6. Jamie

    So true, Jenny. But what if we didn’t pass the test? Just look and see what we would be missing! You’re a “bloody good Mum” – that is with a British accent! Sorry Ryan!

  7. jenna mccarthy

    You said it, soul-sister! My pre-child nurturing experience consisted of mashing some naked Barbies (never Kens) together and knocking about a trunk full of fake babies who usually had eyelids that had been mysteriously glued shut and crayons jammed into their mouth-holes. I, too, was a bit surprised by the whole “Nice job, mom! Good luck with the baby” attitude at the hospital. At the end of the day, I think the fact that we even THINK about this stuff puts us in the elite top percentile. Sadly.

  8. Monica

    Jenny, your post grabbed my attention from the first line and couldn’t stop reading until the end!! You made me smile line after line!! You are hilarious!!

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Shucks Monica, I’m blushing. Thanks so much for stopping to read and please come back often. I love a new reader especially one that has lovely things to say about me… I’m narcissistic that way.

  9. Janel

    Catchy article, although I cringed at the placenta comment. Eew. As a Mom of three, it was entirely relevant and a fun read.

  10. Always Zealous

    Jenny – two years ago, I gave birth to my first child. during my post delivery recoop stay, they barely talked to me. they simply wheeled in this wrinkly, weird smelling (no one talked about that!) baby and left the room. i remember standing for a full hour just looking at it – not in that instinctively maternal way everyone talks about neither – and occasionally poking it. it’s a wonder she has made it to 2 years old!

  11. Amy

    Fun article. Cudos to the parents out there who take the job seriously. I don’t know how you do it! With 4 younger siblings, I’ve decided I don’t need the mothering experience. I gladly leave that job up to others. 🙂

  12. Debbie

    Very funny! I have always said that the only important things we need to know are NOT taught in school. 1) How to get along with people (i.e. coworkers, in-laws, spouses) 2) How to manage your finances 3) How to negotiate 4) How to take care of infants, be a good parent and raise your children so they are not lunatics 5) Nutrition and well being 6) Geography

    Your article makes me think of the movie Idiocracy. Kind of silly, but the point is well made about procreation.

  13. Heather

    am not sure about this. Clearly some people should not be having children, but on the other hand having a test could create more problems. For instance teens could potentially see a way to get around the ‘fear’ of pregnancy and the responsibility. They may see this as a way to continue to have all the “fun” of making a baby w/o the follow up care. People who don’t care are not going to care if there is a license or a test. They are far to selfish to think of anyone other than themselves. If parents had to take a test and failed what would happen to all of those children? It seems to me that this is potentially crossing a line that could do more harm than good. I do think it is a great idea to offer parenting classes and incentives to participate and pass. However, when and if we begin playing God, deciding who is and is not suitable to be a parent. I am not sure if that is a good idea. Instead I think those of us who have figured it out should share our knowelege and wisdom offering our assistance to parents who have no idea what they are doing. That’s how our grandparents and parents figured it out.

  14. Barb

    I remember looking at my first born and saying to myself that she did not come with a handbook!! Somehow most of us figure it out, sadly some do not.

  15. Christine

    OMG – I was thnking ppl needed to get a license to have a kid while I was at Walmart yesterday……had nothing to do w/#2 or a carseat…… if they had to get a license…would curtail kids having kids…….hmmmmm

  16. L. C. Sterling

    Good one, Jenny. There’s a line in a Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem: “wearing pants, making babies.” Making them is the easy part. Being a parent … that’s tough.

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  18. Bjørn

    Hi Jenny,

    Some parents DO actuelly have to pass several tests: adoptive parents. In Denmark we have a very thorough system. The intention is to secure the child, which is adopted. You have to attend a 4 days course, talk several times with the social workers, your economy is investigated, your health is checked etc. etc.

    It is tough to go through, but the result is totally worth every moment when you are permitted (blessed) to adopt a child.

  19. Bob Kalsey

    Funny stuff, Jenny, and well written.

    If they’d asked my mother-in-law, she’d have said we should get a puppy or two instead. So it’s a good thing they didn’t. Puppies are such trouble but, then again, they don’t have kennels for kids when you need to get away. But then again, again, the relatives are happier to take in a kid for a day or two than a dog. At least, any dog I’ve ever had.

    I’m against testing for parenthood, though. Tests tend to foster conformity. That’s a good thing for driving, so the majority of people drive on the right (correct) side of the road most of the time. But for something as important as parenting we need all the diversity, all the new and old ideas we can get.

    It is amazing that we muddle through. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail, mostly we do the best we can and that’s good enough.

    If I were you, though, I’d cut out the heroin. It takes a real bite out of the tuition budget.

    But keep up the humor; that’s the best skill a parent ever had.

  20. Robert Moskowitz

    Way to pick the low-hanging fruit. Yes, there should be a license to procreate. Just tell me how we’re gonna enforce it? Confiscate your va-jay-jay and his lollipop until you both get a passing grade on the written exam?

    The plain fact of the matter is that some 4-5 billion of the people on this planet have been and/or are being horribly abused, at least emotionally, if not physically, psychologically, financially, environmentally, and legally. And most of the rest of us get a major taste of the same thing.

    This is not to say we should just grin and bear it. Oh no. But there’s no point in polemicizing about stopping all births until we finish the training on how to parent.

    Instead, we oughta be working on the positive side of things.

    One possibility: making parenting a kind of “trust” — like lawyers or financial planners handling your affairs and your money — with a code of ethics, an enforcement body, and plenty of prestige.

    Your thoughts?

  21. Rajean

    Sadly, this must explain why I’m an only child. My mother still can’t return the library books on time. She also returns Redbox DVD’s to the library often.

    I shall share by tweeting, it’s somewhat like sharing a cold without the nasal drainage.

  22. Patty Mooney

    An enjoyable read. My mom always used to say that people should have to go to school and get a degree to have a baby. This was back in the 70’s. I always thought she was right on about that. Too many people who shouldn’t be parents, procreating and spawning creatures like John Gardner who recently murdered two young girls. Children who are brought upon this planet should all be passionately desired, and both parents (+the community) should raise them not to be entitled brats. I’ve done my part by NOT having ANY. Rather than push girls into motherhood simply because it’s the cultural “norm,” girls should be encouraged to make a considered choice. So many people have kids who really should not.

    (By the way, part of your piece is on a white background and part’s on the slanted checkerboard which makes it difficult to read.)

  23. Kirk

    1) I love your ‘stuff’.
    2) However, as the product of a wild and crazy Christmas Eve party myself…where would you install this “Mommy Aptitude” screening device?….it would probably have to be at the entrance to the vagina and work independently of the owner…LOL… Enough said.

    Looking forward to your next column

  24. rachy

    if there were to be a formal licensing process, i would recommend a “trainee” program:
    1) include haz mat training, say by getting the “dirty jobs” guy to show how to contain runny poopy diaper stuff
    2) include a physical trainer so you can do the 25 yr. sprint faster than your 3rd old when she breaks free of your hand and is headed into traffic
    3) include upper body building so you can carry a 35-lb. sleeping toddler on one hip while doing other chores and keeping the other kids under control
    4) implant mini-cams in the back of your head, so that mom really does have eyes in the back of her head
    5) and teach both parents to learn patience immediately! (this is as applicable to the 2-yr. old having a meltdown in the middle of the mall and the 17-yr. old who wrecked the car)
    well, if a couple can master these things, the rest of parenting should be a breeze.

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  28. Rachel

    Too stinkin’ funny! I had the same thoughts when I came home from the hospital with my newborn! I called my mom crying and said, “Nobody checked me out! Nobody made sure I could do this!”

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