October 8, 2018

"I hate babies. Is something wrong with me? I'm a female in my mid 20s and I find myself loathing babies."

"Is there anything wrong with me? No, I never had any traumatic childhood experience or something of that sort. Seeing baby photos and videos make me mad and want to squish their chubby cheeks to death. Of course, I wouldn't do that and I'll never try to hurt babies but I can't help but hate them. Is this some kind of mental illness like the psycho-freaks who hurt the animals for pleasure? Because I'm really bothered. Please no answers like 'Babies are the greatest gift on earth' or 'You were a baby once' or something of that sort. Other than that, I think I'm pretty compassionate about other things like animals, elderly, etc."

A serious question, asked at Reddit 2 years ago. Notice that she's mainly concerned with her own mental health: Is there something wrong with me if I don't have the feelings that seem to come naturally to others? And the naturalness of those feelings can be explained through evolution — a practical, not a moral explanation. One could also question the data: There are social constraints on expressing negative feelings about babies. The questioner may not be as unusual as she worries she is.

The top-rated answer points her to the subreddit childfree. I haven't read that, but I'd guess that there's a lot of material about the burdens of childcare as opposed to actually hating babies. Hating babies! It sounds so wrong. Imagine seeing baby photos and videos and getting mad, as the questioner describes. The questioner does come back to say:
Okay. Maybe I don't hate them, reading these comments here made think that it might have something about the demand and expectations of people around me. Or probably because my Facebook timeline is full of children and babies since people my age are already starting their own families-- which makes my annoyance even worse. But in my head I'm like "Guys, stop it, I'll be polite and like your photo just so you don't think I'm mean but your babies aren't cute. :("

Of course, I feel bad about my distaste for babies.
I have the perfect "Friends" clip for that:

73 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

“Is there something wrong with me?”

Yes

Henry said...

I'm pretty compassionate about other things like animals, elderly, etc.

I love the Peter Singer vibe. Old people, animals. Just a continuum.

Old person vs. dolphin? Edge to the dolphin, you think?

Shouting Thomas said...

The outcome of Marxist feminist indoctrination in colleges and media.

I got the indoctrination back in the 60s, too. Layered on top of liberal professors ridiculing me daily for being a redneck from a small town in the cornfields in Illinois.

I talked the same dumb shit when I was a kid. Who wants their professors to think they are a backward hick?

Remember Alice Cooper and dead babies?

It wasn't until my wife announced she was pregnant that I realized how much I'd been denying myself for the cause and how much I wanted kids.

Rick said...

If they didn't matter to you why would you hate them? Can it be there's something about them which conflicts with your vision of yourself and you don't like being reminded of it?

rhhardin said...

A baby in the cashier line draws women closer and men move away.

rhhardin said...

The women are potential kidnappers.

rhhardin said...

There's no such thing as a free kitten.

Tank said...

We were just talking about this yesterday.

How do you make a dead baby float?

rhhardin said...

Babies have moves to combat that. Wrapping tiny tiny fingers around one of yours. It's a survival mechanism.

Shouting Thomas said...

Grandpas love babies and toddlers.

They usually smile and wave at me in restaurants and at the grocery store.

Given the political climate of the day, i.e. the abuse hysteria, I usually don't engage.

rhhardin said...

The trick is to look as much as possible like a kitten.

sykes.1 said...

The short answer is, Yes. You are a psychopath.

mockturtle said...

I wouldn't hire her as a nanny.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Odd that people like to air what is pretty clearly self-loathing. One of the masochistic temptations of social media I
guess.

MadisonMan said...

If you have to ask if there is something wrong with you because of how you compare yourself to others, I'll say yes: You care too much about what others might think of you. That's what's wrong with you.

What do you care what other people think? Where 'other people' are total strangers.

Caroline Walker said...

I think —as a total non scientist- that we are seeing the first layer of an evolution away from maternal instinct, a possibility I began to entertain back in the 90s, when I had babies and I noticed the shocking degree to which women had abandoned the home and were behaving at birthday parties like clueless dads of the fifties.
As CS Lewis so eloquently put it, Man’s triumph over nature will turn out to be Nature’s triumph over man.
Many of the « choices » feminists lobbied for are no longer optional. most of the young mothers i know would love to stay home, and could if willing to make the kind of financial sacrifices we did, but the husbands can’t wait for them to get back to work. That second paycheck is Crack.
Plus, taking the pill for 20 years will do that to ya.
The future is not A Handmaid’s Tale, but The Children of Men.

wild chicken said...

I kinda felt the same way. Maybe she didn't have younger siblings so never got much experience with them.

But, some babies are cuter than others.

Michael K said...

Babies represent responsibility, which is anathema to the leftists like that young woman.

"A man who takes a wife and children gives hostages to fortune."

Ann Althouse said...

"If they didn't matter to you why would you hate them? Can it be there's something about them which conflicts with your vision of yourself and you don't like being reminded of it."

Almost everything about babies would be awful in an adult! As I said in the post, it's easy to explain the love for babies: it's programmed by evolution. Without these natural feelings, if we just judged babies the way we'd judge anything else, it would make sense to hate them.

Should you feel bad if you lack a trait that you know evolution has put in the makeup of most people? I think it's like feeling its wrong to be colorblind or lactose intolerant.

Ann Althouse said...

"A baby in the cashier line draws women closer and men move away."

My father was famous for talking to babies in the checkout line.

Freeman Hunt said...

I did not particularly like babies until I had one. They seemed extremely fragile, writhing, mysterious, and often oozing. Now I think babies are great! (But I still don't ask to hold other people's babies because it seems to me that most babies don't like to be passed around.)

tcrosse said...

Some babies are cuter than others

Original Mike said...

I view children as people who have not yet proven their worth.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you have to ask if there is something wrong with you because of how you compare yourself to others, I'll say yes: You care too much about what others might think of you. That's what's wrong with you. What do you care what other people think? Where 'other people' are total strangers."

You only know what you think, and part of what you think is what you think other people think. Of all the ideas in your head to care about, why give priority to the imagined contents of other people's minds? All of them are also only thinking their own thoughts. Even if you could know accurately what those thoughts were, what would make them better than yours? But you don't know those thoughts, you only put mental effort into guessing at them. That's important work, but it doesn't seem like a good choice to subordinate what you feel you really think to this phantom authority that thinks something else.

holdfast said...

She's probably wondering, correctly, if her instinctual loathing for babies is nature's way of saying that she has other genes which are defective and should not be passed along to offspring.

It probably sucks when you realize that nature doesn't want your genes around.

tcrosse said...

At work, when a woman on maternity leave would come in for Show and Tell, all the other ladies would stand around and play Pass the Baby. Men were definitely excluded from this, because we were Holding It Wrong.

Fernandistein said...

How do you make a dead baby float?

Just put 'im in water. You don't need 7-Up.

One time a guy brought his new baby to work to show it off, and all the people of gender gathered around to ooh and aw, and the people of non-gender looked at their watches and thought up reasons to be somewhere else. It was funny.

Rick said...

Almost everything about babies would be awful in an adult!

And yet none of those things effects you if you don't have any. For decades of my life I was completely indifferent to (and ignorant of) babies. Why is their mere existence enough to trigger hatred?

Should you feel bad if you lack a trait...

The lack of a trait would be feeling neutral or indifferent. She's instead expressing hatred.

mockturtle said...

Hat tip to Caroline Walker @8:46. Very well said.

Yancey Ward said...

Is it actual loathing for babies generally, or is it a loathing of the responsibility that having a child represents? I don't think the questioner truly differentiates it enough. I like puppies and dogs, but I don't want to own one.

JAORE said...

Self centered, taken to extremes, does not allow room for others not specifically chosen to support your needs.

Paddy O said...

A great take on this from The Simpsons

Shouting Thomas said...

Futuristic sci-fi novel:

Government prohibits sexual reproduction. All babies genetically engineered from a single cell from a library of perfect specimens. Nurtured in artificial womb.

Probably already written. I don't have the time or inclination to write it.

Fernandistein said...

The question asker probably isn't as weird as she thinks (and I'm too lazy for links) -

Science Explains Why We Want To Squeeze Cute Things To Death

When We See Something Cute, Why Do We Want to Squeeze It?

Explainer: what is cute aggression?

Why Adorable Puppies Can Make You Feel Violent

Dust Bunny Queen said...

She doesn't "hate" babies or children. She is just conflicted about the idea of having some of her own.

Before I became a mother...I had never really been around small children (other than myself and brother of course contemporaneously). I was uncomfortable about babies and avoided the (forced) opportunities to hold their little squirming bodies that were covered with icky fluids. Mainly because I just had no idea what to do.

When other people had their children/toddlers and babies at events, I was conflicted and uncomfortable. Look at how much work! How limiting! Pregnancy is so strange, it takes over your body...gross! Why are those kids screaming!? I didn't HATE the children. It was just foreign.

Since I was able to make a choice on whether to have or not have children I just didn't feel the need, the pull, the desire. Birth Control pills were the new magic invention. So while others were having babies, I stood aloof.

I didn't HATE children.

Then, one day...boom....for some reason we decided that a family would be great and we purposely had children.

When it is YOUR child. Your magic miracle offspring, it is different. Suddenly, it all makes sense.

She doesn't HATE children. She is afraid. Who wouldn't be? It is a life altering experience.

William said...

Reaction formation. I think there's a hint of mint in guys who are outrageously homophobic. She feels the beat of the Darwinian drums and struggles against them.......Off topic: When you read biographies of 19th and early 20th century figures, it's amazing how many lives were sent into a downward spiral of depression after the death of a child. The kids would die as toddlers at their peak of cuteness and lovability. Medicine has saved a lot of lives besides the lives it saved..

Renee said...

I was not great around other people's kids before I have children, but I love my own kids. Once I had my own children, then that changed.

Bob Boyd said...

Anyone who hates babies and dogs can't be all bad.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Shouting Thomas said...
Futuristic sci-fi novel:

Government prohibits sexual reproduction. All babies genetically engineered from a single cell from a library of perfect specimens. Nurtured in artificial womb.

Probably already written. I don't have the time or inclination to write it.


It probably has, but you could always write a comic novel wherein Hillary Clinton campaigns to be select as one of the perfect specimens.

Mark said...

Hating babies and wanting to crush their skulls is not at all surprising in our abortion culture of death.

Bill Peschel said...

John Scalzi's writings on his website exposed me to the "child free" people. They were not content to live without children; they were adamantly, militantly child-free and proud of it, and you should be proud of them as well.

She would fit in perfectly among them.

Mark said...

Government prohibits sexual reproduction. All babies genetically engineered from a single cell from a library of perfect specimens. Nurtured in artificial womb.
Probably already written.


Brave New World.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

" You've come a long way, BABY !! "

FredwinaD said...

I never liked babies. I'm the youngest of 3 and had no nieces or nephews, so babies were completely foreign to me. They're intimidating and hard to read when you're not familiar with them. I always knew that I wanted kids, but I never had that baby lust or drive that I wanted a baby "right now." I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me. In fact, when I turned 30, I finally told my husband that we might as well try to have a baby now because "If I wait till I'm 'ready,' we'll never have one!"

I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant. And then when I had my first ultrasound and saw my little baby in there (sucking his thumb!), I was like the Grinch, whose "heart grew 3 sizes that day." When he was born, I loved him like I never loved anyone before. But the the first day I had to be home alone with him, I was still very nervous. Babies are a HUGE responsibility! And it's scary to feel that responsible for another human being. But I got really good at it, and I even had another baby (who, by the way was *not an easy baby - thank God she wasn't my first!).

Now my kids are grown, they're great people, and we are really close. I think by all accounts I'm a pretty stellar mom. I'm still not huge on babies, though - unless they're mine. I don't think they're cute just by virtue of being babies - some are cuter than others. I don't usually ask to hold them. I do think babies are a blessing from God though. So, I feel like I am proof that just because you're not a "baby person" doesn't mean there's something wrong with you or that you won't be a great parent.



Bay Area Guy said...

I like babies! My wife likes babies too! She was a young hot Professional woman in SF when I met her, but she demanded that I marry and impregnate her.

What kinda chick hates babies? Avoid her at all costs!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

FredwinaD said: But the the first day I had to be home alone with him, I was still very nervous. Babies are a HUGE responsibility! And it's scary to feel that responsible for another human being.

I remember my first day home with my brand new baby. The hospital experience was surreal, but when I laid my tiny daughter on the couch in the living room....we both stood back in our familiar home environment, look at each other and thought.... OMG. This is it!. This is real! From now on, this is our life. Now what are we supposed to do?

The reality of the moment was profound.

Of course, we figured it all out with some help from friends and family. We didn't kill any babies from neglect. We might not have been the perfect parents and made some mistakes but...in the end...it all turned out just fine.

If you wait until the perfect moment, it will never happen. That is the same for having children as it is for making any momentous decision in your life. Marriage. Having babies. Starting a business. Moving towns. There is never a perfect time. Just get on with living.

Darrell said...

Hat tip to Caroline Walker @8:46. Very well said.

I agree. But when it comes to Children of Men, specify the book, not the movie. The movie was "leftified."

Tom Grey said...

I love babies, and love to play hide & seek with stranger's kids -- so far almost all the babies like it, smile.
At me! Love babies smiling at me.

I did love all 4 of ours as babies, and still as kids (3 already adults).

Of course, I'm also pro-life. I suspect most baby-haters are not.

rcocean said...

Nothing wrong with hating babies, as long as you don't have one.

Tom Grey said...

Are there fertility rate differences between pro-life and pro-choice women?

I'll bet there are. With more babies being born to the pro-life women, the ones who prefer being mothers rather than wage-slaves.

Demographics is destiny. Trump's pro-life supporters were probably the biggest brick in the collection of bricks and straws which helped him break the back of Clinton's campaign camel.
(and isn't Trump the main reason to be blogging, now? 24/7 and on every subject...)

n.n said...

Yes, there is something wrong with you. However, short of elective abortion or some other violence, or effort to convert others through normalization or advocacy, then it is a personal issue that while it may remain unresolved, does not affect anyone else in a meaningful way. Your conflict with human life early in our evolution is a personal burden.

LordSomber said...

When people announce their own red flags, take their word for it.

Jim Harvey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My name goes here. said...

"The future is not A Handmaid’s Tale, but The Children of Men."

Neither.

The future is Mormon.

And hispanic.

Jim Harvey said...

Maybe she has a job that requires her to be in proximity to babies, like it's not just the ideal of "baby" but the actual reality that she hates.

2 year olds ain't so great either.

Joe said...

Babies, as in under about 2 to 2 1/2 are tough. I have four children and two grandchildren, but am still not a fan of the baby stage. Now, once the get to three! Wheeeeee!

(And not all babies are created equal. My oldest was more difficult than my second, who was one of the calmest babies ever born. My oldest grandchild was a relatively easy baby, but her little sister is a terror. She's my oldest daughter times ten--Karma is a bitch.)

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that there is probably something wrong with her. I look back at the women in my life, since my senior year in HS, and the good ones wanted kids, while the selfish or unstable ones did not. Several couldn’t have them, and that was hard on them. My partner’s predecessor in interest (I.e. my previous GF) never wanted kids, which might have been fine, but she was insanely jealous of my kid, who was maybe 6 at the time. So, instead, I find myself, for almost 20 years now, with a woman who mugs for every baby we see, and even screaming cats could get her to lactate for months after she had quit nursing. That maternal instinct is probably why we are doing so well training that minicat.

Bad Lieutenant said...

AA sez:

That's what's wrong with you. What do you care what other people think? Where 'other people' are total strangers."

You only know what you think, and part of what you think is what you think other people think.

...

You know what's wrong with you? You can't just say "you're right" or "I agree," you have to have a bushel of word salad with inanity dressing. Just say

"This."

or

"+1"

if you have nothing of value to add.

Or if you don't like to appreciate others, say nothing whatsoever. Remember, better than nothing is a high standard!

gahrie said...

I love babies. They bring a huge smile to my face.

But I have to admit I've never tried to raise one.

traditionalguy said...

Life among God's creation includes the givers and the takers. They need each other.

Giving your life for a baby is a blessing and a special purpose to some. But it sounds like a horrible plan to some.

Kirk Parker said...

"Okay. Maybe I don't hate them, reading these comments here made think that it might have something about the demand and expectations of people around me. Or probably because my Facebook timeline is full of children and babies since people my age are already starting their own families-- which makes my annoyance even worse. "

This is just standard-issue female solipsism, which she skates close to the edge of recognizing.

Mansplaining hint: if someone you know says something directly to you about why you aren't married or partnered, or asks when you're going start having kids, then yes they are talking about YOU. But a general paean to babies is NOT necessarily a demand that you, too, fall in line. Sheesh.

Kirk Parker said...

Caroline Walker: I'm not sure we're seeing any such evolution, given that (a) it has taken an immense propaganda machine quite a few years to get us to our current point where lots of people can live against their instincts, and (b) those that do fully fall for it don't reproduce.

Jim at said...

How do you make a dead baby float?

Two scoops of ice cream and some root beer. YMMV.

n.n said...

You were a baby. You may have been a beautiful baby. But now the love is gone.

JaimeRoberto said...

I don't particularly care for other people's kids, but mine are OK most of the time.

mockturtle said...

I see this as a trend, a kind of nihilism and part of a mass self-hatred projected onto others.

RigelDog said...

I don't know if there's something wrong with her, but I know that there's something wrong with some (most?) of the people who frequent the Child-Free online communities. It's not that they don't want to have children, or that they don't care to spend any time around children--sure, fine. But many of them literally ooze with hatred of children...reminds me exactly of the movie "The Witches," when head-witch Angelica Huston would throw up in the back of her mouth whenever she said the word "children." They call kids words like "sprog" and "crotch droppings" and call parents "breeders."

William Chadwick said...

My problem with babies, toddlers and tykes (oh, my!) is less with the offspring themselves and more with the parents, who seem unwilling or unable to control their offspring. The young of my generation were no angels, but I don't recall them being as screamy and unrestrained as the kids I encounter in public places today. And the parents are seemingly okay with it! Had I behaved that way in public places, the Old Man would have kicked my behind . . . and I'd have deserved it. The late blogger and columnist Cathy Siepp used to write very funny columns ridiculing a wimpy type she called "Today's Dad;" I don't find Today's Mom much better.

mockturtle said...

W. Chadwich: Yep, 'screamy'. That I don't understand. Had we shrieked at the top of our lungs like that we'd have been punished. Seriously, how would someone know if a child were being attacked or abducted?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Hill likes babies. Especially the Haitian ones.
what's in their diet that makes them so appealing?

Paul Doty said...

At least she'll have those posts to look back on as she contemplates her barren womb. She can peruse her friends children graduating college, getting married, throwing anniversary parties for their parents, and of course, blanche at the inevitable grandchildren pics. It'll be great diversion while she waits to have her cat put down.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“Are there fertility rate differences between pro-life and pro-choice women?”

No. I am pro choice and have four children. Most of the women I know are pro choice and the majority of them have at least one child most have three children, a couple have 5 and 8 children. Being pro choice has nothing to do with how many children you choose to have yourself.

Out of my four children and my five grandchildren only two of them were what I’d call “easy” babies. One of my own and one of my grandsons. It’s just a matter of going with the flow as a new mom and knowing “this too shall pass” until they are 3 years old when it’s gets to be much more fun.

natatomic said...

Trust me, there is a whole faction of people who genuinely HATE babies and kids. After my daughter died at birth, I wrote about it and one of my posts kinda went viral. Some "childfree" forum got ahold of it (someone from the group messaged me on FB and sent me the link, because she was just so nice like that), and the thread was titled "moo still whining about dead loaf."
"moo" is what they call mothers. "loaf" is what they call babies.
And it was pages and pages of vitriol over me expressing my grief as well as celebrations over the death of another "loaf" (they seemed to like to find stories of dead kids and cheer about them).
So yeah. Those kind of people exist.