"I'm aware of my shortcomings." I want a child but I don't want to be the primary carer.

I know I want kids in the same simple way I know I want a coffee every single morning; it is an urge. Having children feels like a non-negotiable in my life just like caffeine does. 

When I look at my future, I see kids, a messy house, a mortgage that gives me anxiety, oh, and large cups of coffee! However, I also know I don’t want to be the primary carer. 

I don’t want to be the parent who stays home full-time. I don’t want to be the mum who makes lunches every day, volunteers for canteen duty and dedicates her entire being to raising beautiful and well-rounded children. 

Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

It’s not because I look down on housewives or stay at home mums, it’s actually the opposite; I don’t think I could hack it. 

I am not a domestic person, I don’t enjoy cooking, have no zest for tidying, or organising, and outsource anything I can afford to. 

I like being creative, eating at cafes on my lunch break and feeling useful - think Meryl Streep in 'The Devil Wears Prada' meets Drew Barrymore in 'Never Been Kissed'. 

I like getting dressed every morning, leaving the house, and forgetting about what ironing needs doing. I’m not useful at home. I’m actually pretty useless. 

I burn things, break things, and even forget to change the batteries in the fire alarm. But I can write, make small talk, and handle myself well in meetings and that is where I feel my most useful. 

I promise I don’t even overuse the phrase, “can we circle back to this later?” Of course, I know my feelings annoy plenty of people. 

I’ve heard it all from, “Why bother having children then?” to “You don’t want to be a mum, you just want accessories,” even, “You don’t deserve children with that kind of attitude,” and my only response is. Do you say this to the men in your lives, who have children and aren’t the primary carer? 

If the answer is no, then don’t say it to me. 

My desire to have children doesn’t change the fact that I’m not a particularly domestic person. 

I am the friend who brings bought food to a wholesome picnic and is never asked to host a dinner party. 

Instead, I’m the friend who knows the best restaurant recommendations and where to buy the fanciest cheese but has no idea how to bake banana bread. 


In my early 20s, I thought ageing would morph me into a domestic goddess. That as the years ticked on, I’d suddenly be someone that understood every setting on the washing machine and knows when to wash with hot water. 

However, I’ve realised while there are some things I could work on, like ordering less UberEats and learning how to clean the grout on my shower floor - the stay-at-home mum life is not for me. 

I’m also comfortable with the fact that being domestic is not my strong suit. 

The person in the primary carer position should be able to manage multiple timetables and use an oven for something other than garlic bread. 

So why on earth would I subject my children to a subpar carer? 

I know I’d be a fantastic mum, but I don’t think I’d be an exceptional as a primary carer. I simply don’t have the skillset, and I’m not interested in fighting against my nature to learn. 

Still, despite my shortcomings, I have many other wonderful qualities, I’m kind, emphatic, affectionate, sentimental, caring, emotionally intelligent, and I even enjoy playing. 

I think I’d make a pretty solid mum. My desire to have children is strong, but my desire to not lose myself because of society’s expectations is equally strong. 

I want to be a kind, warm, funny, and patient mum. The type of mum who my kids remember for being a good mum. I don’t want their lives to be constantly in chaos because Mum isn’t very good at making beds or finding matching socks. 

I think partly I feel this way because I had the best mum. I had a stay-at-home mum, who managed the household and all my emotions with kindness, patience, and good humour. 

Even now, in my 20s, she’ll still visit me and offer to help me get my bathroom sparkling or teach me how to cook a complicated meal - okay, a fairly simple meal! 

She is exceptional, capable, and fierce, and I know I don’t possess some of her best qualities. 

Honestly, I think I’m just aware of my shortcomings, which is why I know for me one of the most important things before having children is finding a partner who balances out my weaknesses. 

Someone that enjoys cooking, can manage someone else’s timetable, and actually knows how to make a bed properly. 

My partner is currently the primary cook in our house, the one that has a system for the washing and is very invested in keeping our plants alive. 

If we stay together and have babies, it will seem utterly ridiculous to send him off to work full-time, so I could stay at home to do all the things he already does but worse. 

So yes, I want children, but I don’t want to be the primary carer, but I still think I’ll be a wonderful mum, and if that bothers you, I’d check your misogyny at the door.

Feature Image: Supplied.