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When it comes to having kids, one size doesn’t fit all – SATC week

When I watched 'Sex and the City' in its heyday, I was a twenty-something without children. Now, as a thirty-something with two kids, I reexamine how the show portrays each character's feelings about raising a family.

To many viewers, the four women of Sex and the City are, for all intents and purposes, “free agents.” While, throughout the course of the show, they all become attached to men (and women) in various ways, they stand alone as fiercely independent characters who do what they want, when they want.

When the ladies of SATC slowly begin to couple up and think about having families — whether intentionally or not — their personalities don’t change. Rather, their approaches to child rearing, as well as their reactions to having children, reflects each woman’s particular attitude.

Whether they are adamantly against having children, desperate to start a family, reluctant to give up their free time, or just ambivalent, each SATC woman portrays her feelings about this subject a little differently. And that’s probably a good thing for viewers, who always try to identify with at least one character on the show. It wouldn’t be very interesting if all the women suddenly decided to have kids and stop drinking Cosmos. Nor would it satisfy all viewers if the four characters never discussed this subject, or if they all felt negatively toward revoking their independence in favor of family time.

Instead, feelings towards having children are discussed in various degrees. Samantha — who is dead set against being near children — and Charlotte — who has wanted nothing more than to be a mother since she was a girl — portray the two extremes. Miranda — who loves her boy but who didn’t exactly plan his conception — and Carrie — who really doesn’t know if she feels fit to be a mother but would never want to rule it out — offer a grey area. Let’s examine what each character brings to the discussion.

“I’m so sick of these people with their children. I’m telling you, they’re everywhere! Sitting next to me in first class, eating at the next table at John Schu– [child runs by] Look at that. This place is for double cappuccinos, not double strollers.” — Samantha

The one character whose take on getting married and having children is, well … not to, is Samantha. Samantha barely has the ability to commit to being in a relationship, let alone have a child.

My favorite scene, and perhaps the most telling, involving Samantha and a child is from “A Woman’s Right to Shoes,” where she finds herself opposite a smug mother and her young boy eating pesto in a fancy restaurant. When the waiter reprimands Samantha for talking on her cell phone, Samantha shoots back, wondering what can be done about the noise the boy is making as he clatters his silverware. “There’s nothing we can do about that,” the waiters states. “That’s a child.”

Samantha saunters up to the woman and her son, and says, “Hello. I understand your son and I have to co-exist in this city. But perhaps you can take him somewhere more appropriate for a happy meal, so I can have a happier one.” At which point the kid hurls a fistful of pesto pasta onto Samantha. “Well, I’ve made my point,” Samantha scoffs, “and he’s made his.”

Of course, Samantha doesn’t mind (all the time) when Miranda brings Brady along to meals. And there was that time that she offered to babysit Brady so that Miranda could get her hair done — even though she put an oversized vibrator on his bouncy seat when it broke and he wouldn’t stop crying (“Critical Condition”). It’s not that she hates all children. It’s just that she has a very specific sense of where it is and is not appropriate to bring a child. And it’s just (usually) nowhere near her.

Photo Credit: HBO

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