I jokingly call myself a born-again breeder in Mamarama. But I hate parents who proselytize and recruit; not everyone should or wants to have kids. Many of my best friends are without child (said with intended irony).

At the hairdresser the other day (kudos to Tara at Aruj for rescuing me from my bleached, dry locks), a “head” (as stylists call them) next to me was going on about her son, telling Tara and her boyfriend how they should have kids, yada yada yada. She explained how she didn’t let her husband march with his friends in this year’s Mango Strut Parade: “I told him those days are over.” That’s a good way to encourage people to reproduce: Tell them they won’t get to do the fun things that have defined them for years.

Mamarama is in many ways a defense of the opposite: You don’t have to give up who you are to be a parent. Of course, your lifestyle will change dramatically. You will have to give up certain things, at least in extreme amounts (the parade’s only once a year). But you should still feel free to strut. Be a model of joy, self-expression and liberation for your child.

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