Why Did I Have Kids?
I read an article recently discussing Cameron Diaz’s choice not to have children. http://www.today.com/entertainment/cameron-diazs-naked-truth-no-kids-makes-things-easier-1D79872076
I guess at 41 people start wondering if/when you are going to pop out a kid. Everyonehas children, right? It’s just what you do when you grow up. But, believe it or not, and you can insert your gasp here, not everyone wants children. She simply stated that she has an incredible life, in part because she chooses to remain childless. Having kids was just not something she ever saw herself doing.
When Gwenny decided to open her mouth and comment on how much harder it is to be a working mom in Hollywood than your average working or stay at home mom, people jumped all over it. The mommy blogging world literally imploded in on itself. Everyone had something to say. Food bloggers were even working it into their blogs by discussing that weird crap she eats, goop. However, no one had a single thing to say about Cameron, not one opinionated blog post about her choices.
I was surprised to say the least. Here is a beautiful, successful woman choosing not to have kids and no one has anything to say about it?
Well, I guess I do. I read it and immediately thought; good for you. You’re right, if you don’t feel like you want to have children then you shouldn’t. Recognizing the life-altering undertaking it is to bring a child into this world and understanding that it might not enhance her own life is equally as brave as choosing to become a mom. It’s not every woman’s cup of tea, and that’s ok. Better to know yourself well enough to know that motherhood isn’t for you then to have a child and not raise it to the best of your abilities.
As I sit here at the end of Man’s bed listening to Lady scream in her crib through the wall, watching him toss and turn and whine every time I try to leave; praying to the sleep gods that after an hour of this crap they would just go the fuck to sleep, the thought actually did creep into my head.
Ugh, why did I have children?? I could have been done with dinner an hour ago and snuggling with my husband on the couch by now. I could feel well rested, damnit!!
No, seriously, why did I have kids?
You can answer their same questions 100 times before answering them 100 more.
They killed my boobs. I would have done a wet t-shirt contest… or 10 if I had known that I would only have about a decade and a half before they were altered forever. Shit, I would have just walked around topless from ages 18-30.
They stole my freedom. “Me time” is considered going to the bathroom, relieving yourself, pulling up your pants, and washing your hands all before a small child runs into the room and wants to participate in this once-mundane ritual.
The idea that I am responsible for the upbringing and general wellbeing of two living, breathing human beings is completely terrifying.
Sometimes they put a strain on my marriage. Communication skills are found to be lacking in tired, overworked people.
They whine. There are days when it goes on for so long that I would literally rather listen to nails across a chalkboard then hear one more request for, “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaterrrrrrrrrrrrrr, NOW MOM!”
They need help doing just about everything, yet they insist they can do it themselves. (And then they whine when they can’t)
Their idea of fun and my idea of fun directly conflict.
They test my limits and often win.
Where do they get all of that energy?
Should I go on? Because I can.
Yikes, why DID I have kids?
I have always wanted to be a mother. I am not ashamed to say, that although attaining a degree that would enable me to have a career was important, children were a top always priority.
It created an important and magical bond with my husband. Standing back, silently watching our children giggle and laugh as they play together; we exchange a smile, a shared sense of wonderment that together we created this.
When they say “I love you” it’s as if you’ve just won the lottery, every single time.
They give great big hugs and kisses that leave your mouth wet and your heart full.
It’s the only way to truly understand the concept of unconditional love.
Watching them grow and develop is actually incredibly interesting and satisfying.
For every time it seems that they don’t listen, they suddenly do something that shows you they were listening every time.
Their tiniest of accomplishments makes you want to celebrate and jump for joy in a way you never would for yourself.
You feel lucky just to be in the same room with them, just to have the special gift of being their mom or dad.
Despite the fact that you might be tired and frustrated and just want to be done with them for the day; the fact that they want only you, that in their world you’re the only thing that they can consider to help them, is wonderfully fulfilling.
Should I go on? Because I can.
The decision to bring a baby into this world is not one to be taken lightly. It is life altering in a way that can only be felt once that baby is born. For those who understand themselves and recognize that it is not right for them, all I can say is please go to sleep at 8PM for me at least once a week, book a vacation at the last minute, meet your significant other at 11PM for dinner, stay in bed all day one Saturday, learn a new hobby, spend some money on something special just for you, climb the career ladder, be free and at times carefree… just because you can. For those who dive in head first, have children, and then wonder how they got there, keep in mind the many small (yes, sometimes microscopic) moments that fill each day, that keep us going, that show us that parenthood, that damned double edged sword, was the right choice for us.