On Having Kids

This morning, a twitter friend was talking about how she decided at a young age that she did not want to have kids. But no matter how she insisted, she couldn’t find any doctors who would give her a tubal. She now has one child, and went on to say that people think she’s being funny when she says she doesn’t recommend kids to friends.

That started me thinking about how much my life has shifted in the last 2 years. For the first 15 years of my adult life I was child-less and husband-less. I’m counting from 22, when I got out of college. I spent that time doing pretty much whatever I wanted to do, without having to answer to someone or make elaborate plans. If you have kids early, then you don’t have all that time to get into that independent routine.

HH has been a father since he was 17. 17. So, his whole adult life there has been a child to raise. I honestly cannot imagine my 17 year old self having a child, not even my 22 year old self.

So, while I love our little Toots to the moon and beyond, when I found out I was pregnant, I kind of saw that as the end of “my” life for a few years. I spent so much time coming and going and doing whatever, and I knew that was coming to a swift end.

The simplest things need “a plan” now. You cannot be spontaneous with a child. You just can’t. Babysitters must be arranged. Schedules must be coordinated. I don’t know about every other mother, but for me with a child under 1, sleep is at a premium. Lemme say that again: sleep is at a premium. There have honestly been times where I had to decide to sleep or eat, and I have chosen sleep. And that over the top sex drive that’s supposed to kick in for us women when we get around 40? Non-existent for me. (I’m sure much to HH’s chagrin, LOL). I just want to sleep.

I mean, if I want to stop and do something after work I’ve got to go home first, because I’m carting around breast milk that I pumped during the day at work. Forget that mac & cheese commercial talking about liquid gold. Breast milk is liquid gold, and it absolutely cannot be wasted!

They say when you become a parent, you become less selfish. Maybe most folks do. But I still want my “me” time and often feel guilty about taking it, which is crazy. I’ve got to take care of myself to be there for HH and the kids. And yet, the thought of coordinating breast feeding, pumping and schedules just to take one yoga class makes me feel like, “just forget it.”

I’m just being honest here.

And I still don’t necessarily like everyone’s babies just because I have one now. LOL! I don’t envision a future where I spend my entire weekend wrapped up in my child’s sports activities. But who knows – that could very well be my future, and I’ll deal with it. My coworker’s son plays baseball and she was saying how the parents of the kids on the team become your main friends. Uh, I don’t want to lose my old friends.

Parenting is hard. Everybody knows that. It is physically draining. Some nights I’m pissed that my kid loves my b00bs so much that she wants to breast feed at 2:45am. I’m frustrated with HH’s work schedule which leaves me solely on baby duty every afternoon and evening on the weekends. He has days off during the week, so he can go freely because she’s at daycare. I miss being able to just decide to go to ATL or to VA on short notice. Matter of fact, we had a come to Jesus convo about this, because I really don’t think he understood how things were from my point of view. Again, he’s been at this since 17. Also, neither of my stepsons was breast fed, so he didn’t have that either. I think in his mind, it should’ve just fallen into place for me.

Uh, no.

Lemme tell you, when my sisters and brother started having their kids, I was not jumping up talking about, “I can’t wait to babysit!” Nope. Matter of fact, when my sisters kids used to visit in the summer time and play with my better’s kids, it was nothing but a cacophony of aggravation, in my book. I used to chuck the deuces, go to my room and close the door. LOL!

I’ve never had that internal ticking clock. Not at any time in my 20s or early 30s. Matter of fact, I tried my hardest to date men WITHOUT kids, although as I got older that got harder to do.

At the end of the day, parenting is not for everyone. I respect the people who can say without a doubt that they DON’T want to have kids. It’s smart that they know this. And if you want them, have them. If you’re healthy, don’t let that “advanced maternal age” speech from the doctor scare you away completely.

Just know that sometimes it may not feel like candy canes and rainbows.

And you may not feel like every other parent feels about parenting – I know I don’t always feel the same as my peers.

And that’s ok. You won’t get sent to parenting hell for that.

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17 thoughts on “On Having Kids

  1. You are so right parenting isn’t for all. I planned on no husband or kids at 18 andddddd yeah. Here I am two teens and two marriages later. As your life change, your mind change, the best you can do is go with it. Your baby is so precious. I wish I had mine later but I had them young, which means I will be 42 with two grown sons.

    • There are some advantages to that, though. You’re probably more stable in your career and better with money now than when you were younger. You’re going to have time to take advantage of that. 🙂

      • True. My oldest son may live with me forever due to his disability but we are looking at group homes. I want to travel once they get settled. So much I didn’t get to do when I was young. Got a friend on FB saying she don’t want a man with young kiddos. Her baby is 14. She ain’t trying to start over and I understand. She was a mom at 16.

  2. Glad to hear all this because I’m still on the fence about those babies. Everyone says the same thing – you never regret having kids, but you may regret NOT having kids. Damn them.

    I always wanted 3 before 30. In fact I totally envisioned 6 kids in my life for the longest. The “longest” being until I was over 35 and realized that was just stupid.

    Now? CP wants babies. I’m only convinced about one. Maybe. Only if it (he/she) comes without drugs or procedures. He thinks we go all the way and do what we need to do to make it. Ughhhh! I’m so cool with our life as it is.

    And then – truth be told – people like you post these damn cute pics of babies on Instagram and the like and holy damn! I want a baby!

    Only without all the baby stuff. Does that make any sense? Probably not.

    • Nope, that makes total sense. You have a vision of how you want your life with kids to look, if you do have them. I think you have the advantage because you can plan the timing of the kids, should you choose to have them. You and CP have done a lot of traveling and you’ve had all kinds of life adventures. I think you would be just fine. 🙂

    • That regret line is a crock of baloney! If you’re okay with your decision, there won’t be any regret. Do what YOU want to do. Aside from the havoc wrecked on your body, you’re on the hook for 18 years to feed, clothe, and house another human being.

      Those people who say it have just drank the Kool-Aid about thinking that in order to feel “complete,” we have to give birth. I disagree.

  3. I’ll be 44 next week and people are still asking me if I’m going to have kids. NERP!! LOL. Friends would tell me my maternal instinct would kick in automatically when I expressed that I did not want, nor like, kids. My response: but what if it doesn’t? Of course I would be the best mother I could be but I agree, that regret line is a bunch of BS. Because I know folks that regret having kids. Of course it’s the unpopular thing to say so you don’t hear that often.

    I do believe that children are wonderful, just not for me.

    • My best friend has been married since 2008 and they decided that they so not want to have kids. People still ask her about it all the time. I don’t know why everyone assumes that getting married means you MUST have kids. It really doesn’t. I admire all my friends who step up and make that decision that they will not be having kids, and are firm in their stance.

  4. Lord knows parenting isn’t candy canes and rainbows! Shame on the Mommy mafia for making it seem that you are a terrible mother if you don’t sacrifice your entire soul and being and desire every second for your kids.

    And I have to share your vent about your husband’s schedule. The Mister does not get how much this bothers me. He *always* gets two days off because he doesn’t work traditional hours. I don’t. On 3/4 weekends, he goes to work and I’m with the kids…on my days off. It’s like I never get a break! Sometimes I need to be in house alone to recharge my spirit and that almost never happens. Would be wonderful if that was a day where I didn’t have to work all day too. It just doesn’t feel fair.

  5. I love babies and kids until most of them are about 7 :). I absolutely love spending time with my niece and nephew. They are my hearts…I can’t wait to have more nieces and nephews! But for me personally, no kids for me. I have zero desire to experience pregnancy & birth.

    I like the life my husband and I have together. Alone. Without kids 24/7.

    I hate when people tell me I’ll change my mind – it’s rude.

  6. This post is so timely for me. I dealt with infertility for years during my first marriage which lasted for 10 years. We spent lots of money on drugs, injections & surgical procedures with no baby at the end of the day. It was a depressing, emotional rollercoaster. Seven years after divorce I got remarried (7 months ago) to a man with no children. We are moving towards a child-free life, but we really only discuss the issue privately. Even though we are both 44 years old, people are asking us all the time when we are going to start our family ! Honestly, I thought people would just assume we missed the baby boat because of our age, LOL. However, on Mother’s Day, my new in-laws dropped MAJOR hints about wanting us to “carry on the family line”. I was rendered speechless & so was my husband LOL. We are trying to figure out what WE truly want. I think I am just afraid of REGRET. I don’t want to look up 10 years from now & say “maybe we should have had kids”, but honestly right now, we are really leaning towards building our life around us only. I am actually quite surprised at how ambivalent I feel about this issue now, when for YEARS I was doing everything possible to have a child. I can admit that I have rare MOMENTS when I look at my husband and think, I really wish I could create a mini-version of him, or I wonder what kind of child we could raise together. But sometimes I think that might be ego. We have a great life, we are happy & enjoy one another & truly take advantage of the flexibility that you mention in your post. I know that life is about trade-offs. Happiness comes in many forms. I am just praying for some clarity.

    • It really bothers me that society believes the only way to build/leave a legacy is by procreating and leaving DNA behind. Somewhat of an extreme, but when Oprah dies, she won’t have left any children. Does that diminish her impact on the world? She will still be remembered for her passions and business growth and giving back.

      Also, with the advances in medicine, we have decided that it’s perfectly okay to be pregnant at 50. Which is pure selfishness. Any thoughts about the child in this situation? Be a parent at 50 and then realize that you may not be in tip-top shape to attend college graduations and other milestones.

      I applaud you for recognizing that you could be okay without having children. And frankly, you do have children. What you do for your nieces and nephews is amazing and I know they appreciate it. Children don’t have to share your DNA or live with you full-time in order for you to have an impact on their lives.

  7. Listen, my me time is few and far between. I wish I had more time just for myself but that doesn’t negate the fact that I cant imagine life without my child and even want one more ( wtf am I thinking!?) I just knew I wanted to be a mom before I became one. I just want to do it differently, you know the whole married thing. It just didn’t happen that way for me but I wouldn’t change too much about the process.

    You’re right tho, everyone isn’t cut out to be a parent. Not every one wants kids. Not everyone who has them needs them either lol.

  8. Yes honey yesssss! (to this entire post)

    This right here:

    “I don’t envision a future where I spend my entire weekend wrapped up in my child’s sports activities”

    Is me to a T. I have friends and co-workers whose kids are in sports and it seems like all they are doing is running to practice and games. I am not interested in doing that. Why do coaches feel like they need to take up all of your time any-ole-way? I don’t get “me” time as is and I’m really not looking forward to being even more busy.

    I am grateful that I waited until after 30. I empathize with my mom, who started having us at 20. She didn’t really live.

    • Those sports schedules are no joke. And what’s the percentage of kids who make it professionally? I understand the benefits of organized sports, I just think there should be a balance.

      My sister was just in PA all weekend for my niece’s soccer tournament. And they made it to the finals, so they had to play yesterday. *womp womp* LOL!

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