I always wanted children, at some point in my life. I never really had a specific age at which I wanted it to happen, but I just knew that I loved children and would become a mother, one day.
In spite of my love for kids and my desire to have them, before my son was born, I started to fall into a place where my life was comfortable and children seemed like such an inconvenience.
I was single, I lived abroad, I worked late nights, I travelled with ease when I wanted to. I was accustomed to my lifestyle and children just seemed so … needy.
They depend on you for EVERYTHING and you can’t do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. Say goodbye to sleep, girls’ night at the clubs, my body without stretch marks and sagging skin and most importantly me time.
Every time I thought about it, it seemed dreadful, scary and made me wonder if I would ever really be ready to be a mother.
Then I got pregnant.
I was thrust into motherhood. The sleepless nights, no more wild nights with the ladies, no more date nights, no more me time. I won’t be able to do this ever again. I can’t go here. I can’t have that. Everything that ran through my head had to do with me, myself and I.
Russell Brand, in an interview on The View, recently said something that describes perfectly the epiphany that you experience after having children:
“A baby is the materialization of I’m not the most important person in the world.”
Since having my children, I was forced to stop being self-absorbed and selfish. Every decision I make and everything I do can no longer be about me because there are two little lives that depend on me to keep them comfortable, happy and alive. I am no longer the center of my little universe.
I know that for some people, making such a sacrifice is unthinkable. I get it. Like I said, I was in the same place that you were before my sons were born. In addition, it doesn’t help that we now live in a world in which being self-involved is the norm and when you are accustomed to looking out for just yourself the thought of shifting all of the attention from yourself to your children can be daunting.
However, not being able to maintain your single lifestyle should not be the only reason for deciding to not have children.
Now I am not saying that you are a bad person if you don’t want children. Absolutely not. The decision to have a baby is a huge and personal decision that should take several factors into consideration. Not everyone is meant to have a family and being a parent may not be your particular calling and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
In fact, if you genuinely do not like or want children, then don’t have them. Don’t feel as though you should “compromise” (I have heard people use this term when referring to their kids) just to make your family or society happy. Then you may end up raising your children in a household filled with resentment, regret and possibly neglect which is just unhealthy for both you and the children.
What I am saying is that the decision not to have a baby, should be an all-encompassing decision and not solely based on our selfish desires.
Yes, before kids I enjoyed travelling by myself, where I wanted, when I wanted. But now, even though planning a vacation involves several more steps and a lot more preparation than when I was single, I enjoy seeing my kids get excited about flying in a plane and being able to provide them with experiences that would last a lifetime.
Yes, it was the best feeling in the world to sleep straight through the night in my own bed with no one kicking me in the face (man I miss that). But now I enjoy cuddling those little bodies when they have a bad dream in the middle of the night and need comfort.
Yes, I loved the fact that I could exercise whenever was convenient for me and was able to keep my body in some sort of order. But now I enjoy having impromptu dance parties with my kids and hearing them laugh until their stomachs hurt.
Even though I thought I wasn’t ready for kids, when my boys came into my life they changed me. They changed my priorities, the things I enjoyed doing and the way I viewed the world in general. They opened my eyes to what was really important and if I hadn’t let go of my fears and dared to open my heart to someone other than myself, I would have missed out on having two of the best things that ever came into my life.