Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Life with kids.

    Recently I thought about why I wanted kids. I remember not wanting them in highschool and in college. Then I met Leif and I suddenly wanted 5 of them! I wanted to have a family with this person I fell in love with and wanted to marry.  I happened to be on twitter and saw that had posted a link to a blog post about "Why Do You Want Kids". The blog post talked about how most answers that parents come up with aren't good enough for those who aren't parents.  It also brought up that article that was in the New York magazine about how sure, you love your children but you hate your life. Pft!

  I don't really want to go into the articles... I realized that I tend to be careful about what I say about being a parent. I have a lot of friends that don't want to have children, or thinking they have time to put it off. I know they read these articles and believe them.  I listen to them tell me what life is like with children, even though they have none. I listen while they tell me how you never get time with your spouse/significant other. I listen when they tell me about how hard it is to go out on dates or travel. I listen and nod. Sometimes I say things like, "no its not like that" but it gets ignored. This isn't to say that I think that everyone should go out and get pregnant. I don't think this. But I get tired of hearing things from friends who aren't parents, about what life will be like. Especially when I'm sitting there, as a parent.  Never have I judged friends who don't want kids, but its hard knowing that some of them judge me and my choices.

  It bothers me that my friends believe that deep down Leif and I are unhappy. Or almost feel bad for us. I can't tell you how many times friends have apologized to me for the fact that I got pregnant at 20. It always catches me off guard. I don't feel sorry for myself so why should they? I love my children, AND I love my life. Leif and I have to plan out our dates and some weeks we both work so much that we don't get to actually talk to each other until we're going to bed.  Most of our vacations are spent visiting our families, but what's wrong with that? We have to start setting money aside for Riley to do ballet or gymnastics. Because of this I probably won't get my gym membership as soon as I'd like. It could be worse.  There are other new costs that come with having a toddler, almost two. But, while that means that we sacrifice going to the movies every month and having cable, we use our saved money on other things that Leif and I enjoy. Now that the kids are getting bigger, we're excited that we can now start planning for a small family trip and next Fall we're hoping and praying that going to France will work out for the two of us.  We can't just pick up and take a weekend trip the way we used to be able to, we just have to work at it. We just have to try now. It doesn't bother us, and it doesn't make us bitter towards life.

  I sound almost defensive... I just want to share that yes, our lives have become a bit more complicated but we love every moment. Leif and I feel so blessed that we have been able to have children, that we were given such wonderful gifts.  I don't think parenting is for everyone, but it is for some and that should be respected.


The Bailey Family said...

Great post. I've missed reading your blog! I am a little older than you, but a lot of my friends don't have kids yet and I've felt the same way. I've definitely felt this when it comes to our decision for me to be a stay at home mom. I like your last sentence "I don't think parenting is for everyone, but it is for some and that should be respected."

Sharon said...

This was an especially thoughtful post. I have 2 daughters that are 15 years apart in age. Just when I was looking at being without a child in the house, I had a baby. I don't know what my life would've been without either one of my kids. I am a better person because of them. What a gift a child is, even when they are being a little pain. There are times we laugh so hard over their past antics.

Anonymous said...

What a heartfelt post Margaret! I'm in my 40's and didn't have my first child until I was 33yrs old. Funny thing, I wanted to be married and working on my 5th kid by the time I was 33.

Honestly, some folks will never get 'it' and that's okay. My issue is when non-parents try to tell me how to raise my children. Like you, I just nod and know that they are clueless, because babysitting your neice does not count as parenting...sorry!

Parenting is hard and full of sacrifice, but it is so worth it. Those who don't have children, no matter what age, will never be able to fully grasp this truth. My life with hubby has always been good, but its even better now that we have been blessed with our two kiddos.

Don't let those folks get you down because you get nothing but respect from me!!

Amy said...

I don't have kids yet, but I desperately want to be a mommy! I believe that parenting is one of the greatest joys in life and I really really really hope that I can experience being a parent one day.

Moorea Seal said...

I am not married. And I don't have any kids. I've been through so many phases of wanting kids, and then being too scared of it, nannying demon children and just wanting to never have kids, and coming back to the idea that starting my own family would be incredible.

I'm comfortable with it now. No, I am incredibly excited for it now. I am fearful of getting married too young, not thinking it through, not being prepared enough. But I really do feel incredibly excited to make a marriage not only work, but thrive. I am so excited to love my future husband for forever. I am SO excited to love my future babies forever. I know that the love I have for my sisters is extremely close to the love a mother has for her babies. They are the only people in the world who I am absolutely certain I would sacrifice my life for so that they could be safe. I know I have the capacity to love, be responsible for, and make sacrifices for my future family. But I also know that I can trust these feelings because of the hardship I've already experienced, having to raise my sisters.

People who haven't interacted with children in a mothering way just have not had the opportunity yet to feel that incredible powerful love that only a parent can feel. They have yet to experience the profound feeling of sacrificial love. Marge and Leif, you are SO blessed that you have had the opportunity at such young ages to live that deep life of love! You are not only good hearted, open minded parents, but you are just really really good parents to your children. You are full and ever growing people. And you LOVE your kids!

I am really proud of you and I deeply admire you as parents. Marge, I admire you SO much as a peer, as a woman, as a wife, as a momma, as an individual in an incredible unit of people.

I can't let myself be desperate to be a mommy yet because I know God doesn't want that for me yet. I will be patient. But I could cry right now just knowing how much capacity I have ready to love my future children. I am so excited to love them. So excited. Gosh, I seriously and trying not to cry while I say that to you/myself, haha.

I love you Marge and I admire you SO much for having both the wisdom to fully embrace yourself as a real and sincere, LOVING momma! And I admire you SO much for having the wisdom to have babies when God wanted you to. I am so excited for you that you are a young mommy because you will get to have sooo many more years with your children while those bitter towards young mothers will have not nearly as many years with this children, which is sad!

My dad always told me, "Moorea. It is ok to have children young. I thought I didn't want kids. I thought that I needed time to be free and live my life before kids. But once I had you, I knew my life was so much more full and deeper. My life was just beginning. You changed me and I became a dad. I wish I could have had 6 children. I wish I could have started young so that I could live most of my life with you."
That is a good dad.
And you get to live that dream Marge! You get to live most of your life WITH your children. That is incredible.

I can only hope that God gives me lots of years living in love with my future family.

<3 Moorea