I recently had a conversation with a group of women about the decision to have children. One of the women in the group was taking opinions from Moms about having kids.
I was fortunate I think, because I never questioned having children. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a mother. I used to plan out what I would name my kids. I can remember scribbling down my girl and boy names on my note tote binder. Raven would be my girl and Elton would be my boy.
I clearly remember on my first wedding anniversary waking up with this overwhelming feeling that I wanted a baby. We got a puppy, but the baby fever only swelled and I was holding our baby by our second anniversary.
When a friend asked me what advice I would offer to someone who’s considering having kids, my knee jerk response was “It’s the reason we’re here. Kids are everything.” But then I thought about all the amazing people I know who chose (by choice or not) to not have children, they too have a full life, but a very different life.
I always admired Oprah Winfrey’s careful decision not to have children. She watched so many mothers struggle balancing their career and motherhood, so she decided to make her career her children.
One of my favourite Oprah quotes is: “You can have it all, just not all at once.”
I’ve watched countless colleagues progress in their career and move to bigger city centres, while I stay put, laying roots for my family.
I’ve thought many times, those that progressed and moved on in their career are “more” successful than me because I chose motherhood. But I also remember one very dear friend (whose single, kidless and has a booming career) said to me one night, “All you want to do is eat alone and all I want to do is a have a loud family to eat with.”
The grass can be greener on the other side if you don’t water your own lawn. Perception plays a lot of mind tricks on us.
I think it’s normal for women and men to question having children.
I vividly remember lying on our couch when I was about seven months pregnant. I was on the phone with my mom and I reluctantly told her something that had been brewing in my mind for months.
I said “Mom, I’m really scared to lose my independence. I’m really worried that I’m going to resent the baby when he or she is born because I won’t be able to “just go to the store” whenever I feel like it. I know I will never be able to just casually make impromptu plans again and I’m worried I’ll be resentful to motherhood.”
My mom, listened and calmly replied, “Not an issue, I promise Michelle, you will love that baby more than you can possibly imagine.”
She was right. No one in the world can prepare you or truly explain the feeling of becoming a parent. Everytime I held my babies for the first time I thought, I want to do this a hundred more times. It is euphoria and the best high you will ever experience.
Parenting is the toughest thing you will ever do. I commend women and men who carefully consider the decision to bring a human into this world.
Whatever your choice is, it’s yours, but be warned, you will never experience such feelings of happiness and rage in your life as you do when you become a parent.
I would love for people to share their insight and leave a comment. Pethaps your thoughts will help someone out there who’s on the fence about having a baby.
Comment away 👶