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.


I also know a lot of woman who’ve never experienced that “I want a baby” feeling. Many of my girlfriends really didn’t know if they would or should have children.

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.


There are many days when I wonder where I’d be if I hadn’t had children, but the irony of that is, I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t become a mother and experience what I have.

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 👶

 

MF

8 comments

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  • I agree, I have 3 beautiful children. All three are Autistic, not quite what I had planned but I like you always dreamed of babies. The only advice I have for anyone, even those contemplating a third or fourth etc, don’t wait too long. I always wanted more, and now it’s too late. Don’t take too long thinking, kids are the best this world could offer.

    • I agree with you on that! I use to ask my Mom when we should have our next baby and she said, don’t wait!! You will always find an excuse to not have a baby, but when they arrive, those thoughts leave! I also wanted a fourth, but my husband didn’t. I can’t imagine going back to the baby stage now!

  • God this is so true! It gave me goosebumps! Children make you selfless instantly but you don’t even notice it at first because you put their needs above yours immediately. Looking into those eyes, or feeling those tiny arms wrap around your neck is pure absolute bliss. But on the other side it’s also the most exhausting, frustrating, and life sucking experience at the exact same time. But I wouldn’t change a second of it for anything.

  • I guess I would have to ask you Michelle, about how you define someone who is “more successful” in their career than you are. I see a very successful woman who is able to combine the love she has for her family with the career path she has chosen. You seem to be happy with what you are doing and I see that as successful in itself. I see you with the best of both worlds.
    Anyone who is able to balance both family life and career to me has it all. I couldn’t imagine my life without my children and I have had a very successful career in nursing….not easy sometimes but what is life without challenges? It makes us stronger.

    • Thank you Frances! I do think I am successful, but I think I go through waves of self doubt as we all do. Sometimes we gaze over the fence and think, their life is better than mine. Doing what I do and meeting the people I do, I know that is completely untrue. Success is your measurement and is relative to what you believe. Comparing ourselves to others is a counter productive, but we still do it, especially in parenting! Thanks so much for sharing and commenting!

  • Thanks for the amazing read, Michelle! My husband and I have had 4 kids, 3 boys and finally a girl. Very soon they will all range from 30 to 35. I waited till I was 31 before becoming a mother, and it was by far my greatest accomplishment! It wasn’t easy, but well worth it! The teenage years were VERY challenging!!! During those years I thought they would never end! But now, as I look back, I understand what it really means to be a parent; to love when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Some people go through many physical challenges, like sickness, disease, poverty; we were fortunate in this regard. BUT..the challenges of delinquent teenagers is like none other: you continually question your parenting skills, even your very own sanity at times, but in the end it’s all worth it! My children have grown to be wonderful, caring and productive adults, and I never question myself for bringing them into this world!