Children or not to children
I can’t say it was a matter of choice for me. I’ve kind of always known I wanted a family and kids. And I suspect it goes the same for the most of the people.
And the other way around too. You just know you’re not the parent type. You have planned your life, set your goals and aimed high, even if it is on a hedonism scale, and being peed on, puked and pooped on just ain’t your cup of tea.
But what about the indecisive types? What about all the nerds out there, wanting to make a rational and informed decision? Or people who often chop and change when it comes to family planning?
Well, I can promise you the hardcore honesty and a piece of my mind, so you familiarize yourself with what you’re getting into.
And right off the bat, I confess: I am a complaining mom. A tired mom who every once in a while turns into the dragon mom. But for the record, no matter how I may sound, I love my children. Make no mistake about it. They are my private rays of sunshine and regardless of how frustrated I get from time to time; I haven’t regretted having them (seriously I mean), not one single time. Just so you know.
Buckle up guys, ‘cause here come the cons:
Parenting is cruel
My little ones are 5 and 2 and I haven’t had an uninterrupted good night’s sleep in 5 years! Only imagine being woken up at least 2 times a night on average. Every single night. Starting the day like a zombie has nowadays become the way I roll.
Change the diapers, wipe the wee asses, make the breakfast, and you can’t simply skip it and shove them a cup of coffee and a piece of bread instead. Also, there’s the tedious menu planning, grocery shopping, and serving them while they eat. Every single day. On weekends, on holidays, always.
They spill everything. They smear their little faces when they eat and systematically muck the windows and mirrors around the house.
And when you finally cleaned it all up and set for a moment to enjoy your tidy home and praise yourself for handling it all, your little pirate slash soldier slash Spiderman marches in and yells out from the bottom of his tiny lungs: “Mum, sis has drawn over the entire wall,” which of course, you thought would be a good idea to cover with washable paint, but you couldn’t saddle yourself with that one too.
Oh, and I adore all those idyllic commercials and movies where parents chit chat to one another. They solve drama, discussing about the love life of their unmarried friends, 100% involved in their own lives. And the little ones? Oh, they are around, sleeping or peacefully playing on their own. You never hear them screaming or yelling. The TV children are not needy and greedy for your attention.
Well, don’t buy it. They are trying to deceive you. It’s the kids who hold the leading roles in real life. You are only a go get guy. Not even in the scene. I’m telling you, parenting is cruel.
I feel so bad for mamas and dadas who think there’s something wrong with them for wanting some alone time. Even if all they wish is some good old ceiling staring.
Yet, guilt trips are the inherent part of parenthood. Let me throw you a tiny list of common reasons, particularly mothers beat themselves about:
Deciding not to breastfeed,
Not having enough milk if breastfeeding,
Thinking about not breastfeeding anymore.
You turned your eyes for a second and the baby fell off the bed.
Forgotten diapers, tissues, etc.
Yelling at children
Not wanting to be Captain Hook for the hundredth time that week.
Not spending enough time outside (even though you try to be outdoors as much as circumstances allow you to).
Fantasizing about traveling without your children to the deserted island (where there still somebody serves cocktails, of course).
Not being able to enjoy special moments with your little ones, for the angry laundry awaits and you are already beaten.
The responsibility burden of upbringing
It’s on you to make them proper adults. Oh, I remember the days when I would pass by crying children, slamming their angry feet against the pavement and I’d thought to myself: “what are these parents thinking? How can they allow such behavior?” But since I joined the club, I rarely see a child who doesn’t misbehave. And yes, I too imagined my kids would be different and I’d be better than those parents.
And it’s you who gets to suffer the embarrassment if it’s in a public place and to figure out a way of correcting it. (Hint: the stuff they write in books and on YouTube videos doesn’t always work). It’s you who can’t escape listening to your kids’ high pitch begging: “Please mommy can I have just one more ice cream/toy/cartoon/ video game/minute…” over and over again when they had already wracked every single sane nerve inside your body.
Also, if it has already been a bad day, you reach the tipping point – and you turn into the dragon mama, out of control lady who screams at her “poor and innocent” children.
As the time goes by, you discover that you are not you anymore. Or at the very least, you are much less you-you than you are a mom–you.
And on the rare occasions when you carve out some alone time to relax, enjoy some friend time or go to the movies with your hubby, you realize that you’ve only just begun to unwind, and it’s already time to go home and dress up your mom-suit again.
I honestly thought my grandfather was exaggerating when he told me to expect my first decent relaxed time in ten years from the moment my baby boy was born. I was wrong.
So, why have them then? Pros:
Ok, so I don’t expect this reason to be very popular. I even imagine many people putting their frowns on.
But I am saying it anyway – because of the genes.
Think about it. The scientists determined that all humans on Earth descend from only a handful of people. What’s more, for tens of thousands of years, your ancestors have successfully passed on your own very genes through the epidemics and the wars and all kinds of hell, only for you to say, nop, I’m gonna pass, it’s just too God damn hard. Ok, maybe you can give yourself a break if you are a sibling, but don’t forget, you are missing the opportunity to leave your personal genetic imprint on your family branches.
I realize this one is a bit of a cliche. Yet, for a good reason. So far you got to know me a little: I am not a bubbly, romantic soul dreaming about rainbows and unicorns. And yet, I am going to be bold about love one feels for their child.
There is no way on Earth you’re ever going to love anything or anybody more and deeper than you love your kids.
When you recognize this feeling and its tremendous power, when you look into the way you love your children, you’ll discover that you are ready to die for them and that your bond is so unique and so strong it makes a whole new dimension of your entire existence.
Their smiles and cute little bodies, their playful and innocent eyes posses this amazing power of warming up your entire soul, exactly like the rays of sunshine, only from the inside.
And in case you wonder, no, it’s not the same if the children aren’t yours. If you are anything like me, somebody else’s children just don’t do the trick.
I was away once for a couple of days and when I returned, my little girl who didn’t speak much at the time kept repeating mama, mama, mama, mama, crazy happy and insane out of love for her mom. Needless to say, I forgave her the dirty wall.
Little children are amusing.
They make you laugh. Hard. They’re so funny when they learn how to walk and talk. They do and say hilarious things.
They make you proud. You created and nurtured a life. Human life. And now, this life can set the table or tidy up their room all on its own.
If you do your job right, they will love you and help you when you’re all rumpled, sick, and old.
Have you noticed that when you look at old people you see their wrinkles, gray hair and recognize how slow they walk and sometimes talk, but when you talk to your parents, no matter how old they are, parents is all you see? Don’t you want someone to see you that way when you grow old? Yes, this one is totally selfish, what can I say.
In conclusion, parenting is an adventure, quite a ride. I wouldn’t recommend it to the fearful nor to the self-centered people. Parenting is a challenge. The job is tough, the hours are killing, but the prize is totally worth it.