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When Having It All Means Not Having Children – From a Mother’s Perspective

By on Aug 12, 2013

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This morning I read a recent Times article entitled “The Childless Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children”… and I fervently agreed.

Last night as the Hubby and I religiously prepared the girls for bed, I fell into the rocking chair, (totally depleted and beyond exhausted) and began nursing Jada, to which the Hubby exclaimed, “Congratulations on making it through another year of breastfeeding. You’ve been a cow for 2 years!”
While part of me wanted to challenge him to a duel, part of me understood what lay beneath his pseudo-compliment. My life of the last 3 years has required literal attachment to 2 separate human beings that were sucking the energy and life force out of me. Strangely, I was grateful for the acknowledgment.
Sometimes motherhood feels like an uphill battle with gear and babies in tow!
So after reading the aforementioned article, I couldn’t help but earnestly agree that parenthood is not for women (or men) who prefer a life of freedom and the resources of time and money like Jenna Johnson of New York: 
“I get to do all sorts of things: buy an unnecessary beautiful object, plan trips with our aging parents, sleep in, spend a day without speaking to a single person, send care packages to nieces and nephews, enroll in language classes, go out for drinks with a friend on the spur of the moment. I know all of this would be possible with kids, but it would certainly be more complicated. My plans—professionally, daily, long-term, even just for ­vacation—are free from all the contingencies that come with children.”
And while some may coin her response as selfish… it’s true. Having children certainly complicates an un-inhibited lifestyle. My husband and I don’t travel as frequently with the girls on the scene, and our latest family trips have been uber challenging (due to sleep schedules and daytime routines) and uber close (Hello again Galena, IL). Any extra money goes towards clothing their extra large bodies (thanks for the Sasquatch genes Hubby), and drinks with friends are planned weeks in advance with stringent beginning and end times. Parenting is NOT for the social butterfly, the late night rebel or the financially ambitious. 
It helps to have a real team player alongside you
When I decided to have kids (with Phil’s permission of course)…well…I just wanted them! I had no idea that its greatest gift to me (besides 2 beautiful girls) would be a revelation of who I am (beyond the incredibly stretchy uterus)! As I instruct and guide my girls in the ways of fairness, etiquette, kindness, generosity and a host of other Godly ways, I’m able to see my values, hang-ups, flaws and my strengths magnified 2x’s over and in HD! For once I can see ME. It’s a me that my friends couldn’t reveal, my job couldn’t affirm, my travels couldn’t inform and not even my Hubby could un-earth.  Motherhood brings out the best and the worst in us, because as one woman so candidly said, “It takes all of you, and I don’t know that I want to give it all.” The truth is that most human beings aren’t ready to “give it all,” just like most of us aren’t really ready to see our pure unadulterated reflections smiling, laughing, stomping and yelling back up at us.  
It took us nearly 2 hours to get the girls ready for a bike ride
While some may coin women who have opted to not have children as “selfish,” I instead commend them for making the decision and adhering to it. It’s a decision not to be taken lightly.
And so, as I sit here writing this entry at 5 a.m. (because its my only waking quiet time), and while drink nights with friends has turned into birthday party punch (un-spiked), and while my current career trajectory probably won’t land me the CEO role of “X” company, I can fervently agree with Jenna Johnson that “children come with contingencies.” But in response to the Jenna Johnson’s of the world I say that it’s those contingencies that reveal who we really are.
Now if I had to do it over again, maybe I’d throw in a few more exotic vacations and a few more crazy fun nights with friends, but it wouldn’t change my ultimate decision. I was meant to be Momma Mina. It’s a hard job to hold down…but nothing worth doing ever is.  
My Favorite Girls…my Mini Mina’s
What are your real thoughts on Parenthood?

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