Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Case For A Baby--Why I Decided to Have Children


This post has been weighing heavy on my heart for the past week or so. It was sparked by a comment of one of my Facebook friends who has decided not to have children because she does not want to "sacrifice her marriage". It got me thinking, and doing some research. I came across article after article claiming that  more of my generation is choosing not to have children than any generation before them. First of all, let me just say that I take these articles with a grain of salt. As a history teacher, I know that there is bias in everything and that there are many, many different factors at play in why more people are choosing not to reproduce. BUT--I also cannot ignore the fact that this is true in most of the developed world. More people are electing to live child-less. So why is that?


In the articles that I read the authors claim several reasons why people chose not to reproduce. 1. She never had the desire to have children growing  up. 2. She is in love with her current life, and wouldn't want to give it up for a life she does not know would make her happy. 3. She believes children harm marriages and cause divorce 4. Her career is more important to her than having children. 5. She feels like she isn't good with kids/ kids don't like her/ she has no maternal instincts. As I read this--I couldn't help but feel sad. Sad because I feel like some women may be out there thinking that it is not possible to have children and have a good marriage and a satisfying career.


When I was engaged, and we talked about having a family--I had some doubts too. I had never held a baby before my own. Seriously! I had no knowledge of whether I had or would have maternal instincts. I worried about that a lot. I don't particularly like little children--or I didn't before having P. I think that it is a natural feeling to worry about not being able to do it "right".  I'm not sure what that even means, but I understand the worry. I felt it too. The weight of raising and molding a child is enormous and I get that some people feel that they are not "with it" enough to take that on. I feel not "with it" a lot, but I'm still doing it everyday, and I'm pretty proud so far.


As far as my career goes--I can think of several things that are more important to me than my career. Teaching is what I do, but the relationships I have are what defines me, and being P's Mommy is one of the most important ways that I now define myself and my own happiness. She is a huge motivator for me. She doesn't hinder me from doing my job, but then again, I have never been one to make my job my biggest priority. A loft of women have very demanding and successful careers, and yet they have very large families. P's Pediatrician has EIGHT children! She works a lot, and I have come to refer to her (only in my head) as superwoman. I would just hate to think that in this day and age a woman feels like they have to choose between being truly successful in their career and having children if that is what they want.


I loved my life before P was born. I enjoyed the freedom, late nights, and last minute vacations. Sometimes I even miss that life. But I guess it all boils down to the idea that for me even though I loved my life and was completely happy--I always felt like there was something more. AND not just because society told me I SHOULD have children, but because deep down--I felt LED to have them. When I looked into the future and thought about my life at 70 or 80--when I can't travel anymore, and late nights are less appealing...I know I would wish I had children. Not just to take care of me, but that is true as well, but also to enrich my life. Of the greatest memories I have--P is in most of them.


Now for the marriage aspect. Children can cause a lot of problems in a marriage. J and I disagree about things with P occasionally, and I think that that is normal. BUT ultimately I think divorce is caused by the people in the marriage and not by the children it produces. Sure children mean less time to spend with your spouse alone, but it does make you see your spouse in a whole new light. Having children together brings on a whole new closeness. You really have to depend on each other. You become even more of a team. I think it has brought us closer.


So here is my message--in case you wondered if there was going to be a point here--if you feel like you are on the fence about it, then ask yourself this question. What is most important to you? How do you picture your life at 70 or 80? I was on the fence once or twice, but I can say definitively that I have never once regretted it. Not one single time--except--nope not even then. In fact, I hope to do it again, one day.


Women shouldn't feel like they should have to make excuses why they chose not to have children. Women shouldn't have to explain why they chose to have more than 3 children (which I feel has become an issue these days as well). I mean--god forbid anybody would want to have more than 3 children--that can't possibly be financially responsible--right. I think I am gagging right now. UGH!

A decision as important as bringing a child into this world should come from someone who has carefully looked at their life and what they want out of it, and decided that it would be better with a child in it, and not because we are scared of what the world will say if we chose not to. It should also not depend on us worrying that we can't have it all--marriage, career, and happy children. There is a way to make it work. I see it happening every single day.

There--weight lifted.
Happy Wednesday, Y'all

2 comments:

  1. This post is great. I have a friend who says she doesn't want children at all and it hurts my heart.

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  2. Kids are the best! I have ten 6-7 year old babies everyday and I am always laughing. You're a great mommy! I know I will be a mom too one day (we are taking our time) and seeing happy moms makes me smile. I am loving this time in my life as well, isn't it great when you're happy! Kids are such a gift! Cherish each moment friend.

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