Do you ever think about how weird it is that we even have kids in the first place?
Like, to take an act that I still, as a married woman, find embarrassing to talk about, that somehow creates an actual human being, and then for a woman to grow that human being inside of her, deliver that child in a way that seems to defeat all the laws we know about what is physically possible in the world, and then to have the next years of the parents’ lives completely fast-forwarded in an intense, emotion-filled journey….only to, *poof* have that once tiny baby gone forever?
Sometimes I wonder what my motivation is for having kids, especially at a “young” age.
My life could be so, so different right now.
So what motivates me to want to continue having children? I don’t really like being pregnant. Ok, I actually pretty much loathe being pregnant–I am not one of those women who stay stick skinny with only cute little bellies. I swear my entire aurora even swells up. Not pretty. I really don’t like breastfeeding, and after some technical difficulties from seven raging cases of mastitis, it’s actually incredibly painful. And then comes the little people stage, the stage I am right in the trenches of. It’s both maddening and exhilarating.
Sometimes, I marvel that I actually used to have a life all to myself. You mean I actually used to wake up, by myself? And just got to take a shower, just like that? And then did whatever the heck I wanted, all day long? And then just went to sleep, without wondering if I would actually get to sleep that night?
Who was that person??
It’s no question that motherhood has completely, completely changed my life.
But still I wonder–why did I choose it? Or rather, why did it choose me?
My work as an OB nurse has taught me that when it comes right down it, birth is a messy, rather routine business. It doesn’t take a special skill set or any fancy credentials to get pregnant. It’s the most natural thing in the world, when a couple announces they are having a baby. In many ways, it’s an expected part of life, the next step, if you will. And sometimes, as the hours-old bruises I once saw that broke my heart, it’s not always wanted.
Honestly, it makes no sense why we have children.
They cost us time, money, sleep, the ability to fit into any jeans pretending to be “skinny,” relationships, worry-free lives, the very fiber of our entire being. They cost us everything, with no guarantee of anything in return. (Yes, I worry my children won’t love me in my old age, ok? I am fighting a losing battle with one pesky hair that insists on growing on my chin. Gonna look hot in that nursing home.)
And yet, we’re all hooked.
Maybe it’s the excitement that comes, intermingled with trepidation and a whole lot of fear when we see those two lines that we’re addicted to.
Maybe it’s the feeling of a newborn sleeping soundly on your chest.
Maybe it’s the joy of seeing your child watch snowflakes fall for the first time.
Maybe it’s the little hand sleeping into yours; the voice that says, “I love you, Mama.”
Or maybe, just maybe it’s the fact that children make us more than we could ever be alone.
Maybe it’s the fact that through their eyes, we are everything and we strive to live up to the vision that we see reflected through their innocence.
Maybe it’s the love that fills our hearts, a love so great you sometimes wonder if it can be real.
But then again–
Maybe it’s just because having kids really makes you appreciate the little things in life. Like the ability to take a shower alone. They say gratitude is the key to a happy life, right?