I recently read a blog post about another blog post that is floating around (sorry if that’s confusing). Apparently there are parents who frequently re-evaluate their lives and say that they wish they didn’t have children or didn’t have so many. Why? Because they miss their old lifestyle. They miss the things they could do before. This is appalling to me but interesting because just this morning we were discussing in Sunday School the fact that many people ignore salvation because they’re afraid that the new life will require them to give up all the “fun things” in their life.
Josiah will be 5 years old in two months. I was 10 weeks pregnant with him on mine and Jimmi’s one year anniversary. Honestly, I don’t remember much of what we did before having kids. We spent time together in our tiny apartment. We watched TV together. We took the occasional trip to the lake or mountain together. It sounds uninteresting, but the only thing that mattered was spending time together.
Guess what? Now that we have children want to know what we do? We spend time together. We watch TV together. We’ve taken the occasional trip to the lake or mountain together. What’s the difference? Sometimes we watch movies like, “Tangled,” or some other new Disney movie. The trips to the lake are now weekend family trips. Yes, we still get to be alone (less now than before because of having an infant again), but our lives are even more blessed now that we have children to share our lives with.
Of course that’s not the only difference between before-children and after-children. Now we have to have discussions about how to raise our children. We have to team up and discipline. We fight about who is or isn’t helping enough with the children instead of the stupid things we probably argued about before. Instead of spontaneous “quality time” we now have to shut and lock the door to keep Josiah out and pray (yes, pray) that Samuel sleeps long enough so our time is uninterrupted.
I was never one to sleep in so I don’t miss things like that, but yes I’d love to be able to sleep straight through the night (which honestly most of the time I do). I’d love to be able to eat, shower, pee, and do my hair without Josiah yelling for me or Samuel demanding to be fed.
I am exclusively breastfeeding Samuel. This means that I have roughly 3 hours to go and do anything I need to do (grocery shop, eat, do housework, shower) before Samuel needs me again. I don’t pump. I pumped for the first few weeks due to engorgement and tried giving it to Samuel in a bottle but he refused. I have the bottle that are supposed to closely resemble a breast. But no. He still won’t do it. And honestly it doesn’t matter to me. A few people have told me that I could get out of the house for a while if I’d only pump and let someone else take care of him. There are a lot of women who pump because they prefer not to be “tied down” and they want to be free to run around if they want.
Yes it gets frustrating that Samuel ONLY wants Mama because ONLY Mama can provide the good stuff. But you know what? I LOVE the fact that Samuel wants Mama. It may not always be convenient, but I’d rather stay home and breastfeed or take Samuel with me than pump and hope he takes the bottle. I pumped while I was nursing Josiah due to necessity. Let me tell you, it is not fun. Using a breast pump is like sticking a vacuum cleaner hose to your breast and turning it on — it is definitely more comfortable just nursing the baby.
I may not be able to jump up and run out the door to hang out with friends whenever I want (actually it takes at least 15 minutes to get the kids in the car and out of the driveway), but that’s OK. I may not be able to go on weekly date nights child-free. I may not have a spontaneous intimate life (some days I may not have an intimate life due to kids…), but that’s OK.
Do you know what I do have? I have two precious little boys that I could love more. Josiah is my firstborn and he is a very special gift from God. He’s smart (and a smart-alleck) and he is very curious about the world around him. Samuel is my second born, but my sixth baby. Samuel was given to us by God when we thought we couldn’t have any more children. He’s already 2 months old, but he’s still not quite old enough to see what his little personality will be like.
It really doesn’t matter what my life was like before I had children because I do have children. All I know is that my life is better because of my children.
There are many women I know personally and in the blog world that are struggling with infertility and recurrent miscarriages. These women would love nothing more than to have snotty noses to wipe and dirty diapers to change and the sweet smiles and kisses that come with it.
My heart is breaking right now for a woman that I know. She has a beautiful daughter that is in elementary school, but since she was born they’ve tried and tried to have another baby, but her and her husband now have several babies in heaven. Right after Samuel was born she announced that she was pregnant and tonight I found out that delivered a beautiful baby boy at 20 weeks gestation. She was able to hold him and see his precious face, but he is now in the arms of Jesus.
Children are a precious gift no matter what the circumstances. It pains me to think that their are children out there who’s parents would rather be out having fun than spending time with them.
As a final note I want to stress the fact that we all get frustrated. We get frustrated by our marriages, our children, our jobs, etc…but that doesn’t mean we wish we could rewind and reconsider our choices. Tonight was a very good reminder that although I’m not getting much sleep and I’m not getting much privacy, I’m getting something worth so much more than that.
So would I ever reconsider my decision to have children? The answer always has been and always will be NO. I wouldn’t give up my children for the world.