Life without Children? Can’t imagine it….

I have become a fan of another great blog: http://themommyrevolution.com/

I encourage everyone to check it out, especially if you are a mom or a friend of a mom. 🙂 Two friends have paired up to write about “mom” type things. I know one of the women (Carla). They talk about a lot of things, and often they disagree. In the latest post, Caryn shared her thoughts about how being a mom for her means having lost some of her spontanaeity. That may be too brief of a summary, so I invite you to read it for yourself.

I shared some thoughts, and it really turned out to be a long bunch of thoughts that I thought I should keep a record of and share with my friends. I don’t really think that this is a “grass greener” issue but rather an understanding of two roads diverging in a yellow wood (Frost).

As someone whose dreams hadn’t really even taken full form yet (except the one about marrying the best man in my life) when the honeymoon “took” and a premie child entered my life 8 months and 4 days after the wedding, I have lived in this world of wondering what it’s like without children for nearly all of my adult life. Perhaps having children right away (yes, the second one followed 12 months and 2 weeks later) was God’s way of sheltering me from KNOWING what it would be like without them. I tend to be a rather selfish person. Life is all about me, and I like it that way. The fastest cure to this deep-rooted selfishness is not marriage but motherhood…actually, pregnancy alone will do it.

Let’s face it, the act of becoming pregnant is rather short-lived in comparison to the results of that act. At various points in both of my pregnancies, I was quite sure that an alien had invaded my body and desired things to eat that I didn’t like previously. First came the invasions – and then the doctor surgically removed the aliens; we named the first one Elizabeth and the second one Josiah – but the invasion into my womb was just the start of things. These precious little things invaded every part of my being, and I had to consider their needs before mine. There was little time to think about what could be after them or instead of them. I had to learn rather quickly that I had to consider what I could do with them and around them.

I’ve learned that my dreams must coincide with my family’s life, but they are not necessarily defined by the family members themselves. I certainly understand that life with children must be different than life without – yet, I rarely feel cheated or jealous. I don’t think I’m an odd duck. It’s a covenant relationship for us all, really. By being part of a family, we give up certain rights to our “personal” dreams so that the family unit can best be served. And that choice can be hard at times when our selfish selves kick in – when we are not communicating well with one another, or when we choose to hide our authentic selves from the rest of the family.

I don’t think that we have to give up our bucket lists when we have a family. We need to ensure that the dreams of all be analyzed and followed when possible. Perhaps the cruise has to wait a few years, but the cruise can happen.

The people who my children are and who they are becoming have the likelihood to be the very people with whom I would spontaneously head to some far-off place. I don’t just love them because they are my children, I like them. They are bright and full of the desire to learn. Many times, I prefer them to some of the adults in the world who have stopped asking important questions about life and God.

My dreams take flight best with the smiling faces of my children and husband behind me. We are in this thing called life together, and that profit is worth the loss of any dream I may have concocted alone. When the two roads diverged, I chose this path – the one that included my family.

“And that has made all the difference” (Frost).

**Note: Speaking of diverging, I think that I did exactly that. Please be sure to read themommyrevolution.com to see if I even stayed anywhere close to their point.

**Second note: Please do not interpret this blog as saying that a married with children life is the preferred life (even if society has chosen to primarily view it as such) over being single. Wherever one finds oneself – make the most of that situation!

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Life without Children? Can’t imagine it….

  1. Stacy, as I a single woman I was not at all thinking you were saying married with children is the best way. My blog could be the opposite, Life with children, can’t imagine it! Not that I don’t love children, I was an elementary school teacher before coming to Japan. But, I cannot imagine my life any differently, I love where God has placed me and I can finally say that I am comfortable with my singleness and accepting the gift that God has given me in it. God has such amazing creativity in the way He created each of us. Have fun with your kids:)

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  2. Shan – Thank you SO much for saying that. I am trying to be more sensitive to my single friends, so I am glad to hear that this entry didn’t portray the wrong idea. Hope you are well and SO glad that you commented!

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  3. I do remember the 3 years without kids and we definitely spent more time together with just the two of us. However, I couldn’t picture my life without my kids. Yes, there have been times where I have had to give up things for the kids but I have to say it hasn’t really been that much that I can remember. Since I am a working mom and had the luxury of a husband who does A LOT around the house, I have been able to volunteer in many extra areas at church, the Association and on the camp board. I feel like I have been spoiled but every idea I brought, my husband could veto any of them and I would respect his decision…sometimes kicking and screaming but in the end, he had the final say. To my single friends that may seem bad in that I didn’t get to make the full decision and just do it, but usually everything that he said No to ended up being a good decision. He had the insight that I didn’t. PS Yes, the mommyrevulution website is good. I encourage all to check it out as well.

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