Although you walk the walk and talk the talk, you still want to be drowned in hugs and kisses. Long gone for some of us are the days of changing diapers and silly made up games, but it still feels like it was yesterday. Gone with yesterday are all the first: first word, first step, first time they read a book to you, first time you sang a song together, first time they didn't cry when you left the room. But still it feels…well you know, like yesterday. The happiest vision of true perfection is the smile you get because somehow they know they are the center of your world and the beneficiary of all your love and affection. So to all the mothers, I say, ode to you. Ode to my mother, ode to my sister, ode to my sister-in-law, ode to my aunt, ode to my cousins and ode to all mothers.
First, let me start by saying: I love my children and I would do anything for them. Second, since I was blessed with my children my whole life has been devoted to their up-bringing, well-being and happiness.
Having said that, some time ago I read an article on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-brenoff/childless-to-my-childless-friends_b_2616049.html about childless young couples who prefer to call themselves child-free people, because they are delaying having children for as long as possible. The writer wrote: "I have known for a while that the trend among young college-educated couples in the U.S. is to remain just that: a couple. The statistics bear out what I've seen anecdotally. In 2011, the U.S. fertility rate -- the number of children an average woman bears over the course of her life -- was 1.89, according to the latest preliminary figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention". Similarly, it is worth mentioning that several months ago I read another article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/us-women-in-20s-less-like_n_1610993.html that talked about how some women in their twenties are less likely to get pregnant or have an abortion because they are using more effective birth control. I get it! I understand the need to wait. And to be completely truthful, I am not exactly sure given the chance again if I would have made the same choice nineteen years ago to have children so young. For one thing, I was way too young and had to grow up too fast. And for another, with just a high school education, I was grossly unprepared.
I say, be your age. Go out whenever you want and have fun. Travel, learn a new language or two. Follow your dreams with vigor, because when you have children there are many things you will not be able to do. Your priorities will change, and partying till three in the morning will be a thing of the past. Instead, you will feel like a zombie at three a.m. in morning trying to put your new bundle of joy to sleep. At the same time feeling delirious from lack of sleep and thinking this is probably how they torture people for information. I'll tell you, that's exactly what I was thinking at eighteen after I had my first kid, who is now nineteen. And quite frankly, I can't picture my nineteen year old daughter taking care of a baby. The poor girl is always losing things. Needless to say, raising children is completely life altering, and challenging. Sure children are a blessing, but they are also expensive. I once told my sister when she was pregnant with my niece, "enjoy your Prada now because you might need to pawn it for milk and diapers soon." Certainly I get it when someone says, they are waiting to be financially and emotionally ready.The father of my ten month old daughter has this saying, "no one ever told me it was going to be this hard". And I laugh every time because I am thinking:"you think?!"
Here's what I am saying, I understand that motherhood or parenting isn't for everyone and the ones who feels they should wait, should. Also, it's okay if you don't' want any children because there is no law (thank God) that says you have to have them. I don't think that is selfish at all. It's a tough job and I salute anyone who take on that endeavor. I believe it's best for everyone when you know whether or not you can handle the responsibilities that comes with having children.
Though, I didn't do it alone (it really takes a village), and honestly I don't know how my daughters and I made it. Along the way there's been some mishaps and mistakes, some tears and more fighting than I care to mention. Nevertheless, because of my children I have grown into the woman I was meant to be. Even better, I have developed a six sense. And if you are a mother you know exactly what I' am talking about. Meaning you can just sense them. But also, you know when mothers say they love all their children equally, well that's a lie. Sorry moms. Personally, I have two teenagers and depending on the day I love one more than the other. And that's okay, because teenagers are fickle, one day they love you and the next day you are enemy number one.
On the whole, I believe it should be perfectly acceptable to delay the decision to have children. In other words, to be child_free. Not just because my personal experience dictates my feelings but also children are a blessing and a joy and should be wanted.