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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Kids Optional

When I was in my 20's, I bet a co-worker named Wade one hundred dollars that I would never have kids.

At the time of my bet, I was happily single, working in a major city for a young, fun company and had a group of similarly unattached friends. I also had a mother who harped on me at every family gathering: "When are you going to meet Mr. Right? Aren't you ever going to have children? All my friends are grandmothers by now!"

I did not love children. I had no younger relatives to fawn over and kids just seemed like one big life-sucking responsibility. I was proud to be 20-something, self-supporting and selfish about my time.

Then I met Fairly Odd Boyfriend and knew pretty early on that he would be 'it'. Around that same time, I changed jobs and started working for a company made up mostly of women who also happened to be mothers. The work day ended at 5pm, sharp, and no one went out for drinks afterward. My friends started to move away and/or get married.

I'm not sure when things switched for me (after all, I am now a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother to three!), but I think some of it was curiosity. What would a child of mine be like? Would I be a good mom? I was also itchy for the next 'stage' of my life---it wasn't really that my 'clock was ticking', it was more that my heart was searching for the next big thing.

I just got an email from one of my dearest friends who is going through a 'should I or shouldn't I' discussion with herself and her spouse regarding kids. I have no idea what to say to her. Does having kids change your life? Of course! I used to focus only on all the 'bad ways' kids would change my life: no staying out until 2am every weekend night; no sleeping in until 11am; dirty diapers / tantrums / puberty / college savings. I knew I'd love my kids, but I was totally unprepared for how this would feel.

I love how my kids feel in my arms, the sounds of their voices and what they say to me, how they move around me. Even when they are not with me, I am connected to them, as if by invisible fishing line. I enjoy each stage more than the last, mainly because watching them grow up is so unbelievable.

I would never suggest that having kids is a 'must' to living a fulfilling life. I don't think having children is a good thing for everyone. I know I could have lived an interesting, fun and happy life without children. But, I have never regretted having them and find my life is so much more interesting, fun and happy with them.

Just don't tell Wade where I am. I owe him $300.



Anonymous Julie said...

FOM, you seem to be such a natural, I had always assumed you always wanted, were loved by and surrounded by children.


6:07 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I think that I made that bet, too. Prolly for a lot me than 100 bucks, too.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Mom101 said...

It's reassuring to know that we can all evolve without regrets. Meanwhile, I remember Wade having his first son when he was about 23 and thinking he was some backwoods guy. People just didn't do that where I had come from! Now it amazes me to think his kids are in high school.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous the Sistah said...

When it was taking us so long to get knocked up, we decided that if it didn't happen, we would sell the 4-bedroom house in the 'burbs, move to the city, concentrate on what we really wanted our careers to be, spend all our cash on mid-century furniture and be a really fun, cool couple.

Although pregnant, unshowered and bitching about my achy sciatica isn't exactly all that cool, I cannot imagine waking up without the sound of that little boy reciting what he had for dinner the night before: "Noodles! Peas! Tomatoes! Juice! cake!" As much fun as J and I had when we were just a couple, I cannot even compare how much we laugh and smile now, especially when all the cousins get together and throw toys all over our once-organized homes.

9:13 PM  

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