I think that's good news.
But she also said it changes everything, which I've no doubt about. It's the thing I fear the most when I consider parenthood.Even the healthiest, happiest, easiest baby changes everything. But still, I look at my friends with the active, happy kids, and I look at other friends whose baby is developmentally delayed enough that we're all exchanging looks and biting our tongues, and I don't see a life I want.
I'm 35. This is pretty much it, and I've made my choice. It's been my choice from the beginning, but the older I get the more gravity it holds.For me, it's becoming clear that there's going to be some mourning involved. I sort of wish I wanted kids, that I wanted to sacrifice so much for that experience, for that kind of love. It's not enough for me. I was so excited to spend a whole day babysitting my goddaughter last week, and it melted my brain after 4 hours.
I love watching her play, explore, learn. She's an amazing kid, and funny as hell. We cuddled, we played. I love her to pieces, but oh my god I wanted to crawl out of my skin after 4 hours. But I couldn't. I had to stay vigilant, making sure she didn't get into anything or hurt herself, even though there was relatively little trouble she could get into.
It was an easy day with her and I found it exhausting, and boring as hell. All I did was sit on the sofa watching Hotel Transylvania for the hundredth time because that's what the baby likes best, and occasionally fill up her bottle with more milk, feed her food she didn't want to eat anyway, and clean up her messes. The good stuff outweighs the bad/dull/exhausting when you're a parent, I get that. It changes your priorities; I get that too.
But I like my priorities. I like that I'm up at 3:00 am working on a project for a client. I enjoy working 60 hours a week because I love my job. I enjoy going to school on top of this all to finish my MBA. I love that Mondays are work/study nights, Tuesdays we go to our trivia league, Wednesday we're going to see my husband's cousin in a Broadway production, Thursday we're gaming with other friends, and Friday we've got date night. My life is amazing.
I'm not eager to bring something in that will fundamentally change my relationship with my husband, or my life, or my priorities. A life where I'm not creating — writing, designing, imagining — would weigh so heavily on me.
Some parents I know manage it. I've watched other couples grow bitterly resentful of one another because they feel disrespected. While some still put a high value on grown-up time, others dissolve into their new role as Mothers and lose the rest of their identity. They're not bad people, or stupid people, but that's how parenthood changed everything for them.
So when I say I wish I wanted it, I mean that I know I'm missing out on some pretty amazing stuff. Everybody wishes they could have it all. I just know that I can't, and I'm at peace with that.