Friday, April 19, 2013

about that mom that regrets having children

I just read this story today about a mom who seriously regrets having children.


Okay, so it’s one thing to feel sucked into and completely undone over motherhood. I remember one day when my sweet child dumped an entire box of cereal all over the floor, this came on the heels of several other messy (and stinky) disasters and I was really ready to call it. I would have gladly traded the whole thing in for someone else’s life. But then reality sets in and I realized that I really do have the best job in town and I adore my kids. Even on the days when I think I must have lost brain cells to agree to being a mom, not only once but three times over. 

It doesn't hurt when they show up like this to go out and run errands:

The thing about motherhood is that it’s relentless. But at it’s core, we work ourselves out of a job. Of course I don’t know this woman at all, so I can’t attest to her spiritual and mental state. But it sure seems to me that she’s awfully unhappy. And selfish. She bemoans the fact that her children are inconvenient, intrusive and really cramp her style. She likes her private time, her self time, her personal time. Or whatever she wants to call it. Um, reality check here-what person doesn’t enjoy their private time? What person doesn’t need a break every now and then? And what mom wouldn’t quickly say that getting that time actually makes them a better mom? 

I know there have been days, especially when we were in the thick of it homeschooling, when I knew I would implode without time alone. And so I called for help. A willing grandma, a handy neighbor, a friend. Somedays I would have probably left them the with mailman just to have a moment alone. Those moments recharged me and I was then able to give love and kisses and time to those three enjoyable kids of mine.

I guess it could be easy to say that you regret having kids when they’re young and needy, but I think the saddest part of this is that her children are now full grown and adults. Although one child lives with her because of health issues, she has grown out of that all demanding and needy stage with the kids. I’m not there, but I hear that those days are the reward. You can finally cross the bridge from mom to friend. And that is true joy. Even now I see glimpses of just how enjoyable my children will be as adults, because they are so very enjoyable now as kids. At 10, 8, and 6 I adore their personalities and find them to be pleasures to have around. (Mostly) I can only imagine this gets better and better as they grow. And I even expect that I will still be able to say this when they are 16, 14, and 12. 

It’s gotten under my skin, and I can’t help but think of the Biblical wisdom on children:

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.

Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.

How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! 
Psalm 127:3-5

And I think of how Jesus welcomed the children, he invited them to come to him. 

The bottom line: children are gifts. Yes, they are messy. Yep, inconvient at times. And also? Stressful. But, and it’s a big but, it is worth every minute. 

Here’s a takeaway for all of us moms out there: This woman complained about how her kids intruded in her life, and how she never had time for herself, and yet she also states that she didn’t enter into the role of mother half heartedly. She willingly admits that she gave it everything she had. All while repeatedly calling her children parasites. I can’t help but think that if we were constantly giving it everything and never leaving time for ourselves we would probably feel less love for our kids too. 

Yes, motherhood is not for everyone. I know that. But no one forced her into that role, she willingly had children-twice. And from the way she describes it, becoming a mom wasn’t an “oops, I’m pregnant” kind of thing. It was intentional.

Her very own words sum it up: “I felt oppressed by my constant responsibility towards them. Young children prevent you from being spontaneous; every outing becomes an expedition. If you take your job as a parent seriously, you always put their needs before your own. Having children consigns you to an endless existence of shelling out financially and emotionally, with little or no return. It puts a terrible strain on your marriage and is perennially exhausting. And your job is never done. I know my life with Tony would have been so much happier without children, less complicated and more carefree.”

I sit here today in complete disagreement of this one. There is great reward. Despite the difficulty. And no-young children do not prevent you from being spontaneous, a rigid and harsh attitude towards life prevents you from being spontaneous. 

So-what do you think about this? You know some people applauded her honesty, but I can’t just can’t help but feel sorrow for her and her children. And sad over how much joy she missed on the crazy, wild, and undoubtedly fun journey of being a parent.

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