I recently had coffee with a friend of mine, it was the first time I had seen her since she became a Mom. Motherhood suits her perfectly and I’m so happy to see her so happy. When I asked her what was the most surprising thing about being a parent was, she said she was overwhelmed by just how much she loved her daughter. She said she had never felt love so deeply before. I’m sure every parent can relate to that feeling of love.
When she said that I felt a slight twinge of sadness in my heart because I’m pretty sure I will never experience that kind of love myself. I decided a long time ago not to have kids and even now I wouldn’t change my decision but that twinge got me thinking.
I decided in my early 20’s that I didn’t want to have children. In fact I felt so confident in my decision I had a vasectomy when I was 26. The story I told myself at the time was that I wanted the freedom and mobility that you get if you don’t have kids, that’s definitely true to a point. I enjoy the flexibility I have now and it would be different with kids to think about as well.
Whenever someone would bug me about not having kids I would joke that “The world doesn’t need another little version of me running around”. If I was ever questioned about having a vasectomy so young I would say it takes more than DNA to be a Dad (100% True!). Lately I’ve realized I wasn’t being entirely honest with people and I definitely wasn’t being honest with myself about why I felt the way I did.
Until the last year or so I always felt uncomfortable around babies or really young children. They are so fragile, messy & loud. They almost never have anything meaningful to add to a conversation and to be honest it kinda feels like it’s all about them all the time. 😉 Well there has been a mini baby boom on my team @ work. In the last few years there have been 7 pregnancies on my team alone! That means I have had the opportunity to spend a lot more time around kids. A week doesn’t go by that there isn’t at least one or two stroller sightings in the office. Watching these babies become toddlers is amazing, they grow and change so quick! I missed most of this time with my own Niece and Nephews so it’s kinda my 1st chance to be around kids this age. I can see the pride, love and excitement in the eyes of the parents. I can also see the stress and lack of sleep so I know it ain’t all peaches and cream.
As my attitude towards being around children is changing my reasons for not wanting kids of my own is becoming more clear. Until fairly recently I genuinely believed I wasn’t good enough or decent enough to be a Dad, I felt like I would probably do a bad job raising a child. I didn’t think my upbringing gave me the emotional base to be a parent. At the heart of it all I felt incomplete as a person so how could I possibly be responsible for raising a healthy confident child.
Working with Newfield I realize that of course I have always been a complete person, but it wasn’t until recently that I have recognized that.
I look at my brother see that he’s an amazing Dad. He had the same trials growing up that I had, but where I saw pieces missing I think he saw opportunity to fill in those areas his own way.
I can honestly say that if I felt like I do now when I was 25 I may have made different choices… don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I have a great family and it’s not too late for me to spend time with my Nephew’s and watch them grow up.
I will never regret my choices but I do feel better now that I clearly understand them.