I sometimes wonder if "having kids" is really everything it's said to be?! Now, before you start panicking and calling the children's social authorities or whoever and accusing me of not loving my children, let me set one thing straight: I adore Liva and Laia, I would do anything for them, and I cannot (and don't want to!) imagine life without them! I have loved them from the first second they came into my life, and my love for them has grown by the hour. I have never, not for a single tenth of a second, regretted having children. But I sometimes still wonder why "having kids"is so important to most women, especially young women. And this includes myself!
As far back as I can remember, I have wanted kids. As a little girl I had a baby doll and everything that goes with it - clothes, stroller, changing table, bath, potty, diapers, etc. etc. etc! I have loved being with babies and little children all my life, I started babysitting at the age og 15, I have been a nanny for a family in Germany for 3 months, and a live-in Au-Pair in the US for 13 months. Since I was in my early twenties I envied pregnant women and went gaga when I saw little babies. When my friends starting having babies my biological clock tripled, and I just couldn't wait for it to be my turn.
After a few years with Albert I started talking quite seriously about it, and promised him life wouldn't change. I have been around children all my life, I just knew it. We could still go out to dinner, we would just bring the baby in the stroller and s/he would sleep through dinner. We would still have sex, we would still travel and go out, nothing would change. Little did I know EVERYTHING would change! And little did I know there would be 2 babies. I had hoped, but I had never dared imagine it.
As mentioned before, Liva and Laia are the best thing that have ever happened to me, but I miss going out to dinner with Albert. Strangely enough, we can't just put Liva and Laia in a stroller and have them sleep through dinner... I miss strolling hand in hand with my husband and chatting about everything and nothing. I miss sleeping at night, I miss sleeping in in the mornings, I miss not being tired. I miss spontaneous weekend trips to Hamburg, Rome or other fun places, I miss going on vacation. I miss being able to afford these things.
This does NOT mean I don't love going for brunch as a family, love feeling Liva and Laia's hands in mine when we go for a walk, love the cuddles I get from both of them when they come into our bed in the morning, love seeing their faces when we experience new things together as a family or love discovering that there are still many fun things you can do without it costing a lot of money.
Last week, one of my 17-year old students told me she can't wait to be a mom, and hopes to have her first child in about 3-4 years when she has her education behind her - at least she realizes she should get her education first! I told her that having kids is the most amazing thing in the world, but a few seconds later I tried to take back what I had said, and told her to enjoy her youth, enjoy life and not be in such a hurry to have children. I had Liva and Laia at 35, I always thought it was late for having children, but I am soooo happy to have experienced what I did before having them. Liva and Laia are now so big that we can experience new things together as a family, go places without worrying about bottles, diapers, strollers, etc. As much as I love being a mom, I don't think we send girls/young women the right signals: being a mom is not everything, you should enjoy your life for as long as you can before you give life because even though you don't think it will apply to you, life does change after having children. In every way. I am not saying life without children was better, but life with children isn't always everything it's said to be. No matter how much you love your children!