I was reading a blog post by the wonderful JadeBio (definitely worth reading) and at the end she asks a question:
So here is a question for all you out there, moms and dads, singles, divorced, and marrieds. What effect did your relationship with your parents have on your opinions on parenthood and also on working? Do you want to be parents because of them? In spite of them? What is it like to want to be a parent? I guess that is emotion I am missing- I don't even know what that feels like.
It's a big question to ponder and worthy of more than a blog comment. So I challenge you to write your own blog post about it, if you dare reveal a little bit of yourself with your readers
I didn’t really have being a parent as part of my life plan.. not that I am a great planner. Nor did I think I would marry. I felt too broken and I didn’t want anyone relying on me.
Nonetheless, my now ex-husband came along and was absolutely insistent that he wanted to date me, and later he wanted to marry me. I had just turned twenty when we married.
I irrationally thought that it would be impossible for me to conceive. I think it was partly because mum had struggled to have her first child, and partly because it was what happened to normal people, they got married and had babies and played happy families. I just couldn’t imagine it for myself. So I didn’t really worry too much about contraception.
So… when I was twenty-three I became ill. I kept throwing up and felt dreadful. Eventually, I went to the doctor:
‘Could it be that you are pregnant?’
I was amazed by such a question. ‘Absolutely not’.
‘Are you sure there is no possibility that you are pregnant???’
‘NO.. no.. I am ABSOLUTELY sure I’m not pregnant’.
There was a pause and the doctor seemed to be considering whether to ask any further questions to find out how I could be so certain about this. But in the end he prescribed me some tablets for the sickness.
They didn’t work. I was pregnant.
Unfortunately, the baby was very sick. Dying inside me, and I had an abortion at 20 weeks gestation.
But after that I longed to be pregnant again… not to have children, particularly, although Mother’s Day became very difficult, and I often cried if I saw a baby.
It was three years of longing before I conceived. The longing was the first thing I woke up to in the morning and the last thing I knew at night. Every period was a tragedy for me in those years.
And then I had three boys in the space of three years and three months.
I suppose, to answer Jade’s questions, my parents didn’t have much impact on my desire to have children, although my difficult childhood made me feel it wouldn’t happen. As for working, I was obliged to work for a year full time after my first son was born, because I needed to complete a research project that had already been delayed twice, and also I needed to finish my doctorate. It wasn’t easy. But then I gave up work for five years and that was even harder… I almost went insane with boredom.
Without any doubt, having kids has been the best thing I have done, if you take all the God stuff out of the equation. I have many regrets in life, but having the boys isn’t one of them. I’ve had to learn how to parent from scratch. The model that I experienced wasn’t one that I wanted to repeat for various reasons… and this has left me feeling very lost at times. In addition to this, I only had one Grandparent and she was as cold as ice, and no other close relations, so I observed very few parents before trying it out myself.
Despite all this, overall it has been a joy, and I have been shocked at how much it is possible to love another human being. For me, being a mother is best described by a bit of prose I once found:
We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family". "We're taking a survey," she says half joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"
"It will change your life," I say carefully, keeping my tone neutral.
"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on the weekend, no more spontaneous vacations..."
But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in child birth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.
(The rest is here)
So, your turn... how do Jade's questions strike you?