A recent blog post called “Having Kids Is The Worst” alarmed me. In it, single blogger Andrea Eiken says she’s completely repelled by marriage and kids thanks to all the complaints she fields from peers. And she wants to stop being scared off.
I can sure see why she lost any desire to become a mom based on the types of things people say to her. Things like:
- MY HUSBAND/WIFE AND I BARELY SPEAK BECAUSE WE ONLY SPEAK TO THE KIDS.
- I ALMOST PASSED OUT BECAUSE I FORGOT TO DRINK WATER ALL DAY.
- I WOKE UP WITH POOP ON MY FACE.
I think she’s got something on us parents here. These three bullet points from her post reflect a small sampling of ammo against us. Frankly, I wouldn’t want any part of that either.
While there is validity to many of the statements (except for that last one—seriously?!), my experience of marriage for 15 years and having five kids looks a wee bit different and may give her some hope.
Here’s how I see it.
Until I got married, there was an air of mystery around marriage—almost a dream-like quality. Those who had crossed over joined an A-list group of insiders who made it to the other side. The chosen ones. Those of us left on the outside wondered what it was like to live with the person you love. You know—like share a bed, a bathroom, a toilet. Doesn’t that kill some of the Disney movie enchantment?
Now that I’ve crossed over, the answer is that marriage isn’t always like a Disney romance. It’s like a Disney adventure where you could wind up with unforeseen splatter on your face at every hair-raising turn. Actually, that probably makes it more like a comedy.
Sure, the mystery and novelty wear off but what you find in their stead endures.
A built-in best friend.
My husband is not only a great friend to hang out with, he’s also my ardent ally and supporter. When I know that he’s backing me up, I feel stronger, better, and more secure in my convictions. I don’t know what I ever did without him in my court. And I don’t know what I’d ever do without him either. Forget codependency! Everyone should have that person that they can count on.
A partner through good times and bad.
It’s true that we went through a crisis period. But we did it together, and that’s what got us through it. Somehow the process helped us heal old wounds. Who knew that we could be fighting in one area but repairing another? Yet that’s what happened. Go figure!
It’s not all about a good conversation.
It’s true that sometimes we have to sneak conversations into our day. Or we’re too busy to notice that we haven’t had one in a while. But too much talking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.
When my first son was a baby, my husband and I had to sing regular comments to each other in the car in order to keep him from crying in his infant car seat. (He hated it then, and, at 14, still resists buckling in the car!)
This “drawback” taught me a thing or two about different communication styles which is extremely helpful in daily interactions with other people. Sometimes a knowing look, an unexpected hug, or a back rub says everything that needs to be said. And you wouldn’t believe how much singing “Would you please pass the tissues in the glove compartment?” can lighten a mood!
When I occasionally crave a deep, bonding talk, I know where I can have one without depending on any one person. Love comes in many forms and isn’t contingent on one thing. Knowing that my husband would drop everything for his family and for me is all I need to know. I would do the same for him.
Every moment spent with family is an opportunity to create the love you wish to see in this world. Period. Let the healing begin.
Challenging times get a bad rap. It’s a disservice to us to think that everything has to be “good” according to our view. Nor does everything have to come easily. On this plane of duality, it’s unavoidable to experience pain, as well as pleasure. We would not know one without the other—the same way light would have no meaning without the experience of darkness. Sure, it makes us feel uncomfortable, but discomfort can be an intense motivator for growth and change too.
Love like you never knew it.
No words describe the way a mother feels about her child. Even after the cord is cut between mama and child, I can still feel it tugging. Does that ever go away? I don’t think so. Having multiple children simply makes one-on-one time with each child taste sweeter. Appreciating time with spouse or friends grows exponentially.
My desire and drive for creativity in my life did not begin or end with starting a family. There’s a continuity. Sometimes the inspiration stems from the many experiences we share together as a family. Other times, I make sure to take solitary time to get back in touch with my inner voice. There’s nothing wrong with using our big girl words to ask for what we need. It’s a benefit of growing up.
Creativity is a spontaneous eruption of that which is beyond ourselves, the ultimate embodiment of our divine energetic blueprint. Being part of the creation process through bringing in children is, in a word, sublime. And essential to the continuity of the human race.
Getting real in a surreal life.
Sometimes I still feel lonely. Sometimes I still get moody. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out. I was doing all that before I got married—and I’m still doing it after. Marriage isn’t a solution or a destination. It’s a part of the journey.
A person who complains about life before marriage will continue complaining after marriage.
Marriage and parenthood aren’t necessarily the issues. It’s about attitude.