A Honeysmoke reader sent me a link to a Motherlode blog post, where a reader asked why anyone would have children. The question made me think, really think about why I wanted to have children.
My first answer: Because.
My second answer: At first, I didn’t want to have children, or so I said. Long before I went to college, I figured I would dedicate all of my time to my career. Children are expensive, a lot of hard work and so many things can go horribly wrong. Did I mention they are expensive? I was an education reporter for most of my journalism career, and I saw what could happen to children. I watched them struggle with reading, balance academics and athletics, go to college. I wrote about children taking drugs, flunking out of school, getting pregnant. Nope, I told myself many times, I don’t want to have kids.
Then Ken and I started talking about marriage. As we negotiated the deal — that’s what it felt like — I told him I wanted to leave the door open for having a child. He agreed, and I was surprised I was so interested in having a child. What was that about? For the first time, it seemed possible I could help raise a child. I could help provide for a child. I had a lot of love to give, and my parents had survived. We agreed to wait a while and then give it a try. We had no trouble. Simone hadn’t been on the Earth two weeks when I blurted out, for no particular reason, that I could “do that again.”
Raising Simone didn’t seem to be nearly as hard as I had thought, and we were emboldened. We decided to try again, and Nadia soon followed. I sometimes look at my life BK, or Before Kids, and wonder what Ken and I used to do with all of our time. We traveled, we ate out, we enjoyed ourselves. It was all so predictable.
Parenting has turned out to be everything I expected. It is expensive and a lot of hard work. I am sure something will go horribly wrong. It is also a lot of things I didn’t expect. It has been a hilarious roller coaster ride, a series of ups and downs and hidden curves. Still, I would not trade being a mother for anything.
So, what do you say? Why have children?