Longtime readers will remember my only ‘he says, she says’ post about puppies and babies. So there’s no surprise that I’m pretty keen on having children, and not in some far off distance time. However, after a week of holidays, having a friend with a 7 year old stay and the current book I’m reading (called The Godmother, and given away free when the library was culling books), I have been thinking more seriously about being a parent.
I really enjoy some of my friends kids. Other kids tend to drive me nuts. It’s hard to know what reactions my children will arouse in me – and then I realise – it’ll be both! Sometimes I will think they can do no wrong, whilst the world is secretly wishing there was a mute button on my baby/toddler/child. Other times, I will curse their existence whilst others can clearly see it’s only a stage, or a mood, or the lack of sleep.
The biggest reality check whilst out shopping with my friend’s seven year old, is that they are continuously there, and so full of energy! There are so many questions. There is so much energy. The games never get boring to them. Sure you can shower in peace at this age, which I am sure feels like a solid victory after going through the baby and toddler stage, but my oh my, it’s tiring. And I tire easily from a day without children.
How do parents deal with the utter exhaustion? I really can’t imagine the interrupted sleep. Whilst I have every intention of returning to work, I won’t be much use to anyone if I’m getting negligible amounts of sleep. And I don’t think I’ll be a great mother if I’m always tired – I’m not a great human now when I’m tired. Just ask around!!
In light of these thoughts, I’ve realised that while I sometimes think ‘now’ would be the perfect time for kids, I also have some time. The BF isn’t ready for children yet, for a few reasons that I respect. We agree that children will be a few years away. With that in mind, it makes it easy for me to say ‘yes’ to two weeks in Japan with the State Emergency Service. It makes me realise that whilst tubing and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef were options for children, would I have the money and inclination to do it with them? Would the burden of their wants and needs and desires to do other things make it less enjoyable and as good as doing it as a couple? So now I’m planning bigger and better – I’m thinking of squeezing visiting Russia, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia into a trip to (mainly go to) France. I’m imagining the destinations I’d like to see in the US, cataloging activities and restaurants. Planning to this level is something I’ve never done before – no matter how organised I may be in other facets of my life.
Sometime, this planning (and saving) stops me dead though – when I think of the cost of schooling – even just of child care in the early years. Maybe I should batten down the hatches and save every cent that’s not spent on essentials? And then I realise life is about balance – I can’t come down on the black or the white side of this issue, as much as I’d like to. And if my parents are anything to go by, my desire to travel and my/our finances will always find a way, no matter the age or quantity of ankle-biters (or the logistics of car seats and hotel rooms). So I will continue to plan the holidays even if my destination wishlist will never been done before kids. Let’s face it – it’s human nature to dream, and we’re never done!
What are you thoughts? I know most of my regular commenters have children, so I’d love to hear your thoughts.