The other day, my husband told me that he has a hard time imagining the time when he wasn’t sure about having kids. When we first were married, we thought a “5 year plan” was great (meaning we’d wait 5 years to have children). Then as time went on, I began to explore the possibility of living a child free life. If you’re happy + content where you’re at, why change it? We came so close to living a child free life before we had a change of mind/heart. (we also had heartache in the process but that’s another post).
Now, I don’t want anyone who is happily child free to think that I’m yet another person who is telling you that you HAVE to have children. Heck no. Now after having a baby (and enduring the torturous sleepless nights), I’m even more convinced that having a baby isn’t for everyone. I remember appreciating reading stories by those who embraced the child free lifestyle and then later changed their mind. So that’s all I’m doing here. Sharing our story.
I’m 8 months into being a new mom. And while I’ve loved my daughter every step of the way, it’s lately that our bond has become so much deeper + I’m loving being a mom more and more. Honestly, there are times that I look at her and I can’t help but thank God for this gift (it’s often when she’s asleep in my arms and not screaming/crying, ha!). Having a baby is crazy. It is the most life changing thing that a person can do. Day to day never looks the same. I often feel too old (at 31) to be having my first baby. And the sleepless nights really are killer. I don’t care what anyone else says (i.e. you get used to it), nah, it sucks.
I hate to sound so cliché, but I wouldn’t change the experience of raising a child for a thing. As a couple, we value experiences. Before having a baby, we traveled a lot. We have amazing memories from those vacations that we will always cherish. And now we are making different memories. Much less glamorous but amazing nonetheless.
I’ll give you one example. In November, on the night of the CMA’s, we fed our daughter her first taste of solid foods (avocado). We have a really great photo of the experience. Just a year prior, we were AT the CMA award show! Talk about two totally different experiences. Both were glorious and are forever etched in my brain. But the crazy thing is – watching our daughter eat solid foods was just as amazing as going to the CMA’s (for me). It’s a different, more simple existence, but still super special in its own way.
I’m one of those people who for a very long time thought that I’d live out a child free existence (and rock it!). Being a mom was never a “must do” on my list. While we wouldn’t trade those 7 years of being happily child free away, we don’t regret for a second having had a child. It’s hard. It’s such a lifestyle change. But it’s amazing at the same time. I’m grateful for the experience of raising a child. And I’m sooo glad that I can write those words down truthfully (as I feared regretting our decision but doesn’t everyone?). We were happily child free. And now we are happy parents.