Dear Sylvia: CONFESSION: “If I could go back, I might not have had kids”

Dear Sylvia,

I have three children. I had them because my mom had kids, her mom had kids, her mom’s mom had kids… and basically, I never really gave it much thought. You got married, you had kids – end of story, right?

That’s how it’s supposed to be.

Uh, says who?

It wasn’t until my kids got old enough to be more self-sufficient that I realized I could have had a choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids (and now you’re already judging me and thinking, “yeah, right”) and I honestly wouldn’t change the life I have with them now for anything.

BUT – if I had truly understood the kind of person that I am and bothered to ask myself the right questions when I was younger – I probably wouldn’t have had kids. I didn’t know back then that I’m selfish, that I like my time to myself, and that there would be a million things I’d rather do than be an unpaid taxi-driver, cook, nose-wiping, floor-playing, pretending-to-be-interested mom.

Then again, maybe “selfish” is too strong a word. Maybe “self-involved” is better. Most of the time, I’d simply rather be doing whatever it is I want to do than deal with whatever it is that they want/need at the moment. Does that make me a bad mom? Maybe, maybe not.

I engage with my kids and try to make sure they know I don’t just love them, I actually LIKE them as human beings. But I’ll never be one of those moms who gushes, “Oh I just love being a mom.” I don’t love being a mom, and I wish I had thought about what it would mean to become one.
Sylvia says:
This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve heard from many parents – mothers and fathers both – who have said they wouldn’t have had children if they could go back in time and do it all over again. You can love your kids and still wish you’d chosen a different life – or at least given it more thought before going one way or the other.

And you’re right, “selfish” isn’t the word to use. “Selfish” IS the word to use if you’re neglecting your kids while chasing after your bliss, and you’re obviously not doing that. Big difference.

~ ~ ~

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2 thoughts on “Dear Sylvia: CONFESSION: “If I could go back, I might not have had kids”

  1. Pingback: Want to Be a Happy Parent? THINK First! « "Anonymous" Was a Woman

  2. Susan

    “THINK first,” what an excellent concept. I just wish more people would adopt it. I had known for a long time that IF I became a parent, it would be to ONE child only, as I knew I wouldn’t want to deal with all the stresses of two or more kids. I’d gotten the usual “bingos” along the line, the “you’ll change your mind and want more kids” line heard most frequently.

    To make a long story short, NONE of them changed my mind. I had no intention of joining what I considered to be the “misery loves company” club that having two or more kids represented. One was my number and no WAY was I going to change it. I’m glad that I remained true to my convictions and didn’t cave in to the demands of spouse (now ex), in-laws or any others to do “what society expects.”


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