I want a baby so badly. I can't see one without melting into a complete puddle of goo. I read tons of blogs by parents and I am jealous of the whole thing, even the crappy parts. Although of course the part of me that really wants the baby is the part that loves the soft snuggling, the smell, the clothing, the wondrousness of it all.
But I know, from years of babysitting, and from reading so many parenting blogs, that that's not all of it, or even most of it. I know that kids change your whole life, strip you of all your free time, your ability to do anything on your own, your extra money, your sleep, your ability to call your soul your own. I know that almost all parents are exhausted and I know so many people who describe how they hardly see their spouse, how they're two ships passing in the night, how their days are just about survival and cleanup and who's on duty for what, how everything is just an endless tangle of arrangements and problem-solving.
At least, that seems to be what it's like for parents of young children, which is mostly the kind of parent I know. Perhaps when the kids get older and are more self-sufficient and are in school all day, things change. But for those first few years, when the kids are little and solely dependent on their parents for everything... well, I'm under no illusion that it's easy.
And I have to admit that I'm a little scared of that. I was just writing yesterday about how happy I am with my life the way it is, and I love our lifestyle. Everything is simple for us, and that is lovely and relaxing, and we are savoring it. It will be hard to give that up, and I can definitely understand why some people choose not to.
But for us, part of what makes our life so happy and carefree now is our dreams and plans for the future, and our thoughts of how our lives won't always be like this. I'm fulfilled as I am, but I can feel those biological impulses, and I know that I wouldn't be able to resist them even if I wanted to. Living without many responsibilities is nice, but I'm not sure I'd like to do it forever.
And then, there's that side of parenting that no parent ever seems to fully be able to express, but that makes it all so worth it. The lows might be lower, but the highs are so much higher, and the love is so deep and instinctual, and the child is so beautiful and parenting together is so exciting, even as it is also frustrating and at times probably enraging.
So even as I'm scared of it, scared of sleepless nights and no money and the possibility of post-partum depression and days full of activities and yet seemingly lasting forever and a constant focus on the little details and endless mundanity and never getting a chance to breathe or take an uninterrupted shower--even as I'm scared of that, I am so, so excited for it, and I can't wait for it to happen, even though it won't be for awhile yet.
Does that ever happen to you, that you want something that simultaneously scares you? What was it? Did you go for it anyway?
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