I Chose Children, You Didn’t





What do I want to say to my friends who choose not to have kids? So, so much. But I can’t, because then I just sound like a jerk, or a broken record, or just super lame. But if a blog isn’t for saying what you’d really love to yell from a megaphone, I don’t know what it’s for.


MEGAPHONE ANNOUNCEMENT 1:

Just because I said “no, we can’t go out” doesn’t make us lame. When it comes to a kid free evening, we are paying 15 bucks an hour to hang out. It’s not that we aren’t willing to do that, but if we do, we want it to be worth it. My husband and I have actually texted “well, who’s there and is it fun?” to weigh the cost benefit of if it’s worth continuing to stay out or if we should grab some Breyer’s, relieve the sitter, and save ourselves thirty bucks. My mean, sarcastic side wants to snipe back at the eye rolling when they hear we went home and say, “Sorry, but your dogs are NOT the same as children.” I WISH I could just crate my kids for the night, throw a sheet over them, and when they want water, I just tell them to use their gerbil bottle I strapped their kennel… Kidding! But you get my point. Don’t get me wrong. I was there. My dog was my child. But the second you have a baby, it changes, and there are no words that can explain that to dog parents. I don’t judge them for it. But in return, I want understanding that, yeah, it must be hard to raise living things that need a little more than a food and water bowl, and a good scratch behind the ear. And in that understanding, maybe decreasing the “they never come out anymore” comments… because getting out, just now, literally took hours to prepare for and at least a week’s planning to snag a sitter. Oh man, you can tell this wound has cut deep. The others are less bitter.


ANNOUNCEMENT 2:

I’m tired. I know you are too. I get it. But I haven’t slept through the night in about six years. When people say “you will never sleep again,” when you are pregnant with your first, it isn’t just about the newborn stage. If it isn’t my one year old waking up multiple times, it’s my three year old who wet through his Pull-Up, or my oldest who wants water, or thinks 4am is a fine time to start the day. Also, when you are tired of being tired, you can plan a day to rest or go on vacation. I cannot. A vacation is even more tiring than a home-cation. I could, I guess, hire a babysitter so I could sit around and relax, but there’s the cost benefit question again. I know you, my friend, are tired from all your things. I get it. I used to be that kind of tired. But there is NO tired like parent tired. There is really no point to saying this, except it feels goooood to just put it out there. Does it sound a little condescending? Maybe… But I’ve been on both sides. I can truthfully say, I’m right.


ANNOUNCEMENT 3:

I know our relationship isn’t the same. I do miss it.


You know what I miss the miss the most? The freedom to be your friend, any time, anywhere. Shopping? Sure! Happy Hour? Be there soon! Movie? What looks good? Phone call? Yep, I can talk, uninterrupted.


When we were friends pre-my babies, I was free and fun. I miss who I was when I was with you. Now, I’m not fun to talk to on the phone because mom-phone calls are the secret smoke signals in childom for acting like a demon and trying to murder your brother by pelting him with Legos. Or is that just in my household? I digress. I don’t have to say much in this announcement because you, my choosing to be childless friend, already know. You don’t want to shop with me and my brood. It’s terrible. You also know that Happy Hours and movies requires that babysitter I love to talk about, and those are things we don’t usually plan on weeks in advance. We are different now. You are free. I have kids. Plain and simple.


ANNOUNCEMENT 4:

Yes, my life revolves around my kids, because it has to. Pre-kid me: “My kid can nap on the go and adapt to my schedule.” Sane me now: “Sorry, can’t grab lunch because if my kid misses his nap he will turn into a wet gremlin and try to eat my face off.” No prob though, I’ll drive through Chick-Fil-A for the sixth time this week, and keep working my way up to Red-Status, because Silver is for suckers. If you don’t get my joke, we probably aren’t friends. Back to the announcement, yeah, my kids set my schedule now. That isn’t being a push-over, it’s being smart. I do it for my sanity.


ANNOUNCEMENT 5:

I miss my old life. I miss only thinking about me. I miss sleep the most. I miss when a weekend was just relaxing around the house. I miss going out late and knowing I could sleep in, and not thinking about waking up all night long plus a 5am wake up. I miss when my work was just 8-5. I miss not having to balance things. I really feel balancing is the hardest. Myself as a woman, myself as a wife, myself as a mom, myself as a friend… there is NO perfect balance. I’m good at some and suck at others. My old life was easier.


BUT


You knew I’d be bringing it all back around… because this is a mom blog afterall.

I don’t need easier. I have a messy, complicated, HARD, tireless, happy-hourless, movieless, phone conversationless life. And that’s okay with me. I chose to have babies because I wanted more than anything to be their mommy. I love that role. With it came compromises I didn’t know I would have to make. I have grown apart from some people. But I have gained some really amazing people too. I have missed countless social events. But I have created countless memories with my kiddos. I have gotten incredibly jealous when I see you, my friend, living my old life, and I make the choice to stay home, or am just too tired to say yes. But I think that jealousy is okay. It isn’t envy. I just selfishly want it all. I want all the parts of me. The old me plus the new mama-me. But it just isn’t possible. My kids are my greatest joy. With that comes really, really big responsibility. I am willingly and happily giving up some things for the exchange of the new “parenty” things.


But to my friends sans-kids that have stuck by me, supported my mommyhood, treated my kids like the awesome humans they are, high fived me at the party when I finally make it to one because I’m THERE... I see you. You know we are different. You know I mourn our old relationship but you have embraced our new one. You brave the kid parties at Peter Piper Pizza and say they are fun...you liar. You are adapting to me. You had to bend, and I get that. I was the one who changed. In a way, you kind of got the shaft in this switch up. You lost some of your friend. Thank you for sticking with me, and being patient with me. You don’t need my megaphone announcements, since they’ve already been monotonously mentioned time and time again, I’m sure. So cheers to the friends that stay. And best wishes to the friends that don’t. In this case, the old saying is the most truthful thing I could say, “It really isn’t you. It’s me.”

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