(Image from here)
Today’s question comes from loyal reader Durdlin who asks:
“What do you think you’d be doing now if you hadn’t had children?”
My first thought, the one that popped into my head before I even processed the question? “One hell of a lot less laundry, that’s for damn sure.”
I asked Owen what he thought I’d be doing. “Watching this same TV show. Only louder, because there wouldn’t be any kids sleeping upstairs.”
I think we’re both right.
When I was pregnant with The Boy, a co-worker of my husband’s was trying to tell us what it was “really” like to have kids. He asked us what, in our childless at-the-time lives, we liked doing. I opened my mouth to answer. He cut me off with, “Yeah, you can’t do that anymore.” No matter what the answer was, his point was that our lives were now, effectively, over.
I respectfully disagree.
Granted, if I had no kids, I would and could be more selfish. I would still sleep late. I would make rash decisions. I would see my friends more often. I would still have some of the friends I had back then. I would still spend right up to my last dollar, and then spend that dollar on a used book. I would have more clothes. I would have seen more of the world.
I might have figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I might have moved far away. I might have asked for a divorce. I might have tried crazy, illegal things.
I wouldn’t have gotten my shit together. I wouldn’t laugh so much. I wouldn’t have the friends I have. I wouldn’t be in this house. I wouldn’t care about things like recycling and cell phone tower placement and community school closures. I wouldn’t be working through my own demons in such a practical way. I wouldn’t ever know if I’d done the right thing.
If I hadn’t had these kids, I think I’d be wondering if I’d made the right choice, to be childless. And the flip side of that is that I have these kids. And I don’t ever wonder if I made the right choice.
::Answers Part I::