My Kids Didn't Ruin My Life
When I found out I was pregnant with Bayleigh, I had just turned 21.
I remember someone saying to me, “What?! Well what about school?”
I didn’t hesitate when I said “I’m still going to graduate.”
They laughed it off, like I had made some joke. Like they didn’t believe me.
Why was that the first thing they said? No “congratulations!” ? No “I’m so happy for you!” ?
Another person said, “You’re too young. You’re throwing your life away.”
I didn’t speak to that person again for a long time. I was so offended, and honestly flabbergasted. Why would they even think that? Say that?
I always considered my baby a blessing. That definitely didn’t change when they said that to me. The only thing I thought was how I didn’t care if I never spoke to that person again.
Flash forward almost a year later, I graduated college with an Associate’s degree. I had a two month old. It wasn’t much, but I did it.
I later went on to make tons of summer memories with that baby. I went to a friend’s wedding 2,000 miles away, with a 9 month old. I went on a cruise to Mexico with a 10 month old. We continue to make memories together.
When I had my daughter, I didn’t “throw my life away.” I gained a best friend. An adventuring partner, someone who I get to experience life with.
I was 23 when I became pregnant with Zen. Here came comments again.
“It’ll be harder with two.”
“Are you sure you’re ready?”
“What about Bayleigh?”
I didn’t let any of these comments get to me. For some, that’s easier said than done, I know. At this point, for me, I knew these kinds of remarks would come.
I realized that 40% of the time they were going to be opinions that needed to hold no meaning. I didn’t have time to let people get to me.
I still get to go out and do the things I want to do. I take my babies hiking. We go to parks, aquariums, zoos.
I get to throw them these amazing birthday parties and watch them have so much fun surrounded by people who love them.
I get to watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning as they tear into bright, shiny packaging and reveal a special toy meant just for them.
I now have two beautiful little babies who I get to experience the world with. I get to not only live my life, but watch them live theirs and see new (or even old) things they way THEY see them. And that’s absolutely beautiful.
Sometimes, I do have to say no to things, either because I’m too exhausted, or because quite frankly it would be too much hassle to get the kids and myself ready to go. Or maybe it’s an event that isn’t “kid-friendly” and I don’t even want to go. And that’s okay.
I have always been a homebody, and it doesn’t really faze me. I’m content just being at home with my kids.
I lost “friends” when I had my baby. People stopped trying to hang out, to reach out, to contact me altogether.
And at first it hurt, yeah. I couldn’t understand why. But then I realized that maybe those people weren’t as close to me as I originally thought. Maybe they were gone for a reason. Maybe I was better off, after all.
I didn’t need people in my life who wouldn’t cherish my babies. I needed people who understood, who stuck around, who didn’t just walk away. I needed my “village.”
So no, my kids didn’t ruin my life. I didn’t throw my life away. My life became better when I had my babies. I am better because of them. They give my life purpose, meaning. I gave them life, but they have fulfilled mine.
They are the embodiment of happiness. Sticky hands, messy faces. Endless laughs, smiles, hugs, and kisses. Sometimes tears that are easily wiped away by the person they love most in the world.
Mama, if anyone ever tries to tell you that you are throwing your life away just because you’re having a baby, you tell them to stuff it. Because you are about to embark on the best adventure. An adventure that will open you to new things and people.
You can do any and everything you set your mind to. And that baby could even be the motivator you didn’t know you needed.