I don’t think that parenthood is for everyone. I also don’t think that parenthood is the end-all-be-all greatest thing on the planet. I love being a mom, but I feel like I spent way too much time obsessing about whether or not I would ever have a baby. I wish I had those hours back. I would do more productive things with them, like swim laps or learn to watercolor.
Still, I wish I’d had a baby earlier. Much earlier.
I did all sorts of things before I became a mom. I went to Europe. I wrote a book. I went to law school. I was a K-12 teacher. I worked at Walt Disney World. I worked at the mall. I worked as a cleaning lady. I spent much too much on shoes and stayed out all night because showing up to work in your party clothes was kind of funny sometimes.
It wasn’t wasted time and I think all of that has come in handy with the parenting…especially when we start on this homeschooling journey. I also wouldn’t rewrite anything because that path was exactly what I needed to get me here today.
I can see the big perks of young motherhood now. For one, I could have used a fat push to separate me from my ego. I spent so much time worrying about how things affected me, how I looked to everyone, how I was going to get ahead of the pack. I will tell you that nobody on Earth cares less about my ego than my kids. They are not worried about how things affect me because they are all-consumed with how things affect them. And so am I. And it’s nicer, actually, than thinking about myself all the time. Thinking about yourself so much inevitably leads to mean or crazy, both of which I’ve dabbled in. Not fun.
Two, I could use the energy that I wasted on all-nighters and dance clubs. At 31, I like quiet and holding still and peaceful days, which is pretty much in direct conflict with how my kids like to spend their time. Running after them would have been so much easier ten years ago when I didn’t need sleep and lived on granola bars.
Mostly, I just love these babies and there’s a part of me that knows if I had had them earlier (with the husband and all of the details being exactly the same), we might have filled the house up with rooms of laughing little souls until they were popping out of every doorway and closet and cupboard. A large amount of children. A passel, if you will.
But perhaps if I had been a young mother I would have been stretched too thin. Perhaps if I had popped out babies like a Pez dispenser, I would have thrown my arms in the air and complained because there were always children underfoot. I might have even resented those souls for lost opportunities like Europe and night clubs and law school.
That is the nice thing about taking a while to get somewhere. You really know how to soak it all in by the time you arrive.