Having kids changes a person. I remember life before Wildling. Will and I were fit and active people. We loved hiking and rock climbing and camping. We used to go out for drinks with friends. We hosted barbecues. We went on road trips.
Now? We celebrated our anniversary three months late, because it was the first night out we could schedule. Since Mellow was born, we haven’t been hiking at all, unless you count one day walking a road through a national forest recreation area with a stroller. We have never taken Wildling camping. We only get to go out with our friends on very rare and well planned occasions. I still see my best friend about once a week or once every two weeks, but it’s because she comes over for dinner. Occasionally, we go out for drinks. Will sometimes sees a movie with a guy friend of his. That’s it.
I read blog posts online where people talk about these same lifestyle changes and they keep saying that giving everything up for kids is worth it, and too bad for their childless friends who don’t understand. Me, I’m torn. I admit to jealously of my child-free friends, and how they can just do things without trying to negotiate with the in-laws in advance, or careful coordination with their significant others – who has to stay home this time? Nobody, we don’t have kids. I love Mellow and Wildling. I really truly do. But sometimes I miss the people Will and I were before they came along.
At the same time though, I can’t imagine what our lives would be like now without them. Our house would be cleaner. I would have a full time job. We’d have more money. We would have gone on some pretty awesome vacations in the last couple of years. But I think we’d always feel like something was missing, like no matter what we had it wouldn’t be enough. I don’t think that’s true for everybody. I’m definitely not a person who thinks everyone should have children, or thinks that those without children are missing out on an essential part of life. I think I would miss it though. My life has been enriched through knowing my children.