The things I could do without kids! I could be travelling the world, applying for the Peace Corps (again), spending my disposable income, sleeping in until long past noon... Rather than bickering with a two year old, cleaning up a mountain of dishes, while fielding calls about behavior problems that I have ZERO clue how to fix. Listening to myself yell and nag, hearing myself and barely recognizing my own voice. Watching my kids cry with frustration as they are punished for hurting my pride. Where is that lady who had all the answers 5 years ago? I'd like a word with her.
Sure, kids are cute and fun...sometimes. But when the road gets rocky, like beyond 4-wheel drive capability crazy, when I am unsure and insecure and screwing everything up - I just wished I had saved myself the heart ache and never had them. More than that, I wish I had saved them the heart ache and their little souls would have been delivered to a mom who actually has her shit together.
To be perfectly clear, having kids was 100% my decision. My husband already had children and accepted the possibility that I might not be into the whole parenting gig. But, that innate desire is too profound. How can anyone turn away from a challenge so great, a task so noble, a calling so pure? This is the most comprehensive and important job I will ever hope to have.
No one said it was going to be easy. But, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the love and torment that coexist so naturally. They are my greatest joy and deepest despair. I love them so deeply and in the exact same moment I can't stand to be near them. It is such a strange, strong dichotomy. Rather than a swinging pendulum of emotion its a tense, opposing force. It is truly overwhelming.
So, yesterday, for a fleeting moment, my gut tried to run away. She tried to shirk her responsibilities. But, I came through. Ultimately, these kids are mine. I must raise them. Even if I screw up, I must keep trying. Typically, we only recall the good stuff anyway (ie. college), so I probably won't even remember that nagging harpy who cried in the bathroom eating a Mars bar just to get away from you-know-who.