Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why Do I Want Kids?

Such a simple question, with so many answers.

Some reasons are silly, some superficial, some biological, some maternal, and some so deep and innate that they swallow me whole.

The truth is, I wasn't always sure I wanted kids. Deep down, I always knew I wanted them, deep down I always knew I'd be a mother, I couldn't picture my future without a family. But in my twenties, and when I first got married, I wanted to 'hold off' for a while. I wanted to enjoy my husband, I wanted to start my career, I wanted to buy our family house and be settled first. I was afraid. I was afraid because I didn't feel all those maternal instincts that my friends were talking about. I was afraid because I wasn't ga-ga over babies, and I didn't even want to hold most of them. I wasn't sure I was cut out for it, I was afraid I couldn't get through labor and delivery, and I was afraid that once we had our baby, I would be overwhelmed with a new responsibility I wasn't ready for.

The fact that I 'held off' will haunt me forever. The questions linger in the air. What if I had of started trying sooner? What if I didn't wait so long? What if I hadn't been so selfish? What if I wasn't so afraid? Good 'Ol Catholic guilt swoops in and swallows me whole. It surrounds me, tells me this is all my fault, that I have nobody to blame but myself. God heard me say that I didn't want a baby, and now he's punishing me. He's taken it away from me altogether. He's teaching me a lesson. And now, I'm getting exactly what I deserve.

I know these thoughts are useless. I know the guilt is not helpful. I know that beating myself up will not change anything. That I can't go back, as much as I want, to my wedding night, and start trying for our baby right then and there. That I can't go back further, and start trying when we moved in together, or back even further to when we first started dating. I can't change the past, I can only look to the future, and pray, that I have done enough, that God will hear my prayers, that I will be rewarded for all the pain and heartache we've been through, that our perseverance will finally pay off.

Along the way, people have asked, why do you want kids so badly anyway? It's not like you can't have a good life without them. It's not like you can't just adopt if you want them so bad. Why is it so important that you have a biological connection? You didn't even always want them. How can you want them so badly now that you would spend all this money and focus every single day of your life on it? Why is having a child suddenly the only thing that matters?

Well. There are so many reasons, ranging from the stupidest to the most personal, that I don't even know where to start. But I will try. Because sometimes, I find myself asking myself the exact same question. Why do I want this so badly? Why I am willing to put myself through all of the pain and torture? Why does it matter more than anything in the world?

Why do I want kids?

- Because I don't want to fail.
- Because nobody is going to tell me that I can't do this.
- Because I've come too far, been through too much, to stop now.
- So I can hold a combination of me and Dave in my arms, and be able to say, we did that, we made that.
- So I won't be left out.
- So I can buy little baby outfits.
- So I can take family holidays, go to Disney World, rent cottages, and watch my child splash in the water.
- So I can one day be a grandma
- So I can be the kind of mom, that my mom was to me.
- So I won't be lonely, and always feel like an outsider.
- Because everybody else does, so why can't I.
- So I can have fun decorating a nursery.
- So I can relate to the rest of the world, my family, our friends.
- So I don't die old and alone in a nursing home with nobody to come and visit me.
- So I can continue the family traditions passed down to me by my grandma, and mom.
- So I can create new family traditions and holiday memories.
- So I watch my child grow and thrive and see the person they turn into.
- So my house will ring with laughter and little voices.
- So I can share the most special bond of love in the world, between a mother and child.
- So I can look back on my life and know it meant something.

But mostly, because, I firmly believe that it is relationships, not money or careers or fame, that are what make us who we are. And family is the most important relationship in the world.

Because, when it comes down to it, we are nobody without our families.

Our families are the heart of who we are.


Nikki said...

Ditto to everything on your post! I think for me, the desire to have a child increased in proportion with the amount of time we were trying, or with each trial we faced.

I hope your dream comes true Lisa. And in about 9 months, I hope you will be holding your little miracle in your hands and trying to see if the baby has your nose and eyes or Dave's.

Good luck and hugs to you.

DAVs said...

Ditto ditto ditto.
People don't understand why I want the genetic child so much...but damn it, I want to see that combination of Lee and I! It's what I've always wanted, it's what *most* everyone else gets to easily, and I just cannot let go of a dream.
I hope you do not have to let go of this dream either--hoping and praying for you that this works out for you!

Lost in Space said...

Great post, Lisa. I used to blame myself for so many things I have done and choices I have made. Bottom line that I have come up with is that I make the best decision I can at the time with the information I have in front of me. Having a baby when we first married could have made me a resentful mother because I wasn't ready. It could have made my marriage rocky. I will never know the answer, but I know we have all done the best that we can to make our lives "just so" before attempting to bring a baby into this world. We love them and have kept them in mind well before we tried to conceive them. Our babies (no matter how they come to us) will be some of the luckiest on the planet.

I hope that every one of your wants and desires to have a baby is achieved in just 9 short months.

Anniep said...

yeah... what she said...

and you know what? I don't think it's something you should EVER have to justify. Noone would ever question a fertile as to why they want kids... "because" should be a good enough answer.
(it never is, of course)...
*hugs* to you!

Anonymous said...

There was something in the air today because I was pondering the same question. It's unanswerable, I think. The desire goes into your bones, your blood, the very essence of who you are. It's just what you want and you can't imagine it any other way. Not being able to have it is the most heartbreaking experience I've ever had. And so I truly hope that your struggles end here in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Emily said...

Family is everything...
Thank you for sharing this list with us. It is so open, so honest, so beautiful, so true.
Hoping this is the beginning of your dream come true!

natenang654 said...

Like someone else said, we shouldn't have to justify why? but you did, beautifully! I hope & pray God answers your prayers. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, Lisa.

Anonymous said...

When are you going for your pregnancy test?

Anonymous said...

Great post on why you want a child..and please dont feel guilty about not having wanted one..there are so many out there who have children and show clearly to those kids that they were not wanted..atleast we who introspected ensured that a kid doesn't feel 'unwanted'..if you don't deserve a kid - I dont know who does!

Linda said...

Ditto on everything that you said! I hope with every fiber in my being that you get to be a mommy soon, say 9 months!!

Auntie Anne said...

Hi David and Lisa.. Lisa that blog was such a beautiful tribute to your grandparents .I know they are looking down and are so pleased ..Your reason for wanting this child are all the right reasons.Big AND little.
Wish I could be there and give you both a big hug but for now I'll just keep hoping and wishing and praying for you both.