One conversation that comes up quite a lot between my friends and I is the topic of whether there is a ‘right time’ to have a baby.
I think one of the worries that most people have before becoming a parent is whether or not they will miss their old life.
They think of all the things they will no longer be able to do, for a while at least.
All the money that will be spent on nappies instead of themselves.
Nights that will be spent pacing up and down the living room with a screaming baby instead of curled up on the sofa with your partner.
I felt all of these things when I was pregnant with Cherry, it wasn’t a planned pregnancy but I knew deep down that at 25, I was ready to give up my old life to become a mum.
I had already stopped going out partying and as I had been doing it since the age of about 15 I felt like I was well and truly over it and I was right. At no point in my 32 months of being a parent have I wished my life to be any different.
I feel like I had children at the ‘right time’ and that I was ‘ready’.
BUT I still have times where I think about what I would have been doing in my pre-children days.
Especially lately because the weather has been so nice. For instance the other weekend we went down to Devon. We went to the beach and whilst I was sat in the shade trying to keep Tiger cool, I couldn’t help but think about how in my old life I would have been relaxing in the sun. Then this weekend we went to a wedding, it was another glorious day and the kids were so good but part of me did spot the sofas on the lawn, cocktails on the table and imagine how had I not been a parent I would have been laid on one with said drink in hand.
Luckily before I got too carried away I remembered that had I not had kids I would have been relaxing in the sun drinking for a while but then I would have ended up passed out in a corner puking all night (I wasn’t a very good drinker!).
For me it was just a case of noticing the differences between my old life as oppose to wishing I had my old life but seeing all my friends who don’t have kids yet made me realise just what a hard job being a parent is. Whilst all the people without kids get to sit in the sun with a drink in their hand, all the people with kids are stood in the shade rocking / bouncing / chasing their children. Instead of holding a drink they are cleaning up the smashed glass from where their toddler smashed it on the floor after wrestling it out of their hands (or that might have just been us?!).
Life with two kids is utterly exhausting, let alone going out with them. Even when you are not doing the actual jobs that are involved with looking after children – the nappy changes, getting them dressed, bathing them, feeding them – your brain is always thinking about them. Where are they? What are they doing? Where have they gone?
By the end of the day I was SHATTERED.
Then I saw this quote yesterday that completely summed up what being a parent is all about.
The things you experience from being a parent are worth all the hard work and things you no longer get to do.
So is there a ‘right time’ to have a baby?
Well I think yes and no.
Obviously if you can then it helps to get all the things you want to do out of your system before having kids but that isn’t always possible and in most cases once that little baby is placed in your arms your priorities will completely change. All of a sudden you realise that the enjoyment you get from sunbathing, having money to spend on make-up or being able to buy a one-way ticket to Thailand just doesn’t compare to the feeling when your baby smiles at you for the first time.
What do you think?