The articles are all over the internet. Ten Things to Do in Your Twenties. 5 Things to Do Before You Marry. 10 Things to Do Before You have Kids.
To be quite honest, I’m really sick of them. I have yet to read one that paints the “after” in a positive light. Whether it’s no longer being in your twenties, getting married, or having kids, they all appear as some negative burden of doom that will come upon your life. And frankly, it’s a lie that the world is feeding and that people are devouring. Though I have not yet reached my thirties, I’m not dreading it. I am married and I love it. I’m currently expecting my second child and I have never felt so loved and so blessed. Each of these articles focuses on something you lose and completely ignore what you gain.
Yes, you may lose some independence, some “me time”, some sleep, and maybe even some dreams. But every single one of those is worth it for the blessings of marriage and children.
5 Things I Did Not Do Before Having Kids and What I Got Instead
1. Score My Dream Job. I always wanted to be a teacher or a writer. Those were dreams I had. But now I’m a mom. And you know what? I get to teach my daughter every single moment of every single day. I get to write fun stories about her life that I’ll get to share with her when she’s older. I make people laugh with Facebook statuses that keep them updated on Corley’s life. And even though they aren’t being published in a book somewhere and I’m not getting paid for the teaching I do, the reward of the enrichment I see in my daughter’s life, and the excitement I see when she finally “gets” something, is worth so much more than any paycheck.
2. Stay Out All Night. Even before I had kids, staying out all night was not something that sounded enjoyable. And really, it’s just going to make you think you can handle it when you do have kids. Trust me, it’s different, and you’ll wish you had slept when you had the chance ;). Now, I enjoy my time at home, just my husband and me, sitting in our quiet home while our daughter sleeps. And really, it’s so relaxing, and peaceful. I wouldn’t trade it for an all-nighter.
3. Go to a Concert. The reasoning behind this one in the article I read was saying that you should go listen to your favorite music live, because once you have kids you’ll only ever listen to Disney music. You know what we do? We have our own concerts. Whether it’s Pandora playing a variety of music from Frank Sinatra, to Les Miserables, to, yes, even some Disney soundtracks, or if Joshua is playing a new song he wrote on his guitar, we have music in this house. And we dance. And we sing. And our daughter dances. And sings. And you know what, our singing and dancing would not be welcome in public. No one wants to see it, trust me (well, maybe Corley’s). So it is a thousand times more enjoyable to have an in-home concert than to go to one.
4. Buy Myself Some Overly Expensive Item Just Because. I really hate this one. This one reveals the core of all of these lists to me. They’re self-centered. Period. These lists are usually only concerned with you getting your “best life now”. I would much rather spend $200 on someone else than on one needless item just because I can. Even when I get birthday money or Christmas money, it’s inevitable that I spend some of it on Corley. Why? Not because I have to. But because I can. And I get joy out of it. You know that whole “it’s better to give than to receive” thing that people say? Yeah, it’s true.
5. Join Some Random Ridiculous Club/Group. Again, another point that’s just determined to make you think that your life is over once you have kids. You are no longer allowed to have any fun. Ever. Nope. Don’t even think about it. They make it sound like you are never allowed to act like a kid once you’ve had a kid. I don’t know if the authors have kids, but um, yeah, I act like a kid at least 100 times a day now. To the point sometimes where I forget how to interact with adults. Whoops! But just because I have kids doesn’t mean I lose that inner child. It brings it back out. Going through high school and college can really drain you. You’ve been an “adult” for a long time, you can forget what it means to have fun, to let loose, to be a kid. And then you have a kid. And you remember, splashing in the tub is fun, turning anything into a drum is hilarious. And let’s not forget all of those crazy noises you can make with your mouth.
Having kids doesn’t end your life. It doesn’t kill your dreams. Having kids adds meaning and purpose to your life. They inspire new and better dreams. Kids are a blessing. I hope we all can remember that.