….but not as we know it.
I heard someone say something ridiculous last night. I was watching one of my sniffly programs and a lady was talking about her children. She said, and I quote “we refused to let having children change us”.
Ridiculous. I suspect she was referring to still having a career and still travelling and children fitting in with the life that they had, but her words were just too silly and it made me cross. How can having children not change you?
How can you have children and not feel differently about the world around you? How can you have children and not feel a more overwhelming sense of responsibility than you have ever felt in your life before? Surely, having a child and being responsible for them, caring for them, loving them, changes you irrevocably?
My life before I had children was as worry free as I can remember being. I had a boyfriend then partner then husband but he was able to look after himself. I had a job, but I wasn’t a brain surgeon – I didn’t have people’s lives in the palm of my hand. If I messed up a program or ran the wrong report the world didn’t stop. I had a mortgage but if I lost my job I would have bought a smaller place or moved back in with my mum and dad (ha ha!) I would have found another job just like that (*clicks fingers*). If I wanted to go out I would go out. I didn’t have to plan around anyone but myself (and boyfriend/ partner/husband to some degree). If I didn’t want to cook dinner, I wouldn’t. I had no-one to be accountable to except me.
How can having children not change your entire outlook on life?
My life now is so different now that I have others to make decisions for. I have to choose schools for them; help them become happy, responsible, well-rounded people; nurture them, keep them safe and love them beyond anything else on this earth. I can’t be the same person I was then. I have to be the best person I can be, because I am accountable to two young people who need me to be the best person I can be, so that they can become the best people that they can be.
I don’t always get it right. I sometimes shout. I can be grumpy and resentful. But the person I am now, now that I have children, is not the me I was before. It’s a better me. A more neurotic, a more emotional and a more sensitive. But better.