Thursday, June 20, 2013

A World You Can't Live Without

I was sitting on the couch with one of my best girl friends, catching up on our everyday life, when she proceeded to tell me, "I'm not sure if I ever want to have kids."

I had to stop midsentence when it finally registered to me what she had just said. Frozen for a brief moment. Lost my ability to speak. And stared at her for what seemed like forever. but was merely a few seconds. I wasn't sure what to say right away. I was taken back, stunned, and in a way, sad. Not because I thought that life could not be great or full of happiness without children, as I am fully aware plenty of people choose this path without regret and live great lives, however for me, it was because this was someone I cared deeply about. Someone that I grew up with. Loved. And most importantly, someone I always envisioned as a mother. From the day I met her A great mother, at that.

She just has had that about her.

And so, when I finally found the words, I began to attempt to explain to her the love of a child. To the best of my ability.

But how.

How do you tell her about the moment you saw that positive sign. How the first thing you did was place your hands on your belly and instantly felt like a mother.
How do you explain growing a baby inside of you. From the morning sickness, to the kicks, to the staying up all night in the last few weeks of pregnancy wondering when that day would come. To the unknown. What would life be like once they were born. What would the sacrifices be that you would have to make. How would your relationship with your husband hold up through all this. More importantly, what they would look like, and who they would remind you of.

How do you explain that moment when your child first makes his/her appearance. The flood of emotions. This powerful feeling that comes across you. Changes you, and the world around you.

How do you explain what its like to wake up every day with the excitement of seeing your child's face and hearing their voice. That no matter how often you were up the night before, no matter the lack of sleep, you still wake up feeling as though this is the greatest day in the world. Why? Because you have them.

The way they wrap their arms around you. The way they give you the slobbery kisses. The big hugs. And the first time they say I love you. Which always sounds so much sweeter with their soft tones and childish words.

How do you explain what it is like to have this responsibility of someone else's life.Not just physically, but all that comes with being a parent. To raise them to be strong, kind, independent individuals. To know the difference between right or wrong. To lend a hand to those in need. To be selfless. To dream.

How do you explain the ability to relive your birth story each time you celebrate their birth. That watching them grow is perhaps one of the greatest gifts in life. A gift that you know gets unwrapped year after year. Yet, one at the same time, that you wish so badly you could hold onto forever. Each stage, each milestone, each age that slips right on by. You want to have your child in each one of those years for the rest of your life.

How do you explain that moment when you watch your child learn. To take what you have taught them and apply it to the world around them. And the way their eyes light up when they discover new. Or even old. Just the way their eyes light up period. It's all you ever need in life.

How do you justify to her that the best show you had ever gone to was a cartoon live performance. How do you tell her that it was exactly how you would want to spend every Saturday evening, if given the chance. That anything that involves your family is by far greater than any gift or experience out there.

How do you fully explain the most incredible blessing in life. Something, someone that you are utterly proud of for every thing that they do. That you feel like you won the lottery, over and over again, every time you wake up to see their smiling face.

There truly are no words. No way to describing it. I could sit for days upon days trying to tell my friend how much love I have for my children, how your life truly begins when you become a mother, and how incredibly worthwhile and meaningful each day becomes after that.

But it still wouldn't be enough.

Not enough for her to understand what it's like. To convince her that she needs it in her life. Until that moment comes. When she becomes a mother. When she experiences all the firsts. When she sees herself in her children's eyes.

It's a remarkable thing. Being a parent. A gift, a blessing... the beginning of life. My life didn't truly begin until the day I became a mom. And that, that, I know I can say with 100% certainty.

But explaining the love for a child, from a child, by a child is nearly close to impossible.

How do you explain a life you never knew was missing until it began.
A kind of love you never knew existed until you heard the sound of your baby crying.

A world you didn't know you couldn't live without, until you started living in it.


  1. this post is absolutely beautiful. I am not a mama myself, but I look forward to experiencing all this in my future.. :)

  2. You explained it wonderfully. I could not imagine my life without my daughter or the one growing in my belly because as far as I'm concerned my life meant nothing before them. Did you tell your friend all this? How did she respond?

  3. I think the words you have used to describe motherhood are beautiful. And I agree with you for the most part - except my life didn't begin the day I became a mom. Everything leading up to that point helped me be the type of mom I am. However, your friend may just not "need" that in her life. You either feel it in your bones or you don't. Just like people feel they should stop at child #1, #2, etc. Motherhood isn't for everyone --- even for the ones you love the most.

  4. Great post. I'm looking forward to becoming a mama myself! :)

  5. I have a few friends who've chosen not to have kids, and I have the hardest time understanding it. I understand thinking that in your 20's, but in your 30's? The worst part is, I know a few women in their 50's, my parents friends, who feel they've made an enormous mistake in not having a family.

  6. Amazing post. You have a gift with words.

  7. As a little girl I dreamed of being a vet, a doctor, a business woman who wore high heels, and a momma. Even though I do have a business degree that I don't even use, only one of these dreams came true for me. The best dream in ALL the world. Being a momma to my three. I can't even begin to imagine my life without them. Thank you for this beautiful post, Becky!

  8. Why explain that to her? Why meet her moment of vulnerability with anything other than a loving exploration of HER feelings?

    Was she having a change of heart? Was she changing her mind because she did not trust the situation a child would be brought into? Had you just assumed this role for her and she felt that it was imporant to be honest with you about where her heart really was?

    I have a son who I adore and I was living a comfortable and intentionally child-free life until I was 34. If you had asked me the day before I found out I was pregnant if I wanted a child I would have said no.

    What you wrote about your love for your child is absolutely beautiful and rings true, but I am sad at the thought that your friend may have been reaching out to confirm that you would still find her lovable even if she made a choice that was far away from your choices.

  9. One of my very close friends said the same thing to me awhile ago, and the thing is - I KNEW there was something wrong with her statement. I knew her better than that. She was afraid that she was already getting 'too old' and had begun a relationship with a man who didn't want kids - she was trying to convince herself. I told her to imagine herself in 30 years and guess if she would be happy with that decision - she confessed that her answer was 'definitely not!'. It's so hard, because when you are young it really is hard to know how you'll feel about life when you're older, and I know many couples who chose the no-kids route until their 40's and then desperately tried to conceive anyway - often they were no longer able to. There's no clear answer... I'm definitely glad I've known how much I needed my kids right from the beginning.

  10. So beautiful and so true.

  11. Don't knock those of us too hard who know we don't want kids of our own.

    Surely as a nurse, you've had (like I have) people say to you something like "Why didn't you go to med school? You'd be a great doctor!" My answer was always "B/c I wasn't called to". That's my same answer w motherhood. I'd be a good one. Or a good office manager. Or anything I put my mind to to be good at. But the desire to do those things simply isn't there. And that doesn't mean I feel like I'm missing out on anything.
    I love plenty of kids fiercely, mostly because I love their parents. I've dated a man with kids and still love them. But all of the stuff you mentioned in your post? Don't appeal to me at all. And that is just as okay as it appealing to you.

  12. @nursekim

    I'm sorry that you felt that I was knocking anyone that chose to have children. In fact I even said at the very beginning, it's not a life for everyone, and I know that people live rich happy lives without children. I proceeded to then just describe my experiences and how I viewed motherhood.

    Again, sorry for the misundersanding.

  13. Great post. I look forward to motherhood and feeling the love for my own child. I do have a few friends who have expressed that they simply feel fulfilled in their lives without children. But I guess that's all relative. I think it all depends on who you are and what you want out of life!

  14. You need to be careful with those types of posts. There are so many women who aren't moms...but it's not their choice. 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and those moms have to experience the joy of the positive tests, knowing that they are a mom and then have it all torn away. Other moms try for years and decades and undergo countless treatments that leave them feeling broken and still do not have a baby to show for it. They have a mothers heart more than any one else and yet no one knows then they hear people talking about motherhood and read posts like these and their heart breaks over again. I know. I'm one of them. Just be's more common than people think and maybe your friend will change her mind about kids only to have those difficulties and all she will know is the sheer joy she is forced to miss out on.


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