Monday, February 3, 2014

A childless life.

Thank you trash can for this lovely picture...you can tell I didn't even have time to "sit" down.

I was going through my albums trying to find the perfect picture to use of Andrew and myself for an upcoming blog post when I stumbled upon this particular one. Something about this picture did it for me--put me in deep thought. I looked at this couple and I could not help but think back to 4.5 years ago when this very picture was taken.

Coincidentally, I just happened to read a blog post about a woman who thinks that other women who become mothers and wives are stupid and should not be celebrated. That one. But, really, If you were to ask for my honest opinion, I'd tell you this--- I didn't read all of it, I was pretty bored, and I was definitely not amused. It was obvious that the blog post was written simply to stir up controversy, and controversy she got. But regardless on whether or not the author actually felt that way {about married women and mothers}, there are people in this world that actually do, sadly. And that's what got me thinking the most.

And right about that time, the above picture was staring right at me. A Becky I didn't quite recognize... yet knew so well.

Childless.
Married {a couple days}.But childless.

Other things that come to mind?

Happy.
Tan.
Young.
Naive.
Clueless.
Free 
In love. 
And....Childless.

I try to think back on my life prior to children. I remember not having a care in the world. I remember sleeping in until 10, 11, sometimes noon on the weekends. I remember my dog being my baby and front and center of my life, alongside my husband. I remember picking up extra shifts at the hospital. Just because I felt I should. I remember buying things. Things. Buying designer bags, designer glasses, even a designer car. I remember caring about my looks---being tan, being thin, having white teeth, the perfect hair, and the polished nails. I remember just getting in my car and driving. Wherever I wanted. Going to the mall. Going to the store. Going to get my nails done. All easy tasks, and all ones that I never had to think twice about. I remember the time I got to spend with Andrew---some of the best memories I can remember. Being inseparable is probably the best way to describe it. Our dinner dates. Movie dates. Dates, period---whenever we wanted. No rush, no responsibilities, nothing but ourselves and our own priorities in mind.

I remember a lot about being childless, yet I cannot remember at all. The details, that is.

The life we long for, breathe in, and want to soak up--- I just can't remember it before. I just cannot remember life beginning until my children came into the world.

Looking back on pictures it's easy to be reminded of those things. Life before children. Things slowly come back to you as you flip through the albums of old photographs. You smile as you see yourself laughing. You touch the picture hoping in a way you could connect with the person in it. You want so badly to be reminded of who that person was, yet you have simply forgotten her altogether. It's easy to get caught up in what you looked like, what you had, and how much easier it was to navigate through this crazy world that we live in. That part is easy. But to actually think back on the important things? It's hard. Those details are somehow...lost. Or perhaps, the real answer is that they were never there.

What did I live for?
What did I dream about?
What did I look forward to?
Who did I impact in the world?
Who did I change?
Who did I teach, inspire, and motivate?
Where was life taking me?
What would come next?
What, and who would I leave behind?

So the real question is this: Were you happy?

Absolutely, I believe I was. I believe that I was the happiest that I thought that I could be, that I knew was possible. To me? I couldn't be happier. I believe that even if I had not had children in my lifetime then I could still find happiness in other things that I did. I do believe that. I believe that my husband and I did not need children for us to be happy or content with our marriage, but that children made us an even stronger, and more committed and secure couple.

It sounds easy to want to just take a day, a week, a little time to go back to your past and see what it was like to live before children. It's easy for older generations to say----live your life now while you can before you have children. It makes you wonder if there was a part of them that had regrets, if there was a part of them that had unfulfilled dreams, or a part of them that was unhappy with the way things turned out. It would be easy for us to say... live through your twenties, then have children. Or even your thirties. To me? It's just a number signifying age. For me? It's within yourself to decide what it is that you want to live by and for. And for some? It's their personal dreams. For some? It's their career. For others? For me?

It's my family.

So to answer your question---would I ever dream about going back to my childless life even for a week... a moment... or to experience it all again?

No. Never.

Do I think that being a mother is the most important, honorable, and selfish thing a woman can do if done so with a full heart?

Absolutely.

I believe that motherhood should always be celebrated. Motherhood should always be talked about in a positive way. Motherhood should be something to be proud of and acknowledged by others. No it's not boring. No it's not plain. No it's not average and typical and expected. We're not talking about a handbag, a career change, or a ribbon for completing a job well done.

We're talking about a life. And all the ways that one life has to impact many more.

A life that rewards you in the form of love---watching a part of you navigate through this world and knowing that you are responsible for setting the foundation for their future.

There is nothing greater than that out there. And for that, I will continue to celebrate the beauty, strength, and life of motherhood.


16 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I just became a mother -after a looooong, childless life (38 years old and married 16 years!!!). I can't begin to explain how very much fulfilled I feel now. It's not like I think I've lost myself at all. In fact, I feel like I found myself. That self I always wanted to be, but didn't quite know how. I am now, as a mother, selfless, loving, patient, wise, responsible, capable and yes, happy! I am all of these things with a full heart.

    From one happy mom to another, I celebrate motherhood and I celebrate you, Mom!

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    1. Katy, thank you for your comment. I cannot even begin to explain to you how embarrassed I get at times when I think about myself prior to being a mother. The things that I did, the things that I said, the thoughts that crossed my mind. Now, I cannot say that I am better, or perfect all of a sudden, but children just changed everything about myself. And they continue to show me the real reason that we live this life----to bring more HAPPINESS into the world that we live in. Every day I am reminded of this, and every day this push me to want to be BETTER. Not just for or to them, but to even the complete strangers that I encounter.

      Congratulations on your blessing and thank you again for telling me your story.

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  2. I absolutely celebrate mothers and all they do and sacrifice for their children but I think you have taken this too far in the opposite direction from that other blogger. It seems like what you are saying is that a woman cannot truly be happy or unselfish unless she has a child and that a couple is not as in love, as happy or as strong in their commitment as they could be unless they have children together. I think that is incredibly unfair. There are just some people out there that just aren't meant to be parents. I myself to do not want children but I completely respect and encourage those who do. I am a loving aunt to my three nieces and I could not imagine life without them but I don't want to have children for myself. I don't think that makes me less of a woman or less happy with my husband. I know that you were trying to make a point in connection with that other blogger but I personally feel like you took it too far.

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    1. Bailee did you read the entire blog post? As I was reading your comment, I was thinking to myself--I addressed this very exact thing about happiness without children. I have inserted it here below to clarify.


      "So the real question is this: Were you happy?

      Absolutely, I believe I was. I believe that I was the happiest that I thought that I could be, that I knew was possible. To me? I couldn't be happier. I believe that even if I had not had children in my lifetime then I could still find happiness in other things that I did. I do believe that. I believe that my husband and I did not need children for us to be happy or content with our marriage, but that children made us an even stronger, more committed and secure couple."

      Did I say ANYTHING about a woman being less of a woman without children?
      Did I say ANYTHING about a couple being less secure in their marriage?
      Did I say ANYTHING about needing children to find happiness?

      No. I said the opposite. I said that I believed that I was as happy as I knew I could be, that our marriage did not NEED children but that children did in fact make us an even stronger couple. US. ME. MY HUSBAND AND I. It made US stronger. Not you, not all women, not everyone out there. But US.

      Therefore, unless I were to say those specific things that you mentioned above, then there is no reason to assume that my story needs to be applied to all. And surely, there is no need to put words into my mouth that I never said nor implied by any means.

      Again, I'm sorry that somehow my story has offended you, but I hope I have helped to clarify a few things for you.

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    2. I agree with Bailee. It seems you have a hard time realizing how your posts come across. I used to really enjoy your blog, but it consistently comes across as self-righteous and judgmental, which I imagine is the opposite of your intentions. Take it down a notch, Becky.

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    3. Unfortunate Lisa that you have to resort to name calling. Who is the one that sounds so self-righteous here to tell someone else how they should write...I think we both know the answer to that. I hope God blesses you with kindness.

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  3. This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. My husband and I are transitioning from childless to having a little one in the next 8-11 weeks and I've been experiencing a lot of guilt for mourning the loss of my current and former self. I'm really looking forward to the next stage of life, hence the guilt when I get upset I won't be able to do the things I'm used to. I have to remind myself that this will be an amazing, albeit new, normal.

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    1. This. 100%. I'm 30 weeks pregnant & having the same thoughts so I appreciated your post.

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    2. +1! I'm 24 weeks pregnant and feel the same way at times!

      ~ Nicole from http://bumpsandbeginnings.blogspot.com/

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  4. My husband and I often ponder what our lives would have been like if we meet before we had kids... {we both were previously married with kids} We tend to dream of all the fun, exciting, impromptu things we could have done. The places we would have traveled to see. The adventures we would have went on. But we always come back to the thought of that if it wasn't for our kids our lives and relationship wouldn't be what it is. The kids have made us into the people we are now and helped us realize what we wanted in a partner.
    I'm glad we're not the only ones that try to remember or think what was life like B.C. {Before Children)

    Have a good week!!!

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  5. I AGREE 100%. Most of the new moms I meet all ask the same question: What did I used to do with my time? I had so much FREE time and yet we thought we were "busy". There is no bigger purpose in life than being a mother. That is for sure. However, I am glad we had "those careless years" as well because we really won't get that back. At least not while we are young... :)

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  6. OMG. I could have written this post. SO AMAZING! Every single thing you said hit home for me. Being a mom may not be the easiest life path, but it's definitely the best one for me! :)

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  7. Wonderful post. I was chatting with some coworkers the other day about how stir crazy I am lately. My husband is deployed and my son is spending the week visiting my sister in Charlotte. Everyone kept saying how I should be happy, how I finally had a break, how I get to be "childless again" when in reality I don't see it as they do at all. I'm still a mom, now I just get to worry about if he is behaving, and having fun, or if he is regressing in his potty training and I worry that my husband is safe, and how he is coping. Yes I've had time to get things done around the house and to enjoy a little me time, but to be honest I feel like pieces of me are missing. Not having my family near me is something I can't celebrate because they are such a important part of my life. It has made me realize that on those days I'm a stressed and my family is driving me bonkers that even then I would never want to go back to it just being me, or even just me and my husband. So like I said great post about the something I've been thinking about myself lately.

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