Love does crazy things to us, doesn’t it? When we fall in love, whether it be for the first time or the 10th time, we feel like anything is possible. As if the love we share is so unique, and vast that something else must come of it. It can’t be wasted. It needs an extension to prove its intensity.
Creating something with the one you love is romantic, right? Extending your love far beyond your imagination, into the unknown sounds pretty heart pumping to me. So, isn’t it interesting how having children, or the idea of them is made into a romantic gesture? Is it because the idea is so incredibly permanent and life altering that making such a commitment to one another is in fact a token of just how big your love is? It all sounds rational and judicious, so why is it nothing like the fantasy?
Perhaps we're in another world when we create these fantasies. Maybe the endorphins felt from being so high in love are what contribute to the illusion. The only problem is, we all have to come back to reality eventually. So when the experience of pregnancy comes to its grand finale, how real does it get? Do the theories and fantasies go out the window along with your independence?
You tell me...
1. Our Love Created a Child: Half Me-Half You
Yes, in theory, when it’s just you and your other half, your love is all that you need to nurture. It might be new, or exciting, or both. But what will soon be most exciting, as is the responsibility that’s not going to feel so 50/50, are the 1AM, 3AM and 5 AM feedings and diaper changes. Romance seems to be the last thing you’re feeling when you’re up all night while you watch your other baby sleep right through all the fun (Ahem, cue the baby daddy images).
2. A Family that Travels Together…
…Usually doesn’t travel far. Well, a young family that is. Maybe you’ll settle for the next city over for a while. The theory that you will not need to change your lifestyle when bringing a baby into the world is just that, a lofty theory. Sometimes babies don’t travel well. Sometimes you’re so sleep deprived, that a trip anywhere other than to the kitchen is completely out of the question. Even when you’re getting enough sleep, no new parent actually realizes the amount of CRAP that you have to take along with you on a plane. Therefore, many settle for short road trips where the crap is at least, contained.
3. It Will Improve Our Struggling Relationship
One of the most common fantasies of having children is that it will somehow fix or improve a relationship that is in conflict. I can tell you right now that a child will only lay another thick layer of stress onto that troubled relationship. If you were fighting to keep your head above water before, prepare to sink. That’s not to say that relationships don’t get stronger after having a child, but if it was in turmoil to begin with, the odds are not in your favor. The problems that were there before, usually just get bigger and new issues are born, along with that innocent child you just brought into the world to fix them.
4. We Will Always be Connected
That is correct. If you have a child with someone, you will always be connected. That doesn’t mean you will always stay together, or be happy together. It doesn’t mean that person will always be in your child’s life, unfortunately. It means if your only desire to have a child is for the permanent attachment to someone else, you will in fact lose that someone, or yourself. And often times as relationships transform or end, you may wish you didn’t have that forever connection with them. But you have a beautiful child, and in the end, that’s always worth it. But is it fair?
I might come off as a “Debbie Downer” of sorts, but I assure you I’m not. The sacrifice of having my children is worth every bit of stress and every sleepless night. And while I wouldn’t use the word “romantic” to describe the idea of having children, I once did.
I do, however, get these wonderful windows of perspective when I see what my husband and I have created together. My children are the definition of our love, and that is romantic in its own way. There’s a magnitude to the thought that my husband and I are the only 2 people on earth that love these 2 humans the same exact amount as the other. We may show our love in different ways, and contrast in how we manage the beasts, as we call them, but it’s pretty amazing that we share the depth of love for those boys all the same.
Half him, half me.