Thursday, December 3, 2009

Greener grass syndrome

How is it possible or fair that before you have your children you can spend every second yearning to be a parent, yearning to have a house full of kids, yearning so much that you miss whole days of childless freedom only to find yourself 2 years into having children yearning to be alone, yearning for the pre-children vacations you used to take, yearning to have the body you used to have and so on?

Oh yeah, that's right, it isn't fair.

I have a bad habit I got from my mom of tending to always look to the future to be better. I keep thinking if I could just get married, just have babies I'll be happier, if I could just have the babies turn into toddlers it'll get better, no, maybe when they can speak full sentences it'll be the best. I'm not the kind of person who lives in the present really well. Now of course the current present sucks more than usual because 7 months pregnant isn't fun for almost anyone, but it's not unusual that I'm craning my neck constantly to see around the next bend.

The real truth about children is you just have no stinking idea what you're getting into until you have them. Sure you see people with children all around and you see tantrums and struggles and know they haven't slept in weeks, but you think, it'll still feel fantastic if I can just have one. Especially once you get denied up front and have to struggle to have one (or three). Then there's the post infertility guilt that either you or others put on you because shouldn't you be happy all the time that you got lucky enough to have children when others can't?

Phooey on that. I can resent my children just as well as anyone else when they're acting like crabby little pains. Hell, maybe I should be more resentful because I paid for mine and still ended up without the upgrade to the 'no tantrum model.' I mean shouldn't I get a little extra tweak for the extra cash I had to put out up front?

But it's amazing how romantically I can see life before children now. As if it was all wine and roses before. Like DH and I sat around on island getaways and sipped cocktails while reveling in each other's company every minute of the day and night. Right now I'd give my right arm for an evening sipping cocktails in my own living room without a baby monitor chirping over my shoulder. And as if I didn't spend those evenings before romantically viewing how wonderful it was going to be if someone just gave me a damned baby.

You just can't win. And I didn't even want children until I hit about 31. Then it was like a ton of bricks and nearly impossible to resist. Now I can't wait until they all go to college and I can do things with my friends and husband on the spur of the moment without arranging childcare and 8 other things to do so.

I need to work on enjoying the present. Like this morning when all three of my kids were as cute as they can possibly be, for whatever reason, but just so cute you wanted to eat them all up and snuggle with them all morning. Sadly, that's not usually what they're up for but a moment like that? Has got to be enjoyed without any distractions. No worries about what I have to do, haven't done, whether I've slept or not, am getting the cold, or whatever. Just wallowing in three incredibly cute, loving kids. It won't last forever!


  1. Don't sweat it. We all feel this way from time to time. I was dying to get to three w/#3 over here not even a year ago. Every conversation started with..."When #3 is 3..." (and I actually do call him that in real life, or sometimes I call him Baby C). Now that his 2nd bday is a little over 1 month away, my effing couldn't-make-a-baby-if-it-tried-waste-of-a-uterus is crying to have another. I actually Googled "reversing a tubal ligation" like three times this week. You know, just to see. I'm a sad sack, but I it's okay b/c I'm human. Well, mostly human, with just a touch of super!

    Oh, and I have a beef with you. I need you to connect your email to your profile b/c every time you leave a comment I want to respond to you. I even click it only to discover that it's a noreply address and then I get all mad. You don't want that, do you?!

    Seriously, we'd be such better blogging pals if I could respond to you b/c you always get the last word. I like having that, it's sorta my thing!

  2. I'm learning contentment (or trying to learn contentment) with my present life without the "when" or "if" attached to it. I'll be happy "when" I'll be happy "if". It is hard. I understand what you are saying. I enjoyed our pre-kid days, we traveled, went out to dinner, spent, spent, spent, spent. Then we were ready to have children but our bodies said "no" so suddenly I wanted what I couldn't have. So I get all that. Then you get it but its not quite what you thought (like you said) and you see others whose parenting comes so naturally and you struggle and then you wonder if it is worth it. truly is. You catch those moments like you did today. And they won't always be "me, me, me, me" oriented. They'll actually sleep through the night, feed themselves, potty themselves and be little people you really enjoy being around. You just got to give it a few years.....and then they turn into teenagers :)


  3. I could have written this same exact post. In fact, just yesterday "the grass is always greener" is exactly what I was thinking of writing regarding having children. And my favorite part here is "you have no stinking idea what you are getting into until you have them." So, soooo true. I have so many moments of "what the hell was I thinking?" only to remember it wasn't my brain screaming to have a baby so there wasn't much thinking involved. But despite the daily struggles, somewhere deep down I know it was worth it.

  4. I have a serious "grass is always greener" disorder myself. You pretty much described me to a tee in this post. The only thing I have learned though, is that time is going FASTER and faster, so I'd better learn to appreciate the present, because it will not last long:)