It’s Not Worth It, or Your Life Would Have Sucked With or Without Children

Relax,  you don't have to be happy about everything.

Relax, you don't have to be happy about everything.

Why do we always have to look at the bright side of everything? Can’t it just suck sometimes?

I had rough pregnancies. I didn't enjoy them. I found them awkward and inconvenient. The second was worse than the first. I had pain every time I walked. People told me “It’s worth it.”

     It wasn't "worth it."

My kids each didn't sleep the night for months at a time. My husband and I had ongoing negotiations to find time for naps to feel human again. People said “It’s worth it.”

     It wasn't "worth it."

My son is 2. He sometimes has complete meltdowns over incidental (to me) things, like using the wrong color bowl for his cereal. People tell me “It’s worth it.”

     It’s not "worth it."

It’s not “worth it” because my kids are a part of my life, not a reward for my suffering.

I’m not paying for motherhood with suffering. There’s no reconciliation of how much I give versus how much I receive. Pregnancy is how babies are made. Babies don’t sleep the night. Toddlers lose their shit all the time. Being their mother sucks sometimes. And sometimes it’s awesome. Life is like that. It’s always been like that. It was like that before I had kids, too.

Would I trade my mommy life for my single life? Nah. I did that, and now I’m doing this. I’m happy with my decision to have kids. Whatever comes next will suck, too. And it will be awesome.

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My kids needn't feel a moment’s guilt for what I go through as a mother. Nor do they get credit for giving my life meaning. I picked them. It’s on me to raise them to find their own path — through the awful and the awesome — to a rich and meaningful life. Even as I’m still navigating mine.