Justifying Child Free Lives

In recent months I’ve seen a number of friends “like” and “post” on pro-child free groups and while i can appreciate anyone’s life decision, I’m just not understanding the need for people to justify that decision. 

When it comes to having kids or not having kids I can see both sides. I wasn’t a girl growing up with the urge to grow up and become a mother, actually not in the slightest! I wanted a career, travel, life experiences that settling down young wouldn’t support. So what did I do from the end of high school to when “settled down” was an 11 year awesome life altering experience combining living abroad in 3 different continents, a uni degree, a diploma, traveling whenever time/funds allowed, working in jobs that I never envisaged, a wedding, buying a house and all that life experience and maturity to get into a role I could never have planned to do, which led to my career. Oh and now we have 1.45 children. 

My point is, had I not met my husband and met someone else who didn’t want a family I could easily chosen that path. 

The thing is, we all have the choice to make our own life decisions and I don’t understand why people choosing a child free life feel the need to justify their decisions. A recent post by an acquaintance made mention of how they can’t imagine their life being any happier… They don’t want to give up what they currently have.. Their pets feel like their children.. Their friends lives (became shit) changed when they had kids… It went on and on. 

My point is you don’t know what your missing out on. So by all means choose your own path but during that process don’t try to justify your decision by reflecting negatively on others lives, for example this post mentioned “our friends didn’t have money to do fun things anymore” .. Translation.. Your friends lives changed when they had children and their priorities shifted, did you think of fun things (that didn’t cost much/anything) you could do with your friends now or did you just discard them because they didn’t fit in with your idea of a fun life?  ….

I guess after reading the posts I really just wanted to give it the middle finger, awkwardly it’s entirely possible now with the emoji. My philosophy is to respect individuals and their own decision, but unfortunately I then expect the same in return. I don’t justify my decisions to people and they don’t need to justify them to me. Can’t we all just live harmoniously together? 

Kids are always listening! 

A few weeks back I shared a story about our commute to daycare/work where my Miss 2.5 in the backseat of the car had been listening to the news and caught me off guard with a question which I never would have anticipated a 2 year old asking. 

Surprise surprise today she was listening again, perhaps I really should be playing The Wiggles (as she likes to tell me!) 

So I must have been entirely zoned out driving along when Miss 2.5 asks me if everyone has arms?  I had no idea where the question was coming from… Queue thinking on my feet, pre-caffeine, how is the best way to answer this question… My response “umm.. most people have arms, why’s that?” 

She starts telling me she thinks I’m right because she has arms, I have arms, daddy has arms, her friends have arms… And so on, until we roll up at school and she changes the topic to the spider who lives in the tree in the carpark. Phew! 

As I’m walking out of the classroom I can’t help but wonder where the f did that come from? 

Next minute I turn on the car, the radio starts and I realise its Body acceptance week on the radio station I listen to and this morning they were speaking to people who had amputations and limb differences! Shit I think to myself, they are really listening to everything, all… the…. time! 

What would you like for Mothers Day? 

That’s the question my husband asked me this afternoon. 

I’ll set the scene before I explain the rest of our conversation and how it went down. I’m 27 weeks pregnant, we have a 2 year old, I work full time, it’s summer and the humidity at the moment is killing me. Bring on winter is all I can say. 

So any Mum will attest being asked what they’d like for Mothers Day is awesome because we can ask for something that’s selfishly for us, something we wouldn’t buy for ourselves. 

A few weeks back I made the mistake of going into a store which I should not have gone into. Mostly because it’s a shop I loved pre-child with my disposable income. So I quickly responded to his question with “a handbag”. His immediate response was “I was thinking of getting you some personal training sessions”. 

[insert WT..actual..FUCK] what kind of monster did I marry?! Surprisingly enough I didn’t loose my shit right then and there. I stewed on it for a few hours before telling him how insulting that was. 

He has now realised what a ginormous fuck up that was. 

Logistics of Labour! 

It’s amusing comparing the difference between preparing for your first baby and second. 

For the first I was at home, ready for it any time from 38 weeks, our nursery ready, car seat installed, husband purposely planning his work to be within 30 minutes of home in case labour started on a weekday. 

Second time round, we are nearing the end of our second trimester and it’s time to start co ordinating!  The priorities seem so different. I know what we actually need for our baby, we can focus on just the important stuff. The major stressor for me was what we would do with our 2 year old. It feels as though that’s much more under control now with a plan in place. My husbands role has changed since our first baby and it’s common for him to travel into the city and for there to be major delays on the highway (all the time) so that’s something entirely out of my control! Here’s hoping he can juggle things around to avoid having to travel! 

The thing that kicked off my need to logistically plan – for the most inconvenient time of the day (for labour to start) was our midwife told me to prepare for a 3.5hr labour… Considering they want us to labour at home for 1hr to ensure the contractions are consistent and labour is established. Then there’s the 30 minute drive to the hospital and last time there were no parks! I’m not even joking! I made my husband drive laps around the block to wait for a park to be available! 

When it boils down to it going into labour for the second time is weirdly exciting for me, because last time, aside from the parking situation (which now is a little bit funny) things went well and it was a really positive experience. 

If anything I hope it happens overnight or early in the morning or on a weekend! 

On Authenticity…. 

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile or if this is your first time reading (thanks & welcome) you will know that I’m constantly striding to be my most authentic self. 

I remember one of the very first blogs I stumbled across was a Mom    Amber who wrote from her heart about her struggle with post natal depression, it was insightful, honest and authentic, it was also inspiring. It led to months of deliberation as to how I could express what I thought and be ‘ok’ with putting it out there. {Check out Amber’s blog “when depression creeps into motherhood”  Read it here! }  

It’s amazing the connections we make in the virtual world through authenticity and today it’s got me thinking, how do we encourage our real life peers to be their most honest selves? How do we get people to see that by them showing us their imperfect self it leads us to love them even more? 

For example, there’s another working Mum who I’m becoming friends with, last night we ‘bonded’ over our untidy homes and how our friends need to overlook this when they visit!  In reality they probably aren’t that bad, but we’ve made the conscious decision to leave constantly tidying for spending precious time with our kids.  

It gets me thinking, when we have these REAL interactions with people and friends, how much better does it leave us feeling? I love it. But then how are we best to approach friends who aren’t being real? You know the people who present their lives like everything is perfect 24/7 – when we all know that having kids, toddlers or babies is not plain sailing all the time, there’s ups and downs and it’s all normal. 

So how do you encourage real and authenticity in your relationships? 

Forced to slow down 

It’s funny how your body forces you to slow down. Recently I was on a trip where normally I’d flit all over town doing all the things I want to do, maximizing the small window of time/freedom. This time around I’m approaching the 3rd trimester and whilst I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit it (shopping) the way I normally would, I didn’t anticipate that my body would put a holt on it. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned surviving pregnancy it’s that if I listen to my body things usually go better than if I don’t. So this time round I feel a strange sense of peace knowing I did most of the things I planned. The rest is not that important in the big picture. 

Not my monkeys, not my circus! 

It’s my favourite saying at the moment … “Not my monkeys, not my circus!”. I find that I can use it in all aspects of my life – lol except for when it is my 2 year old monkey and then it is my circus! 

As a working parent I feel that the perspective I bring to my job has shifted considerably from my pre-child self. I’m not sure how describe the shift, perhaps it’s more patience, empathy or understanding… Maybe it’s the ability not to get dragged into drama or avoiding drama completely. 

I joked with a colleague yesterday as we read an email, I said how much do you wish you’d won the lottery last night? She agreed. The response to the email would be “not my monkeys, not my circus” and on that note you’d probably need to pack your things and leave!! Lol 

I guess the reality is i can’t “use it” everyday (out aloud) but if I think it in my head then at least it makes me giggle! Then I get on with the monkey training. 

2 year old tantrums

In the last few weeks we have hit the tantrum zone with full force, I may have been naive to think we might miss it and go straight into the ‘threenager’ but no. 

Tonight’s epic meltdown started after I’d extracted corn that she’d pushed up into her nose and after it was out we spoke about why we don’t put things, even corn up our noses and she gave it another go. 

Seriously corn up your nose kid… What are you doing?? 

So the tantrum was because at this point the remaining corn was removed from her dinner plate. If you heard it you would have thought something utterly terrible had happened. Our neighbours must be wondering! 

The conclusion I’ve come to is, 2 year olds are incredibly complex

Grocery Trolleys

Have you ever found yourself observing what’s in the cart of people in line at the supermarket check out? 

I’m sort of ashamed to say it, but I can’t help but look and make an observation. The area we live in is full of hippys (and I say that in a loving way) so more often than not their carts are full of chickpeas, kale and lentils, it makes us look like total cavemen with all our meat! 

Today I couldn’t help but notice a Dad and his little girl at the shops, I compared their trolley with mine, the cost difference would be 2-3 times the price (mine being more) and while ours was full of fruits, veggies, dairy, wholegrains etc theirs were full of pre-packaged sugar filled snacks. 

It makes me wonder, is it a cost thing? Is it lack of food education? I wondered how does all of that food affect the child – I know as an adult if I was to eat that much sugar and processed foods I’d feel horrible, and for a small person how does that affect their behaviour or concentration at school? 

Isn’t it insane that healthy food costs so much more. And there’s absolutely ways around that, but usually those take organization, planning or an extra stop at a fruit and veg shop. 

It just makes me wonder what kind of education are young people being given in terms of life skills. I’ve often discussed it with my colleagues – imagine if at high school you were taught instead of how to make scones, how to budget and buy groceries within your means and meal plan (with some food education). Imagine if part of your education to send you off into the world included life skills! Wow – that’s an insane idea huh. 

Santa you jerk! 

It’s mid February and my 2.5yr old still has a beef with Santa. 

You would think she would’ve forgotten about it by now, but clearly the scars of not getting a skateboard are still raw. 

I just overheard the bedtime conversation between my husband and Miss 2.5 – Miss 2.5 questioning why Santa forgot her skateboard? And my husbands explanation that by the time he put the scooter and cubby house in the sleigh there was no more room! Miss 2.5 seems to be understanding the logic but is still annoyed.
 Any guesses how long the beef will last? And any tips on how we can avoid Santa bringing one next year? We spend enough time at doctors and dentists as it is without adding skateboard injuries to the mix!!