“Do you ever have those moments when you say, ‘Why did I have kids?’
Like when you step on a toy, and it hurts so bad your eyes squint and your fists ball up?
Or when you’ve just cleaned up said toys from the floor, turned your back to move to the sink to do the dishes, and hear the container of toys you picked up spilled back onto the floor?
Or when those toys, that have now been spilled back on the floor, are being thrown across the room by siblings during target practice?
How about when you are scrolling through social media and see the following:
Friends on white sandy beaches, drink in hand, enjoying a vacation you can’t go on for at least another five years…
Or those same friends showing off their bikini bodies that haven’t changed since high school. Forget working to get those bodies back after having said children… (thanks for the stretch marks kids!)
I find myself scrolling and thinking, ‘Why did I have kids?’
And then I snap out of the day dream, and hear a child scream, because one sibling shoved someone, or pulled hair, or tripped the other.
I chase after each to separate, divert, redirect. I settle the kids down, grab plates of food from the table so they aren’t thrown next, and throw whatever bits of leftover nuggets or pizza on them into my mouth, as I hear my stomach growl from forgetting to make my own lunch…
Do you ever have those moments? When you’re so busy taking care of others, you are ignoring taking care of yourself?
Like in the middle of the night, when you should be sleeping, but you’re putting a kid back to bed. Or better yet, letting one snuggle up to you in yours, making any rest you are supposed to get impossible, finding yourself asking at 2 a.m., ‘Why did I have kids?’
If you’re in the thick of it, like we are, you are DEFINITELY asking yourself this on the regular.
I’ll be honest, I’ve asked myself this way more than I’d like to admit.
I never thought, at this chapter in my life, I’d be a full-time, stay-at-home mom — particularly not one who had three kids under 5, two with special needs.
If you told me ten years ago, there would be a period of time not even school would be available to my littles and I’d spend my days dreaming up and creating adventures for said children, so we could work towards thriving, not just surviving…
I thought I’d be working toward a CEO or President title — something that culminated all the work I’d sacrificed after years of education. Something that would showcase just how important I had made myself, or how irreplaceable.
But then, just when I am not asking the hypothetical question, as it’s about to turn to a serious consideration, IT happens. The WHY shows up. Like when they say, ‘Mommy, I love you,’ for the silliest reason. Or one sibling decides to share with the other, without being asked. Or one picks up their toys out of the blue. Or one eats all of their nuggets, and asks for more. It’s typically for the most un-alarming reasons I remember the WHY.
Today, in case you find yourself asking why you had kids, I thought I’d throw out the possibility the answers are right in front of you.
I’m who my kids want in the middle of the night, to scare away monsters and comfort them until they fall asleep. My WHY shows up when their breathing settles, eyes are closed, and I get to return to my bed to see their sleeping bodies peaceful again from the monitor screen.
I’m who knows only the T-Rex nuggets are the ones Jack will want, and Luca doesn’t care as long as they’re cut up just right. My WHY shows up when their plates are clean, bellies are full, and moods have improved from attacking their hunger.
I’m who’s put the work in to learn everything she could about what my special needs children need, despite their school being closed. And maybe, just maybe, the summer they are about to have (before hopefully we get back to the normal we all miss and need), is one with me they’ll never forget — full of adventure as we work to thrive, not just survive. My WHY is that I feel prepared to face this craziness, because I have a spouse who’s made it possible for me to stay home and take care of our kids.
Turns out, I am a CEO. I am a President. Maybe of just my household, but there are four humans and one fur-human who depend on me, because to them, I am irreplaceable… and YOU ARE TOO!
So, if you are finding yourself asking that same question lately, while everything is harder than you hoped, take a minute. The WHY is usually right in front of you. And even though the battlefield of toys and mess and laundry and dishes can make it really difficult to see it, it’s there.
That body you had in high school or college — the one that birthed the babies and looks different because of it — that’s a pretty amazing body, the only one that could make your babies possible.
That vacation someone else is on… there is a reason you aren’t on it. Because a little human needs the only sand you are on to be the sand in the sandbox they are in.
Eventually, the toys will stop scattering. And even if the laundry never stops — I mean, let’s be honest. This chapter with littles… the pages will eventually turn — the WHY might keep changing. But friend, it’s there. You just have to remember to see it.
Be kind to yourself. Find the grace you need. Remove all expectations, except for the need to be present, because otherwise, you’ll keep asking the question and simply miss the answer.
Why did I have kids? Because my wife and I were meant to be their parents. Whatever journey this takes us on, we were all meant to be on it together. Here’s hoping there are enough friends to keep me sane through this next chapter, enough adventures to chase the summer skies on, and that the school system figures out how to get our kids back to their routine we all miss and need so much.
Until then, friend… I see you. You are not alone. Just keep remembering to be grateful for the why.
I know I am.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Christina Young. You can follow their journey on Instagram and their website. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Christina:
‘He’ll yell ‘Buh-bye, see you later!’ He is showing her his love by letting her in his bubble, despite how painful it is for him.’: Mom of autistic son says sibling’s bond ‘is like two pieces to a puzzle’
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