This Blog Is Awesome

Child free people are constantly bombarded with questions about when they will create their own genetic masterpieces and comments about how very wonderful children are and what amazing joy they bring to your life simply by being born. Then, in the very same breath, the questions and comments turn bitter. “How can you afford to fly to Vegas/go out drinking/go shoe shopping so often?” and “You’re so luck you get to do so many awesome things.” A friend of mine, faced with this phenomenon recently, posted on Facebook, “No, it’s not “lucky” that I get to go do awesome things…It’s because I chose not to have kids.”

Of course parents, including myself, jumped on that immediately, but I understand it in the spirit it was intended. It subtly (unintentionally) implied that being a parent somehow made life less awesome, but he only meant to defend his own awesomeness. It is easy for him to do the things he enjoys because having children is not on that list right now. And that’s cool, too. We seriously need to lay off people who do not want kids, whether they just aren’t ready yet or don’t plan to ever be ready. It’s not like we have a human shortage. There are plenty of people mass producing children. No one should have to defend their choice or how much they enjoy their child free lifestyle

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What kind of marketing tactic is it to tell someone how beautiful and amazing an experience is while simultaneously blaming it for sucking the fun out of your life, anyway?

I’ve been a parent my entire adult life. I have wondered from time to time over the last 18 years how my life would have been different if had not had children. (You know those people at the bar that are always there, usually a hot buttered mess slipping off their bar stool and slurring in your ear? I sort of fear I might be one of those without kids.) I’ve never wondered if my life would be better. I have an awesome life. I’ve gone to many of my dream concerts and I plan to go to more and dream up even more. I take the kids to some of them, but prefer to go to most of them alone or with friends. We travel with the kids because it’s something we both enjoy. I went on a road trip across the southwest with my family and can’t wait for the next one. We also travel alone and with friends. And more than once I have stood in a room full of my favorite musicians, both “famous” and local, and experienced a spine tingling performance, the kind that makes you close your eyes and listen, thankful to be there for that spontaneous moment and realize, “my life is awesome.”

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On A Pale Horse at Wooly’s

Maybe that’s not your thing. Maybe you’re thinking, “Meh, music. The southwest is hot. Boo roadtrips.” One man’s trash is another’s treasure. One man’s hobby is another man’s hell. You’d rather fly to Italy or get your master’s degree. I know those parents, too.  I’m not wealthy, I have a small home daycare. My friends aren’t loaded, either. We’re just normal people with normal jobs who choose to continue being awesome, even with children.

Parenthood gets a bad reputation because it is exhausting, expensive and time consuming. So is anything else worth doing! Immersing yourself in your hobbies, pursuing your career, following your dreams, all of it is mind boggling difficult if you are doing it right.  If you commit yourself to one thing it will make the other things more complicated, but not impossible. I have a friend going back to school right now so he doesn’t have much money left for going out as much as he used to and often doesn’t feel like it after hours of studying complex math. (I’m so with him on that.) That doesn’t make continuing education less worthwhile and it doesn’t have to make his life less awesome. If you are doing what you want to be doing then your life is awesome. If you are measuring your life against someone else’s idea of awesome it will never be awesome.

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My awesome family (before Little S) at the Grand Canyon

If you feel like having kids has made your life less enjoyable you may need to shift your priorities before you lecture your friends on all the reasons they, too, should reproduce. Logically you know your kids aren’t the problem, or you wouldn’t be trying to get others to join you in parenthood. The problem is that you are not doing the things that excite you and make you feel fulfilled. Don’t blame your kids for that and don’t be jealous of your child free friends. Find a way to make it happen. Create your own awesome.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ana74x
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 20:47:53

    Great post. And hubby and I are also live music buffs, and luckily for us we like the small (i.e. cheap) shows, so we get to see a lot of good bands. And your last sentence sums it all up perfectly.

    Reply

  2. Missy
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 22:53:59

    My kids are 10 and 11 though. I can’t just leave them for weeks at a time to travel and take pictures the way I would like to. When you take road trips do you leave your kids alone for weeks at a time?

    Reply

  3. Missy
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 22:55:25

    I don’t mean alone. I leave my kids with family. But I don’t think a 10 year old should be left as long as it would take me to travel the places I want to go.

    Reply

  4. raz
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 23:04:41

    I don’t know the solution to your problem because I don’t know the full details of your situation, but I do believe there is an answer. I agree, I wouldn’t leave my 10 year old for weeks at a time unless it was an actual necessity, but if I felt my kids were making my life less awesome then I think I would owe it to them to find happiness. Take a shorter trip. Take them with you. Find a way to make it work for your family.

    Reply

  5. Elona
    Mar 28, 2013 @ 16:09:53

    It took me years to figure out that even though I was a mom now, I was still a person, and it was not only ok to have my own hobbies and interests still, it was vital! Being a parent shouldn’t preclude enjoying your life. It may put somethings on hold for a bit, or include more people than you’d originally envisioned. It will also require many more diapers than you thought to pack. Seriously, you should always take more than even your most generous calculations would suggest. Trust me.
    But mini-vacations away can be a breath of fresh air. Even if it’s just grocery shopping ALONE. 😀

    Reply

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