Don't have kids, do this instead


There are a few people who read my blog who don't have children. I don't know why they read or maybe I do. Maybe, like I did, they are searching for an answer, an answer to the age old question - should I have kids? If you have the means to do it and you are standing on a cliff edge, looking down into the sea of parenthood then just jump; I promise you will not regret it. I have worked with vulnerable families for many years and have only met one woman who regretted having her child and even she regretted her circumstances and not the adorable boy she was raising.

I didn't always think like this, a few weeks after my son was born, when I reentered the world of adults, many people took me aside and asked, should I do it? Exhaustion is real people and at the time I told them, 'No. Unless you feel a burning, unshakable need, do not destroy your life in this ridiculous manner.' Whilst I don't necessarily think this way now, I don't think you have to have a child to reap all the benefits that having one can bring. If you are a child free reader looking for answers consider this one - don't have kids, do this instead. 

PLAY It's hard to take life too seriously when a toddler is trying to convince you that Sainsburys is a good place to get naked. I've probably laughed more in the last three years than I have in the all the years previously. Adulthood is filled with so many responsibilities - work, bills, chores. Having a child reminds you that even with all these things there's always time to be present and have fun. I don't think it's a coincidence that in motherhood I have become my most creative; I think when we're playing we move closer to our truest self. So run, skip, shout, dance in your kitchen; forget about being a grown up for a bit, stop pretending and just be.

GET UP EARLY Number one in the top ten of parenting complaints is the fact that kids aren't partial to a lie in. I love my bed, I love my bed more than some people and yet I have created a situation in which everyday I must leave it long before I'm ready. Here's the thing though, nothing gets done whilst you're asleep - your novel doesn't get written, your body doesn't get exercised, your dreams don't get initiated. Get up and get out, the world is waiting for you to show up. 

COMMIT When you have a child you have no choice but to commit. There is no waving a white flag and calling it quits when it all gets too hard and believe me it gets hard. This, in my opinion, is probably the most wonderful thing about parenthood. Little is more affirmative than tenacity and it's the things we hold on to tightest that flourish the most. So make a decision to commit to the things you care about whether it be your relationships or your audacious ambitions. You will not regret the time and effort if you put in everything you've got - for eighteen years at least.

LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY My son was the first thing I have ever loved without ever expecting anything in return and it was wonderful to love so freely. Cherishing things in this way means never feeling left down and never feeling your care is wasted. The other thing I found was it was easier, far easier than all the unspoken negotiations of my other relationships. Choose to love others unconditionally and the irony is that you will get back more than you could ever imagine. 

photo credit: cody10414 Dutruex via photopin (license)

20 comments

  1. Definitely true. Before I had my little one, I would procrastinate getting out of bed, now I have no choice haha ☺️

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  2. I am one of those readers of your blog who doesn't have kids, and I absolutely love this post! I've told the hubs that I want (need) to travel to Paris and possibly Rome before we have kids.

    Christie's Take on Life. x

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    1. Great plan! But if you don't make it in time, take them x

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  3. I love the idea of playing! And getting up early for more play time. Finally grown up enough (and have enough funds) to have more fun!

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  4. Great advice here because once you have a baby there's no going back, so I really like that you included 'commit' in this.

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  5. Really interesting! I am not sure I will have kids, mostly because I am afraid of the time and financial commitment. Thanks for sharing :)
    xx nicole
    www.nicoleparise.com

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  6. Very true, having a child changes everything and nothing really prepares you for it. It's a really hard decision to make and a big leap into the unknown. For me it has made me a better person and taught me a new perspective on life. Love them so much, even though I do feel like banging my head against a wall sometimes!

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    1. Oh what wonderful gifts they have been x

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  7. Very true. I have been a parent for almost 24 years.........I don't know any different anymore lol

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  8. I've been parenting for 4 years now, and I can say I'm still not sure about embracing life early in the morning. There's something very tempting by staying in bed when the rest of the country is. Everyone except my kids, that is!

    http://babyfoote.com

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    1. It's so wonderful to start the day early though (do I sound convincing ;))

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  9. having kids is a lot of hard work, but I wouldn't change them for anything. If I lived my live over again, I wouldn't change it

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    1. Truth! Well maybe I wouldn't have started on the sambuca that time...

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  10. This is a great post and i love the photo at the beginning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :-)

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  11. I don't have children, not sure whether I will or not. Some days I want them and others I don't x

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  12. I love getting up early. I feel like I get so much more out of the day!

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  13. I love this post. There is so much anxiety about having children and being "ready" to have children - the thing is, there's nothing like parenthood and therefore no way to prepare for it. If you have a stable family environment, the desire to love a child, and the commitment to make it work, then you're as ready as you'll ever be and you won't regret it.

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