Baby changes life

Planned Parenthood

Becoming a parent is one of the craziest things a sane person can ever do. And I think that if anyone ever really thought through what being a parent would mean, the human race would become extinct.

Seriously, making a person is totally nuts!

Having a kid means giving up your life as you know it. You lose sleep, personal space and any sense of control that you previously possessed in your life. Not to mention the fact that if you do your job well- teach them not to play in the street, how to feed themselves etc.- then, eventually, they become self sufficient. Your job is to work yourself out of a job.

Then there is the world we live in. This place is crazy! We inhabit a consumerism plagued society that wages wars against everything; nations, religions, politics and the planet. And as if that weren’t enough, it also teaches us to wage war within ourselves. Sometimes I watch MTV (or whatever the German equivalent is) while I work out at the gym. And multiple times per week I am astounded by the messages about money, sexuality, gender roles, body image etc. It is really disturbing stuff.

At this point, perhaps I sound “old” or “judgmental” or whatever. Feel free to let the labels fly. But before you dismiss this completely, think about it. If THIS is what people are growing up to believe has anything to do with reality or goals for what they should ideally be, our world is in serious trouble.

So that brings me back to babies. Biological clocks notwithstanding, this topic has been a hot one lately between my friends and I. For the most part, everyone started coupling up and doing the baby thing in my world about 8 years ago. And I have, by default, over these years of specifically not doing that, started to develop theories about this process. I am not an expert on having the children, but at this point, I think I might be one on not having them. Why and when and with whom people do this ritual dance of pairing and procreating has never ceased to amaze me.

But everything changed recently when I really put my foot in my mouth.

A good friend of mine is about to have her first child. This wouldn’t be as exciting for me if it wasn’t for one outstanding fact: she and her partner PLANNED this baby. True story. They wanted one, they tried, they got pregnant and now they are having a baby. On purpose. So, I am sitting across the table from another good friend (already a mother of two) sharing how this is one of the first times I have been so close for this planned process. At this point I have to make clear that my best gal pals are seriously kick ass mothers. But for the most part, I am struggling to think of someone, other than the latest, who did the whole baby thing completely and totally on purpose.

So I am going off about unplanned pregnancy. Why does it happen? Why does everyone just keep having all these babies in unstable situations? Doesn’t birth control work? And then, quite out of the blue she interrupts me with,

“I’m pregnant.”

My foot was so far down my throat, there was no pulling it back.

We talked it through. Her kids were just getting to an age where she could have a life again. She was making plans, getting excited about regaining that independence she had sacrificed to be a mom. It’s an insanely important job that she takes very seriously. And now it was staring her in the face for the 3rd time. And all of this by “accident”.

And that’s when it hit me. Sometimes the universe or God or whatever you believe in just intervenes. Sometimes, nature does its thing and decides. Don’t get me wrong, I believe wholehearted in planning parenthood (for the most part, thankfully, birth control works!) But I also shouldn’t underestimate how uniquely beautiful little people can be. They are small living, breathing game changers. Sometimes they simply add life and light where it was lacking. Or show a side of things that was previously covered by other things that just weren’t that important. They bring lessons and love into this crazy world. I am not sure about much, but I know that the world needs hope. So maybe the world needs them. And since if we thought it through we might never really feel ready to have them, maybe our kids choose us.

Perhaps the greatest gift of all is that it’s impossible to really plan parenthood. Maybe parenthood plans us.

Final Note: I am a non-child-ed person, seeking to build bridges of understanding with others whether they have kids or not. Heart opening discourse welcomed in the comments section below.


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