Monday, August 25, 2008

Overcoming selfishness

I really believe that the longer you wait to have children after you're married, the more difficult the transition to parenthood (pretty common sense, I know). Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my little Eli and wouldn't trade him for anything, but J.C. and I were married for five years before he was born and we became very selfish during that time. Not necessarily selfish of what we wanted as individuals (although we all struggle with that), but selfish of "our time" with no 3rd party demands or interruptions.

People always told me before I had Eli that "you won't remember what you did for fun before having him", and that's simply not true. I do remember. I remember sleeping in, hanging out with friends on Friday nights, driving the motorcycle to the coast just to have dinner. Not to mention, sitting lazily on my couch in the evenings to watch uninterrupted American Idol or Lost. I think it's okay for me to admit that I really do miss these things at times. That doesn't make me a bad mother (I hope...), but it makes me a normal, selfish human. Again, I wouldn't trade Eli for these things and I realize that my life hasn't "ended" just because I have a child, but I haven't completely forgotten my former life either (as promised by all of the "wisdom-imparters" in my life). Fortunately, we are very blessed to have very eager grandparents and family members close by who will happily keep Eli for us so that we can relive our glory days from time to time.

I have a good friend (ahem... I'm sure you're reading this and you know I love you, B :)) who decided to start a family fairly soon after getting married. That's what she and her husband wanted and it worked out very well for them. But, I always felt that she pitied me for waiting "so long" to have children. It's like she felt that I didn't know what I was missing out on. I always felt the same way toward her, because I absolutely loved having my married-with-no-children lifestyle and knew that it was something that once gone, I would never get back.

I realize that children are a blessing, and I know that as Eli grows up he will become more and more fun. Perhaps one day the claims of my wisdom-imparters will come true and I will forget what we did for fun before he was born. But that's not today... In the meantime, I will remain thankful for the wonderful early years of marriage that I shared with J.C., look forward to the wonderful (albeit different) years ahead of us, and try to grow up a bit by overcoming my selfishness.

9 comments:

Jules said...

Great post, Lindsay! Didn't know you were such an awesome writer! Good job!

Rachel Callahan said...

You know from our many conversations about this that we definitely struggled with the same thing. However, you really do gain back bits and pieces as they get older and start going to bed earlier, start getting more self-motivated and entertained, etc. THEN the problem is that you get selfish all over again for those things that you gained back and don't want to

Rachel Callahan said...

oops I got cut off.
. . . don't want to start all over with another newborn!!
But you're right. It's all worth it. But worthwhile things are never the easy ones.

Greta said...

I think the lady you're talking about is Stephanie Courtney...check it out.

punkin781 said...

Hey Lindsay! Erica sent me this link - I hope you don't mind? Anyway, I just want to say that I am SO relieved that you feel this way! I'm sorry that you are struggling, absolutely, but I am glad that I am not the only one fearful of this! I know that it will all be worth it and I look forward to the day when we have our own "little one", but I have always felt soo guilty for feeling afraid that I will miss my "former life". You are not the only one and I think that it is a testament to how great your marriage is that you would miss the times when it was just the two of you! B/c of those times, you have built such a strong foundation for Eli and God has blessed you with this for a reason! He knows you can handle it and will bless your life with so many more joyous and wonderful times and it will make the others pale in comparison!! When I have a baby, I hope that I can come to you and you can help me with my own issues b/c I know I'll have a lot, haha!! I think you are doing a wonderful job and seriously - Eli is getting cuter and cuter every day if that's even possible!!! What a sweetheart!!
Love, Shelley

Ann Marie & Scott said...

great post Lindsay...I am so in for it whenever Scott and I decide to have kids...
But seriously, thanks for the honesty of your writing...

Lindsay said...

Thanks so much Shelley! I'm glad Erica sent you the link :).

April said...

Tim and I feel the same way. It is hard when you were married so long before kids. I am so grateful for the things Tim and I got to do before the girls. I have resolved to call everything now the "new normal." Eli is precious by the way.

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