To Kid or Not to Kid; Children Anyone?
When did I first know I wanted to have kids? When I fell in love with my son’s father. How in the heck did that happen? Well there was the “tall, dark and handsome” part, and I’m a sucker for it. I had wanted to live an independent life, be a career woman, and never be told what to do with my own money. To some extent I had belief systems in place based on the negative modeling of marriage by my parents, so marriage and kids were not on my to do list.
All that changed pretty quickly, when I fell in love hard at 29. If two people could be so in love and happy together, adding more to the party was the natural next step. Then the thought of children, and more than one of them took permanent hold. Soon after we married I got pregnant but I lost our first child to miscarriage at 9 weeks and was devastated. From the moment I got pregnant I had run out the entire life vision of this baby, so I not only lost a child, but an adult child and all that went with “her”, a whole life with “her” was gone.
We got pregnant again right away and had a beautiful big baby boy. I was so wrapped up in trying to breast feed, get back to work, have all that organized, and dealing with a “colicky” baby to boot, I must have missed some details. By 18 months later my husband had a counselor announce to me that he wanted a divorce. Not only did I think it was cold on the part of my husband and unprofessional for the counselor; I was blindsided. When I confronted my husband and asked him why, he told me that if I didn’t know, he wasn’t going to tell me. Rest for a moment with that sentence. You might be able to feel what I felt.
Imagine; full time practice, child custody suit, horse ranch to care for myself if I could manage to hang on to it, divorce, property settlement, while the soon-to-be-ex was sleeping on the living room floor for two months, because he didn’t have enough money to get his own place. Somehow I knew I could fix this. Even 2 years later, I thought I could, until a mix-up on child exchange day; part of 18 years of joint custody purgatory. I arrived at his house to drop off our son and a piece of the kid’s birthday cake, and caught him with a silver sports car in his driveway: “Would you like to meet “so and so”. No I would not like to meet “so and so” I thought, I would like to kill, “so and so.” I was a healing catharsis of a kind. You meet the blonde who broke up the marriage. Profound moment. It is the moment when you finally bury the dead; a vision that is no longer viable; getting back together.
Suffice to say, the experience of that divorce, the constant games and shaming every week when we exchanged custody, the head games he played on our son pretty much cured me of ever wanting to try having children again. To be tied to someone through children without any guarantee that the marriage will work out and if it doesn’t, it might hold some kind of torture for you from which you can’t totally extract....Not for me. I truly believed we’d be married forever, have more children...but it only lasted 3 years. Nope, couldn’t go through this again, too tough.
Fell in love again 4 years later. He wanted to get married, I was ambivalent. He wanted children, I didn’t. We broke up many times over the issues. The relationship worked, the future didn't Finally he announced he didn’t want to be “just friends”, he needed to move on. I was despondent. Finally I got him to meet with me on a pretense, “pizza, and to wrap up some unfinished business”. I turned into a ball of tears, jumped into his lap and told him I loved him, wanted to marry him and I’d have his children. Ladies, take note, pizza can be an incredible aphrodisiac.
We started planning the wedding. We got farther and farther into it, but I knew I could not promise the children part. I agonized. At the 11th hour before we really plunged into the marriage arrangements, I had to tell him I’m 99% no on children and 100% yes on marriage. I did want them, but I would not have them; I was willing to lose the most wonderful man I ever met. I couldn’t face the guilt of the baby years and having to leave the child in daycare. The challenge of trying to move ahead professionally, torn in different directions, guilty on both ends. He married me anyway.
Regrets? It’s 20 years later with Mr. True Blue. He is a wonderful husband, and has been a great stepfather to our son, never trying to usurp his “real” Dad’s place. We would have had wonderful kids and he would have loved the whole ride. Me? Not so much? We could have moved some things around to make it work. Hind sight; 20/20. Would I change a thing? Who here believes in time travel?
Dr. Karen J. Krahl, D.C. owner/doctor Synergy Health Group. The link to one of my blogs is www.synergyhealthgroup.com, click on "Health News" on the banner at the top of my home page and pick a topic.