Thursday, March 23, 2017

Millennial Motherhood

A while ago a friend of mine posted an article about why millennials are refusing to have kids and I read it, enjoyed it, and agreed with a lot of it. What I didn't agree with though, was the part where they said:

"Not all women are preprogrammed with maternal instincts."

You see, I WAS pre-programmed with maternal instincts. My dolls were my babies growing up, my younger brother was my baby growing up, and at a ripe young age of probably 6 I remember begging my mom to have more babies so that I could take care of them. Yep, that was me. Obviously I grew out of that baby obsession long enough to make it through high school and college, plus 6 years of marriage, but that was as long as I could last.

When I turned 30 I could take it no more, the urge to procreate was strong and I finally gave in. I had a baby for selfish reasons, curious reasons, and biological reasons. It all seemed like a happy-go-lucky great idea at the time. That was well before the reality of blow out diapers, colic, breastfeeding struggles, sleep depravation, body exhaustion, toddler messes, screaming tantrums, etc...had time to take root in my life. Well...I've had a good solid year and a half of those things and I am drained! Exhausted. Pooped.

I was sure that the maternal instinct that I mentioned above would make it IMPOSSIBLE to stop having babies. I was convinced that I'd have one and that would fan my fire to have more and more. I'd start a whole farm with the fruits of my loins! Before having a child I could see it well and clear, Andy and me, and our house full of children all happily and peacefully running around while we had tons of creative energy.

These days the story is very different! I am so thankful that times have changed and I, in fact, do NOT need (or want) to have any more children, (despite the occasional baby-fever.) Like the Millennials article mentions, times have changed and children are no longer needed for populating the earth and helping to farm the family land.

My maternal and biological instinct does not need to rule my life. I can rule my life and make the decisions that are best for ME. And I am realizing/have realized just how draining children are. I love my child, but she drains me. Any creative, healthy energy that I have is absorbed by taking care of her. She has taken over my life. It is exciting to see her grow and develop, but along the way I can't help but feel like I am losing myself. Where have my hopes and dreams and creativity gone? What about my social life and career aspirations? This millennial mother is exhausted!

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