(and what you should consider before deciding to have children)
There are many things people tell you about motherhood.
This is my list of what was not mentioned. Or not mentioned enough.*
1. You should strongly consider not having children until at least one if the following is true (and preferably two or more):
- You do not have the need or desire to work.
- You have a job that allows you to leave at any minute, be gone for days or catching up overnight, and tolerant of uncharacteristic mistakes due to exhaustion.
- You have parents within 30 min who do not work full time and (very important!) who are willing to honor your childcare routines.
- You have a nanny on regular payroll or a sitter list of 8–10 dependable people. This implies the ability to absorb $10–15 per hour for at least 200 hours per year (in addition to standard childcare) and the ability to coordinate logistics with other people who are working for you but with the ability to enforce their own time schedule in ways that you are not.
2. No matter how supportive your partner is, you will feel like a single mom often because there are things only mommies can do. You will never want to acknowledge this aloud for fear of hurting someone you love. You will just hope that other mommies feel the same and take consolation in the confidence that they must.
3. You will resent your partner at times for the freedom to use the bathroom uninterrupted, read while a human being is crying or whining because their nerves aren’t hardwired the same way, or go to work early without having to walk through options listed in #1. But you will also learn from your partner in unexpected ways.Tell them when you do, because they’ll feel insecure — not as often as you probably (see #6 and 8).
4. You will want to tell everyone without kids to stop complaining and generally lose a level of compassion you may have had for others before becoming a mom.
5. You will gain a new level of compassion for every other baby and mommy in the world. In the midst of a sweet endearing moment rocking your child, you may feel overcome with sadness with the fleeting thought of all the babies that are not being loved or given healthy routines or worse of all, being hurt.