so, why have kids?

by humanmama on May 12, 2013

I wrote a teeny, tiny essay for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about motherhood. Lots of moms (and maybe a couple dads) were picked, and I was one of them. And I was so proud! If you didn’t read it (and you should have, I’ve been bragging about it for two days!), here it is, in original form. Thanks for supporting me, I love you all, and Happy Mother’s Day.





“So why even have kids?” a friend recently asked. And I thought it over.

It’s tiring. The three kids wake me up every single day before sunrise. Every day. They are up–energy and light—as up as a person can be until bedtime. The baby still naps but he’s the only one. The sisters just go and go until I can’t believe how much energy they have.  I put them to bed at 7, 7:30, and 8 respectively, but that usually drifts closer to 9 and then it’s dark, every hour of my daylight given over to my little daykeepers.

It’s backbreaking. Sometimes literally. I remembered the summer that our firstborn fell headfirst down the concrete steps. Without a thought I threw myself to her. I caught her, all eighteen months of guts and glory, and set her upright. I bled. She didn’t.

It’s lonely. Many nights I’ve spent, alone on the bathroom floor, steam fogging up the mirrors, with a child in my arms. And it’s painful too, how the toilet digs into your back at just the wrong angle.

But it’s love, I thought. The love is the thing. You think you know how to love until you have kids, and then you realize that everything you loved before wasn’t loved less. It was just practice for how you love your children: all of that love at once.  And when you’ve had enough sleep to appreciate it, a big wiggly pile of love is there whenever you need it. It’s pretty amazing. And hopefully, they grow up to reproduce their own wiggly pile and then there are just piles of love everywhere, where you thought there was only pain and pollution and road rage. But no! Actually piles and piles of love.

So, love. The reason? Love.

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dad May 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

… love it is.

A Mom’s love is about the closest thing I’ve seen to Paul’s description of how love looks:
…never boastful, or conceited or rude
…or selfish or quick to take offense
Love does not keep score of wrongs, but
delights in the truth.

High targets, those.


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