By Jess Urlichs
My friend messaged me today and said she can’t decide if she wants to have a baby.
Her text read: “I’ve worked so hard to be happy in my career. I felt previously I wanted a baby because I was looking for purpose, but now I have that and I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I’m worried it will ruin that”.
So, I voice messaged her back between yelling and having to send broken messages. (Reality, right?!)
All I know is, I never felt like children would give me my only purpose.
Yes, they have given me a whole new one, one that supersedes anything else right now, and probably always will. But I had purpose with my husband, in our life together before kids.
We never felt anything was “missing”. Truthfully, I looked at him with his friends’ children one day and it was the first time I ever felt like I could see into our future.
So I was utterly honest, because the last thing I want is a friend crying to me through the phone holding her newborn telling me she’s not cut out for this because of how hard it all is.
I told her: it’s bloody hard. Yes I’ve had two, a year apart, so I’ve added to my workload substantially and I told her to keep this in mind.
I told her most nights I go to sleep with ringing in my ears from their crying or whinging.
That I’ve never felt such overwhelm.
I told her I don’t sleep more than 4 hours at a time, that I’ve never been so tired and there are no breaks.
I told her our relationship suffered. Making time for each other just didn’t/couldn’t happen and still it’s a battle to find time alone.