We discussed children early on in our relationship and then several more times through the intervening years. We knew we wanted children but didn’t feel ready to give up our single lives for quite some time. We both stumbled into feeling that it was the ‘right’ time to start our family, independently but at the same time. It was not a decision we took lightly. Having discussed it many times before and having spent many lovely hours with our beautiful nieces, we knew how we wanted to parent and knew that we would want to centre our world around that little baby. We therefore knew that our lives were going to change. More than that, we couldn’t wait!
When we learned we were expecting, we were thrilled and pretty much immediately set about telling our nearest and dearest and they were all so happy for us. But once the hugs, kisses and tears were out the way, we were suddenly bombarded with friendly warnings and tips. ‘Get your sleep in now as once the baby is here, you’ll never sleep again,’ ‘that’s your party days behind you,’ and ‘you’ll never watch a grownup film again,’ to quote but a few.
We were further inundated when we went public with the news, 3 months into our pregnancy and the comments became increasingly more cynical. ‘Your body will never be the same again,’ ”say goodbye to your money,’ and the rather more colourful; ’18 years until they leave home – if you’re lucky. You’d get less for murder!’
We couldn’t believe it! We felt like we were diving into this decision with open eyes and open hearts but this negativity was so pervasive we thought that perhaps the ney-sayers knew something we didn’t. Would we really end up like that? Would our lives really be over once the baby arrived? Would we grow to resent the little life that we brought into the world? After the 200th time of hearing such comments, niggles of doubt about the life changing decision we had made started to creep in.
Thankfully however, since the arrival of our little mushy bundle of joy, we can honestly say, with no flicker of doubt that we feel sorry for those adults and their children and here’s why.
Upon Mush’s arrival we have ventured into a whole new enthralling chapter in our lives. Unlike any chapter before it. A chapter that we began intentionally and haven’t questioned since.
Don’t get us wrong, it isn’t easy. The long sleepless nights, endless nappy changing, relentless screaming (not just from Mush) and the constant worry that your baby is trying to commit suicide make it a trying time. But and it’s a big but, we can honestly say we have loved every sleep deprived minute and why? Because we choose to.
We have created a person! A person who is half Mack and half Bobal. A person who did not ask to be born and is completely at our mercy for her every need. We will be instrumental in guiding her through the rest of her life and equipping her with the perspective, skills and physicality she needs to make her life into something incredible. For us, the whole premise is terrifying and exciting in equal proportions. We cannot wait to see what she becomes and at the same time we don’t want her to grow up.
We would urge all would be, soon to be or existing parents to remember the feeling of when you first hold your child and strive to hold onto that feeling for as long as you can. We will most certainly try to.
Having children is a privilege, a pleasure and a great responsibility. We would all do well to remember that.
Mack and Bobal