I found this incomplete blogpost in my archives… never published. Written when Little Foot was about a year old.
Everyone around me knows, I didn’t want children.
As a Catholic, it was a real struggle… from the time we went through Engaged Encounter, this question repeatedly haunted me. Soon after marriage that tiresome question of “when are you having a baby?” Would keep cropping up in conversations. And then the horrified “whyyy? !!!!” would follow when I said no kids. Rude/insensitive people would actually tell me in my face, “then you get married for what?”. Yet I was very clear I didn’t want to be a parent. I was happy to play with my niece and nephew and then return them to their parents when i was tired of playing. Why make life difficult?
Two years into the marriage, Pico, our dearest dog passed away… he was already a senior, and we knew it was a matter of time… but not amount of prepping yourself every makes you quite ready to face death when it comes.
Devastated, I reflected a lot on our childless marriage. I thought about how if either of us were to leave this world, the one left behind would have nothing real to hold on to the memory of the one who passed on. Photos were just photos…. I know how inadequate photos were. I wanted to smell him, touch him, hear him… and I know if I died, I hoped my husband would be able to see glimpses of me still here on this earth.
And so I opened my heart and prayed. After 2 years of confessions over and over for being unable to keep the vows I made on my wedding day that I would welcome the children that God blesses me, I finally opened my heart and prayed. I still remember what I told Him. “Father, I am ready if You are”. I prayed after we had a false alarm when we started trying after our Switzerland trip.
And a month later, I tested positive. A simple prayer, yet so powerful to me… it was my reconciliation. And He breathed life into my prayer.
The transition from “no kids” to “ok, let’s have 1 child” was a long road of struggles. I could list down the reasons why I didn’t want children : it’s going to change my lifestyle, and i like my dates with husband on friday nights, traveling 3 times a year, drinking leisurely and meeting friends when I felt like it…weekend cafe hopping, why have a kid to make life so complicated? Furthermore, I always felt children were one of the most sure – lose investments. You pour love, time, money into your child. You get heartaches, and a kid that would grow up to be angsty teen who find you troublesome, naggy, old fashioned….. (I was relating to the me in my youth).
Yet once the Little Foot started growing in my tummy, all these “rational” stuff that I used to believe in just became irrelevant. I spent my pregnancy loving this baby… I sang to her at night, I talked to her unabashedly while I walked home each evening, I prayed a lot, and I let Him lead the way. No need to be afraid, this is the child that God gave me. I started seeing life very differently. My footsteps slowed down and I started to be at peace with myself.
Giving birth to Little Foot, via emergency Caesarean, I thought I could deal with whatever came my way. Yet it was so trying at times, I do ask myself the rhetoric question of “who ask you to have a child?” on trying days.
Yet, when I see her smile, giggle, yawn, stretch her arms…. made O shape with her mouth, sleep soundly…. even her cries…all these stupid questions become irrelevant.
I surprised many people when I insisted on persevering with breastfeeding. I further surprised many people when I decided to take time off work and be a stay-at-home mum until Little Foot was nearly 11 mths old.
I don’t have time to think about my old lifestyle…. on some occasions I think about how Friday nights were so chillax. And then I move on. The present was more important. There was always something to do.
Revisiting this train of thought, I am reminded of the very small Little Foot made such a big change in our lives, and the power of believing. When you threw caution to the wind, and leave things to the Almighty, a new door of happiness, hope, adventure and opportunity opens.
I am also reminded of how the little bubs has grown…. when was the last time I saw her made O shape with her little mouth?
Frankly, where was I heading with this post? I couldn’t quite recall.
Perhaps I wanted to write about how we were happy to be a one-child only family. No apologies, no shame.
Perhaps I wanted to reflect on how a death had opened an impossible door for me.
Today, as work takes me away from my feisty toddler more and more, it does make me think of my days as a SAHM. I know Little Foot misses me a lot these days. So do I. Such an irony, to work so that we could enjoy all the comforts that life can give, but what the little one really asks for is my time and affection.
What she would give to plaster to me 24/7.
So a year on, did this incomplete blog make any sense to the present me? Yes, still very much so. Parenthood is an irrational decision, and an investment that doesn’t make sense in all practical terms. However it is the priceless moments and memories build as a family that makes it worth its while.
All the things money can’t buy.