My Hidden Truth

I never wanted to have kids.

As a girl, I imagined my future held a career, a condo in the city (any city, really) and a two seater sportscar. I dreamed of vacations in Europe, long weekends at the beach, and quiet nights curled up with a good book and a glass of wine. I’d always been a serial long term dater so I knew I wouldn’t spend my entire life alone but that didn’t have to mean I’d get married. I dreamt of an orderly, quiet, self sufficient life.

I think I hear my 20 year old self crying in a corner somewhere.

I can’t really fault her.

I was five years old when my mother moved out, leaving my four brothers and I with our father. I was the middle child and my youngest brother wasn’t yet a year old. My father raised us as a single parent until he remarried eight years later. Other than bits of overheard conversation and snatches of watered down memories, I have no idea what happened between my parents. I know it’s cliche as a child of divorce to blame yourself, and while I realize she and my father had to have had other problems, I can’t help but believe that her life, and their life together, would have been easier if there hadn’t been children involved.

I know my life would be.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, at 22, I met Elijah and fell in love. Fast and hard. After three months together I couldn’t imagine life without him and three months after that succeeded in convincing that 19 year old boy to marry me.

We spent three blissful, childless years together. We rarely went out, preferring to stay in with a good movie, take-out Thai food and a bottle of red. We never traveled beyond a few U.S. road trips and didn’t even have our passports. We had two cars, both with four seats. We bought a dog, a house and finally felt ready to bring home a baby.

All my plans, hopes and dreams for my future were reshaped or replaced in 2003.

And again in 2009.

Since becoming a mother I have been out of the country (sans children) four times, driven a Mazda Miata (no room for a carseat in that bad boy!), spent a long weekend drinking on an adult only beach in Mexico, managed to read at least a book a month, and have had countless bottles of amazing wine.

The funny thing is that I probably wouldn’t have done any of these things if my children hadn’t forced me to carve out time for myself and my husband. I wouldn’t have fought so hard during the rough spots. I would have gotten more sleep and I’d have nicer clothes, but I might not have Elijah. With nothing to keep us tethered together we could have easily slipped apart. Being married so young means growing together, and that’s far more difficult than growing apart. Our children have become a catalyst in helping us ensure that we keep our relationship healthy, that we remain connected, in love, and supportive of each other’s goals.

I would never want to go back and change the decision to have children but the truth is, I am sad for that 20 year old girl sometimes.

Her dreams came true and she doesn’t even know it.

26 Responses to My Hidden Truth
  1. Adrienne Scanlon
    October 31, 2011 | 6:34 pm

    I really like this ~ can relate to so much of what your wrote. I also never had the dream of being a wife or a mom – but 27 years of marriage and two amazing grown kids later, I can tell you, the sadness for the 20 year old is a very dim memory. Bravo for carving out that time and fighting to grow together….cause the empty nest time comes and you find yourself home, with thai, a movie and the red wine…and it's sooooo  wonderful! This was so well written and beautifully expressed – thanks!!

  2. Adrienne Scanlon
    October 31, 2011 | 6:34 pm

    I really like this ~ can relate to so much of what your wrote. I also never had the dream of being a wife or a mom – but 27 years of marriage and two amazing grown kids later, I can tell you, the sadness for the 20 year old is a very dim memory. Bravo for carving out that time and fighting to grow together….cause the empty nest time comes and you find yourself home, with thai, a movie and the red wine…and it's sooooo  wonderful! This was so well written and beautifully expressed – thanks!!

  3. Alison@Mama Wants This
    November 1, 2011 | 7:55 am

    Beautifully written, and a great perspective!

    In some ways, I was the same. I had big dreams for my career, for travel and for my fabulous life as a child-free, care-free woman.

    I managed a wonderful 10-year career, I did travel extensively for my last job but it was also filled with stress, financial worries and a sense of emptiness.

    Then I got married and had my son and that void was filled. Cliched, but oh-so-fulfilling.

    Thank you for linking up to JBE 🙂

  4. Alison@Mama Wants This
    November 1, 2011 | 7:55 am

    Beautifully written, and a great perspective!

    In some ways, I was the same. I had big dreams for my career, for travel and for my fabulous life as a child-free, care-free woman.

    I managed a wonderful 10-year career, I did travel extensively for my last job but it was also filled with stress, financial worries and a sense of emptiness.

    Then I got married and had my son and that void was filled. Cliched, but oh-so-fulfilling.

    Thank you for linking up to JBE 🙂

  5. Jamie
    November 1, 2011 | 8:48 am

    The last line is the BEST line.  Gave me so much to think about today!  Thank you.

  6. Jamie
    November 1, 2011 | 8:48 am

    The last line is the BEST line.  Gave me so much to think about today!  Thank you.

  7. Brandi
    November 1, 2011 | 9:56 am

    Thank you, sincerely, for this post. That 20 year old girl you were feels a lot like me right now, and it reminds me that sometimes the best laid plans should be thrown out for something even better.

  8. Brandi
    November 1, 2011 | 9:56 am

    Thank you, sincerely, for this post. That 20 year old girl you were feels a lot like me right now, and it reminds me that sometimes the best laid plans should be thrown out for something even better.

  9. Kathryn
    November 2, 2011 | 4:20 pm

    Beautifully written.

  10. Kathryn
    November 2, 2011 | 4:20 pm

    Beautifully written.

  11. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:13 am

    Thank you. I miss you terribly and think you of you often. But you already knew that!

  12. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:13 am

    Thank you. I miss you terribly and think you of you often. But you already knew that!

  13. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:15 am

    So true. I wish I had known that earlier. It took me several years to get to that point and I still have to work on being grateful for the new blessings in my life.

  14. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:15 am

    So true. I wish I had known that earlier. It took me several years to get to that point and I still have to work on being grateful for the new blessings in my life.

  15. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:17 am

    Thank you. I'm so glad you came by to visit. I do love that last line. It's funny though, I never actually realized that this was how I felt until I actually wrote it.

  16. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:17 am

    Thank you. I'm so glad you came by to visit. I do love that last line. It's funny though, I never actually realized that this was how I felt until I actually wrote it.

  17. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:19 am

    I've wanted to link up for some time, I just had to wait until a prompt really “hit” me…oh and I had time to actually write something meaningful.

    I don't mind the cliche; so often they're true.

  18. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:19 am

    I've wanted to link up for some time, I just had to wait until a prompt really “hit” me…oh and I had time to actually write something meaningful.

    I don't mind the cliche; so often they're true.

  19. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:21 am

    There you are! I thought you'd abandoned me for a more interesting blogger.

    I really had missed your sweet comments. They always help to show me the other side of life. It's like talking to my future self which gives me a better perspective on whatever I'm dealing with at the moment.

  20. Miss Marina Star
    November 3, 2011 | 11:21 am

    There you are! I thought you'd abandoned me for a more interesting blogger.

    I really had missed your sweet comments. They always help to show me the other side of life. It's like talking to my future self which gives me a better perspective on whatever I'm dealing with at the moment.

  21. Mrs. Jen B
    November 4, 2011 | 7:29 am

    Wow – this is absolutely gorgeous! Funny how life dictates itself sometimes, regardless of what we think we want.  Cliche but true – it all works out for the best in the end.  🙂

    Thanks for linking up with us at JBE this week! I'm so glad to have read your beautiful story.

  22. Mrs. Jen B
    November 4, 2011 | 7:29 am

    Wow – this is absolutely gorgeous! Funny how life dictates itself sometimes, regardless of what we think we want.  Cliche but true – it all works out for the best in the end.  🙂

    Thanks for linking up with us at JBE this week! I'm so glad to have read your beautiful story.

  23. Booyah's Momma
    January 12, 2012 | 12:01 am

    I can't believe I missed this post the first time around.  Seriously.  This is just lovely, so relatable, and perhaps my most favorite Miss Marina post ever.

    I never wanted to have kids, either.  And, now, I feel a little sorry for that girl who once thought that.  Because I can't imagine my life without them.

  24. Booyah's Momma
    January 12, 2012 | 12:01 am

    I can't believe I missed this post the first time around.  Seriously.  This is just lovely, so relatable, and perhaps my most favorite Miss Marina post ever.

    I never wanted to have kids, either.  And, now, I feel a little sorry for that girl who once thought that.  Because I can't imagine my life without them.

  25. Miss Marina Star
    January 12, 2012 | 10:54 am

    Thank you! I'm glad that you finally got to see some of the “good stuff.”

    I think that lots of women have felt this way, we can't have been the only ones…right?

  26. Miss Marina Star
    January 12, 2012 | 10:54 am

    Thank you! I'm glad that you finally got to see some of the “good stuff.”

    I think that lots of women have felt this way, we can't have been the only ones…right?