Both my husband and I have a sibling that is married but does not have kids. Both these couples made a choice at some point in their marriages, years ago, to not have kids. For both these couples it was a choice not a result of infertility. It is a choice I can really understand.
I love my kids but they are wearing me out. They are not doing anything unusual, just being normal kids, but I am feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed all at the same time.
I love my kids but there are days when I wish I could be the old me, the before kids me, that slept in and hung out at coffee shops with my husband.
I love my kids but somedays I just want to hop on a plane to London and run away from it all for a week or two. Not forever because I know I would miss them but I would love to actually miss them because I was not with them all the time.
I love my kids but I don't know that I like the mirror effect they have reflecting all the yucky parts of me right back at me. Before kids, I could live in a bubble where I was a basically good human being. When things outside myself got hard or yucky, I could hide out in myself, in my house and avoid the rest of the world. I can't do that anymore because they follow me into the house. They follow me into my bathroom if I forget to close all the doors in my bedroom. I cannot avoid the uncomfortable parts of life or myself anymore because I have walking mirrors following me everywhere I go. They are awfully cute mirrors but I don't always look so cute when I see myself responding to the kids and reflected in their eyes. My kids bring out the best and worst in me me. They show my great capacity to sacrifice myself for my kids and also my incredibly short fuse and pettiness when I have to do something I don't want to do because they need me.
I love my kids but I hate not being in control of everything. Before kids I felt like I could manage my life, I could control my life and my reactions to my circumstances. With three little one's interacting with the world away from me, I am finding that I cannot control things. I cannot control my kids and I cannot control how the world treats my kids. And I don't like that feeling. I don't like my heart breaking for my boys when they get hurt or feeling the depression set in when one is not doing well at school. I don't like how much my emotions and my mood are tied to my kids' lives. I didn't think I would be one of those moms who lives vicariously through her kids. And while I don't think I do that, I do think that my life is partly lived in response to my kids' lives. I am connected to these kids that is not always comfortable.
I am tied to someone else, three someone else's in a way that is both magical and difficult for someone like me. I was a lone ranger. I didn't need anyone. I was doing life on my own even when I was first married, I was still not dependent. Now though, these kids have tied their hearts to mine in a way that is at times really painful because I can no longer deny my emotions or avoid feeling anything.
I love my kids but I don't like seeing my weakness, my faults, my dependency in them. I know my kids have changed me into a better person. It is good but I don't always like the process.