“It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear on the contrary that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning.” ~ Albert Camus
— A pretty way to say ignorance is bliss.
I knew from the conception of my first child that I was in over my head. I had been married a few years, and finally decided it was now or never with regards to having children. The decision was mine…every decision was mine in my marriage. I don’t mean that in the existential ‘I am a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of my choices’ way, although there is that, but I mean that if I didn’t make the decisions no decisions were made. I had married the corpse from ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’.
The input one gets in life isn’t always meant to be taken at face value, and it is often given with a bite. ‘Haha, now you will suffer as I have.’ Once my belly popped, I was the recipient of endless bits of sage advice offered by every stranger I crossed paths with on every street, in every store, and elevator, and also friends and acquaintances. Everyone had information to impart, whether they had their own children or had once been children.
None of it was helpful, in fact most of it superfluous nonsense that I believe was meant to burst my embryonic bubble…make me wonder what I got myself into. The comment I hated most, and it still comes to mind with every parenting crisis: “Trust me, your life will never be the same.” What a hateful thing to say. There is an underlying threat hidden in those words. I remember asking the first arch fiend who said it- what that meant: “Mwahahaha…You’ll see.“ was the answer.
Now that I’m coming out on the other end of parenting with two in college and a sophomore in high school, I would like to explain that comment for everyone— whether you are expecting, have children, or once were a child. The comment again: “Trust me, your life will never be the same.”
- First of all, don’t “trust” the people who say this. Why would they say something so cryptic to a hormonally challenged woman? They are either without common sense, or they’re mean. As a rule, anyone who has to say “trust me” is not trustworthy.
- You will never shave both legs in a single shower without a general feeling extreme gratitude and appreciation.
- You will earn money most of which you never see. There will never be enough money.
- You will never go into a grocery store and think: “What do I want to eat?” That no longer matters.
I’ll cut this short, because my life has never been the same, and I don’t have the time I would require to to write something profound.
The truth is-
Your life after children will never be about you again…none of it. But it is a life that has meaning.