I don't have children, of course, so I obviously have no personal experience to speak from, but it's one of my biggest pet peeves when people say how I'll never be able to do anything again - no reading, no traveling, no cooking, no clean house - once I have children.
My life won't be the same, you say? Absolutely - I'm sure you're right. But virtually every one of my friends in Austin has at least one kid and in most cases more, and I see what their lives are like.
Am I destined to become fat, poor, stupid, and too busy to do anything but change diapers the moment I have that first child? The families and mothers I see around me suggest that this is not the case.
The women I know are beautiful, maintain lovely homes, cultivate hobbies and skills, are well-read, well-educated, and full of fun and joy. Are they perfect? Of course, not, but they reassure me that I won't become some drooling idiot who can't remember how to hold a book or is too overwhelmed to ever take a trip.
In the last year, Ralphie has taught herself to take and edit some of the most gorgeous photographs I've ever seen and start doing professional shoots. Also, her house is always very clean. She throws parties (which I invite myself to). And, uh, she's not fat.
Although I read a lot, Kayla probably totally outstrips me (not mention she reads books that are actually geared toward adults. . . my brain can hardly fathom that). Plus she does envy-inducing house projects, blogs, and throws parties that make me long to live next door to her.
The Lauritzens have us over to play games frequently and often host small parties and nice dinners. They do many many fun things, all with two very small boys in tow.
Jodi works as a part-time lawyer, while expecting her fourth child.
And as for never traveling again after children? My parents took five children on a ten day east-coast trip when my youngest brother was only a few months old. My in-laws have taken six children to Europe for 8 weeks, with an infant in tow. Sure it's more expensive and difficult than it is for us to pick up and go right now, but it's not impossible. Kristi is driving with her two children nearly 1500 miles. She can do it. I can do it.
Across the internet and my own community I see women starting businesses, following their dreams, traveling, reading, writing, cooking, creating, and loving life, all while being fantastic mothers. I could write a post fifty times this long detailing all the ways I see this happening all around me.
So I just can't bring myself to believe the nay-sayers who tell me my life will be over when I have kids. Certainly it'll be challenging and I may not read 150 books a year, but I refuse to accept that I'll never again watch a non-cartoon movie or get on an international flight or go out to dinner with just Bart. The evidence around me makes such beliefs impossible to hold.