Saturday, 17 November 2012

Children - who needs them?

Anyone who has spoken to me over the past few days knows I’ve had a challenging couple of weeks to say the least. Words such as vomit, fevers, bed-wetting and head lice spring to mind not to mention a flat tyre, sleepless nights and cooking meals that no one wants.

Just when I’m trying to write my 50,000 fabulous words for NaNoWriMo, I‘ve had to deal with every inconvenience that having children can bring.

However yesterday I caught the train to town with my 15-month-old daughter and we met a lovely woman who got on at the same station. We started chatting and as it happens she and her husband, after five rounds of IVF, are sadly unable to have children.

I then explained the challenges that we’d faced trying to have our second baby, which resulted in three miscarriages. But at the end of the day we got lucky and my new best train friend did not. Even so she was incredibly generous and philosophical about it. I tried to make her feel better by saying, “Well I had no sleep last night,” and was about to launch into my tales of woe when she said quite firmly, “Oh that doesn’t matter.”

And she’s right. It doesn’t matter. At the end of the day all this will pass and I’ll still have two beautiful daughters to cuddle – even if they’re both in my bed at the same time, which usually means I end up crossways along the bottom.

After bidding farewell to my new best train friend, I went to the skin specialist for a routine check-up. I was pregnant with my second baby when I last saw the doctor (who also has kids) and this time with baby in tow, we started discussing quite fondly those kid-free days of our 20s.

It was the second time in a week I’d thought back to that particular era. Last weekend my husband and I bought some everyday wine glasses from Ikea because we keep breaking all the ones we got as wedding presents. The glasses we chose are quite small, not the huge goblets of my 20s even my 30s. Then I remembered how everything was oversized back then. I had noodles bowls the size of salad bowls and plates as big as platters. It was all about pleasure and self-indulgence.

Last week not only did we sadly change to smaller wine glasses but also smaller plates in an attempt to eat smaller portions, as we seem to be consuming more than we need.

The heady days of our 20s are definitely over. Life is not about indulging ourselves anymore but doing the best we can for our kids. And even though right now it doesn’t feel like much fun, after chatting to someone who will never know the difference, I’m feeling a lot luckier than I did last week.

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