A few days ago, I was looking through the files on my old computer when I came across a speech I wrote for the get together we organised, to celebrate the birth of our first child. It was quite a moving speech that reflected the feelings of a brand new parent. My baby son was only three months old and I was very much still enjoying the delirium that follows the birth of your first child. I just thought I’d share it with the group...
In it I talked about my life before my children were born. How, sometimes I felt like I was walking along a very long road but facing backwards. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t actually turn round to face the right way. I could only just about see ahead of me but it was foggy and unclear. I could see the events that had happened in my past, some of them in full sunshine, some with black clouds overhead.
Then one day I was having my haircut and while chatting to the girl, the subject of marriage and children came up. She asked me “do you think you’ll ever get married and have children?” Being a typical bloke I said “yeah maybe one day”. I had been living with my girlfriend quite happily for many years but in my head the whole marriage and children thing had no definite timeline. She then said something quite profound. “You never know, it could be the making of you”. For her it was probably just a throwaway line but it resonated with me and made me question it. She could be right.
Over the next couple of days I kept asking myself the question and every time I did, it felt as if my head started to slowly face the right way. Something just clicked, I could now see ahead of me but it was still just darkness.
Then on May 13th my baby boy was born. It was like the sun had come out and immediately I could see a path clearly lit up ahead of me; no more darkness. So in answer to the question at the top of this piece, I’d say yes thankfully for me life is better now I have children. I feel there is a purpose. I don’t mean life is easier, it isn’t. In fact at times it feels much more difficult but it’s more fulfilling.
Although I’m still a rookie at this parenting lark, I’ve learned that it’s about coping with highs and lows. One could argue of course that’s no different from life before children. You’d be right, except when you have children, the highs are much higher and the lows much lower. Life before children was about coasting along; you can afford the luxury of being selfish. With children you have to give of your substance not just your surplus. Once you accept it and embrace it however – it’s wonderful.
So I’d like to publicly thank, in front of the group, my beautiful wife and my beautiful children for bringing the sunlight in to my life. Ok...group hug; and I’ll sit down. Now it’s your turn, feel free to leave comments about your experience before and after children. Or if you have a blog, maybe write a post about the same subject – let me know about it and I’ll visit your blog and leave a comment.
PS. Don’t worry there won’t be a collection on the way out, I’m not religious, actually I’m an atheist...thank God!