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Yes. We. Did.
I'm going to say I have given up the ability to be completely selfish and carefree - I have said to DH "I wish I got 3 lives...cause this is what I do would do with each one"....and then I proceed to keep one the same, talk about the child free travelling life of an outdoor enthusiast vagabond....and then I create a third that changes every time.....
We have several friends who are kid free by choice
Ok, I'm still seriously thinking about this. And I still can't come up with some concret answers. Of the things that I can come up with, they are things that I/we didn't do anyway before we had kids or were ones that we just scaled back the frequency of doing them. Others weren't discovered until after we had kids and just worked them around the kids. My career wouldn't have changed with or without kids simply because I haven't the ambition or drive that is required to be "successful" in my career. And living near extended family was/is more important than moving up the ladder in my career. Besides, I didn't discover my career until after Dylan was born. Possibly, dh would/could have made a success of being a professional photographer if we hadn't had Erica. But who knows? It has taken him longer to find his niche in life than it has taken me. He found it 5 years ago. And now, neither one of us would want it any different. Except for some "minor" things--dh's mom to have better health but then she is 82 years old and that's not going to happen.
The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett
I'll answer my own question first. I can't say that I gave up my career because I had children because I still worked in their early years, but at the same time- I wouldn't have quit if I had not had children. Or I wouldn't have quit without getting another job.
I can't say that we gave up income, because DH's income has grown faster during the time I have been a sahp that when I wasn't.
I did give up day to day long hour adult interaction. That is what I have missed the most. I have done things to mitigate it, but it isn't the same.
I have received great things as a result of being a parent and my pregnancies. (Besides the love, hugs......) I stopped getting terrible migraines. I received a great set of cahones after the first hospitalization. I get more time with my sister and my parents as we can visit them each for a week every summer - in addition to a week in the fall/winter.
The thing I can't determine if it is plus or minus is that I now regularly get my period every 25-29 days. Before children, I had to take Provera to induce a menses. It proves mother nature has a sense of humor, now that I am done having children, I can have them without intervention.
I have had to deal the the mama bear adrenaline rush. I got it the day DS1 was born and was running full throttle for a while before I could relax. It still flares up and can last for weeks depending on the cause (it also comes with HBP which I have had to remedy). When I am in the throws of one, I cannot sleep for more the 6 hours at night and I have to drink warm milk and do my sleep routine to get to sleep.
No it's not. When my kids were five and one, I was online searching for a cheap airfare to go visit my Mom in California over spring break. I couldn't find one but as I was searching, an ad popped up for a really cheap flight to Paris. I got on the phone, called DH, and said, "Evidently all four of us can fly to Paris next week for cheaper than we can get to California. Wanna go?" And we went.
Same thing happened when I was online looking for a business flight. I got a pop-up for three nights in Chicago at a four state hotel for 79 a night. Took three kids to Chicago for a weekend on a whim just because.
Whether travelling with small children is "difficult" has everything to do with the personalities involved (both parents and children) and little to do with the actual fact of having kids.
The few people we know without children really have a lot of obvious disposable income.
How many people do you know who have gone to Paris for the weekend?
gee ya think?