Sunday 17 December 2017

I had choice to have children and must honour that

The part of parents that wants to party in Ibiza shouldn't be banished, says Aine O'Connor -- just put in the back seat

Aine O'Connor

A woman wrote an article about being 50 and lamenting a life of lost opportunities. She loved her husband and now grown children, but felt that she'd rather not have had them, for in having them she lost herself.

She was essentially lamenting her lack of choice. I was of the generation and class -- for social class is mostly about aspiration -- that believed I could have motherhood and a career and all that came with both.

Fifteen years in and I'm not entirely convinced about the having-it-all thing, but I would do it no differently. Apart from the love, which is a wild trip in itself, parenting is the ultimate exercise in self-development.

To do your children justice, you have to weigh up every single thing you say, think and believe; an opportunity to go insane and back. Sometimes it all feels too much, I'm not up to it, I don't want to be up to it, I want to be in Ibiza lost in a world of freedom, living in a bikini because my stomach is this smooth, taut thing unshredded by pregnancy. But then I remember that my children are the best thing that ever happened to me, and go to Centra and buy milk and a sliced pan, and forget about Ibiza.

But that, perhaps, is the difference between me and that lamenting lady of 50 -- I do feel I had a choice about marriage and children. Although the very part of me that feels I had a choice is the exact same part that wants to do a runner to Ibiza.

She is trouble at times, but she also stops me melding entirely into the fridge and deciding the role she should have in my life has been the most complex part of growing up.

First off I thought that as a mother, a wife, she should be gone, so I banished her. But I missed her, was a bit lost without her, plus she'd kick up every now and again and make me feel like I was going to explode.

So then I let her out, a bit, at least acknowledged her, and she is growing older too, her desires are maturing. The agreement we reached was that she can get out sometimes,

but has to take a back seat while my family really needs me. I chose to have children, I was lucky enough to have that choice, so I must honour it.

Sunday Indo Living

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life