Europe, ah Europe. The place of cosmopolitan cities, and luscious lovers and sexy sidewalks. And children. Huh? Children? Yes, children. Somehow, our journey through Europe included many children - mostly because we were staying with friends and family 'of breeding age'. Which somehow seems to make you even more aware of other people's kids; and then suddenly they're everywhere - on the bus, in the train, on the plane. Having tantrums, and making noise. Tripping up, and falling over. And crying, and crying, and crying. And their parents just look so...so...rundown, so tired, so annoyed, so frustrated. Wow, kids. Wow. Noisy, smelly, screaming, annoying, temperamental kids. An instant lesson in contraception.
I guess it's even more apparent because we're busy staking our independence. We're on a journey, an adventure, an exploration, and the idea of babies is completely horrifying to those so completely and utterly far removed from the social, financial or emotional readiness to have children. And it seems more and more like its something expected - 'oh, you're married, when are you going to have kids?' Can't you just be married? Can't you just have chosen to marry someone because you want to be with them, and not because you need to procreate? So that's what we're doing. We're not having babies. We're not joining the force of exhausted, drained, tired-out moms and dads who are so busy trying to convince you that its a good idea to join their team-of-parents, they don't realise how haggard they look. Not yet. Not for a while. Calm your horses, quiet down, you'll be fine. We're just going to be married, and just enjoy how fun and interesting and exciting that is. How comforting and secure and safe that is. How you have 'your person', all to yourself. Yes, married - without children. Bliss. And to all those wonderful friends and family members who we stayed with: your children are incredible, beautiful and bright. They're gorgeous little creatures. Really truly. When they giggle and squeak and smile they light up the room. When they say the darnedest things. It's enchanting, and engaging and alluring. But then they fight, and fall over, and cry. And then I want to cry. I admire you people-who-parent, I really do. PS Why do people actually want to have kids again? Please let me know in the comments below. But seriously, really do, because I'm on the verge of giving up on all notions of having kids here. Except maybe when you see adorable posts like this one, that make it look so easy. But it always looks easier from afar. PPS To my own mom and dad - you guys are amazing. Thank you for putting up with me! How in the world you two handled having kids, I'll never know. I love you for it though. PPPS Read Cup of Jo's Motherhood Mondays for some amazing tips, all you young parents/parents to be. [Picture from The Google]