it still seems really obvious

Posted on: 6 September 2011

In August of 2009 I wrote this. I’d been married for a little over a year, and we weren’t seriously thinking about kids. I’d forgotten about it until a random scroll through old archives revealed that, hey, this is relevant again!

Speaking of dooce, several months ago she posed a question that sparked some fascinating discussion on the comments board – which is harder, marriage or parenthood?

Well, I’m not a mother, but I expect marriage to be a walk in the park compared to parenting. It’s a walk in the park right now, actually. Before our wedding, a few people warned me that it would be difficult, especially the first year. I still haven’t figured out what they were talking about.

I’m grateful for this, of course. There’s a beauty in this kind of relationship, one that tends to be obscured by all the propaganda.

As much as I like children, parenthood is a weight of responsibility I’ll probably never feel ready for. I expect to be reasonably prepared, bite the bullet, then figure things out as I go. Besides, I’m twenty three. These are the best years of my life, and I insist on savouring them as deeply as time will allow.

There were two sentiments that bothered me, though, as I scrolled through the comments. One is, “I can walk out on my spouse, but not on my child.” The other is, “Since we had kids my marriage has taken a back seat.” “I love my husband but I love my children more. And I hope he loves them more than he loves me.”

This line of thinking doesn’t make sense to me. He will always come first. Isn’t that the kind of security I owe my children?

Two years later, and I don’t rescind any of this. Except maybe the unwitting association of “the best years of my life” with youth. Maybe it only gets better, who knows.

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