I was ‘on’ the Oprah show several years ago…in fact, LONG before I had children. So, I guess that makes it more than several years. In any case, for those of you who have never been, Oprah does not reveal her show topic until you are in the door. So you cannot guarantee yourself a front row seat making googly eyes at a young, hot celebrity. You just might get Doctor Oz or how to redecorate on a low budget.

My friends and I had the luck of seeing Dear Abby. Not exactly Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson but fun nonetheless. Before we were herded into the studio, we were polled on three questions that Dear Abby had asked her columnist followers in the past.

One of the questions was, “If you are a parent, do you regret having children?” I was actually appalled by the question. I imagined the only people affirming their answer would be women who got pregnant accidentally as teens.

However, when the statistics were revealed during the show, we were shocked. If my memory serves me right, it was something like 30-40 percent had regretted it. My mouth dropped. Coincidentally, some cameraman must have been panning around the room and saw my reaction. So must have Oprah because she immediately approached me with her large microphone and fake lashes (I was pretty ‘wowed’ by the lashes).

She proceeded to ask me why I was so shocked. All I could say was, “Well, I am not a parent yet but I am shocked anyone would regret their children.”

Soon the regretters stood up to explain their answer. Some admitted they had regretted ‘the time’ in their life that they had had their children (some too early and some too late). Some admitted that the didn’t regret having their children but they regretted ‘the timing’ between their children (some too close together and some too far apart). And others admitted that while they love their children it completely changed their marriages. A few just admitted that they had been caught on a bad day getting kids dressed, fed, off to school, etc.

I am not sure I understood any of what these other women were saying at the time. I just thought my mom would never have regretted having me. I only had the perspective of a child, and not that of a parent.

Fast forward nearly a decade…

Today, as I was about to pull out every hair in my head and loose my larynx, I understood completely what those women were trying to explain.  In fact, I even said to myself, “What did I get myself into?”

I find myself tired, almost exhausted constantly.  I find myself waking with good intentions of being a super mom and within 15 minutes in the midst of refereeing a fight. I had to actually explain to my oldest son today why he didn’t need a credit card at age eight!  I listened to my other son cry that he was bored while we were at an indoor park.  I cringed at the screams that came from the twins when they weren’t given a piece of gum.

On top of that the destruction that occurred was just unbearable.  Emerson tore half of the keys off of my laptop keyboard to start the morning off, and then proceeded to tear the drawer pull off of an antique table.  While the potty training will soon provide some relief, it is a considerable effort times two!  The nicely folded laundry was strewn all over the place.  Markers that were hidden soon found their way into the hands of would-be graffiti artists.  Some of my flowers in the garden had been purposely decapitated.  New found fun has been discovered in the twins’ cribs by removing their diapers and urinating on their sheets.  While we were at the pool, they decided to dump a bag of crackers and pour water all over them until it was a mushy mess.  And why not play in the toilet after using it?

So…while I absolutely, 100 percent do not regret having my children, I can finally relate to each of those women on the Oprah Show.

6 Responses to “oprah”

  1. susan Says:

    I’m with ya sister!!!!! Can’t wait to have a few days R&R with you and not talk about any of them!!

    Stay Gold.

  2. Molly Says:

    I am there in those trenches with you endless day after day. It is not regret, just a longing for some peace, some tiny bit of time when we are not challenged to the death by seemingly ridiculous matters. It is just too much on some days and that’s the bottom line. We all need a break. Thank God we’re getting one soon!

    Hang in there.

  3. mary logan Says:

    Bill Cosby calls parenthood “Sweet Insanity” and goes on to say it is “…surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.” I recommend his book and the video highly – it is timeless.

    There is comfort in knowing EVERYONE experiences the same highs and lows. When I think back, I remember only the best of times on my “surface memory”. God is good that way. When I am challenged to think back to situations like those you just expressed, I find that most are lost in a part of my mind that does not allow for total recall. Something like child birth – you remember the miracle and although you know it was difficult, you don’t feel the pain at all – right? Well, that is how it is with parenting – you remember the wonderful and forget the “loosing your rational mind experience. You know it happened but – it just doesn’t cause your blood pressure to surface with the memory – as a matter of fact, it is certain to make you smile.

  4. sara b Says:

    tell those girlies to stop peeing on my sheets!!!!

  5. Winden Says:

    I’ll admit… I was at one point in my life one of those mothers taking a hard look at the idea of regretting having kids… for many reasons. Now they are the center of my universe. They still drive me nuts and there are moments of insanity for sure but at the end of the day I would do it all over again. To get to this point though, I HAD TO FACE MY REGRET. There is a great book out right now…. The Last Lecture. He says something along the lines of “life puts walls in front of us and these walls are meant to be BROKEN THROUGH.” I think that is key here. Facing the wall… the regret, the frustration, the sadness, the anger… whatever it may be… sitting with it, noticing it and then BREAKING THROUGH IT.

  6. Nicole Korensky Says:

    Wow-what a great post-i completely agree with you! At times i’m thinking . . . oh my gosh, what did i get myself into! And, why is it every other family seems so perfect and happy and i feel like a complete mess! When the truth is, no one is a perfect family-everyone’s kids scream and fight and cry . . . and we’re really all in the same boat.

    It’s true, you sometimes harp on the bad days, but really the good days can be soooo awesome! And, thank god for the kids-they teach me new things all the time! 🙂

    p.s thanks for being so honest!

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