My mom is 71 yrs old. Strongest woman you’ll ever meet. Including me, there are three other brothers and even as old as we all are, my mom still worries about us as much as she did when we were kids. There have been many times when her worrying about one of my other brothers received a “mom, don’t worry about him, he’s a grown man, he can take care of himself”. Her response was always the same: “he’s my son, I can’t help but worry. you’ll never understand until you have your own kids”. This is the same response I get from most parents and they’re all right, I’ll never understand what that’s like without having my own.
I’m 38 yrs old, was married for 12yrs, and a few years ago I accepted that I may never have any children. Complications that me and my ex-wife both experienced contributed to us never having children. But I’ve been ok with that. Not having any kids allowed us to have freedoms that many married couples don’t get the luxury of having. I know many newlyweds that have a child early into the marriage and though they love their new baby, many look back a few years later and sometimes wish that they would have waited so that they could have enjoyed one another more.
Children are awesome though. I love kids, especially because they’re not my own. ha, kidding. But I do love them and of course there has always been a part of me that would have loved to have had a son or daughter, someone with my genes, my hair, my eyes, etc. A little Hector running around breaking stuff and hiding toast underneath couches (i did this when i was a kid. you know, for a snack later in the day). But because I myself am not the most fertile of men, I know that this will never be. And again, it’s ok.
My life has gone through a lot of changes over the last couple of years, this last one in particular. With this understanding and acceptance of no children, I now have a greater appreciation for everyone else’s kids, especially my nieces and nephews. I may never be a “father”, but I can be the best uncle possible to my brother’s and sister’s kids. I have the freedom and resources to give to them and to invest into their lives that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to if I had my own. I can give my brother and his wife some free time on the weekends by offering to take his kids to a park or movie or take them to my house to clean my yard and wash my dogs. ha. I can go pick up my nephew or niece and teach them how to drive or simply just take them out to eat at the spur of the moment. I can invest into their lives as if they were my own and give freely. I can also be the best step-dad when or if that time comes. I can fall in love with someone else’s children and I can see myself treating them as if they were my own, if not better. I’ve already experienced this.
So why am I being so open today? I just want to encourage everyone who doesn’t have any kids or may not have been able to conceive to not lose heart. You not having any children of your own is not the end of the world. I hear many people say that “kids are overrated”. I know what they mean when they say that, and they don’t say it because they dislike their children. Everyone wants that brand new little baby, but that baby eventually grows up. You never hear anyone say “oh, I want a teenager! God, please bless us with a teenager!”. So if that time never comes for you, step back for now, look around, and acknowledge the children that are already in your life. Your nieces, nephews, a close friend’s kids, or even those of a potential mate. Be the best mentor or influence to them that you can be. Invest in them and do it with all of your heart. They don’t have to be your own in order to make a lasting impact in their lives.