Wednesday, December 18, 2013

perk #3 - kid free

this may sound counterintuitive, since some good friends of mine just had a sweet little baby that i love love love, but lately i've realized how thankful i am that i am not yet a mother. now before i explain my reasons for this, let me go on a short rabbit trail...

if you've known me for any length of time or have seen me around children, you'll know that i LOVE kids. especially the children of the same friends i mentioned before. those that know me well will have already heard this, but i want 5 kids. yes, 5. i have always wanted a big family. who knows if God has other plans, but hopefully that dream will be reality one day. one more little bunny trail (i promise i'll get back on track), for those that already have children, please don't tell me or anyone else that dreams of having a big family one day that we will "change our minds" or anything else that stamps on a girl's dream. maybe i will change my mind, but maybe i won't. just sayin'. All that to say, i want kids. and i will be thrilled when the time comes when i get to have them.

ok, rabbit trail over. recently, with so many people i know popping out babies, you'd think it would spark those desires of having my own. but that's not the case. quite the opposite. my freedom and lack of responsibility for raising another human being at this point in my life is...wonderful. my life is so chill and i don't have to deal with the stresses and pains that come along with raising a child yet. no worrying about their safety or well being, educating them and raising them with good values. i have the utmost respect for parents because it is a full time job, and i can't imagine having a career on top of that.

not to mention, they do that with little sleep. i love sleep. i love being well rested. i love being responsible for providing for only myself. i love being able to come home after a long day, plop down on my couch, turn on the tv and surf the net (which is what i did today). no screaming babies, no cooking for a family, only doing my own laundry, sleeping by myself in my own bed in a perfectly quiet house for 8 solid hours, before getting up at the last possible minute and going to work tomorrow, just to come home and do it all over again if i so choose.

then there is my future. as soon as kids enter the mix, i may not be able to predict what future God may have, but i will be able to have some general idea of the next couple of decades. predictability. but right now, unpredictability in the best possible way. i may be 27, but to me, the world is still wide open. i could go anywhere. i could pick up and move at the drop of a hat, if i so desired. i could go live abroad for a year like i always dreamed. i could do that, because i'm not tied down in a way that would prevent me from dreaming that big. before any parents get in a tizzy, i'm not saying that they can't have adventures too. but there are limitations when someone is a parent that i do not have at this time. married couples with no kids could have the flexibility to pick up and leave, but still, more limitations than a single person. two jobs to find, two opinions of where, when, and how, and a compromise to reach. but not me. i get to decide where to go, what to do, when, and how.

so many reasons I'm thankful to be kid free for now. my freedom and flexibility are off the charts, and i'm loving every minute of it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

perk #2 - no split holidays

in light of the holidays, i was thinking about how the perks of being single relate to this time of year. when i was home for thanksgiving last week, it made me realize that i have been able to spend every single holiday with my family for my entire life. and in a few short weeks, i will get to spend an entire week home for christmas. i realized that once this time of singleness is over, there will inevitably be holidays that i have to split either being with my family or with another family somewhere else.

that thought made me a little bit sad. i know that it is one of the things that couples will have to alternate each year, but for the time being, i am really thankful for the time i get to spend with my own flesh and blood. i really enjoyed this past thanksgiving. there is something so wonderful about me, my mom, dad, and sister just hanging out, watching movies and being a family of just us four. my sister and i basically laid around and watched movies most of the time, and i revel in the fact that i can spend that kind of time with her. my grandparents are also living with us for a short while as their house is being built, so it was fun having the house just a bit fuller than normal. 

although we haven't been able to all get together for a holiday for a few years now, i love when our extended family...cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents...all come together for thanksgiving or christmas, and our home is filled to bursting point with family, kids, pets, laughter, and love. those are probably the most wonderful memories i can recall over the course of my life. all that to say, whenever our family is able to get together like that, i've never had to wonder if i'll be able to make it. i always make it, and i've never had to check my plans with anyone to make sure they aren't overlapping with other holiday plans. 

even our holiday traditions don't have to be altered yet. every christmas eve, my family will come together, open one present only (always christmas pajamas), and gather around to watch the nativity story. then we will wake up the next morning, open stockings and presents, and watch the christmas story as my mom makes an incredible christmas morning breakfast. during my week at home, my sister and i will find time to get out of the house, just the two of us, without thinking about it or having to make sure someone else isn't left out. i love knowing what to expect. i love knowing that i will see them at christmas. 

i am sure that when the day comes when i will have to think about splitting my time here or there, that it will be a good change, and my family will be extended even further in a way i can't picture right now. but at this time in my life, i am joyful that i can be with my own family in the same ways we are used to being together. i am also so very blessed to have such a tight-knit family that actually looks forward to being together. all of these holiday moments, no matter how big or small, are blessings that are not lost on me. and i'm so thankful i don't have to miss a single one just yet.