The content discusses a person who is questioning their decision to have children and expressing dissatisfaction with the financial burden and lack of personal time. The author suggests focusing on the positive aspects of being a parent, such as personal growth and experiencing love. They share their own experience of being able to eat a wider variety of foods and feeling supported by their child. The author acknowledges the challenges of parenting but believes that in the end, the difficult moments will be outweighed by the happiness and fulfillment it brings. They encourage the person to endure the hardships and imagine themselves looking back on their parenting journey with fondness in the future.
From the previous article, the writer reflects on the choice of not having children and wonders if it would have been better. They describe parenting as a “spiritual practice” and express dissatisfaction with the financial and time commitments that come with having children.
Why not focus on the positives of being a parent?
There are definitely things that one can think of as “what I could have done if I didn’t have kids.” Without children, one had the freedom to go out and hang out with friends, and could easily decide to go out for drinks. There was no one to refuse a simple trip to the convenience store. Spending money without any guilt or self-reproach was also possible.
However, with children, even these simple things are not always easily attainable. Moreover, there are times when one can’t go to the bathroom or take a shower alone, or when one has to get into bed with the child even though they have something they want to do. Many people have likely experienced situations where they had to take time off work and felt constrained, despite not having done anything wrong, all because of the circumstances surrounding their child. The writer understands what the person seeking advice is saying.
“Raising children is truly a spiritual practice. It’s the ultimate form of selflessness. But I’ve learned so much from my child. I realized that I was mentally immature, lacking patience and mental strength. I was overly confident in myself for not having children. Becoming a parent is an incredible choice. It’s an experience that’s as challenging as training in a temple.”
However, instead of imagining things that can’t be changed anymore with “If I didn’t have children,” why not try focusing on the positive aspects that you can embrace right now? As a parent, there are not only things that you have lost, but also things that you can appreciate about being a parent. For example, the opportunity to grow as a person or to experience the feeling of being loved. Try to imagine anything positive, no matter how small.
For the writer, they used to have very selective eating habits, but after having children, they became able to eat almost anything. They used to go with the flow, but they became more assertive. Above all, they found someone who loves them unconditionally. When teasingly called “stupid” by a friend, they heard their child say, “Mom is not stupid!” Parenting may have its challenging moments, but there are also moments of happiness that can outweigh them.
Even though training may be difficult, looking back…
Even though this “spiritual practice” may be difficult now, when looking back, it can become a nostalgic and essential part of one’s life. The writer used to wish for their child to start talking when they couldn’t, but now that their child is talkative, they often think, “I should have enjoyed that time more.” The difficulties you are going through as a parent, the writer believes that there will surely be rewards waiting for you.
“You might feel that becoming a parent was worth it once the training is over.”
“This moment of uncertainty and doubt during the training is precious in life. Imagine yourself in old age, feeling nostalgic about the days of training.”
“There will come a time when you’ll think that it was all worth it.”
You might think, “I won’t know how I’ll feel until later, because right now it’s just hard.” The writer also used to think that way. However, please hold on and give it one more push until that later moment comes. At that time, you might find yourself thinking, “Even if I were to be born again, I would still want to have children.”
Written by Souka Monju, edited by Kojima Suna, illustrated by Zenya An