The time I changed my mind

Day #2 of ThinkKit’s month of blogs wants me to talk about a time I changed my mind this year. I couldn’t immediately think of anything, but after speaking with a friend, a huge life decision I changed my mind on–and then changed it back to–came to mind.

My decision to have children.

Months ago, my then-boyfriend admitted to me that he didn’t want children and didn’t know if he ever would.

As someone who’s always pictured children in her life, I didn’t know what to think. So I took time to think about it.

Did I really want children? Or did I simply want them because I thought that having children was what I was supposed to do?

I imagined a life where it was just my husband and I, and I thought of all the freedom we’d have. No children to be responsible for. How freeing that would be.

That’s the excuse I gave myself when I decided that I wanted my boyfriend more than I wanted children.

I wasn’t ever really OK with the decision. I remember crying in the middle of the night…more than once. But I was in love. And I didn’t want to give that up. So I accepted that children would not be in my future. Besides…he said he might change his mind someday.

So instead, I looked around at the children in my life, mostly my “niece” Olivia, and decided that I’d just always be cool Aunt Kaley. Even if my heart ached knowing I’d never have that myself.

After my boyfriend and I broke up, one of my first thoughts was: “Of COURSE I want children. Why the heck did I think it was OK to not?”

I think the reason I said it was OK is because I thought I was compromising. And compromising has to happen at some point in relationships. But the thing is, what I didn’t realize until later, is that this wasn’t compromising. I wasn’t getting what I wanted, and he was. No, this wasn’t compromising at all. This was settling.

That’s one of the major reasons I can’t stand it when anyone settles now. I can’t really be mad, because I was blind to it when I was doing it, but I have to say this: when it comes to what you want out of life, you should NEVER settle.

You can compromise. But don’t ever settle.

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