While engaged in a discussion on campus about paths in life and about how things might be different if one had chosen the other direction at some fork in life’s road, I was unsurprised that several women focused on their decision to have children. Certainly, that is the most monumental decision in many people’s lives. As they described the pros and cons of that choice, I was happy for them that their kids gave them satisfaction in life and motivation to return to (or begin) college, but I was perplexed at one theme that was repeated: “If I didn’t have kids, I would be so bored.”
Now I will wholeheartedly agree that I have more leisure time than most parents I know, so I can understand how a parent might be so busy that she forgets what she used to do in her past free time. But to remember it as boring, or to think that her current life would be boring if she weren’t running around after kids (especially when she is a college student and has plenty of studying to keep her occupied)? I guess I don't get it. I know I sometimes use my time frivolously on lazy grocery shopping trips or on watching TV, and other times I am productive through volunteerism or work around the house. Either way, I have no difficulty finding something interesting -- and, more often than not, constructive -- to do. In fact, I frequently find myself running out of time to do all the things I would fancy doing. As such, it makes me wonder if some people simply lacked imagination pre-parenthood, as if they did not know what to do with themselves so they created another person who would dictate their daily activities. To each her own, I suppose, but I prefer to be more proactive with my life.
On a bit of a tangent, it also reminds me of something an adult told me when I was an adolescent: “An intelligent mind is never bored.” And let’s face it… when we say we’re bored, don’t we really mean that we don’t feel like doing any of the things we could or should be doing at the time, like cleaning the rain gutters? (I have been guilty of that!)