My mom said today that there were three phases of her marriage; before kids, while raising me, and after. She said that the phase where she and my dad grew apart was when they had me. That before me, her marriage was like an extended six year honeymoon. Then with me, there was financial strain and other strain. Then after I left for college, things became wonderful again. That in retirement they were always together and very much in love.
At the age of 39 I heard my mom say, for the first time, that if she hadn’t had kids, she wouldn’t have regretted it. I don’t know what that means, exactly. I don’t feel bad that she said it, though perhaps I ought. I never felt unloved. It’s hard work raising kids, but in my case if I had not, I think I very much would have regretted it.