Some complicated thoughts about the responsibilities that come with a family.
There’s a persistent tension in my life between the fulfilment I get from my family and the desire to escape all the responsibilities that family entails.
I find myself thinking often about what I can’t do. I can’t quit my job to study full time. I can’t plan a last-minute overseas trip. I can’t go to the cinema on a whim. I can’t walk out of the house on Saturday morning and spend the weekend playing video games with a friend.
Then I get home from work and see how happy my kids are to see me. I see them growing and developing into distinct human beings with their own thoughts, opinions and desires. If it weren’t for me, they literally wouldn’t exist. If they didn’t exist, what could I possibly find to fill the void? Would I know the void was there if I’d never had children?
A person seeking escape from his or her responsibilities is not new. People have felt trapped in their lives since forever. Do I feel it more acutely than previous generations or do I merely think I do? Is this just more evidence to indict my generation for its solipsism or simply an example that we’re the same as every cohort that has come before us? ✺