In my former life as a luxury travel consultant, one of my favorite clients asked me to plan her 50th wedding anniversary trip. Knowing she and her husband were still happily married and traveled several times a year, I asked for her secret to a happy marriage. She said, “Don’t have children unless you really want them.” A shocking response, I thought, so I inquired further. She explained how she had raised four children, and ended up feeling resentful for having lost so much of her life and self-identity to motherhood. Her son, for example, didn’t want children, but married a woman who did. The result was an unhappy marriage that ended in bitter divorce and deeply troubled children. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t have children,” she said, “I’m just saying you should think about it before you do, and make sure you and your husband agree. IF you want kids, by all means have them, but make it a CONSCIOUS decision.” I think of this conversation often while raising my own children. Did I listen to her? Did I really think about how parenthood would change my life? Did I weigh the pros and cons of parenting with as much detailed research as I do with every other major life decision? Or did I simply make babies with the man I love because my body wanted to make babies? If you’re truly honest with yourself, did you make a CONSCIOUS decision to be a parent?