Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should Have Kids

BY: - 22 Oct '15 | Parenting

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There’s a standard life cycle most of us learn to follow.

Go to school – graduate – get a job – get married – have children – struggle – triumph – die.

But just because it’s taught to us doesn’t mean it’s for us. Some people are simply not meant to have kids.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Parenthood is not a road easily traveled. Ask any single parent you know. Ask your own. If you already have your own, you already know. Whether this is year one or year 31, you know the struggle. Parenthood should not be on a person’s default path.

For those of us privileged to guide and shape young minds, it comes at a cost many people – especially today – aren’t willing to pay.

Parenthood comes at the cost of your selfishness.

We’ve heard the horror stories of a parent’s bad decisions on the evening news. It’s one of the reasons I stopped watching. It’s hard to comprehend the pain and suffering some parents intentionally inflict onto their children.

The cold hard truth is some people are not capable of handling the responsibilities of time, self, or sacrifice necessary to mold a young mind and body into a productive contributing member of their society – which is no easy task.

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But let’s simply bring it down a thousand. Forget the overwhelming expectation of cultivating a good and decent human being. Let’s just think about the sleep you’re about to lose during the next two years alone.

If you’re already at the brink of a mental shutdown, the lack of sleep times the pressure of life might be enough to push anyone over the edge. We have to rely on strength outside of ourselves at times to pull through the tough long nights.

Related: Have your children interrupted your marriage?

Knowing whether or not the lifelong commitment to finances, time, priorities, and selflessness are for you or not is a personal decision. Unfortunately, it’s a decision that’s made too late for some – because there’s no sending little mouths back once you’ve introduced them to the world.

It’s only through parenthood that many people learn it wasn’t the path for them. But that “default path” is designed to bind.

And just because the obvious is no longer obvious these days, let me say this – If you’re thinking about having a kid to fix any situation – whatever that situation is (unless it’s for a genetically needed organ for another dying kid), then YOU should not be having kids…………………………..right now. Let me be clear about that one again – “Kids Do Not Fix Anything” – including your relationship, your loneliness, or your desire to be needed.

Related: Can you really afford to have childrent?

I have a beautiful four year old boy and my wife and I are working on his sibling. Even knowing what we know now, the thought of sacrificing more of ourselves for the sake of our family terrifies us.

But we’re also committed to testing our limits together. And as much as we reminisce on our pre-parenthood lifestyle, we know at the end of it all, she and I who are the lucky ones. Parenthood is meant for us, and it makes me grateful.

But if you’re on the other side of that fence, and you know yourself, your lifestyle, your temperament, or whatever else that tells you to avoid Parenthood Lane, then listen. You’re not weird, broken, damaged, or otherwise. You’re self-aware. It’s the best thing a person can be – parent or not.

BMWK, how do you or did you feel about becoming a parent?

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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Better Safe than Sorry: 4 Sleepover Rules Every Parent Should Follow Before Sending Your Kids Off

BY: - 23 Oct '15 | Parenting

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I have been called the most over-protective parent in the universe. I have to be honest and confess that at times that statement is 110% accurate. Yes, I do take my job as a parent very seriously, as I recognize the enormous responsibilities that come along with raising children.

My youngest son recently became a full-fledged card carrying teenager. For his 13th birthday celebration he planned a coed birthday celebration weekend.  The first half of the planned festivities included an unchaperoned movie and lunch with a select group of girl and guy friends at Atlantic Station.

Unchaperoned meant, I would not embarrass him by going into the movies or sitting in the restaurant with them, but that I could lurk in the shadows like a stalker in their general vicinity. The second half consisted of an all male sleepover (male teenage debauchery at its finest) with six of his friends.

Well, I got the usual flack about my sleepover rules from my family.

My mother and aunt say that just because I’m extra, and send my kids to a sleepover a certain way, doesn’t mean that I should expect other parents to do the same.

Well, to that, my answer is always ‘whatever, better safe than sorry.” Listed below are 4 rules that every parent should consider when sending their kids to a sleepover.

Good Behavior Is a Must

First, parents should ensure that your children pack their manners and guest etiquette when going to a sleepover. Parents it is your responsibility to teach your children when and how to use words and phrases like: please, thank you, no thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, yes, and no.

I am always amazed when I interact with a young person that hasn’t been taught basic manners. Saying thank you and please are acts of courtesy that show both respect and gratitude. Parents these are minor words that have a major impact on how people view your children.

Related: Do parents raise helpless kids when they help them too much

Parents you also need to ensure that your children know how to behave as a guest in someone’s home. Children should be taught not to:

  • Roam around their host’s home unescorted
  • Go into rooms that have closed doors
  • Go into cabinets and refrigerators and prepare or take food and beverages without asking
  • Leave their personal belongings everywhere
  • Not clean up after themselves
  • Not abide by the rules that are established in the home in which they are a guest

Parents if you allow your children to use profane and vulgar language in your home, please inform them that that type of language may not be the norm for every home. Instruct them to be mindful of their language while they are away.

Take Precaution…Be Safe

Secondly parents, you want to make sure you talk with your kids about safety before you allow them to spend the night away from home.  Parents create a plan of action with your kids and practice it before they stay with relatives or friends.

Talk with your kids to make them aware of how to handle any potential danger in the form of inappropriate touching, conversation, or activities from anyone in the host home (adults, older and younger siblings, or their friends).

Be very specific and tell your children exactly what those dangers look like.  Tell them that they should not feel pressured to drink, smoke, or ingest anything that they are not familiar with or feel uncomfortable about.

Related: 5 ways to protect your teens from unhealthy relationships

Remind them that their body belongs to them and they are the protectors of their bodies. Reaffirm that they absolutely get to call the shots for who gets to enter their personal space. Help them to define what their personal space is, and communicate to them that it is okay to tell others when they are invading or encroaching on that space.

Parents remember, it confuses your children when you force them to hug or kiss someone you deem appropriate and then turn around and tell them that they have control over their bodies and determining the amount of intimacy they feel comfortable with.

My plan for my children included:

  • sending them with a cell phone that they can use at any time to call home,
  • telling them to stay with the group and not to wander off alone in their host’s home,
  • and making sure to use the bathroom before they go to bed so that they won’t have to get up in the middle of the night and wonder to the bathroom alone.

They know that If they have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night to call me on the cell phone so that they’d be talking to a parent in an effort to discourage any attempts of wrongdoing.

In the event they find themselves alone with someone that was trying to touch or talk to them inappropriately, to look the person directly in the eye and forcefully SCREAM “NO,” run away and call home immediately.

If the perpetrator persists they know to go with plan B; which is to clutch their stomachs and begin screaming, crying, and rolling around in horrible gut wrenching pain complaining of a stomach ache, and repeatedly insisting to call home.

Their scream must be blood curdling enough to rouse the attention of everyone in the home. I knew if I ever received this call from either of my kids…it was time to show up with the police in tow to keep me from committing a crime and going to jail myself.

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About the author

LaDawn Elliott wrote 43 articles on this blog.

LaDawn Elliott is a highly sought after Relationship Life Coach, Relationship Expert Advice Columnist, dynamic Speaker, powerful Facilitator, and the creator and host of Atlanta’s Premier Love, Sex, and Relationship Video Blog Lip Service Lounge. Her clients call her the “Relationship Rescuer” because of her No Limits coaching style. She guarantees a breakdown for breakthrough. She is proven, purposed, powerful, and passionate and has made GOD’s vision to strengthen and save the family unit one relationship at a time her daily mission.

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