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.
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.
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?