Thoughts on Parenting

3 Feb

Yesterday I spent time with two very dear friends. One has an adorable and sweet one year old boy, the other is expecting her first child.

I couldn’t help but think about children and babies. It’s impossible to not think about around my friends lately. I will preface this with, I am not complaining. The children are all so cute and sweet.

But I can’t help but wonder, will that ever be us someday?  It’s not a matter of do we want children. Yes, we want children. But there are two more important questions. Can we have children? Should we have children?

I feel like when it comes to children, the should question is rarely asked. But I am asking it of myself. Should I have children?  Do I have what it takes to be entirely selfless?  Can I love that deeply and that extremely?  Or will I be the parent who is rarely around, always at work, always with something more important to do? Will I be the parent who is bored to death by the make believe games and children’s books and TV shows? Will I be the parent who is neurotically obsessed with my child’s every move, who worries intensely and never sleeps a single night? Will I be the parent who pushes my children so hard, because I believe that they are smart and talented, when in fact they are average and I push them past their limits? Or will I be the parent who doesn’t recognize my children’s skills and leave them feeling lost and unappreciated?

Will my lack of cultural identify pass to them, leaving the same dissonance I have always felt? Will my love of discipline and order force them to rebel and go off the deep end? Will my smothering make them grow up into adults who feel no desire to call me? Will I set unreachable standards for them?

I ask, because I can see that potential in me. I don’t know that I can be a good enough parent. No, I wouldn’t be the worst parent, certainly. I would love my children, they would have a home and a family and food and toys and we’d take them on vacations and to the zoo. We would do so many fun things with them if we had kids.

But is that enough?

I know a lot of you would answer yes. Love is enough! And for some of you, that is enough, and you will be magnificent parents.

It’s not enough to me. If you know me, you know that I am someone who tries to live intentionally.  I try to think things through before I jump in. I try to be responsible and make responsible choices. Bringing another life into this world is certainly a topic that deserves more care than, “Do I want one? Yes.”  And definitely more care than, “Oops, forgot protection.” So please don’t fault me for taking perhaps a bit more introspection than most on this topic.

 

And all of these questions beg the question. Can we even have children?  I don’t know, we certainly haven’t tried.

 

For now, at least, the decision isn’t on the table. It’s somewhere out there, in the foggy distance. What’s in the here and now is enjoying life and our family, being young and in love, and loving every single minute of it. Sometimes, my life feels so full and wonderful, that the idea of changing a single thing about it seems terribly awful.

Besides painting my kitchen. That would be a very welcome change. But that is a post for another day. 🙂

 

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