Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You're NEVER "Ready" for Kids

And So It Begins...I always laugh when couples site their reason for holding off on kids as "we're just not ready." Whether it be financially, emotionally or mentally --I've got some bad news...you're never ready. Even if you think you've covered all the bases, there is a new dilemma that will arise almost everyday to remind you of just how unprepared you were. And there's no manual. And there's tons of people to give you advice, but then you take a look at their little terrors and realize you don't really want their input... So you trudge through this dark wilderness of raising children that you hope will someday become productive and adjusted adults through trial and error...just hoping that yelling at them for downloading a game that gave you a virus won't assure them a profile on A&E's Intervention some day.

The Man and I pretty much agree on all the big "life" issues: We'll match what they save for their first car, but they'll pay their own insurance. There will be no "family plan" cell phones, they can have one when they can pay for the minutes. There will be no "college fund" -they'll do it like we did and get scholarships and loans and they can live here for free as long as they're in school. Once they are old enough to 'work' (even if it's cutting Mum Mum's grass) we will not be handing them money with abandon. There will always be curfews and rules while they live here and there will never be girlfriends sleeping over. On all this we are in sync...

...It's the smaller, every day things that trip us up. Like whether the kids have to eat when they're "not hungry" or we're having something they don;t like. I say "no" and he says "yes." Here's the thing, if we had picky eaters (God forbid) I would understand that, but our kids eat more variety and will try more than most adults I know. So why can't they have stuff they don't like? We also argue over the "pick your battles" thing. He thinks I let them "get away" with too much, but I KNOW that they're just kids acting like kids. Nothing wrong with that IMO -no need for an ADHD diagnosis and Ridilin because boys like to pretend they're flying by jumping off the picnic table and the top of the swing set 100 times. He only has one younger brother and has never been around any other kids but ours. I am the oldest of 5 plus 15+ foster kids AND I teach and volunteer in the school --I KNOW our kids are angels compared to most and I wish he had a glimpse at how most kids act...

It's these little daily dilemmas that you're never "ready" for. That you can't foresee, so you never think to discuss ahead of time. Sometimes I look at my boys and it's overwhelming...how can I possibly be responsible to raise two little men when it feels like just yesterday I was sneaking in my parent's house drunk, underage and after curfew...?

(Note to my parents: That last line was purely for a dramatic ending to the post...I never actually drank when I was underage or memorized which floorboards creaked or the patterns of your snoring so I could sneak in undetected...)

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