Too many people have chosen to bear children without giving enough thought to parenting. Yes the pregnancy is so exciting, and then the birth can be fun and exhilarating (not for me necessarily, I’m a wimp. It hurt like a big one!) but after that comes parenting…for at least the next 18 years.
Have you thought about it? Have you decided upon disciplinary tactics? Have you talked to your spouse about it? Is yelling acceptable? How about hitting or spanking? Time out? What about goals for your child? What if he/she is artistically inclined but you think only practical skills are necessary? Where will they go to school? How much will you help with homework? What about values? What will you teach them about skin color and sex? How will you teach them financial responsibility? Laundry? Kindness? Humility? The list goes on and on.
These are all thoughts that need to be had and conversations that need to occur but too many of us don’t get past the cute baby part before making decisions about having children. Then the cute little being is here and we fall in love. And he/she grows, and we’re exhausted, and it’s much easier to just give in than stick to our guns about whatever goal/rules we've decided are important.
Society has sold us some big lies. “Children are resilient,” “You CAN have it all,” that caregivers other than parents are just as effective.
None of them are true.
Children are very fragile. You remember, you were a child once…remember that hurtful thing your mother said when she was having a crappy day? You are really not stupid (or ugly or fat or clumsy etc.), and she never really thought you were, she was just tired. Because society told her she could have it all, a great figure (she starved herself), a great job (she worked long hours), a beautiful home (she slaved to keep it clean) and cherubic children….you haven’t forgotten that comment or attitude though have you? You were fragile.
Nobody on the face of the earth loves your children the way that you do. Nobody. I’m quite sure there are some great caregivers out there – but why did you have children if you weren't planning on parenting them yourself?
I know right now I just offended a bunch of you. I’m sorry. I apologize. Many parents CANNOT financially afford to stay at home with their children though they would dearly love to. I understand. But there are some out there that have chosen to work for better THINGS; to live in a better neighborhood, to drive a newer car, to have a cell phone. Yes, a cell phone. And their children are getting left over parenting; left over time, energy and thoughts.
Our children are the most important people in our lives. They deserve our time and attention. They are NOT an afterthought to a marriage, a day, or even an event. Don’t expend all your energy and patience on your job, other relationships (other than your spouse of course), hobbies or chores. Step up and parent.