- Family and Parenting
Parenting help - when to start having children
Ever since I got married, friends and family haven’t stopped asking one of the most annoying questions in human history: “So, when are you going to have kids?”.
Or the second best one: “ Aren't you afraid you will be too old by the time you actually decide to have children?”
Some even manage to look concerned about my well-being while asking these obnoxious questions.
The truth is, I don’t understand why everyone expects a married couple to have children. It’s as if the sole purpose of marrying is to procreate. I dont susbcribe to this belief, and for that i am often criticized.
All of my childhood friends who are now married have children and they just cant get through their heads why I choose not to procreate. One of them even got mad at me for denying my “mother instinct”. I guess I must have been dropped on my head when I was little because I just don't seem to have one.
What I find funny about all these people urging me and my husband to have kids is the fact that they have kids and they look completely miserable. One of the arguments I often hear from these miserable looking parents is that children are the joy of the house; and yet their face says otherwise.
Another common argument is that children help a marriage stay alive because they break the boredom that, according to them, inevitably comes with married life. To that I say: “what boredom?!” I still have plenty of fun with my hubby and rarely get bored when im around him. I think the people making this argument dont need children. What they need is a more exciting spouse.
Ranting aside, I decided to compile a short list of characteristics every couple should have before procreating.
BE FINANCIALLY STABLE
Children cost money and they’re very expensive. If you can’t afford one, please don’t have one. The problem today is that many couples are relying on government help to care for their children. Some couples even see their children as a source of extra income in the form or welfare, food stamps or tax breaks. Some openly admit to not having enough money but wanting more children, completely reassured that the goverment will take care of their child’s feeding. If you don’t have enough money to feed an extra mouth, don’t bring one to the world.
MUST NOT BE SELFISH
A child requires attention and care in huge amounts. They are not just toys that you can bring to the world for your own pleasure. Before having a child, the couple must be willing to put themselves aside and put their child in the first place. If you’re not ready to do so, you’re not ready to have children. I openly admit I am too selfish to have a child. I still have dreams I want fulfill, places I want visit and things I want to do. I understand that having a child means putting all my dreams in stand-by and putting my child’s dreams in the first place. I am not ready to do that, therefore I don't have children.
However, some believe children are just toys that are brought to the world for the sole satisfaction of the parents. “I always wanted to be a mommy,” said the 17 year old girl who became pregnant to fulfill one of her most desired dreams. Sure, she still lives with parents, has no job, and high school is still unfinished, but who cares?! At least now she has the “toy” she has always wanted. This people make me doubt the fact that all humans have a brain. They become so involved in what they want that they completely forget about what their child needs.
Also, coming home from work will be a different story once you have children. You will no longer be able to just knock-out in your couch, or just go out to relax. Nope. Now you have a cute, little creature at home waiting anxiously to play with you. Regardless of how tired you are, your duty will be to play with that child because you brought it to the world and you owe him your undivided time and attention.
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR CHILD IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
Common-sense? I would love to think so, but I've met some parents that truly challenge the idea of smart life on Earth. Some think the only responsibility they have toward their children is to bring them to the world. Let me explain what I mean.
As I mentioned before, some believe the government has the responsibility to care financially for their children. Others believe school carries the sole responsibility for educating their children, and others think grandma and grandpa must be responsible for unpaid childcare.
Many parents believe everyone else is responsible for the well-being of their offspring, except the parents themselves.
I once met a lady who was shocked at the idea of teaching her little girl anything related to school. I mentioned to her that it would be a good idea if her child knew her letters and colors before starting school. She said: “But isn't that what teachers are for?"
I wish I was joking, or even exaggerating, about this, but that's exactly what she responded. Now I was the shocked one. I just can't understand how some parents don’t feel the responsibility or desire to teach their children anything. This particular lady, who recently had her 4th child, spends the entire day glued to the TV with her children right beside her. At least I would like to say that she watches educational shows with them, but she doesn’t. She sticks to soap operas.
Some parents have yet to understand that grandma and grandpa are not slaves to serve their childcare needs. Don’t get me wrong. Most grandparents are happy to help in the rewarding, yet challenging, task of educating and caring for their grandkids. However, they must not feel like they are obligated to do so, especially when mommy and daddy are out there living like singles and leaving all the hard work to grandma and grandpa.
I know a couple who demands grandma to feed and care for their kids. The couple doesn’t pay the grandparents. They don’t even thank them for the help. The couple goes out on vacation, dump the children with the grandparents and don’t even mention when they’re coming back.
I met this couple before they had children. She was anxious to have her first kid. She often mentioned how much better her life would be after having children. But now that the children are here, she can’t wait to get away from them, and she always looks miserable.
I have yet to acquire all the characteristics that make a responsible parent, especially the part about not being selfish. I completely understand what it takes to be a parent, and I know I’m not ready for the title. I love children, and I’m sure I would love my own children even more. That's why I want to wait til I’m a more mature adult (and until I have fulfilled some of my most desired dreams) to bring them to the world when I have more and better things to offer to them than what I currently have.