Kids Are A Stupid Reason To Break Up…Or Not
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Kids are resilient and smart and kind and giving and funny and precious and powerful and scary and stinky and dirty. Kids can handle so much more than they are given credit. A kid is only as badass as we allow them to be when not hovering or coddling them. Something that they can’t handle all too well is half-assed parenting. This is why we have come to the second stupid reason for breaking up – kids.
Lee says: I respect people who say they don’t want to be parents. I respect anyone who makes definitive statements that sound like they have actually put some thought into it. Most parents don’t think that hard about having kids. Most people assume it’s what you do when you get older. You know, go to high school, graduate, college, graduate, get married, and have kids. It’s kind of like a graduation when you’re married, right?
I would always strongly recommend a couple breaks up if one of you wants children while the other does not. Going into a marriage believing your significant other will change their minds is crazy. And, the last thing you want is to find yourself pregnant while your partner is shaking their heads saying, ‘I told you I didn’t want kids’. This isn’t a puppy!
The reality is that having children is really a result of creating a family, not the impetus to create a family. Couples who marry, with or without children, choose to create a family. It is how they identify themselves. These couples nest and put down roots and see themselves as an entity other than two people who are married (marriage as a corporation). These people have created a family which should never be confused with a marriage. In other words, marriages are not reasons to have kids but choosing to create a family is a reason a child.
I know, this sounds all backwards and crazy. The reality is that a person could be against having children and then begins a relationship with someone who has them thinking differently. Is it a deeper love? I don’t know. It is different. It is something necessary. I am not saying that a child requires two parents to be stable but I would prefer a second adult to balance the primary caretaker and give them the occasional break.
I also need you to notice that I am consciously keeping gender out of this. I don’t care the configuration of parents. Mommy-Daddy. Daddy-Daddy. Mommy-Mommy. Grandma-Mommy. Whatever it is, the idea is giving the best to that child. I think the worst thing a person can do is have a child and not care for them. I am not saying abandonment because knowing you can’t parent and giving up your rights is probably the biggest act of love on this planet. I am talking about having a child with the notion that this little creature can spark something paternal/maternal in you. You have to have these feelings long before the first diaper change.
Recently our daughter had to carry around a baby/doll for two weeks for a school assignment. Prior to this, she was very non-committal on the whole child question. I was O.K. with this. Now, she has decided that she does want kids but feels that she wants to have them younger rather than older. I have no idea how I feel about this. Sure, it’s an abstract thought based on the musings of a silly 17 year old. I am just happy that she is thinking about it and not assuming that kids are inevitable like wrinkles or cellulite.
Paul says: Last night, our four year old woke me up at 3:30 am because he was bored and didn’t want to sleep. I am seriously reconsidering having children. I just need to convince Lee to let me put them back.