Bergman's Bruisers

A Look Into My Life Of Raising Four Rough
And Tumbly Boys

Monday, September 2, 2013

To Mate Or Not To Mate Debate

I am synonymous with 'devil's advocate'.  I am your go-to person when it comes to wanting to know how someone else may feel.  I call it a talent, those close to me may call it a pain in their ass.  Because whether you want to know how it looks from another perspective or not I'm probably going to tell you.  The challenge for me is my diplomatic outlook leaves me very grey.  There are very few things in life I look at as black and white. 

I was recently talking with my brother about kids, quite frankly, the choice we have today to have them or not.  For me, this was a no brainer.   I never knew a time in my life that I didn't want children. It was only a matter of when I had checked off the necessary tasks (college, job, potential mate, true love, marriage, etc.) that I could then pursue what I wanted most--to become a mother. But, of course, I can see why some people wouldn't and the reasons that would be.  I have ten reasons actually.  Ten reasons to weigh in on the 'to mate or not to mate' debate.  Now I'm a rhymer, too.  

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Have Kids

1. Money.  They cost a lot.  That's not to say you have to have "x" amount of dollars before you become a parent.  I think we give our kids far too much (I'm guilty of this) and they would benefit from having far less.  But, when looking at the math as to how much it costs to raise a child it's daunting and can't be overlooked.

2. Sacrifice.  Prior to having kids you are your most important person. After kids: every need, whim, or desire of yours falls second to that of your kids.

3. Time.  They consume any and all free time and even time you didn't know you had to give.

4.  Guilt.  You question of whether you're doing it right and feel guilty that you're not.  Most other things in your life you get immediate feedback if you're doing the right thing: job performance reviews,  validation from your spouse, friends continuing to be your friends.  As for your kids, you don't know until they are grown, many years into the 'job', that you've succeeded or failed.  The decisions you make, or don't impact another human being. 

5. Loss of your own priorities.  From major things like job choices to more simple ones like vacations.  Your choices will always be weighed with "how will this affect my child?"

6. Having someone you love more then yourself.  I could put this on the 'pro' side also (and I will) but it's also a con, because in having someone you love more than yourself makes you realize how vulnerable you are.  You finally have something, that if taken from you, will also take your heart, leaving you wanting to die with them.  Truthfully, this thought leaves me paralyzed with fear with how much I have to lose. 

7. They can bring out your ugly side, you know that person, the one who you try to never let be seen?  The one when you're stripped down to your raw self, have nothing left to give and then are nagged to give more.  That person.  She's ugly, and honestly, prior to kids I didn't see her too often.

8. Responsibility.  This is an obvious one, but one that prior to kids is just so underestimated.  It's not even the big responsibilities that are that hard--like where to send your child to school.  It's the little ones that can wear me down, like feeding them three meals daily or brushing their teeth. 

9. Body fluids. Sure, if a friend pukes you may help hold her hair or knock on the door to ask if she's okay.  But, when its your child, you become elbow deep in the color, texture, smell, amount, frequency of everything that comes out of their body. 

10. Worry.  I was talking to my mom one day about one thing or another that I was worried about with my kids.  I said, "One thing that will be nice about when my kids are grown is that I won't have to worry anymore."  She responded, "that's the thing about a being a mom, your worry never stops.  It changes into different worries, but it's always there.  Worry, it's part of parenting, forever."

10 Reasons You  Should Have Kids

1. Love.  Of course, you feel this emotion before you have kids.  But, whatever you have felt pales in comparison to what you feel for your child.  I feel it would be a shame to leave this earth not knowing the "awe-ness" of that love.

2. Makes you adopt a 'can't we all just get along' attitude.  Once you have a child you want to make their world better.  You love this child so much you want to leave this world better then when you came into it.

3. Makes you want to be your best you.  Flipping the coin to con number 7, while your kids can bring out your ugliest side, they make you want to make that person go away and never return.  Kids mirror you and your behavior.  Road rage?  No way, I don't want them to think it's okay to treat people like that.  Courteous?  It's on high alert because I want my kids to be courteous.  Generous, kindness, self-control, friendliness--all of the things I want my kids to be I have to be

4. Being the most important person in the world to someone else.  I must be honest, it feels pretty special.

5. Bonded.  When we brought Harrison home it solidified the bond Steve and I shared.  Together we were the parents to this baby.  He to us and us to him. It also bonds you differently to your own parents. You have a reaffirmed respect for what your parents did to raise you.  You sift through your childhood memories and look at them through different lenses.  You now know what your parents feel for you and it feels good.

6.  Life is exciting.  Remember how excited you were when you learned how to ride a bike?  No?  Well, you will get the opportunity to re-live all those childhood experiences through your children.  It is thrilling to watch them experience or learn something for the first time.

7.  Make you slow down and smell the roses.  Toddling behind a toddler causes you to appreciate the world through their eyes-- like when a sticker makes your day or going down a slide gives gut-busting laughs.  Even stopping to hold at a ladybug (that you otherwise would not have seen).  Children help you see the beautiful world we've been given to live in that we'd long ago stopped appreciating.

8. Compassion.  If you didn't have it before becoming a parent you'll get a face-full of it afterward.  Compassion for families suffering with illness, strife, or even loss of their own child.  The overall concern you develop for those around you, the depth to which your sympathy can go, grows as you grow your own family.

9.  Seeing yourself in your children.  When a baby is first born he's immediately assessed to see whose feature are attributed to whom. It's a reincarnation of sorts. It's fun to see what physical and personality traits your kids will pull from you.

10.  What else do you have to do?!  Not that there isn't life before and after children.  But, it's a major part of our lives, and, man, what an adventure you'd be missing out on.

 As for me, I'm living the life I wanted. The ups, downs, and all roads in between.  One of the few areas in my life that lacks grey, it's my only black and white. I am exactly where I want to be.