Kids as Accessories

Raising kids is probably the hardest job there is. Not only do you have to do an excellent job on a subject that has no training or manual; you do not know if the kids are going to turn out ok or not. The best families, the best environment can produce the more rotten kids and vice versa. So why are so many people wanting to have kids? me included?

For me is the sense of family, I want to have a family, raise a family, build a family. However for me that is not a priority because even with just my wife and friends I already feel I have a family. We are also open to adoption but we are constantly faced with the reality of having kids in this day and age. It is a scary place to bring a kid to not to mention the life that you give up when you have kids. I feel kids have to become priority number one when they come to the picture and your life wants and needs become secondary to theirs. Maybe that is the wrong way to raise kids, but that is what I feel right now when I don’t have any.

We have several friends that have kids and feel almost trapped by them. When they are little they are pretty much kidnapped by their own kids. Many have not seen a movie theater for years when they take their kid to the first kids movie. Others forgot what is like to have a date. The only current theme is that they feel guilt and anxiety when they do leave the kids for a couple of hours. What is even worse is when they feel like they have to apologize all the time when they are in a mixed group for their kids. It has not happened in front of me yet, but I think someone has to be either giving them looks or saying something for them to feel so guilty about bringing their kids around other people.

Most of my friends that don’t have kids don’t mind kids around. I am personally not a kid person, but I don’t mind well behaved kids at all. I cannot stand a kid that is so hyper that I feel they are going to hurt themselves by running into a wall and their parents don’t seem to care. That is when I start to wonder, did they have kids just to have an accessory or did they just lose the battle against the kid and they are the ones with control now. It makes me wonder if I should even have kids at all, because I know I cannot handle a kid “being a kid.” Most people I know with kids tell me that I am good with kids, mostly because their kids either seem to like me or listen to me. I am not so sure, I guess I will find out some day in the future. I just hope that I am not alienated by my kids with no friends or judged by the ones that do have them.

8 comments on “Kids as Accessories

  1. Book suggestion before you start a family: Babyproofing Your Marriage. Loads of insight for those who are thinking about having kids, but aren’t sure yet. Also, another good one: The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby (more technical and geared towards pregnancy, but a good read, and has a ton of information under one resource). Just two good books to read before you have kids. They won’t talk you out of it, but like I said, really good insight on life with children.

  2. you know, i didn’t realize would turn my life inside out and upside down (i just thought they’d magically “fit” in), but they did.

    and that’s okay. we made the conscience decision to have kids. we wanted kids. and they are some of the coolest people i’ve ever met (yeah, i know — everyone says that. but they like the same things you like. i mean, come on — who doesn’t love a five year old that lectures other children on the difference of botany and physics?).

    but sometimes? sometimes? i wish someone had told me what it would REALLY be like. the mundane details, the sleepless night, the fighting to brush teeth. it’s tedious and overwhelming and underwhelming all at the same time.

  3. Definitely something to think about. I wanted kids so badly for so long, I kinda lost track of everything else. It didn’t happen, I learnt to live with it, and now I’m not even sure I want them anymore. Not because I feel they are going to “kidnap” me, but because I think if it hasn’t happened, there must be a very good reason.

    I don’t know what is it about today’s society, that young couples feel they cannot live normal lives because they have children. While it is true that children take all of our time, they are a decision people make and they may as well face the responsibility without complaining. If couples are not sure about parenthood, they should not embark in such adventure. It may be a simplistic view, but that’s how I see it.

    The world has changed a lot. I don’t remember my mother EVER complaining because she couldn’t do things because of us; and I know she sacrificed A LOT, she feels proud about it. I don’t remember other parents saying they couldn’t have fun because of their kids. But I suppose when I was a kid, I wasn’t aware of that kind of conversation.

    Sometimes I feel we’re having so much fun, I even think “Why ruin it?” – But parenthood is a very rewarding experience if you know how to do it well. You said it right, children don’t come with a manual. We just have to pray we do things right, but we also have to make them happen right.

  4. For me, it kind of depends on how well the kids behave. If they’re spazzing out and my friends/siblings (their parents) aren’t doing enough to stop it, I quickly start to lose my patience. I also have a hard time when parents allow their kids to interrupt conversations and always expect to be the center of attention when they’re around adults. When I was growing up, my mom taught us to not interrupt and we have to wait our turn. We also had a time/area for grown ups to talk and for kids to play. I had a couple that I was really good friends with in Hawaii and they brought their kids around quite a bit, and sometimes I just was in the mood for adult time rather than having to have the entire thing (and conversation) revolve around the kids.

    I guess you can tell that I’m not one that really wants kids:)

  5. Most people have the same worries about having kids that you do. It’s true your life will change when you have them. They become first priority to everything else. Your fears are normal. They won’t always be well-behaved and sometimes they’ll embarrass you, but people understand and don’t judge you.

    You just do your best as a parent and know that you’ll make mistakes. All parents do. Like Bea said, they don’t come with a manual. My son’s diaper was the first diaper I had ever changed, so I was clueless at first with mine. But, I learned quickly!

    I can list 1,000 reasons why having kids is great, but I’ll just say this. The rewards are in the small moments you spend with them and the first time you hold your baby in your arms you feel a love that you never felt before – so purely unconditional and protective. It’s a beautiful thing.

    P.S. Kids are also a great excuse to play with Legos and remote controlled cars. I’m just sayin’ 😉

  6. I love kids. They taste like chicken. But in all serious, my spawn has done nothing but enhance my life. You will never be at a point where you can ok, not I can have kids. We waited 10 years into our marriage for 2 reasons. First, to see if we could actually make it that far (I know sounds pessimistic, but we have been together 17 years now), because having grown up during a divorce SUCKED. And secondly, I wanted to be sure I would be in a position where I could raise a child. In other words, was I ‘grown’ up, and could I provide food and shelter. Lets face this part realistically, all the love in the world will not feed, clothe or house a child. I wanted a stable home and the ability to be their for my kid.

    Depends on the couple, and the goals they have for themselves. Sometime you may not have the choice, accidents do happen. But hey, once you see that child for the first time, your brain gets mushy and bam, Daddy Mode kicks in.

    Time management is key. Once the kid is old enough for daycare or what not, or you trust a sitter or relative to watch them. MAKE TIME YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU, to get some adult time. Drop them off for the night or weekend if you can and leave town, go to a movie/hotel/date, or whatever. That is how you stay sane. Getting some ME time is not abusing your kids, it is for your sanity, so you can come in with a bit less stress. Because children will find your buttons. Or any button that produces loud noises for that matter.

    And lastly, if you tell a child something, especially if you are threatening a punishment. By golly if they cross the line, you follow through. I have had to only do this one time in public. I picked her, and we went to the car for a cool down. I read a book for 10 minutes while she worked out her problem, and then we were good to go. All I have to say now is, “do we need to go to the car,” when we are out. All kids get into trouble, that is how we learn. But aside from that, they will bring joy you have never known.

    Plus procreation practice is a rehearsal I didn’t mind doing. :0

  7. Michelle is absolutely correct. There’s no way I could have justified spending money on a big wooden train set before I had my son. Now I get to play with blocks and toy cars all I want, and nobody can say boo about it.

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