Kids Are Temporary

Have you ever watched someone go nuts after they have kids?

I mean, even after the I-haven’t-slept-more-than-20-minutes-in-a-row-for-3-months stage of babydom?

These people dedicate their lives to their kids.  They sacrifice all of their hopes and dreams and focus on the brats.    They can’t have a date night because little Sally might get lonely without mommy and daddy.  Can’t have a hobby because Johnny’s on the traveling soccer team.   Can’t get laid because it’s a family bed and that’s kind of creepy when the kids are right there.

Everything for the kids.

As they grow, it gets worse.  You spend more time helping with homework and less time talking to your wife.   More time playing chauffeur, less time playing doctor.

It’s a nasty cycle, and it comes with an abrupt stop.

What happens when school’s out?  Little Johnny graduates with a dual degree in Practical Philosophy and Experimental Art History, gets a job at the local Stab-and-Grab, gets married, and starts a family.

When that happens, parents suddenly become “extended family”.  The kid has a life of his own and probably doesn’t need his clothes picked out in the morning, a ride to soccer practice, or someone to write his name in his underwear.

This is planned.  It is–in theory–the reason we raise our kids.   It shouldn’t be a surprise, even if it is a bit of a shock.

Can you survive it?  Can your marriage?

If you’ve spent the last 20 years of your life pretending you are nothing but a system for delivering food, rides, and gadgets for your kids, what are you going to do with your time when they are busy pretending they are that system for their kids?   If you’ve never developed a hobby, are you going to go extra-special, bat-**** crazy now?

For 20 years, have all of your conversations been about your kids?  Have all of your outings been birthday parties?  Will you have anything to say to your spouse when the kids are gone?

Your kids are temporary.

They are important.  They are your genetic legacy and the people who will choose your nursing home.  Don’t neglect them, but you do have to hold something back.   Make time for yourself.  Make time for your husband or your wife.  Or both, if you can make that work.

When your kids are working 90 hour weeks building a new career, or hustling 4 kids to 10 after-school activities, your life doesn’t get to revolve around them.

All you’ve got is yourself and your wife.   If she’s not feeling secure about your feelings now, when she loses the distraction of puke in her hair, that insecurity will blossom in unpleasant ways.    If you can’t find a conversation that doesn’t involve the kids now, the silence will be blistering when you eventually lose that crutch.

If you don’t have a hobby, get one.

If you don’t have a relationship with your wife, get one.  Take her on a date tonight.   Your kids are temporary, your marriage shouldn’t be.    This is the rest of your life.  Make it worthwhile.

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    1. Amen brother!!! The only happy parents I ever meet once their kids move out are the ones that had some sort of life themselves even when the kid was at home. I think that’s why my husband’s parents adjusted a little better than my own…they already were spending time together via golf and vacations, so they didn’t have such a huge gap to fill.

    2. Greats points. I’ll definitely have to keep this in mind when we eventually have kids… even though I’d like to think I wouldn’t turn into that completely anyway.

    3. Wholeheartedly agree to this! I can see that in both my parents and inlaws. They pretty much sacrificed their entire lives for us and now they are having difficulty letting go of us. They want to be involved in every single decision of our lives. It hurts me a lot as I really want them to be happy and they are not.

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