4 Myths About Parenting
April 29, 2014
Filed In: Fatherhood
It’s truly sad how little we value children today. Modern couples are pressured and even praised for holding off on starting a family for any degree of time. Instead of being seen for the value that they truly have, and without accounting for the sheer joy of shepherding your own child, children are seen as a roadblock. We tell women that they can’t both be a mother and a valuable employee. We tell men that children will ruin all of your fun.
To be honest, those are all lies.
Without being a parent yourself, it is difficult to fully comprehend the true nature and joy of parenthood. As the youngest of 3 children, I didn’t know anything about kids until 5 months ago. Even in my short tenure as a dad, I’ve come to realize how special it is to have a family. There’s nothing better at the end of a bad day than Benedict looking up at me and smiling. Even when it’s immediately followed by him urping all over me.
If kids are so wonderful, what is driving us to delay starting a family and forcing the medical community to divert resources away from lifesaving research to serving our own selfish pursuits? Myths. I want to address four of those myths now.
- You can’t live your dreams. Kids don’t get in the way of your dreams, they force you to find a new way. If you’re not willing to change your plan to reach your dream, you didn’t really want it. If it wasn’t a child’s daily schedule getting in the way, it’d be something else. You might even find that, at the end of the day, the changes you needed to make to your plans worked a lot better than your original ones.
- Kids hold you back. Things get done because we decided that they’re important and we make them happen. Sometimes people will complain that they can’t run a marathon or write a novel, or whatever major goal they have for themselves because they have kids. I can’t help but wonder how many marathons they ran or novels they wrote in all the time they had before they had children. Kids don’t hold you back, they just offer you an excuse. If you really want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
- You won’t be happy. Really the only time that it’s a challenge to find joy in being a parent is during early morning feedings. Kids will bring you some degree of happiness, that’s true. They actually offer something much better: fulfillment. Happiness fades, fulfillment doesn’t.
- You’ll never have time to yourself. This one is great. Sure, your child needs your help throughout the day for all sorts of things. They also sleep. So you might not have that 5pm-9pm time slot for “me time” anymore, but 5am-6am is available, so is 9pm-midnight.
Parenting is a great responsibility. Like anything that’s worth doing, it’s difficult. By ignoring the myths and the lies, you can enjoy the experience of a lifetime: bringing forth life into the world and help it to thrive.