Kids: Can’t live with them and can’t live without them. Or can you? After raising two boys from “colic to college" the answer to the latter question is an emphatic “Yes!" Raising children is the toughest job you’ll ever have.
John Lennon said it best: “The pressures of being a parent are equal to any pressure on earth. To be a conscious parent is a responsibility most of us, including me, avoid most of the time because it’s too hard. "
There is certainly a lot of good and a lot of responsibility in raising children but the trials and tribulations outweigh the good. It’s so much more challenging than running a small business or working 40 hours a week. The hours are longer, the pay is lousy and rarely a compliment comes your way.
Child raising is a skill. Many are unwilling to admit they just don’t have the tools to do the job. More people will take a computer class than a parenting class. They naturally assume the role of parent.
Gaining experience in parenting means sacrificing your personal time. Some of the best ways to learn the art of parenting obviously comes from on-the-job training, taking parenting classes, reading books on parenting, becoming a teacher’s aide, volunteering in a community event, babysitting other children or adopting a pet. (Some people aren’t suited to raise a pet let alone children).
The only child raising experience most people get is from their parents. In today’s complicated society, our parents’ way of parenting just doesn’t work. Ask this question honestly of yourself: Are you qualified to be a parent?
Part-psychologist, part early education specialist, part-time taxi driver and full-time listener are the qualifications of the job. It doesn’t hurt if you have short-order cooking skills. Multi-tasking is a must.
Many plan a business but few put the same thought and time into planning a family. Family planning is much more than birth control. It’s managing the time, money and emotional investment it takes to raise a child from toddler to twenty-something. Like the tag line from Gatorade asks: Do you have it in you?
Parenting should be a pro-choice decision. Childfree relationships can actually be more loving, intimate and emotionally satisfying than a conventional 2.5 child marriage. Childless couples are economically better off, more independent and their lives are much more stress-free.
The Top 5 Parenting Myths:
- Having a child can save a relationship.
- People who do not have children are selfish.
- It’s not the quantity of time, it’s the quality.
- Kids need to be in day care to learn socialization skills.
- Spare the rod; spoil the child.
Drugs are the plague of this generation yet the most common drug introduced to children is not marijuana or alcohol but Ritalin, the most-widely prescribed child-control drug. Parents and schools once used to discipline children. Now they drug them.
Any child who shows off unconventional, creative, entrepreneurial or non-conformist behavior is labeled ADD. In reality, many of these “problem children" perform better outside of the classroom situation and are our future artists, musicians, writers and business leaders.
For every Angelina Jolie and Madonna, there are others who choose to remain childless. Oprah Winfrey, Simon Cowell, Sheryl Crow, Jay Leno, Elton John and Bill Maher - all have chosen to remain childfree. History tells us that Leonardo Da Vinci, George Washington, Emily Dickinson, Florence Nightingale and Rosa Parks were all childless and accomplished much in their lives.
Statistics from the U. S. Bureau of Census reveal that in 1975, 35% of the women in America were childfree and by 1995 it was 45 %. And the trend is growing.
Talk with friends and family before having kids. Be specific: ask about the downside of raising children. Many of us are too busy with our own lives to invest in our own children. Most of us parent-by-proxy – our children are squeezed into our daily lives.
Remember: making a baby is not a sacred event; raising a child is.
Joe Sindoni was granted full custody of his two toddler sons in 1982 and raised them to adulthood as a single dad. A stand-up comic, essayist and writer, Sindoni is the author of 50 Reasons Not to Have Kids. For more information go to more http://www.50reasons.com