I think there are really two kinds of parents in the world.. the kind who are determined to fit their baby into THEIR life, and the kind who prefer to let life unfold around their baby.
I am definitely in category #2.
Some people make cataegory #1 look easy, it’s true. I see the pictures on Facebook, everyone smiling and happy as Little One is toted off to concerts and restaurants and cottages and road trips. These kids fall asleep anywhere and never wake up when they are carried in from the car. They blend in seamlessly with their parents’ social calendars and are happy as can be for hours on end in the car seat/stroller/baby carrier.
I don’t get it.
I’ve always felt that my decision to have kids means that I’m sacrificing some of that life for their comfort. I do admire the parents who have successfully managed to rear these amazingly well adjusted kids, but I’m not one of them and to be honest, I don’t really want to be.
My husband and I butt heads over this issue ALL. THE. TIME. He was one of those kids who fell asleep on restaurant benches or on a couch at a party. He (claims to have) adapted well in any scenario and wants our kids to be the same. It drives him nuts when I hesitate to go somewhere because of naps or bedtimes. I’m not really interested in taking my two little ones out to restaurants or parties… I just don’t ENJOY it and neither do they! When you have a two year old and a five month old, there is no socializing. You don’t get to eat or drink or relax. You are frantically trying to stop them from breaking things, or tearing around the place like the Tasmanian devil. They get tired, cranky, dirty, loud and god forbid we get home past bedtime or they fall asleep in the car – it literally takes days to get their schedules back on track.
Besides, I feel like they are too little to tell me what they want or need, I’m always hyper aware of how helpless they are and how little say they have in their lives. I feel a huge responsibility to always – ALWAYS – be thinking of what is in their best interests at any given moment, and act accordingly no matter what that might mean for my own plans.
I understand my husband’s point; he doesn’t want us to shelter them and have them miss out on fun opportunities because of my anxiety, but to me it’s just NOT worth it. Besides, when they are up crying at 2am because of what we dragged them through, who is the one getting up and dealing with it?
Yup – me.
I’m trying to overcome some of these concerns. I don’t want them to miss out on fun stuff either, so if my husband wants to take Cal to the Zoo, he can nap there or in the car. I have to let go. But I still refuse to force them into adult situations for our own benefit when it’s only going to mess with them. So no concerts/dinner parties/late evenings out. I’m sure it’s going to be a sticking point for us for a few more years to come, which sucks. We just see the situation very differently, and I’m sure a lot of couples do.
So, what kind of parent are you?
There’s room for all types in the world… I’m just not sure there’s room for all types in a marriage! Lol!