Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dinner with my sister

She's married at 27.
And even I would argue that it's a match made in heaven.

While we discussed homeopathic remedies for PMS and mood swings over dinner recently, we also discussed the idea of children. The kind of parents we'd want to be and the kind of parents ours were.

She claimed that she may not be "ready now."
She confessed that she may not want children at all.

And while I argued that I am CERTAINLY not ready now... my "never" had turned quickly into "someday."

As we tangled ourselves further into the fantasy of that day...
Her "never" may have shifted slightly in its place when I asked:

"Wouldn't it be fun to have them around the same time? We could go through all the mess together and mine could have an Uncle Peanut! UNCLE PEANUT! Come on! We have to."

She smiled.
She considered.

Because maybe we wouldn't be the parents we had,
But instead the parents we needed.


Vanessa said...

I think views on children seem to change depending on where you are in your life.

I personally have always wanted kids "someday". My sisters view has quickly changed from 7 kids to "I'm NEVER having kids."

Her answer was because she was afraid she'd "screw them up".

She tends to ask me how I could want to be a parent, after knowing what our parents were like.

I like to think since I'm aware of where my parents went wrong, maybe I would go right.

All you can really do is try your best and make sure that when you do have kids, that they KNOW how much you love them, and how hard you're trying.

Chrissie said...

I think you're right Vanessa... views do seem to change (sometimes drastically) when it comes to children.

There was a time (not that long ago) that I said NEVER! And before that it was "When I'm 32," and now it's "When I feel ready" (which could be never).

And I also agree that being aware of our parents mistakes can make us better parents. Not "perfect" ones of course, but definitely better... what more can you really want?

Sarah said...

Anyone read the book Lonely Bones? The mother character fights an inner (hidden) sadness over the loss of a career in order to become the caregiver/housekeeper.

I think that's my big fear.

I want a household filled to the brim with children and love, and I look forward to cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. I actually find these things very satisfying.

But in 25 years, will I wonder what it would have been like to work for the Associated Press? To cover a war abroad? Will I long for it?

I wonder.

Chrissie said...

I used to wonder that same thing Sarah, but I think even our "dreams" change over time.

So you can't know for sure if that's what you'll long for... or if it will be some other dream you haven't even considered yet.

Either way a woman wonders I think, whether she chooses children or a career, something will have to be given up.

Michael said...

anonymous jerk posters on my own blog

Geez! And I was gonna say something really snappy and witty, too!

Sarah said...

Well, you used your name and your pic, so obviously you don't count :-)

Anonymous said...

I think as we get older and older we are actually least likely to have children. We become so aware of the struggles we will endure as parents, constant worring, money, holding a job and parenting. It is one of those things that rarely make sense to do, Im not saying being a parent isn't worth it, but it is not something you will ever truly be prepared and ready for.

Chrissie said...

Perhaps not entirely prepared or ready, but I think time, a healthy relationship with the other parent, and an adequate income make a person at least a little more "prepared" than if they didn't consider these things.

And I'm actually a believer in that fact that the longer you wait, the more likely you are to not have children. I've even read that as women become more educated, they are less likely to have children.

Perhaps it's that they're too busy with school in their child-bearing years to consider being a parent, or perhaps its that their better understanding of the world and the flaws found in it makes them reconsider being someone's mommy.

Although I'd agree that there is no "perfect" time to decide on having a child, there are definitely times that seem entirely imperfect.

Sarah said...

You both said that the longer one waits, the less likely she is to want to have kids. That's foreign to me.

I've gone from wanting 1 to wanting 10, ok maybe 4.

I think it's because I have the love and support of C., his wonderful family, and my wonderful family.

Sure, my parents screwed up big time, especially poppa dukes. So what? I look at myself, and think, I should be licking my ear right now. But I turned out alright! :-)

You can't really screw up your kids unless you stop loving them, like Vanessa said.

madelena said...

Isn't it the Lovely Bones Sarah? ;) I enjoyed that book, although it was gut wrenchingly sad. She did give up her 'career' life for the stay at home mom role, but I think she found some satisfaction in it; just a different kind of satisfaction. It's giving up one life for another. Although statistics prove that children with working/ambitious mothers are the most likely to graduate college, so maybe one can find a happy medium.

But yeah Chrissie, I agree with you. I think once you've found a match that has the potential to be a good father, it makes you rethink things. When people ask me if I'm having kids, my response always is "When I find the right man, ask me that question again."

Because as of right now ... that's a no. But that's also because I feel like times are different and the world is in a completely different place, slowly digressing with each generation, and I'm terrified of bringing my children into this modern world. But that's just me.

But there is always private school, and proper supervision.

Sarah said...

The Lovely Bones — you are correct.

It is a scary time.
My nephew (11) was rapping the "supersoak" song and doing the dance at Xmas. Recently, I googled the term. GROSS!