Hello, my name is Lauren and I never had a strong desire to have kids (is that bad?). I was happy just the way I was; married to my college sweetheart and starting our official journey together as adults. We bought our first house and started our careers. We had so much going on and I really never stopped once to think about starting a family. But the second you get married, the questions start flooding in, “When are you going to have kids?” and “You aren’t getting any younger.” And my personal favorite “There is no time better than now!”
I have no experience with kids…
To shed some light on my pre-motherhood life, it might help to give a little bit of my background. I am one of thirteen cousins and I am the youngest. I am THE baby. I never babysat in high school or college; I wasn’t around babies or young children much growing up. Some women will tell you that they were born to be mothers, but I honestly never felt that strongly about it. I guess I always assumed I would start a family but did not really have a PLAN. It just seemed to be the natural progression in my life. Meet the man of your dreams, marry him EIGHT years later (sheesh), and then three years later start a family. Seems about right …
FULL DISCLOSURE: Once I started having these crazy kids, I didn’t want to stop!
Then comes the learning curve
We had No. Idea. What. We. Were. Doing. I wasn’t born to be a mom. I have learned to keep everyone alive through reading books, talking with friends, trial and error, and just sheer persistence. You try several things and find what works for your child; we all do the best that we can. Then you have a second child that is nothing like the first, and you are starting from scratch again. BANANAS! At one point, my son would only eat his meals if he was surrounded by eight of his favorite dinosaurs … Parenting is definitely not a “one size fits all” approach, it is more like every man for himself with lots of praying for more patience every single night.
My husband is my rock and without him, I would not survive this journey. He is amazing with the kids, he is very helpful around the house with chores, he can sub for me in the kitchen, and most importantly, he buys the wine that keeps this mom sane. He also was not born that way; he has been heavily assisted along the way. I struggled for a very long time because I wanted to be the one that did everything. He didn’t know the feeding schedule, nap schedule, bath time, tummy time, nothing. It really wasn’t his fault; I would not let him do anything.
When I started graduate school and had my second child, he really stepped up. I had to ask for help and give him very specific instructions on how to do things and when to do them (this is how I finally got a maid, we love you Gloria!). It didn’t take him long before he was a natural and could do these things without any poking or prodding. Dads seem to do no wrong in the eyes of their kids … They pass gas, burp, tell jokes, and let you have TWO cookies after dinner. Not much has changed in their relationship, but now they see him helping mom every day and being an integral part of our lives (and not just a pushover for a late night cookie).
This family “thing” is forever changing, so do not get too comfortable. Moms, don’t forget about the dads out there. We have evolved as moms and they CAN evolve as dads! They put their pants on with two feet just like us, they just need a little guidance to get them pulled up!