When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to have a baby. I longed for that sweet, little bundle of cuteness that would love me forever, and unconditionally. I dreamed of buying the little outfits I would dress my son or daughter in, teaching him/her to read, and being a better parent than my parents were. I had very selfish, romantic, and unrealistic ideas on what parenting would be like. I now feel it is my duty to educate my own children, as well as other young ladies, on what parenthood has really been like for me. I would never discourage anyone from having kids, and I love my children dearly. My advice is simply to consider what you are getting into. It’s not fair to bring children into this world when you are not prepared for what it takes to raise them. Are you are ready, able, and willing to devote the rest of your life to it? These are just a few things young women need to consider before deciding to become a parent:
Nothing Will Ever Be About You Again: Everything you do every day will be for someone else. You will get out of bed every day to take care of someone else’s needs. You will work to provide for someone else. You will cook, clean and do laundry because your kids need you to. Every dollar you earn and spend will be to benefit your children. You will do what you have to do every day, even when you are sick, to meet the needs of someone else.
Parenting is Fun, For a While: Parenting is fun for 5 to 7 years. After that, you are no longer the center of their universe. They don’t believe anything you tell them because their friends know more. They no longer want to please you; they want to impress their friends. They have homework every night. When they get in trouble at school, you feel like the teacher and principal are judging you and your parenting abilities. I have spent more time in the principal’s office over things my kids did than I ever did as a child. You are held responsible for things your kids do, and pay the price for every mistake or bad decision they make.
They Become Teenagers: Raging hormones, the struggle for independence, and rebellion define the teenage years. Yes, there are exceptions to everything, but for the most part, a teenager is the equivalent to a menopausal woman. Everything you say to them is offensive or stupid. The nicer you are to them, the worse they act. No one can break your heart like your own child can.
Parenting is a Lifetime Commitment: I thought that when my kids turned 18, they would have jobs, move out, and start their own lives. My oldest son is 25 and still relies on me every day. His younger siblings are still in high school. I have dedicated 25 years of my life to my children, and it isn’t over yet. It is a thankless job, and you do it because you love your kids. Your own needs, wants, hopes and dreams become lost in trying to help your children achieve theirs.
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