So, I am soliciting advice. But also, I am soliciting opinions and stories and just wanting to know what you think. I feel like I am one of the last of my friends to make that journey to Parentville, so we get the benefit of all that experience. And usually, not much pressure to join "the club." We're wrestling with so many issues as we try to make a decision. We are 33 and 34, financially very well-off comparatively, although we'd want to be more "secure" (haha, I hear God laughing--in a kind way, but laughing nonetheless). We both struggle with mental illness and although there is a strong chance that we'll be healthy and stable, do we really want to bring children into the world knowing our limitations? Blah, blah. You've all heard it.
So, now it's your chance to tell me what it's been like and what you think. I've arranged this like an interview to make it easier to make comments and if you even want to answer it on your own blog and tell me in the comments, that would be lovely. Or, email me if you want to say something really personal:
This is open to all current and future parents, including papas. I really want to hear your perspectives as well. There are no right or wrong answers. I get so tired of people tearing each other's parenting skills and decisions down. I know everyone has biases and agendas. So, I'm not looking for a debate here. I am just wanting to listen and soak in all the thoughts and opinions and stories. I admire what parents do every single day!
- Did you always want to be a parent?
- If you didn't, when and why did you change your mind?
- Do you ever regret becoming a parent?
- Would you recommend being a parent to someone else? Why or why not?
- Who raised you? Do you think that your parents/primary caregivers were a good or bad example of parenting? How has this helped or hindered you in being the kind of parent you are/want to be?
- What do you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?
- Do you consider parenting your vocation? Do you have another/other vocation(s)?
- Is staying home with your children something that you do currently/did/want to do/not want to do? Why or why not?
- How do you fulfill your needs, hopes, dreams, ambitions, etc. while caring for those of your children?
- Are your friends/family/community supportive of your choices in terms of work and family? How does this affect you?
- Is your workplace supportive of the demands that parenting places on your life?
- What do you wish you had from others to support your parenting of your children?
- Do you have a spouse/partner? Did you when you began parenting? Same partner the entire time?
- Did your spouse/partner want to have children? As much/more/less than you?
- How has parenting changed your relationship? Has it strengthened? Weakened? Was this change permanent?
- How do you divide parenting responsibilities?
- How do you divide financial responsibilities? (If you don't mind sharing--I know this is really personal) Do you plan to keep the current arrangement long-term? Why or why not?
- How do you/plan to educate your children?
- Are/will both partners be as involved in decisions of education?
- Did/will you raise your children in a certain faith? How did/will you decide if one partner feels more strongly than the other?
- How does your family of origin impact these decisions?
- Are you supported by your spouse/family/community/etc. in the decisions that you are making in terms of educating your children?
- What additional support would you love to have from others to help educate your children?
- How did your children come to join your family?
- How many children do you have/plan to have/want to have?
- How many children were in your family of origin? How did this impact your answer to the previous question?
- Are you supported by your spouse/family/community/etc. in the decisions that you are making in terms of growing your family?
- What additional support would you love to have from others in terms of growing your family?
I'm sure there are questions I left off-- please feel free to add them. Please feel free to share any of your anecdotes as well. I've read a billion and fifty books and now I want some more stories from the people I know. Please forgive me if any of these questions seem rude. Thanks for sharing!!