Monday, 20 April 2015

The Column - Us First


So you wake up daily and go about your business. You work hard and set your goals as they pertain to you. You make mistakes and ultimately no one is the wiser. You do this every day and on the weekends you go out and try to have the time of your life! Monday night you are in the gym making sure that you burn off the sins of the weekend... Week to week you do this over and over again. 
Then on a particular Friday night you’re out with your girlfriend/wife and she tells you that you have to “talk”. You wait in nervous anticipation and she half smiles, and tells you that she’s pregnant! 

Your emotions in this moment are reaching at you from every depth and height - Absolute joy! Maniacal terror! You’re going to have your own personal ‘mini-me’! You’re going to be a Dad! – Those weekends of binge drinking and partying until four o’clock in the morning are over! Say good bye to the sports car you intended on buying this spring! least that’s how some versions of the story are told... 

This is not what I want to experience. 
Please bear in mind, that there is no judgment on my end for people who end up pregnant in the situation illustrated above. My story will be very different. Admittedly, many failed attempts at prior relationships could have had me in a very different situation. I am happy to report that I have been with my wife for over eight years (eight absolutely incredible years). My wife is in her late twenties and I’m in my early thirties. Our lives have been focused on cultivating our personal relationship emotionally, spiritually and philosophically. A very sturdy base of hard work has cemented a financial base that will allow us to provide opportunities to our children that each of us never had. We lived past lives that resembled the story above and the first years of our relationship began with a similar story line that fortunately never had an “oops”. 

As time passed and responsibilities and goals mounted, our ideas of enjoyment changed.  Today we are so incredibly far away from the scene of drinking, partying away our weekends and living on hopes that our bad decisions won’t catch up to us – the next chapter of our life begins with a very different philosophy. 

It is my opinion that the formula for starting a successful family begins with a firm understanding in philosophy. Two individuals must be of same mind regarding all moral aspects of life when they choose to have children together. If there is a tremendous void on certain issues (i.e. accountability, love, respect ) than there will be a tremendous battle in rearing and caring for a child. 

In today’s world where almost 50% of marriages end in divorce1, it is critical to recognize that a having a child reveals many characteristics among individuals that may not have been evident before becoming parents. 

For example: if one parent is concerned with a child’s popularity in school and the other believes that a child’s success does not rely on such trivial concepts – there will be a significant struggle to focus the child on educational goals rather than peer approval. 

Choosing a partner is very difficult; particularly with the misdirection provided by society, media and peers. Before I continue, I must admit my wife and I do not agree on absolutely everything when rearing children. The important part about the structure of our relationship is that there is an open forum for discussion. When my wife and I met, we both were very open about our intentions and one of the most valuable topics of conversation was that we both wanted children someday. When we became an official couple, there were no hidden agendas and no taboo subjects that hid our intentions. This allowed for free and open discussions and evaluations of personal experiences. In a nutshell, we have spent eight years looking around us planning and formulating what we hope to be the basis of a successful family plan. 
It is very cliché, but some people may say that “we are ready”.  I am of the mind that no one is ever truly “ready” to be a parent. You may have all your financial dollars in the right place, a job, relative success and a roof over your head; but nothing could prepare you for the responsibility of raising a child. I have ticked each and every single one of these boxes and I still pray that when the time comes, we are blessed with a healthy, happy bundle of joy. 

I have never had success slap me square between the eyes. I have had to plan, work at my task and fail time and time again. Although I’m sure we will make mistakes, I would like to be as best prepared as possible when I have children. I will take what I have learnt in my life thus far and I will continue to take this path up to and after the time I have my children. 

1.Divorce Demography -

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