How to Know You are Ready and Willing to ‘Have Kids’… or NOT!
This is not a piece about how hard it is to be a parent. This is about what comes before that. And when I say “having kids,” I mean being a main caretaker through marriage, adoption, birth, or otherwise. Here, you are given a SIMPLE way to know whether you are ready and willing to have kids. (Notice: willing versus MUST)
Having kids is knowing you are willing to love another person with no gain and no selfish desire. (AKA Unconditional Love).
If you willing to let go of any preconceived notions about… who you want your child to be, how you want your life to look, or about any love you wish to feel, then you are ready. You must be willing to put your ego aside and let that little person be whomever the child wants to be, even if you disagree. (Yes, you can do this and still have boundaries and instill values). You must be willing to accept that your child does not need to love you back and his or her love is conditional but yours is not. You must be open to the idea that having children is NOT to fulfill yourself as a person, your needs, or your wants. You see them as a little person and not a person you ‘make.’ If you feel good about what happens: BONUS!
When you choose to have children based on your desires, you ask them to sacrifice their own sense-of-self for your sense-of-self. You can do this with a consenting adult, but not a child.
The reason why I say this is not to shame parents but to give them the relief that their child will think, feel, and act different than them, and this is not a ‘defiant’ kid or bad parenting. This is a little person thinking, acting, and feeling for themselves, which can be very frustrating and inconvenient. Parents who are willing to learn to work with the development, personality, and spirit of the child, are ready to have kids. If you are willing to let go of using fear, familial obligation, legacy, shame, or guilt as a means of raising your child, then you are ready to have a kid. You must be willing to love yourself and gain love and support from other adults when times get rough.
If you learn to love your child unconditionally, the most amazing things will happen!
You will experience deep and true love. It will be better than your fantasies could imagine. You will learn to gain support and nurturing from other adults better. You will not feel so depressed and anxious about whether or not you are being a good-enough parent. You will learn to listen well. You will learn great lessons about yourself, others, and love. You will speak honestly. You will trust your judgment better. You will be more fearless. Yes, I know it’s not about you, but you get the point!
*If you have gotten this far, and you thought, “Nope. No, thanks!” You can read: How to have a child-full (versus childless) life without having kids.
** If you feel you want to explore more about being ‘ready and willing’ to have kids, schedule a 15 minute consultation with me: Abby Volk LMFT LPCC firstname.lastname@example.org 415-878-6030 www.counselorsf.com