My take on today’s parenting…

I’ve heard rather often that men are the problem with kids these days. I agree to an extent. However, I think men are only half of the equation.

In the years my parents “raised” me, (I say that in air quotes for a reason I will share at a later date) there were a few pearls of wisdom that I would be able to sift out of the blatant disregard for mine or my brother’s happiness, stability, mental health… you know, that nutshell. Anyway, there were three things that my mom used to always say “Treat others how you want to be treated.” ”Put yourself in another person's shoes.” And “It takes two to tango.” Those are the tidbits that have stuck with me throughout the years. As I’m nearing 40 years old, it seems painfully obvious that when she was sober, she could make sense. You’re thinking ‘Okay, what’s this have to do with the topic at hand?’ I will tell you.

I don’t know when, probably in the 90s, it became cool to just not be a present parent. “Self-care is the most important thing.” While self-care is VERY important, being a parent is more-so. Now I’m not saying don’t take care of yourself because you can’t pour from an empty cup. However, I am saying that people took that to an extreme as people tend to do. Instead of taking a day trip to just have some alone time and collect their thoughts, they decided that they were DONE and would leave their significant other and the child they created in the process. This led to a lot of single parents raising many kids without any co-parental support. It takes two people to make a child, it takes two people to raise a child. I am a full-blown supporter of ‘love who you want, but it’s painfully obvious that lack of a male presence in children's lives growing up, sets them off balance and they’re more likely to continue the cycle of not being there for their children.

Sex is an activity of passion, it’s fun, and it feels good when you do it right. But it also has a side effect, before it was used just for pleasure, it was meant for the survival of the human race. If you are sexually active and don’t take precautions, a child will come along 90% of the time.

For those that choose to be a responsible person and take care of the child rather than killing it, they have 18 years (at least) of responsibilities that they never even knew existed. Making doctors appointments, making sure the child has medical coverage, thinking about life insurance for yourself, thinking about how to afford another person in your home. All of that is stressful and out of my group of friends that I have known since 9th grade, I’d say 75% of them aren’t with their children’s co-parent. I’m not shaming single parents at all, y’all are awesome. I know how hard it is because I’m part of that 75%.

I have had to make some hard choices to protect my older children from their biological father. I am currently married to my youngest daughter’s father, and we do our best to co-parent her and my son while my husband sits in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. However, somewhere throughout the years, people have decided that being there for their children and significant other isn’t important. They have this state of mind that they’re grown and can do what they want and give no thought to the child that they helped bring into the world. Then they either leave the child with the mother/father or another family member (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc…). The worst case is they are put in state custody and bounce throughout foster homes until someone takes just enough pity on them to adopt them or they age out of the system.

I’ve said it a lot throughout my years. “Some people shouldn’t have kids.” And it’s sad because there are people out there that want nothing more than to have a baby and for some reason, they can’t. It’s very disheartening.

If we were to quash the idea that even after you create a child, being a parent is optional, this world would be a much better place. I understand there are some couples who have decided that unless they are in a very solid place in their relationship and financially that they’re not going to have kids, I commend them because it’s smart. Having a child is not like having a puppy. You can’t just take it to the shelter if you get tired of changing diapers.

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