It’s been awhile since Hannah and I tag teamed a post. I was scrolling on facebook when I saw this post from BeliefNet.com, 10 Things to do Before You Have Kids.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t this. I was even more surprised that it came from a Christian website and supplied some really lame things to do.
I then participated in an activity that I rarely do online…I read the comments. ACK. They ranged from heretical, ignorant, to down right insulting.
But many readers asked the same questions Hannah and I asked: why are these things so important? Why can’t people do these things after having kids? Why is this Christian website even posting this kind of article?
Since Hannah has a beautiful baby girl, she has provided her rebuttal to each of the 10 things.
Join a Kickball League:
I know plenty of responsible, working, involved parents who are members of sports teams, and it doesn’t seem to distract from their lives in any way. Yes, you might watch some sports when your kids get old enough, but what is a better deal – you having to do all the sweating and working and getting tired and feeling old because you can’t run like you could in college, or watching your kids who have boundless amounts of energy run around like mad men chasing after a soccer ball with no apparent objective in mind? Seems like a clear winner.
It may have always been a dream of mine to go to Coachella. But let me tell you, just because I have a baby now is certainly not the reason I won’t be going anytime soon. Who has the moolah to afford one of these things? Plane fair, lodging, plus the cost of entrance is just a ridiculous total. I’d much rather take my baby to a free outdoor concert, have her sleep through the whole thing, and really get to enjoy it rather than stress about a grocery budget for the next year because I went to Coachella. (And yes, that argument was the same before I had kids. Even more so, perhaps, during the broke-a$$-college-phase).
Travel to a Festival:
The author gives no reason you can’t do this one with your little one(s)…oh wait, maybe because there’s no reason not to bring them! Whether you want to go to Oktoberfest in Germany or perhaps even just the local St. Patty’s day parade in your hometown, kids are pretty much always welcome at festival-like events like these. Why do you think they invented the stroller? Festival-going.
Make Brunch a Weekly Event:
I don’t know about you, but I do love me some breakfast food. I’m pretty sure it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. (That and the toothbrush. I’d be happy with just those two for the rest of my life.) Why would you want to deny the deliciousness of brunch to your new favorite people – your kids? Sure, they might not have as intellectual conversations as some people’s friends, but sharing is caring…especially when it comes to breakfast food.
Spend a Good Chunk of Change on Yourself:
To me, this just reads: Be irresponsible because it’s fun, and don’t bother to plan for the future. Now I’m all about treating yourself every once in awhile, because life is meant to be lived, but I will never advocate for fiscal irresponsibility. True story: my parents always encouraged us kids to put half of our earnings from jobs in the bank, and I thank them for that lesson greatly. Fiscal responsibility is important no matter your stage in life.
Save Like There’s No Tomorrow:
Wow, there’s actually some good advice in this list. I agree – if you know you’re having kids in the future, it’s never a bad idea to start saving ahead of time. They are expensive little things – obviously, worth it, but expensive! Saving is good, again, no matter your stage in life.
Add a Pet to Your Family Dynamic:
Now, I don’t totally disagree with this point. Pets are (from what I’ve heard) a great way to practice for the responsibility of parenthood. But let’s be real, the range of what your Golden Retriever can do will only grow so far. A kid, on the other hand (human, not goat) will far surpass a puppy in about 2 years. Want to teach your dog to speak another language? Probably not going to happen…but kids can do that! I’m certainly not advocating against pet-owning though. Pets make great friends for kids! But you don’t HAVE to get one before you have a baby.
Stay out all night:
Who does that? That’s for bored teenagers who have nothing more fun to look forward to the next day that sleeping in til noon. Plus, when you have kids, you get to stay UP all night – or at least some of the nights, probably (unless you have a miracle baby) and what can be more precious than that? And the author says that you’ll want to stay home rather than go out “on the town” when you have kids. But let’s be honest, if you’re reading an article about things to do before you have a baby, you’re probably on your way to a stay-at-homer anyway.
Score your dream job:
Just because you have kids means you lose your entire identity? I know plenty of men and women who were inspired by their children (even at a very young age) and went and found their “dream job” while having kids. Plus I have always believed that the idea of a “dream job” is unrealistic. Anything that you have to work at is going to be frustrating at some point, and will never completely fulfill you emotionally or spiritually…so like, what’s the point in stressing about it?
Write a Letter to Yourself:
Again, this is a good thing that I do not disagree with. I wish I would have thought of it before having K! But then again, I wasn’t trolling the internet looking for a list of things I absolutely-needed-to-do-before-having-kids, because I’m a believer that your life doesn’t change all that much with kids, it only grows and gets better. (Call me crazy if you want. It’s the internet, after all.)
For (in my opinion) better and more exciting posts about kids and babies read: “I’m Not Prejudiced, I Just Don’t Like 25% of Humanity” and Contributing to the Anti-Child Culture.