Today I want to spend some time talking about one of my biggest goals and dreams in my life: becoming a parent. Having a child is something that I expect to grow and stretch everything about me as a person. I can rattle off the list of attributes that I expect being a parent will grow and instill in me: patience, compassion, empathy, the ability to teach, unconditional love, courage, trust and countless others. In truth I’m not looking to start a family to directly complete my life. I look more towards it to grow me as a human being. Sure, along the way our family will value and honor sound financial independence, but that’s really more of a side benefit.
I find it interesting that the thought and idea of having kids makes me eager yet terrified at the same time. I love looking forward to the day of raising a child but am also scared of all the unknowns that come along with parenthood. Even more so I think that I am growing an anxiety to change.
Among my 2 brothers and 1 sister I am the youngest. My oldest nephew is just a few years younger than I so I have spent an overwhelming amount of my life not having to formally care for anyone. Yes my wife and I work together on bridging our goals and plans, but one of the things I love most about her is her independence and tough as nails attitude. Needless to say I am not used to having someone rely on me for their physical well being and care.
I also think about the life I have now. My wife and I enjoy nice dinners out once a week, grocery shop with super awesome efficiency on the weekends and thoroughly enjoy the time we get to spend with one another. I really have gotten used to how our daily lives function. Between the complete revamping of my daily life and having a life depend on me for whether it lives or dies, I am certainly well aware of the responsibility of being a parent.
Financially we are there though. My wife and I carry great health insurance, we are debt free and once a baby were to arrive my wife easily has the option of whether to go back to work or be a stay at home mom for those first few years. So technically, yes if a child were to drop into our laps today we could handle it and continue with our future financial goals and dreams. That’s not what worries me.
What worries me is being a parent that’s good enough. I am at the point that I am today through a plethora of trial and error experiences. Being a husband, an employee and in my personal finances. There’s a lifetime of experiences, do’s and do not’s that I can point to that have helped shape me to get where I am today. I feel like I have nothing to draw on or point to when it comes to being a parent. Will I be good at it? Will I suck at it? Can I handle the reshaping of my life? Can I handle the stress?
Ultimately it comes down to one question: Am I good enough?
To help explore this my wife and I are planning to go to marriage counseling together to work through this decision together. I certainly want to unpack the baggage I carry in my life that leads to my self-doubt before I take on the role of being a parent. And for that matter I want our marriage to be in the strongest place possible as we begin the steps towards a new chapter in our lives. I want to be intentional about continuing to grow in my marriage, as a husband and ultimately as a human being. I certainly do not want the fear of change to keep me from becoming the person I want to grow into.