Selfish Parenting

July 16, 2009 at 8:51 am 16 comments

I think most young couples struggle with the ups and downs of baby fever. Stephen and I are closing in on the 2 year mark so it’s been a natural conversation for us to have for quite some time now. Are we ready? Is anyone actually ready? Some months we are relieved, other months we are devastated. It usually depends on the current stress level in our lives. What if I enjoy being selfish with my time? I like sleeping in on Saturdays. I like being able to go on weekend trips. It’s hard enough to figure out what to do with Rookie while we are gone. But I’m going to be an aunt in January, and wouldn’t baby Rosenhagen want a cousin to grow up with? And we are going to have kids eventually, why not now?

See. Back and forth. Do I want to be selfish for a while long? Or am I ready to focus on babies?

This weekend we were in Galveston, experiencing our first stay at the Bella Rose. In the short time we were there, we were able to go to the beach twice. We went to The Strand. We had a glorious Whataburger breakfast taquito. We had Frosty’s from Wendy’s. We did a lot. And all the while, we kept thinking about how great this was going to be when we had kids. We can’t wait to take them to the candy store on The Strand for the first time and see their eyes light up when they see the man making taffy. We could picture ourselves walking the short 3 blocks to the beach, hand in hand with our kiddos. It was pretty exciting.

Both times we went to the beach, this young family ended up next to us. They were a cute family. The mom was this tiny woman who wore a black tankini with a little black skirt and laid on her towel reading. The dad was probably in his early thirties, fit, energetic, and having a great time. They had two daughters, probably around 3 and 5. Grandma was there helping out on Saturday. Sunday, she and the little one stayed in. They were fun to watch. The girls would sprint into the water and giggle hysterically when the waves crashed on their ankles. They were intoxicating to watch. I’d glance back and forth from the little girls jumping over waves with their dad to Stephen (much further out) jumping over waves.

Once he made his way back in, he began contructing his hollow dome. At this point, the family was building a sand castle villiage. “Look Stephen. Look how cute they are! They are making sand castles!” We watched a bit closer. The girls would run back and forth from mom to dad, showing them shells. Every now and then one of the girls would gently pat a sand castle so she would feel like she’s helping.

Stephen looked back at me, “Only the dad is building them.”

He was right. But I think that’s how it’s supposed to go when they are that age. There is no doubt in my mind that those little girls genuinely believed that they built those. They’ll probably tell their friends about the sand castle villiage they build with their dad. I looked at Stephen, completely devoted to his hollow castle… and then at the dad, completely devoted to the 14th castle… I looked at the mom, reading her book between interruptions to look at broken sand dollars. And then I looked down at the two books I had on the towel.

Who says you can’t work your children into your selfishness?

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Entry filed under: Chelsea, Galveston, Stephen. Tags: , , , .

Only One of Us Thinks This is Cool (Not a) 101 Progress Update

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gabby  |  July 16, 2009 at 9:04 am

    You most definitely learn to give and take in parenting. It is a dance, that when both partners work at it, works great!

  • 2. Taryn M. Peine  |  July 16, 2009 at 9:15 am

    We have this EXACT SAME conversation all the time. It’s a little terrifying to think of how great your life is right now and imagine completely turning it upside down…but that thought is also completely exciting, don’t you think??!!

  • 3. Jill  |  July 16, 2009 at 9:41 am

    We are closing in on the 5 year mark. When we got married, I said I was “on the 5 year plan.” Well, here we are…and I’m so not ready. I want to finish my master’s first. I’m not ready to give up that selfishness. But, as you said, is anyone ever ready? I once heard somebody say that if everyone waited for “the right time” to have kids, the population would die off, because it is never “the right time” (need more money, need a house, need this or that, etc).

    That being said…I fully intend to swallow BC pills for at least one or two more years 🙂

  • 4. Jimbo  |  July 16, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Look, someone else on the “5-year plan.” I’m still okay with no kids; we can go watch Sarah’s 5 little brothers and sisters when we need a taste of children. That’s enough of a taste for me right now…

  • 5. mom  |  July 16, 2009 at 11:36 am

    You are “never ready” that is for sure, but once it happens, and it will in God’s time, IT IS AWESOME!!!!! (Yea, for Grandma helping out with the kiddos at the beach! That will be ME someday!)

  • 6. Amanda  |  July 16, 2009 at 11:46 am

    What your mom said. You are never ready AND it is awesome! Lol. You will be able to sleep in every once in a while, when grandma takes the kiddos for a night. 🙂

  • 7. Debbie  |  July 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    There is no “perfect” time. Something is always going to be on and can be used as a distraction and something to put off having kids. But I will say that I was in your shoes last year. It was exactly 5 days after our 2 year anniversary that I found out I was pregnant. I was so worried about how it would affect all the freedom we had but he’s the best thing ever and fits right in with our busy lifestyle. Now, we don’t get out the door near as fast as we used to…but, we get out the door with our baby and it’s never been better! Whenever the day comes, you’ll love being a Mommy and you’ll absolutely love watching your hubby be a Daddy! 🙂

  • 8. Ashley  |  July 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I’m a fan of the nieces. The Boyfriend and I don’t want kids. It’s mostly a selfish choice — we love our free time being free and being able to do something at the drop of a hat.

    But I don’t know that there is a “right time” but if you do want kids you will figure out a way to work them in to your life — just a little different life than you have right now — but there isn’t anything to say it won’t be better!

  • 9. Cassie  |  July 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I’m not at the same place in life as you (I’d like a husband before considering kids), but I wish you luck in figuring it out. Just listen to your heart and I’m sure you’ll make the right decision!

  • 10. DebbieQ  |  July 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I agree that there is never a “perfect” time to have kids. We had only been married 18 months when the first one arrived and even though I was ready I really wasn’t. But I have to tell you that it is a great ride. Mine are now 22, 21 and 18 and they are a blast….um most of the time.

  • 11. mastroianni66  |  July 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Oddly, I found your blog by searching on the word Galveston. I took my family there this weekend and wanted to read more about the city. I had a great time with my wife and daughter.

    It’s true that as the parent, you will sometimes end up building the sandcastles for your kid or find yourself the only one playing with their dolls. I think that this is all part of a Greater plan to keep us young and alive even after we’ve gotten older and mired down by life. When you come home from work and put on a puppet show for your baby and see her smile you’ll know the vibrant feeling that I’m trying to describe here. It’s amazing.

    Have a kid when you’re ready (they’ll definately bite into your Saturday morning sleeping schedule) but know that they are fantastic. You’ll laugh more than you think is possible.

  • 12. Kristin  |  July 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    No doubt, if you have a willing partner you get your moments of me time!

  • 13. Rachel  |  July 16, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    You know my thoughts…. 🙂 I wish I had realized a little bit more about traveling with little ones B.C… we probably would have tried to do more. 🙂

    I’ll let you know how my time at the beach with a 2 year old goes… It will be interesting. Hopefully Uncle B hasn’t forgotten how to build killer sand castles.

  • 14. John  |  July 17, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Reading this REALLY makes me want to have kids. *snaps back to reality* We have to wait until we get back to the US in a couple years. We really want to be able to be around family and friends for that time in our lives.

  • 15. osarah  |  July 17, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Haha apparently my husband and I were thinking the same thign (yet again). I echo his sentiments above. Wish we lived in the States right now…

  • 16. Veronica  |  July 20, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    haha so once I read one of your blogs, I usually end up reading a few others. And I got to this one. AWESOME! I just wrote about my baby fever on our blog. Like John said, reading this made me really really want kiddos – how fun it’ll be to have kids and take them to the beach, etc.

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