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The 2000 Beanies

Journal FortKnox's Journal: It is, Without a Doubt or Hesitation, Worth It 13

I have hinted that my wife and I have made a lot of sacrifices to have a child. We enjoyed our lifestyle before, and attempted to keep that lifestyle with plans and a child. We had some idea of what having a child entailed (we had a better idea than most, in fact), but we were pretty far off. It requires a lot of sacrifices, and not just financially (although that's the most obvious one). Some of the stuff is little, some is big...
Little things, like I always pack my lunch, and don't use the AC in my car when I commute back and forth to work.
Big things, like finding the same size apartment closer to work for a cheaper price (to save for a house), and me not buying hardware or software (the upgrade I bought for the server was mostly donations).
All for the little one. Sure, at times he can be difficult to deal with (although 3am isn't as bad after you've dealt with it a while); the paranoia is something I'm totally unaccustomed to (we went to a friends apartment that has a balcony on the 3rd floor, and I couldn't stay away from the wall cause I kept picturing me dropping Joey off the edge... bleh, I'm cringing just from remembering that).

But, I don't regret the decision in the slightest. If I had to go back, I wouldn't hesitate to do it all over again (heh, and we probably will have another or two children in the end cause of that feeling).
I know some of you have children, some have thought about children, some have thought in the distant future of having children, and some would rather have a frontal lobotomy; but for me, it is the greatest time of my life.

The greatest feeling is when he wakes us up in the morning crying, and I look over the crib at him, and he sees me, he stops crying, smiles and giggles at me. Waking up to that every morning... its unexplainable.

I dunno why I wanted to type this all out... maybe just to share my feelings to others (and for those that have kids to share their feelings). Anyway, if anyone is thinking of having kids, make sure you know how much your life will change (but don't think it'll change to a worse lifestyle!). Pregnancy, itself, is a whole other bear that I won't explain here, but kids are great. If anyone's lookin for advice on havin kids, please gimmie an email or post or somethin.
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It is, Without a Doubt or Hesitation, Worth It

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  • Right on!

    As horrible as everything Angie and I have had to deal with this past year, the worst is that we might not have another kid.

    And let me tell you that it only gets better. At least up to about 15 months (where we are now). Even the nut-punching is kinda funny.

  • ...I have been thinking about kids a lot recently, not because I'm going to be stupid in the near future, but because my friends keep having them. My two best friends both have daughters, ages 2 and 4, and my step-mom is raising my little sister, who is also 4, plus a couple I know is going to have one in December. Watching those three moms (and the mom to be) raise their kids is amazing. In the case of my friends and my step-mom, these little girls are their mom's partners in crime. They do everything together, they have funny little jokes between mother and daughter, and they understand each other without words. Man is that cool. I know....if God wants me to have that in the future, I will. That doesn't stop me from watching it and going "wow," now though.

    It's also good to hear a father and son side of it.

    • I've heard that, since 9/11/01, that people are becoming more family oriented, and marriages and religious converts (meaning people are turning to religion) are rising, but having children has exploded. I think people are starting to call it the second baby boom...
  • I'm not sure where I stand on the kid issue. I grew up wanting 2 or 3 kids, primarily because that's just what you do. I think expectations for ourselves are formed largely from what we experience. This may sound odd, but remember it's from the mind of a 10 year old: I thought that you were supposed to start having kids at the age of 20. I honestly believed that you go to college and then have a kid in two years. This is what my mom did (minus the college part). She had my sister when she was 19, and my sister had my neice when she was 20. I was only 7 at the time, so this all seemed perfectly normal to me, and I grew up with the expectation that my life would be on the same sort of timeline. I believed this until I was nearly 15.

    Currently, I'm dating somebody who hates kids and had a miserable childhood. Between the two of us, we have a nasty set of genes anyway. I'm also paranoid about having an autistic child, even though it's fairly unlikely.

    I do know that I absolutely do not want to be pregnant. If my situation changes and I decide to have children someday, I think I would like to adopt. Preferably from Russia, if they're still open to international adoptions.

    Then again, anything could happen.
    • Two philsophies come into play here. Have kids early, and enjoy an early retirement... or have kids later (after 30) and have fun while you are young.

      My wife and I picked semi-early. She turned 24 5 days before joey was born.

      Also, both of us have bad genes, also. She has type-I diabetes and breast cancer, I have heart disease, high colesterol (love that italian heritage) ;-), colon and breast cancer. Pregnancy isn't all that bad. Wife threw up from start to 4th month (then again from 6th month till birth, and even puked twice while labor and pushing), but she enjoyed the time and forgot all the pain. Plus pregnancy is a WONDERFUL way to slowly prepare yourself for everything I mentioned in my journal entry. Nine months is the perfect amount of time to freak out about everything to prepare yourself. Anyway, I'm beginning to babble and rant, so I'll stop here ;-)
      • I'm always wary of men who extoll the wonderfullness of pregnancy. :) I might reconsider if I could be on the "can I get you a glass of water?" side of things.
        • LOL... I tried to say that the wife enjoyed it, and not put in my side into my post.

          Sure in the last month, she was uncomfortable and had to pee when she stood up after peeing, but the horrors you hear about are the last month, and you've adjusted to it all by then.
  • Remember, cars nowadays are a lot more aerodynamic, so it's possible that leaving the windows down causes enough drag to make it lower mileage than AC.

    • I don't wind down the windows on the freeway.

      I just deal with the heat and humidity (yeah, insane, but I'm still alive).
      • How much are you really saving--is it worth it?
        This past year I decided to find out how much I really spend on gas. It turns out I drive about 10k miles per year. I spent about $650 on gas (California prices). And I am averaging 28 mpg.
        I don't know how much air conditioning affects this (especially since it is only part of the year). But assume the worst: 28mpg becomes 23mpg (yearly average). Then I would be spending another $140 yearly on gas.

        YMMV ;)
        Still, you might find it useful to do a budget: the suffering may not be worth the savings.

  • Your first child is, without a doubt, a life-changing experience. Marriage is a step up from being single, but having a child is climbing to a different floor. Congratulations!

    What really surprised me, though, is that having a 2nd child is also a huge step. I thought a 2nd would be an incremental change from one, but it is very different (because it is not just two parents interacting with another child, but also the kids interacting with each other). Fun stuff.

  • It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around
    create in my own image like a god
    I'd raise my own pallbearers to carry me to my grave
    and keep me company when I'm a wizened toothless clod

    -"Beginning Of A Great Adventure", New York
    Lou Reed, 1990

    [ full lyrics [] ]
  • I have always wanted a couple of kids. You know, carry on the family name, pass my genes to, try to teach them to make the world a better place. But I want them later. I ascribe to the "enjoy youth" philosophy, like FortKnox mentioned.

    When I was with my exgirlfriend, I thought her having a 6 year old daughter would be an issue. Turns out it wasn't. (I hadn't even considered phycosis as an issue for my gf, but it's always the ones that look normal, right?) I got along with the little girl great. She was at that age where you could (most of the time) reason with her. She was stubborn, but she got that from her mom. I enjoyed doing the "family things." Helping her study, going to her ball games, cooking for them, etc. Now that she's not around, I miss all that. Actually, I miss her more than her crazy mother. :-) It's easier to do what I want now, and I can watch something other than cartoon network, (Ok, well my roommate watches cartoon network a lot, but you get my point.) but I still miss it. It's strange, but it is definitely worth it.

    If you have never been around kids, and you aren't sure about having them, try borrowing one for a while. Most parents would welcome the break, and it would give you an opportunity to see if it is right for you. I would suggest the lower maintenance ages where they are more fun. Most parents won't loan babies, and then you'd have to deal with diapers anyway.

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger