I’ve heard lots if things about how having kids will change my life:
“Your life will never be the same. But it will be better!”
“It’s a ton of hard work, but it’s SO worth it!”
“Your body will hate you for it, but you really won’t care.”
“Kids keep you young at heart.”
“Having kids forces you to finally grow up.”
“Having kids ages your body.”
“They (kids) are constant entertainment.”
“You just never know what kind of kid you’re gonna get!”
I listen to all of these statements with a grain of salt. I’ve always figured I will take life as it’s thrown at me, and then form my own opinions.
Our child is still in the womb, and my first opinion has already formed:
Having kids teaches patience.
Even while trying to conceive, waiting the dreaded two-weak-wait….patience.
Waiting for the genetic test results…patience.
Is it a boy or a girl?…patience.
When am I going to feel her kick?…patience.
And now, how much longer till this baby finally comes already?…patience.
I’m glad, because we’re going to need to be experts in order to teach our daughter patience too.
I can hear Axl Rose whistling as I type this.
I’m 21 weeks pregnant and my wife and I are knee-deep in the daycare selection process. Yes, we know, the baby hasn’t even left my womb and we’re already looking for other people to take care of her. I wish that there was a local “manny” service we could call, but realistically and financially this is the avenue we need to be on. And because she’ll be an only child (at least for now), the socialization will be good. It is common that popular daycares book up many months in advance. And I think it’s wise that we are getting this out if the way while we have the spare time.
(Side note: If you’re a dog-owner, this process will feel oddly similar to selecting a boarding kennel, except emotionally times 10,000.)
Before we started touring these facilities, I had to separate my ideal wants from realistic expectations. I’m sure most new parents do this also. Ideally, I want the ratio of caregiver to baby to be 1-1, realistically it’s going to be more like 1 to 2-3 babies. One deal-breaker I had in mind was if we picked up on any weird anti-gay-parent vibes from the caregivers. So far, I’m proud to report that out of the 3 facilities we’ve toured, all if them didn’t as much as flinch when I introduced my wife as “my wife.” Because I’ve been so focused on the most important priorities regarding infant care (i.e., safety, cleanliness, attention, diapering, feeding, etc.), I haven’t yet questioned if and how same-sex parents are recognized in the classroom. Maybe I’m not as concerned because I can’t imagine my baby growing past the age of 3 months, or maybe I’m naive to think that just because I live in a state of marriage equality, that it will automatically be a positive experience for our child wherever they end up.
On the next tour, I will bring this topic up, and I’ll be sure to report back with the results.