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Should We Have Kids?


Torvik
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When my wife and I got married, our desire was clear: to raise a God-fearing, Jesus-loving, Spirit-led, church-attending family out in the country.

 

But now, things are anything but clear. I am no longer a Christian, and my wife still is. I don't resent her faith, nor would I want her to change (since her faith is such a large part of her, and what I love about her). I can respect her need for Evangelical Christianity, and she's coming to terms with my apostasy.

 

BUT, if we did have kids, I wouldn't be comfortable raising them the way she wants to raise them and vice-versa. She would want them to choose to love Jesus and the church, which I'm not excited about. I would want them to think things through for themselves, which she's not a huge fan of.

 

If we chose to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as our differences are put into the spotlight.

 

BUT if we chose not to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as we have always wanted to have a family and would make great parents.

 

We've been married for 3 years and are both 31. My wife's clock is starting to tick louder in her ear.

 

What do you think?

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Sorry to say but you and your wife are the only ones that can work that out.

No one on a forum reading a hundred words or so can really grasp the full picture.

I'd say discuss it with her.

Work something out before doing anything.

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Sorry to say but you and your wife are the only ones that can work that out.

No one on a forum reading a hundred words or so can really grasp the full picture.

I'd say discuss it with her.

Work something out before doing anything.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking for "the answer".

I'm just looking for feedback. People who can say "We have kids, and our experience has been..."

 

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When my wife and I got married, our desire was clear: to raise a God-fearing, Jesus-loving, Spirit-led, church-attending family out in the country.

 

But now, things are anything but clear. I am no longer a Christian, and my wife still is. I don't resent her faith, nor would I want her to change (since her faith is such a large part of her, and what I love about her). I can respect her need for Evangelical Christianity, and she's coming to terms with my apostasy.

 

BUT, if we did have kids, I wouldn't be comfortable raising them the way she wants to raise them and vice-versa. She would want them to choose to love Jesus and the church, which I'm not excited about. I would want them to think things through for themselves, which she's not a huge fan of.

 

If we chose to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as our differences are put into the spotlight.

 

BUT if we chose not to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as we have always wanted to have a family and would make great parents.

 

We've been married for 3 years and are both 31. My wife's clock is starting to tick louder in her ear.

 

What do you think?

 

Welcome Torvik!

Glad to have to aboard. What a dilemma. If you and your wife support each other in this - why not allow the bible in the home and also books on evolution. Let the children make up their own mind as they get older. Mom can say why she believes in god and you dad can voice his opinion as to why you don't believe. Allow them to think for themselves! Best wishes to you and your wife! :grin:

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Sorry to say but you and your wife are the only ones that can work that out.

No one on a forum reading a hundred words or so can really grasp the full picture.

I'd say discuss it with her.

Work something out before doing anything.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking for "the answer".

I'm just looking for feedback. People who can say "We have kids, and our experience has been..."

 

 

 

My mistake.

Pretty sure I've read a few posts where people are a few years from where you are now with kids.

Oh yeah, welcome.

I keep forgetting as I'm new myself. :)

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If you have kids now, there is a long lead time before they are going to be influenced by church and with pajama drill sleeping in Sundays will be a certainty, this may allow time for her not to be under the spell.

 

Continuous church attendance just keeps folk under the spell of the delusion and waiting longer is probably not in your best interests. A baby changes everything and you are likely going to have two in quick succession at that age. that will give you plenty of time to allow for a natural no need for church. The kid(s) will fill up her life more than an invisible man in the sky.

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I would personally not want to have kids until it were worked out as to how they were going to be raised. This kind of stuff comes up not only with religion but with things like education or punishment. There are many things to take into account when raising kids and while "going for it" is often the norm and does work out this approach can also cause a great many problems if the parents are essentially polar opposites on key issues. Usually it takes one parent to simply back down, often all the way down, in the given area and simply give "control" over to the other parent for things to "work." So, in this case, the kids may well wind up in church if you want to avoid the constant fight (or vice-versa if your wife is willing to let it drop to avoid hearing it from you).

 

mwc

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Welcome, Torvik. Here's my experience. DH and I were both agnostic/atheists (former catholics) when we married. We had two kids and then after being married about 12 years or so, he was brainwashed by some co-workers. He became one of those over-the-top, legalistic fundybot bornagainers. His beliefs definitely caused some problems with raising our kids. For a several months -- maybe a year -- I tried to go along as he experimented with various churches as he searched for The Perfect Church. On easter, the children's church minister told the kids that if they had an easter basket at home, they were participating in satanic activities. I was livid and told DH that I would not allow the kids to be subjected to that kind of abuse. I compromised by finding a very liberal catholic church and took the kids there for a few years. I also kept them out of any and all religious youth activities and classes. If he had insisted on the kids being raised in his brand of christinsanity, I would have divorced him. There probably would have been a huge ugly custody battle, and living here, who knows what the outcome may have been. Fortunately it didn't come to that.

 

I guess the biggest conflict was to him, "rebellion" was a sin. To me, a certain amount of rebellion was simply a normal part of growing up and the kids trying their wings.

 

 

Fast forward... the kids are now 33 and 31, married with kids of their own. One is atheist married to a former JW who is anti-christianity. The other is southern baptist (groan!). WendyDoh.gif

 

DH, although still christian, has mellowed quite a bit over the years. My heathen ways have worn off on him quite a bit. Obviously not enough though, because he's still a fundy. We have been married for 38 years.

 

I know it's tough situation you're in. Hope you and your wife find some answers. Mostly though, I wish you peace.

 

------------------------------------------

Edited to add:

 

PS -- If I had known DH was going to go crazy for Jesus, I would not have married him and I certainly would not have had kids. But that's just me -- with 20/20 hindsight.

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My experience - before I deconverted, my then-husband and I had both been anticipating having kids 4-5 years in the future. About a year before that, he had wanted to speed things along and have kids sooner but I had delayed, because I already knew that I wouldn't be comfortable raising children in the church. Even as we were fighting between ourselves about the role of Christianity in our household for just the two of us, his clock was ticking. Finally I said that I wouldn't and couldn't have children with him, and we divorced fairly quickly after that. He remarried quickly and has a child. He and his new wife are major Bible thumpers. And EVERY SINGLE DAY, I am so glad that it is not my child that's being raised that way. And every day, I'm glad that I'm not a single parent. And every day, I'm glad that I'm not paying child support and having my kid visit on weekends. I just can't express to you how relieved I am now that I didn't have a child within a mixed relationship when we weren't in agreement about the role of Christianity in our family life.

 

It's a big difference in our situations though, that after the divorce, I realized that I didn't want children. So there wasn't the feeling for me that I was throwing away what might be my only chance to be a parent since I realized that I was just fine with never being one.

 

In your first post, it's a big red flag to me that your wife isn't a fan of having her potential kids think for themselves. I could understand (even though I'd still think it was problematic) if she was concerned that you didn't want her to share part of who she was with her children - but personally I don't think that someone who wants to keep her children from thinking for themselves should be a parent. I'm sorry that's pretty harsh, but I think that's one of the worst things a parent can do to a kid. I would never reproduce with someone who had that attitude toward child raising.

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My experience - before I deconverted, my then-husband and I had both been anticipating having kids 4-5 years in the future. About a year before that, he had wanted to speed things along and have kids sooner but I had delayed, because I already knew that I wouldn't be comfortable raising children in the church. Even as we were fighting between ourselves about the role of Christianity in our household for just the two of us, his clock was ticking. Finally I said that I wouldn't and couldn't have children with him, and we divorced fairly quickly after that. He remarried quickly and has a child. He and his new wife are major Bible thumpers. And EVERY SINGLE DAY, I am so glad that it is not my child that's being raised that way. And every day, I'm glad that I'm not a single parent. And every day, I'm glad that I'm not paying child support and having my kid visit on weekends. I just can't express to you how relieved I am now that I didn't have a child within a mixed relationship when we weren't in agreement about the role of Christianity in our family life.

 

It's a big difference in our situations though, that after the divorce, I realized that I didn't want children. So there wasn't the feeling for me that I was throwing away what might be my only chance to be a parent since I realized that I was just fine with never being one.

 

In your first post, it's a big red flag to me that your wife isn't a fan of having her potential kids think for themselves. I could understand (even though I'd still think it was problematic) if she was concerned that you didn't want her to share part of who she was with her children - but personally I don't think that someone who wants to keep her children from thinking for themselves should be a parent. I'm sorry that's pretty harsh, but I think that's one of the worst things a parent can do to a kid. I would never reproduce with someone who had that attitude toward child raising.

 

Thank you, ClaraOlive. Your post and this thread means a lot to me. I haven't been in this situation, but I was quite desperate to start a family in the past. Several times, I was close to achieving that, but things didn't work out for various reasons with the ex-husband, 2 former fiances, and quite a few potential "love-interests." I was devastated - especially when my last relationship ended. Your post addresses what could have happened if I had a family with the wing-nut PTSD messianic fundie I was engaged to.

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An "Evangelical Christian," as you described her, normally isn't content to let others think and live in the real world either. If you fear that differences over raising children will cause marital stress because it will highlight your opposing views, that tells me you are skirting the issue now and just hoping nobody stumbles over the elephant in the room. With or without children, the elephant will eventually get in your way. Take care that it doesn't trample any children.

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Welcome, Torvik. Here's my experience. DH and I were both agnostic/atheists (former catholics) when we married. We had two kids and then after being married about 12 years or so, he was brainwashed by some co-workers. He became one of those over-the-top, legalistic fundybot bornagainers. His beliefs definitely caused some problems with raising our kids. For a several months -- maybe a year -- I tried to go along as he experimented with various churches as he searched for The Perfect Church. On easter, the children's church minister told the kids that if they had an easter basket at home, they were participating in satanic activities. I was livid and told DH that I would not allow the kids to be subjected to that kind of abuse. I compromised by finding a very liberal catholic church and took the kids there for a few years. I also kept them out of any and all religious youth activities and classes. If he had insisted on the kids being raised in his brand of christinsanity, I would have divorced him. There probably would have been a huge ugly custody battle, and living here, who knows what the outcome may have been. Fortunately it didn't come to that.

 

I guess the biggest conflict was to him, "rebellion" was a sin. To me, a certain amount of rebellion was simply a normal part of growing up and the kids trying their wings.

 

 

Fast forward... the kids are now 33 and 31, married with kids of their own. One is atheist married to a former JW who is anti-christianity. The other is southern baptist (groan!). WendyDoh.gif

 

DH, although still christian, has mellowed quite a bit over the years. My heathen ways have worn off on him quite a bit. Obviously not enough though, because he's still a fundy. We have been married for 38 years.

 

I know it's tough situation you're in. Hope you and your wife find some answers. Mostly though, I wish you peace.

 

------------------------------------------

Edited to add:

 

PS -- If I had known DH was going to go crazy for Jesus, I would not have married him and I certainly would not have had kids. But that's just me -- with 20/20 hindsight.

 

This is a great answer. It also has some parallels to my situation. My wife and I were both Christians for the majority of our marriage (now 12 years) and only recently did I deconvert. Her deconversion was quite surprisingly only a few months behind mine and was a little more difficult for her. During those few tumultuous months though, things were not pretty. She'd agree with me that our kids should be able to decide for themselves, but she'd also state that part of that decision making should include church going (indoctrination). I pointed out to her that there aren't any churches where belief if voluntary. When you take them they are being expected to believe and everyone there believes without question. This makes it not a choice. Now if you wanted to have a conversation every week following service about the counter argument that would be ok in my book, but I don't see the point of even going since had I been given the option to not believe I would have taken it considering how many holes were in all the bible stories.

 

Anyway that's my opinion about it. It sounds like the best possible outcome would be if you both are willing to give a little and find compromise in the middle. At any rate, you two should definitely have everything on the table before having kids. If either one of you can't openly discuss it with reason and without anger and emotion then the two of you should reconsider your future as a married couple.

 

By the way, have you both read the bible all the way through?

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I ended a relationship with someone who was a liberal-turning fundamentalist/evangelical. He was ok teaching kids to be freethinkers, but, honestly, I could not stand the idea of our future kids being taught that Daddy believes the earth is 6,000 years old. It's just too willfully anti-intellectual for me.

 

Also, consider that parents who take seriously their responsibility of setting an example for their children often get more entrenched in their religious views. I rarely see anyone deconvert because they have kids. They either get more entrenched in beliefs (because they need to set a better example) or they deconvert despite the kids.

 

Just my observations. It's a big risk. It really helps to have similar or complementary fundamental beliefs.

 

Phanta

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Also, consider that parents who take seriously their responsibility of setting an example for their children often get more entrenched in their religious views. I rarely see anyone deconvert because they have kids. They either get more entrenched in beliefs (because they need to set a better example) or they deconvert despite the kids.

 

This has been my observation too. I've known several people who were nominal Christians, weren't regular church goers, and were living normal secular lives, but when children came along, all of a sudden they felt a strong urge to be back in the church and saw indoctrinating their children as a natural responsibility. Even some I went to Christian school with, who previously were quick to denounce our fundamentalist upbringing and all the craziness that went along with it, are now mooing about what a blessing it was to be taught at a Christian school by Christian teachers. If people really learned from their own childhoods, we might expect to see each generation be a little better than the last. Instead, they defend their inability to consider a different way by talking about how they now understand why a Christian education is so important because they're the all knowing parent, and you have to be a parent to understand. Even though I fit this myself, it would be hard for me to have children with someone who had a Christian school upbringing, simply because of how people tend to revert to how they were raised, not having any other experience with how to deal with children.

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This has been my observation too. I've known several people who were nominal Christians, weren't regular church goers, and were living normal secular lives, but when children came along, all of a sudden they felt a strong urge to be back in the church and saw indoctrinating their children as a natural responsibility. Even some I went to Christian school with, who previously were quick to denounce our fundamentalist upbringing and all the craziness that went along with it, are now mooing about what a blessing it was to be taught at a Christian school by Christian teachers.

Saw this phenomenon in my family too. She's even dragging Daddy to church now.

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If we chose to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as our differences are put into the spotlight.

 

BUT if we chose not to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as we have always wanted to have a family and would make great parents.

You're not going to want to hear this answer, but ...

 

It seems pretty clear to me. If you have kids, it will be painful and confusing for them. But you both want them anyway, in spite of that, because it will avoid disappointment for YOU.

 

Seems pretty self-absorbed to me.

 

I'm the parents of two children myself, long since out of the nest. Their biological mother and I were both evangelicals at the time. But my wife had mental health problems (to put it mildly -- we're talking schizophrenia AND borderline personality disorder). I resisted having children, but she wanted them and guilted and cajoled me into it so that HER needs could be met.

 

My kids have so far avoided their mother's mental illness but both deal with a lot of pain and dysfunction because of being raised in that kind of home. Bringing them into existence was a great harm to them, and ultimately didn't even serve my wife's personal demands as she had the heartbreak of losing her children as well as me. And it certainly did me no favors.

 

I've come to believe that parents have no business servicing their "ticking biological clocks" or other personal needs unless and until they can provide the very best possible stable, loving, safe, and peaceful environment for their children's formative years. Even then, it's a crap shoot, as people get sick, find out things about themselves and their needs that they didn't realize previously, and so on.

 

The Bible actually is right, I think, on the point about "not being unequally yoked" with unbelievers. It cuts both ways. My second wife remained a Christian during my deconversion but my kids were already out of the nest and she had none of her own, so it was strictly an issue between us. I believe it's possible for an intimate relationship to work out despite religious differences, even as vast as the difference between fundamentalism and atheism, but guess what ... if it doesn't, no one gets hurt but the consenting parties. Children aren't consenting parties.

 

If either of you want children that badly, you need to want them badly enough to have them with someone more like-minded, IMO.

 

--Bob

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If we chose to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as our differences are put into the spotlight.

 

BUT if we chose not to have kids, we anticipate that there would be a lot of pain, as we have always wanted to have a family and would make great parents.

You're not going to want to hear this answer, but ...

 

It seems pretty clear to me. If you have kids, it will be painful and confusing for them. But you both want them anyway, in spite of that, because it will avoid disappointment for YOU.

 

Seems pretty self-absorbed to me.

 

I'm the parents of two children myself, long since out of the nest. Their biological mother and I were both evangelicals at the time. But my wife had mental health problems (to put it mildly -- we're talking schizophrenia AND borderline personality disorder). I resisted having children, but she wanted them and guilted and cajoled me into it so that HER needs could be met.

 

My kids have so far avoided their mother's mental illness but both deal with a lot of pain and dysfunction because of being raised in that kind of home. Bringing them into existence was a great harm to them, and ultimately didn't even serve my wife's personal demands as she had the heartbreak of losing her children as well as me. And it certainly did me no favors.

 

I've come to believe that parents have no business servicing their "ticking biological clocks" or other personal needs unless and until they can provide the very best possible stable, loving, safe, and peaceful environment for their children's formative years. Even then, it's a crap shoot, as people get sick, find out things about themselves and their needs that they didn't realize previously, and so on.

 

The Bible actually is right, I think, on the point about "not being unequally yoked" with unbelievers. It cuts both ways. My second wife remained a Christian during my deconversion but my kids were already out of the nest and she had none of her own, so it was strictly an issue between us. I believe it's possible for an intimate relationship to work out despite religious differences, even as vast as the difference between fundamentalism and atheism, but guess what ... if it doesn't, no one gets hurt but the consenting parties. Children aren't consenting parties.

 

If either of you want children that badly, you need to want them badly enough to have them with someone more like-minded, IMO.

 

--Bob

 

Thanks for writing this, Bob. I was raised in such a family with a similarly ill mother. I have held off pushing a relationship and having kids because I did not feel like all my ducks were in a row to create a stable, loving home. I want a very secure partnership with someone I will love and enjoy with or without kids and who has similar or complementary core beliefs, values and lifestyle. I have also been hesitant due to my own emotional issues, which I work tirelessly at addressing. Sometimes it is so hard, because I know my standards and expectations are high for the kind of family life I want for my potential children, and that actually makes it far less likely I will ever satisfy my drive to reproduce. Reading what you wrote, for the first time I see an outside message that I am doing something sensible, even if it hard.

 

In the meantime, I love and support my friends who, driven by their biological urges, had kids with partners they weren't compatible with. It's tough on them. It's tough on the kids. Separations, fighting. What a mess.

 

Phanta

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Yes, have kids. LOTS of kids, make Octomom look like a virgin!

 

I let my kid decide for himself what he wants to believe. He's been raised enough to question what he's told. I've told him in the past that if he ever finds a talking snake, let me know and we'll both build it a temple. Anyone who brings wisdom of knowledge and right and wrong can't be all bad. Even the god of the OT says he wants to reason with man. If god made us then we can also understand the thoughts of god. Our earthly fathers share their thoughts with us. Science is god's way of getting his thoughts across to us. When science lets its standards down, religion happens and we lose focus on what we were studying. We take the words of someone or a group of people who know absolutely nothing about what science is teaching or discovering but they want to control what science reveals to the rest of us poor slobs. We have to take their word because god told them so. The babble bible says so. If you want your children taught the finest education creationists, young-earthers, and intelligent design can offer, then by all means send your kids to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. But if it were me, and I had to send them to church for balance, zen, and family harmony, then I would also send them prepared, just like I did my own son, to be ready to hear some far out bullshit about why one does not depend on one's own learning and must lean upon an imaginary friend to guide his thoughts away from the evils of common sense and into the Holy Raptured Mental Gymnastics of Faith™. Have kids. But send them prepared.

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I have held off pushing a relationship and having kids because I did not feel like all my ducks were in a row to create a stable, loving home. I want a very secure partnership with someone I will love and enjoy with or without kids and who has similar or complementary core beliefs, values and lifestyle. I have also been hesitant due to my own emotional issues, which I work tirelessly at addressing. Sometimes it is so hard, because I know my standards and expectations are high for the kind of family life I want for my potential children, and that actually makes it far less likely I will ever satisfy my drive to reproduce. Reading what you wrote, for the first time I see an outside message that I am doing something sensible, even if it hard.

Good for you. I had high standards myself, and although intellectually I recognize that I was probably aiming too high -- for something that arguably isn't obtainable -- it's still the way I feel to this day. If I had it to do all over again, knowing what I know now, I don't believe I'd have kids. I'd be sorely tempted, particularly if I were with a woman who I felt would be a good mother, but the bottom line is that now I'm not even sure it's good on balance to impose the burden of existence on children for any reason. I realize that's not a very optimistic point of view, but there you have it. If you feel otherwise I don't judge you for it; it's probably a lack of vision on my part.

In the meantime, I love and support my friends who, driven by their biological urges, had kids with partners they weren't compatible with. It's tough on them. It's tough on the kids. Separations, fighting. What a mess.

Same here, and I was not meaning to be harsh on the original poster. But I do wish that people were approaching conceiving children as an awesome power with which comes awesome responsibility -- as are you. As I wish I had. We are wired with powerful biological and psychological and emotional drives to have children; we need to make an effort to counterbalance that against the needs and rights of those children.

 

--Bob

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Thanks for this discussion. I've definitely got the whole "ticking clock" thing going on, love kids, etc... but I'm not in a place at my life right now where kids would be a good idea (for them or for me). I'm so used to the idea that parenthood is good and honorable and "what you're supposed to do" that I sometimes feel guilty and irresponsible for not making it a priority to fix my life enough to make it a safe place for kids. Maybe I just need to volunteer to help out with some local educational program for kids so I can at least spend some time with little ones where I'll have a purely positive influence on them and not involve them with my issues.

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Thanks for this discussion. I've definitely got the whole "ticking clock" thing going on, love kids, etc... but I'm not in a place at my life right now where kids would be a good idea (for them or for me). I'm so used to the idea that parenthood is good and honorable and "what you're supposed to do" that I sometimes feel guilty and irresponsible for not making it a priority to fix my life enough to make it a safe place for kids. Maybe I just need to volunteer to help out with some local educational program for kids so I can at least spend some time with little ones where I'll have a purely positive influence on them and not involve them with my issues.

 

Dont make kids! How selfish is it to make kids when there are children out there right now without homes...

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Well said HZ. If discussing having kids is an issue of faith I would say don't however having kids is an experience I would do all over again.

 

No one can plan the "prefect" environment and if you cannot see a way out, raise a kid as a single parent, that way you do not need to compromise your standpoint. When the kids come, they dictate your lives, not the other way round. By the time SS comes you can have mentally prepared them.

 

I am glad my wife and I were cafeteria xians and when we decided to have them, church was the last things on our mind.

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Thanks folks. A lot of you of raised some good points.

 

I struggle with the advice to "get it all figured out first". How the heck does that happen? It's like telling someone "You're flying somewhere, so pack accordingly." Pack what? Shorts? Parka? How can we lay the groundwork if we don't know what's going to be involved? (BUT it's still good to plan as much as you can.)

 

Neither of us are thinking "If this doesn't work, we'll just get divorced." Even from a post-Christian perspective, I want my commitment to mean more than that. I want to look back on my 75th wedding anniversary and say "We went through some pretty crazy shit, but at least we went through it together." I know that's not important for everyone, but it seems like the only way to stick to a commitment is to not acknowledge any back-doors. 'Cuz if there is a backdoor, you'll keep your eye on it, and one day you'll just use it. Seems better to keep my eyes straight ahead and not wonder "should we get divorced over this?"

 

Living, I'm gonna keep your suggestion about raising a kid as a single parent to avoid compromise on the back-burner. Coming from a single-parent home for a chunk of my childhood, I know how much it sucks. I also want my kids to value compromise. I would have to be pretty desperate to demonstrate for my kids that: my commitment is only for convenience, being raised by one parent is just as good as two, and that my thoughts are too important compromise. (I'm not saying it can't happen. But it would have to be a pretty serious situation.)

 

Noggy, I've thought the same thing. So many kids out there who don't have families. Maybe we should plug into their lives instead. But then again, life's a bitch. There's all kinds of suffering out there that I'm not aware of, that I'm doing nothing about. If only Jesus would come back and make it all better... (Hope that doesn't come across as harsh. It's just that while living as a Christian I spent a lot of time being distraught over the pain in the world, and feeling guilt over how good I have it as a Canadian. I'm too interested in living my life just for other people. "I've got my cards dealt to me, and you've got yours. Let's both do the best we can.")

 

Bob, I caught what you said about forcing the burden of existence on someone. Again: life, a bitcheth thou arteth. But luckily, if someone just has no use for the gift of life, there are measure they can take to remedy that, right? (Unless they're afraid of Hell. In which case, they had better make it look like an accident.)

 

I also hear what you and Phanta are saying about having "high standards". I know some people would use that as a defense. "I can't do such-and-such until everything is perfect, and since it'll never be perfect, I guess I'll never do such-and-such."

 

My wife and I have some perfectionistic tendencies, which is why we're examining this issue in the first place. We don't just want to jump into this stuff. We want to cover our bases first. Then sometimes we get bogged down in the number of bases to be covered, and how big the bases are.

 

...and then I was watching Fight Club, and Tyler Durden and the narrator start talking about our needs to be perfect:

Fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns. I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let... let's evolve. Let the chips fall where they may.

and that was a good wake-up call. Not to stop caring all together, but to remember that life is imperfect. Even if we get our shit all together, we're not going to be perfect parents. We'll deal with it, they'll deal with it, life will go on. And as far as the planet as a whole is concerned, none of it will really matter.

 

I can't remember much else of what other people have said. Maybe I'll go back and take a look again...

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