Planned Parenthood: Does it make life easier?
I never wanted to be a parent. Heck, it was never even a thought in the recesses of my mind. But reality is such that avoiding it doesn’t make it all go away.
About four years ago, morning sickness and decision-making time struck me in my stomach… hard. Thinking back, I wonder if it would have been less tough, had it happened when I had a plan – when I knew for sure that being a parent was for me.
But there wasn’t any time to ponder on premeditated plans, ‘cause I had none – like many of us young parents, who just throw ourselves into the melee unprepared. That doesn’t mean a lot of us don’t make pretty awesome parents, though. It’s a struggle, and there are many heartaches, lessons learnt and bridges burnt along the way – things even the best of plans can’t help or be prepared for. Yet, we do it as best we can, anyway.
For some people, having a plan for everything is tantamount to breathing. I’ve got friends like this. They have blueprints for their lives, and have probably planned every detail – like what values they want in the child’s father or mother, what school the child will attend, and what age they plan to become parents. And hopefully, it will all work out.
But parents, like me, who had a rude awakening, can tell you one thing – not even the best prepared person is prepared for parenthood.
Don’t get me wrong. Having a plan is good, but no one fully knows what to expect from parenting. It’s a challenge, and you will mature beyond your years within nine months. No responsibility a woman had before can prepare her for the experience of carrying around another life inside her body. And the stories you’ll hear, from other parents (especially yours) don’t make it any easier.
Your unbalanced hormones can turn you (the woman) into a terror, and as prepared as a man can be, experiencing the tantrums and mood swings of the woman you love, who seems to have gone loco, can be a challenge. It may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Sadly, this is the part of a relationship that sometimes decides whether or not you want to be together. Some mothers and fathers come out of this, separated.
On the other hand, your relationship may grow stronger. But the bottom-line is that no one knows what to expect. Even the best of plans go awry, and when it does, nothing can put it back together.
For some people, parenting comes at a time when your life needs some order, although there’s no plan. Me? I stopped procrastinating and went for that degree I had been putting off for heaven knows how long. The signs that were screaming at me for years, saying, “get out of that relationship”, finally sunk in. So I left, for my child deserved more. If it were just me, who knows? Maybe, I’d still be there, lying to myself.
People’s true colours come out, and you’re able to see who you’ve been with all along, whether it’s what you want, or what you want to run from. Your dishevelled life suddenly has to be brought to order, and you learn who your true friends are. Everyone wants to tell you how to live your life, and you need to pick the sense out of the nonsense.
If you had no plans before, you learn how to plan – deciding on marriage, single parenting or just keeping things the way they were before. And you become unselfish; suddenly it’s never about you anymore. The world revolves around that little life God entrusted you with, and you keep promising, you’ll never let Him down. All the things, which seemed so important before, lose their appeal, and that’s when you know, you’ve become a parent.
However, not everything gets clearer for everybody. Some of us make bad decisions; some make good ones, yes. But some make no decision – opting instead for life to just happen to them. And that life grows within you for nine months (mothers), and grows up in front of you for the next eighteen years (mothers and fathers), and you never accept responsibility.
But no matter what path you’re on, parenthood is an eventful journey. For the parent who plans before, the practical decisions fall into place. You’re left with more time to deal with the emotional ones. The parent who had no plan before is faced with two choices – plan ASAP, or just let life happen. As for me, one of the parents who had no plan, I can safely say, four years later, that planning is key to parenthood.
However, planning works according to the parent. If you’re a person who doesn’t respond well to last-minute preparations and pressure, draw up a blueprint before and stick to it. For those of you, like myself, whose best is accomplished under pressure, still draw up a blueprint and stick to it. To those who choose life to just happen to them, do the world a favour, and never have children.
Regardless of which category you fall into, remember this. All your plans may not work out, because parenthood is not always practical. Emotions run high in this aspect of life. But with love, every parent can be the best parent they wish to be. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single father, single mother or married parents. You don’t perfect parenthood. You learn along the way.
Image source: http://bonzaiaphrodite.com
Check out the rest of this week’s issue (2/05/11; Issue 55):
- April 28: The Day Facebook Took Over T&T
- Understanding Men’s Love for Sports: A Playbook for Women
- 5 Ways to be Loyal to Yourself
- Traditional Roles: Slavery for Women, Lordship for Men
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!