Friday, May 17, 2013

A Middle Aged Man's Advice To Young Couples - II



Song:  New Horizons

Group:  Moody Blues


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This advice is intended for young couples who
are thinking of starting a family.

It is general in nature...
and there are plenty of exceptions.

It is meant to give those who have time to steer their lives
in a direction they may not have considered...
a full look at their options...
that such important decisions need not be rushed.

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


Always remember, once you decide to have children...
their lives must become the center of your life.

Should you not think so...
know that you are simply not ready to have children.

For young couples...
in order to not feel left out of life's other great experiences...
you must experience life together as a couple first.

Children won't cement a relationship.

That is not their function.

Before having children...
you should have a rock solid relationship already
(not that my wife and I never argue...
but we have no underlying regrets for having started a family...
it was what we had really wanted because the time was right...
we had lived our lives already).


Why?

Because your children deserve parents who can give their all to them.

How?

Know each other first.
Spend a few years of traveling and thoroughly enjoying each other's company...
explore the world together...make solid memories with each other.

Then, when you decide to have children...
you may commit yourself to your children without regret.

I was 40 years old when my wife and I decided to start a family.

We had already had our fun as a couple...
and I wanted to start a family.

Although my wife had wanted a family earlier...
I knew that both of us had to know that the time was right.

We had already seen some of Japan together...
and for our honeymoon
(we delayed it for a year so I could save up my vacation for an extra good one)...
we spent two weeks in Japan at her parents' house
(they showed us around their island of Shikoku...
and took us to Kyushu so I could meet my relatives from
my mother's side)...
and when we returned to the U.S. ...
we rested for a couple of days...
and then went on a 4 week motorcycle trip around the perimeter of the U.S. .


I ended up giving this motorcycle to my brother in law 
shortly after Alex was born ...
years later.

Although I loved riding it...
as my family depended on me for its economic survival...
I stopped all risky endeavors...
including any risky sports.

This mindset happens naturally when children come into the picture.
You naturally modify your life for their benefit.



We traveled along this basic route...
stopping along the way to enjoy famous sightseeing spots...
and eating in nice restaurants for dinner
(we had traveled approximately 10,000 miles on this trip).

We later had also taken long car journeys together.
One was a 10 day trip to Las Vegas...the Grand Canyon...
the Painted Desert...Meteor Crater...Arches National park...
Grand Tetons National park...
 North to Canada to see the Canadian rockies...
and on the way back...
Crater Lake.

Other times we took off for shorter day trips to the ocean...
 to the mountains...or to any other place that we had fancied
for that week.

Before I retired...
I got 3 days off every week...
and every other week...
I got 4 days off.

I also got 6 weeks of vacation a year
(which I could also save up for extra long vacations should I wish).

We used these free days to explore and enjoy the world around us...
to get to make our memories first...so when we started our family...
we would have already lived our lives as a couple...
and we could then dedicate ourselves to our future child wholeheartedly...
without personal regret.

Now...
don't get me wrong...
there are plenty of couples who decide to wait to see the world as a family
(you may also do this later after having enjoyed yourselves as a couple)...
others because of circumstance...decide to have a family early...
and are perfectly happy.

However...
I have seen plenty of others who had felt resentment...
not realizing the amount of dedication necessary to raise children...
to ensure their happiness.

Although I am very free spirited...
I am only so because I have things preplanned...
so I may enjoy them with a free heart.

When we became a family...
we went everywhere as a family.

We have never used a babysitter...
Alex was always with us.

Our main enjoyment was seeing our son's enjoyment.

Now...
while I am pretty impulsive with the small things in life...
with the major ones...
I plan them out years, or even decades, in advance.

Having a family is one of those extremely serious matters.

A child deserves to have a family that is financially stable...
and whose parents can devote themselves to his care.

In short...
enjoy yourself while still single...
it will make enjoyment with another even greater.

Enjoy yourselves as a couple...
it will vastly multiply your enjoyment when you have children.

When you don't feel that life has passed you by...
you are naturally happy inside...
and it will show once you have children.

Once you have given to yourselves...
you may more freely give to others.

A feeling of freedom from unfulfilled desires...
opens and enlarges the heart...
your wanderlust is sated...
your deepest desire is to then share your happiness
by being able to guide a young innocent life to one of great happiness.

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

I have also been prepping Alex in one of the greatest
choices in life he may eventually make...
the choosing of a mate
(Alex has always liked certain girls in his grade at school).

I have, of course, stressed that while one cannot control love...
one can control marriage.

Alex may end up meeting the right girl while at University...
and he may wish to get engaged...
but the well thought out path would be to put off marriage until
he has established himself in a profession.

 Hopefully, he will also heed my advice on enjoying life as a couple first...
before launching his family.







2 comments:

  1. Wow, you and your wife had some fabulous journeys ... what great memories you made together! I would not have guessed that she would have joined you on a motorcycle trip around the whole perimeter of the US... very adventurous!

    I did not meet my wife until she had already had her child who is now our son, so our circumstances are very different. But I agree that for young couples, your advice is very sound. Build your relationship first. And have kids only when you are really ready to commit to them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We had a good time...we are glad we did it...however, it is one of those things where once is enough.

    We have much more fun now...more so than ever before. A child makes all the difference.

    ReplyDelete

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