I was 19 when I got pregnant with my oldest- 20 when he was born. He was a “surprise” baby for my fiance and I. Definitely NOT in our plans- God’s plans, yes- ours? No. I wasn’t what anyone would consider “ready to have children”. Actually, if I remember correctly, I believe my motto was “The words ‘Amber’ and ‘serious’ don’t belong in the same sentence.” Kinda funny when you think about the fact that i was engaged (to my now-husband).
I was 19. A baby myself. I had just graduated high school about a year before, basically. I didn’t know anything about raising a kid. I’d had siblings, but neither of them were much younger than I was. I grew up in a Christian home (I know- SCANDALOUS!), and it was always assumed that marriage and kids would come after college. After college, I’d be “ready”.
I’ve read numerous posts on FB lately stating a similar theme: “If you aren’t ready for thus and so, you aren’t ready for kids.” Well, we’ve already established that I wasn’t ready for my first one, but I can tell you- after 4 kids- you’re NEVER ready.
You won’t be ready to see that 2nd line show up- even if you were actually TRYING.
You won’t be ready financially- ever. Even after they move out.
You won’t be ready for potty training- just throw those “how to” books out.
You won’t be ready for “The Talk”.
You won’t be ready for their first day of school.
You won’t be ready when they finally head off to college… or if they flunk out.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to experiment with cigarettes or alcohol or drugs.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to bring shame upon the family.
You wouldn’t be ready if they crashed your car.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to go into the military.
You won’t be ready for them to get married- even if you love their future spouse.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to give their life for our country.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to tell you they’re gay.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to denounce their faith and walk away from all you believe.
You. Won’t. Be. Ready. None of us are- EVER. There’s no instruction manual and no 2 kids are the same- think “cheesy snowflake” comparison. In fact, the closest you’ll get to “ready” is to absorb all the knowledge you can from those who’ve been there, but, even then, you need to take all advice with a grain of salt.
To tell a mom (or dad) that “if they aren’t ready for this and that, thus and so, some possibly improbable possibility, then they shouldn’t have kids” is, in my opinion, mean and confusing- especially for first time parents. And (because I just read this) to say ‘don’t have kids if you aren’t ready to love a gay child’ is just plain stupid. I understand why the article was written, but she took a comment that someone had made -that never stated either parent wouldn’t LOVE their gay child, they just wouldn’t handle it well- and made an entire post about how everyone should be ready to love their kids before they have them. Well, duh. But why not also say,”If you don’t think you can and you’re pregnant, choose adoption.” The article was pretty much an opinion piece bashing others’ opinions of homosexuality. The mother had questions; she was confused; and understandably so- whenever your child isn’t what you imagined them to be, there’s an adjustment period. But everyone touts tolerance and understanding and acceptance, but only as long as its what they believe- and if you don’t have it when they expect it, then get ready for a verbal assault.
Like I said, I came from a Christian home, so *gasp* I don’t agree with homosexuality. Does that mean i hate gays? NO! And anyone who says that Christians HATE gays hasn’t ever even seen a Bible, much less read one. I’ll admit that there are some wackadoos that are, well, wacko, but -for the most part- Christians believe as Jesus taught- to LOVE people, because HE does. He LOVES people. Short, tall, skinny, fat, Hebrew, Gentile, hetero, homo- he LOVES them. When he walked the Earth, he didn’t surround Himself with “perfect” people; He hung out with those that really needed Him- Sinners. And some of them were murderers, which is far worse than finding the same sex Shag-worthy. Just sayin’. He didn’t agree with their sin, but He loved them so much He gave his life for them- for US. All of us- even gays.
All that to say, would I be ready to love any of my boys if one day they came home and introduced me to their partner “Steve”, of course. Would I be ready? No. I wouldn’t, but I’d wing it, just as I have every day since that 2nd line showed up. Prayers and lots of winging it. Does the fact that I wouldn’t know how to act immediately or know all the right words to say mean I don’t love them and shouldn’t have had any of my boys- as in, never tried or had an abortion instead? I think not. I mean, honestly? Seriously? Come on. Every person has a purpose in this life, and holding off until you’re the Gestational Guru is nutty. I’m pretty sure that all of humanity would cease to exist- and all because, in a few peoples’ eyes, no one should have kids until they’re completely 100% ready to talk about the birds and the bees… or the bees and the bees… or the birds and the birds. My head hurts.
So, yeah. In case you’re now confused as to what this post is about: you aren’t ready. You’re friend- she isn’t ready, either. Your mom? Nope. She didn’t have a clue. Regardless of what any of them might have said, they all freaked out pretty regularly. Not knowing it all doesn’t make you a special little snowflake- you come from a long line of Know-Nuthins. But not having a clue and jumping in anyway? That makes you a-freaking-mazing.