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How Do You Balance Life with Kids?


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17 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I don't see how, though. I didn't lose my independence when I got together with my boyfriend. 

 

But you didn't choose marriage, or am I missing something (is it a civil union?).

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You and I are fortunate regarding help from husbands.  My husband helps me with everything so I've been very lucky.  Even though he helps me immensely, I was extremely busy especially when my son

I agree and disagree. I think that as people get older, our personalities, characters, habits, etc., become "calcified," and less influenced by outside forces. But I credit my years and year

Avoided? I don't think of it like that! I mean, I've "avoided" a lot in life. I've avoided living in Africa, I've avoided becoming an accountant, I've avoided bungee jumping from a hot air balloon. Bu

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20 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

The interviewer asked them for the secret of their long and happy marriage. The husband responded on the instant. "Long experience, and a short memory".

My grandfather used to say the secret was that "we never got sick at the same time." I've always liked that, in that it implies there is a degree of luck to the whole thing, as there is in much of life. Luck, and how you handle the moments when luck runs out, as it always does, that fickle, flirty resource. 

27 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I didn't lose my independence when I got together with my boyfriend. 

I very much agree with this. I think "independence" is much more a state of being, one connected to being in touch with one's agency, than it is about being coupled up or not. I've never felt constrained, or less independent, inside a relationship than outside of it, since it's a choice I'm making, not something happening to me or not me trying to do what someone says I'm supposed to do. 

Those that mourn the "loss" of independence, or who look back at the various lives they could have led, or valorize "youth" as they drift deeper into adulthood? I think that generally speaks more of a turbulent state in their spirits, in the present, than anything to do with the difference between being married or single. 

I no doubt come into a chat like this—a great chat, by the way!—with a lot of biases. I was not raised to think that I was supposed to do...well, really anything save for what I wanted to do with my life. I feel lucky, in that, since I've never really had the mentality that once I achieve something—making x amount of money, becoming a husband, owning a home, whatever—I'd have "figured it out." More like I'll just be enjoying the process of figuring various things out until the buzzer rings, whenever that moment comes. 

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5 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

I've never felt constrained, or less independent, inside a relationship than outside of it, since it's a choice I'm making, not something happening to me or not me trying to do what someone says I'm supposed to do. 

LOL but you have also (curiously) avoided marriage!

In marriage, you rely more on something called interdependence.  It is similar, yet also different from independence.

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Just now, maritalbliss86 said:

LOL but you have also (curiously) avoided marriage!

Avoided? I don't think of it like that! I mean, I've "avoided" a lot in life. I've avoided living in Africa, I've avoided becoming an accountant, I've avoided bungee jumping from a hot air balloon. But, hey, being that I'm still alive, with plenty of life ahead of me, who knows? Maybe come 50 I'll be celebrating finishing up the tax returns by jumping from a hot air ballon above the cabin in Ghana I built with my wife.  

I kid, I know, though I'm genuinely open to all of the above, save the accountant part...

Marriage has never really held much sway over my emotions, my imagination. Just not one of those poles that my inner compass has felt much pull toward. I didn't really get serious about partnership—i.e. wanting to braid my life with another's, and go through life together—until I was in my mid-30s, and am now in a relationship (my first!) that I hope and genuinely believe will be exactly that, along with building a family. But whether or not all that ends up being framed inside a marriage—well, it's not pressing for me. I am 100 percent okay with living and dying without ever being married, as has been my mindset since I was a teenager. 

I'm not "anti" marriage, mind you. I just don't think it's needed to build a rich, interdependent life with someone. 

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41 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

Avoided? I don't think of it like that! I mean, I've "avoided" a lot in life. I've avoided living in Africa, I've avoided becoming an accountant, I've avoided bungee jumping from a hot air balloon. But, hey, being that I'm still alive, with plenty of life ahead of me, who knows? Maybe come 50 I'll be celebrating finishing up the tax returns by jumping from a hot air ballon above the cabin in Ghana I built with my wife.  

I kid, I know, though I'm genuinely open to all of the above, save the accountant part...

Marriage has never really held much sway over my emotions, my imagination. Just not one of those poles that my inner compass has felt much pull toward. I didn't really get serious about partnership—i.e. wanting to braid my life with another's, and go through life together—until I was in my mid-30s, and am now in a relationship (my first!) that I hope and genuinely believe will be exactly that, along with building a family. But whether or not all that ends up being framed inside a marriage—well, it's not pressing for me. I am 100 percent okay with living and dying without ever being married, as has been my mindset since I was a teenager. 

I'm not "anti" marriage, mind you. I just don't think it's needed to build a rich, interdependent life with someone. 

I truly hope you find what you want in life, BC.

I do think there are pros (which means positives) and cons (which means negatives) for the choices we choose in life.  Doesn't mean we can't have a wondeful, good, full life in spite of making different choices (with pros and cons of each) it just is!  

Don't wait too long to have children... my dad had my brother in his 40's and my mom believes due to research that a man fathering a child that late can have consequences of things like schizophrenia for the children.  

Again, pros and cons to our choices.  It's very serious and I want our kids to take those things seriously, ESPECIALLY if we have mental illness in our genes.  It'd be insane to say that doesn't matter.

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In any case the discussion was not about AVOIDING marriage but about we longish.term single independents not being fit for the institution of marriage, and so fossilized that we wouldn't be able to healthily compromise, accommodate and otherwise live a fruitful marriage. 

And in any case IMO, an LTR is the same as a marriage. No difference, except that certificate we have. I had occasion to see ours again the other day and smiled to see us categorized therein as "bachelor" and "spinster". 

I agree wholly with you Blue. Truth to tell I would have been happy just living with my husband, and we did for a while, till he came home one memorable day and said he felt we should marry. Just like that. No down on one knee or other daftness. 

Now this would be a cause for concern, most definitely.

"ESPECIALLY if we have mental illness in our genes.  It'd be insane to say that doesn't matter."

Yet again I am failing badly to see what this has to do with long-term singles being unfit for marriage due to their ingrained independence. 

 

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3 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

In any case the discussion was not about AVOIDING marriage but about we longish.term single independents not being fit for the institution of marriage, and so fossilized that we wouldn't be able to healthily compromise, accommodate and otherwise live a fruitful marriage

I think it's a lot more nuanced than that.  And very deep.  

It is about finding life as a single so nice, so enjoyable, that one prolongs (or puts off, maybe indefinitely) marriage.  They may decide to avoid it, and the root of where that's coming from (the workings in their brain behind that) may make it harder to be compatible eventually.  And maybe not though.  It really is all individual, and it does probably come down to personality differences.  It may make them subconsciously self-sabotage, or not.  But the root of looking at life that way, it's something to be acknowledged, not shoved down. 

It may make them continue to avoid, even while in a marriage, doing things that would bring about more compatibility.  Like my sweet friend I love so much! ❤️  Her hold onto her independence largely effects her ability to be more interdependent with her husband... it just does.

She actually sees all of it now that her cute older children pointed it out.  But it was largely subconscious beforehand.

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The researchers found that fathers aged 40 and above are 3.3 times more likely than under-40 fathers to have children with autism spectrum disorder, whereas men aged 35 and older are 0.27 percent more likely to have children who eventually develop schizophrenia, compared with men under 35.Aug 29, 2011

Pros and Cons to our choices are serious and effect not only us, but the lives of our children.  

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/children-with-older-dads-at-greater-mental-illness-risk/#:~:text=The researchers found that fathers,compared with men under 35.

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So I love all the responses dispelling the notions of generalizations about people who marry and when.  I wanted to add as far as teaching my child I believe far more in showing by example than talking in the abstract -or talking at all.  For example he has a friend on one of the video games -he knows him in real life. He knows him because they met at our local museum a couple of years ago which is when I met his parents.  Until this past fall I actually was becoming fairly close friends with the mom -had more in common with the dad but it didn't seem appropriate to pursue a friendship with him.  I think we had our kids facetime once since covid.  Right around september my friend went MIA -became unreliable and I also realized I lost respect for her because of certain choices she made -we simply don't have common values.

Long story not short, my son asked me last night if I can contact her so he can zoom with her son again. I was honest with him.  I said I wasn't comfortable contacting her right now because she'd stopped being my friend.  But that he should contact his friend on the video game of course (nice kid!).  I didn't sugar coat it -I want him to see what my standards are in a friendship - in real life - he got that much more if I told him abstractly "if someone is flaky/unreliable figure out what your standards are and whether it's worth it to pursue the friendship".  

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35 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

My husband was 26 when our son was conceived, he is Autistic anyway. Just another variation of the human genome at about 1% of the human population. 

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34 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Her hold onto her independence largely effects her ability to be more interdependent with her husband... it just does.

Yes, MB, but that is ONE person (your friend). Doesn't mean the rest of us are like her.  That is HER experience.

Yes, this is so.

36 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

It really is all individual, and it does probably come down to personality differences

That's more like it. 

And there's nothing too deep about it either.  In short, being single and independent does NOT mean that one is automatically a bad bet for marriage.  

If people want to marry at 15, 18 or 20, that is their choice, right or wrong. I still hold that no one, no one, is fit to marry before thirty.  Even more so nowadays when 30 is the new 20, so to speak. 

Possibilities of mental illness in the offspring of older people, well, we sure can open a discussion on that and see where it takes us.  In passing, my father was over 40 when they had me and my siblings.  I can assure you we are perfectly sane. Lol. 

I might as well mention an aunt of ours (long deceased) who at 23 married a man of 51. They had five children, all sane. 

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Long story not short, my son asked me last night if I can contact her so he can zoom with her son again. I was honest with him.  I said I wasn't comfortable contacting her right now because she'd stopped being my friend.  But that he should contact his friend on the video game of course (nice kid!).  I didn't sugar coat it -I want him to see what my standards are in a friendship - in real life - he got that much more if I told him abstractly "if someone is flaky/unreliable figure out what your standards are and whether it's worth it to pursue the friendship".  

Yes, I've had the same thing happen with my oldest.  

But unlike you did, I explained exactly my reasoning so that he can better understand it. 

And he did. 

Don't underestimate what kids can understand just because they're young.

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59 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

My husband was 26 when our son was conceived, he is Autistic anyway. Just another variation of the human genome at about 1% of the human population. 

Right, we cannot always prevent things... so much is out of our hands.  

But its also wise to look and make informed decisions about risks etc.  It's just wise to have open eyes.

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4 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Yes, I've had the same thing happen with my oldest.  

But unlike you did, I explained exactly my reasoning so that he can better understand it. 

And he did. 

Don't underestimate what kids can understand just because they're young.

Oh I guess I wasn't clear -I totally explained my reasoning.  I think I left out a word - you explained that you want to make sure your kids don't get into bad relationships -I agree but rather than telling him I try to have him see real life examples of boundaries and being a good friend.   I didn't indicate that I didn't respect her choices because that is gossip and he might repeat it to her son plus it involved personal matters.  I did feel comfortable telling him the facts that she hadn't been in touch with me - I'd be happy to say that to her, and it's a fact.  I think kid understand a great deal.  I pick and choose based on age, context ,environment what to share.  For example, he saw the Freedom Tower going up when he was 4 and I didn't tell him exactly how the original WTC towers fell.  I did tell him about 2 years later because he was ready.

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13 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I agree but rather than telling him I try to have him see real life examples of boundaries and being a good friend.

I think people can learn in different ways, and some learn more from having things explained (spoken out loud), some are visual learners and pick up on experiences they're seeing around them, and then some learn just by reading books and experiences in the books etc..  And then people can also learn in all those ways etc.  

For my kids, I'm kind of trying everything and letting them show which way they prefer learning (that's also part of homeschooling for me also... figuring out their unique and very individualistic learning styles). 

So far it's been really working... our kinder boy is excelling and doing first grade work now on his own.  It's crazy once you tap into their unique learning style, they can achieve more I think.  

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2 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I think it's a lot more nuanced than that.  And very deep.  

It is about finding life as a single so nice, so enjoyable, that one prolongs (or puts off, maybe indefinitely) marriage.  They may decide to avoid it, and the root of where that's coming from (the workings in their brain behind that) may make it harder to be compatible eventually.  And maybe not though.  It really is all individual, and it does probably come down to personality differences.  It may make them subconsciously self-sabotage, or not.  But the root of looking at life that way, it's something to be acknowledged, not shoved down. 

It may make them continue to avoid, even while in a marriage, doing things that would bring about more compatibility.  Like my sweet friend I love so much! ❤️  Her hold onto her independence largely effects her ability to be more interdependent with her husband... it just does.

She actually sees all of it now that her cute older children pointed it out.  But it was largely subconscious beforehand.

Yes, this is stating the obvious.  People move towards pleasure and away from pain.  If a person enjoys being single -meaning not married, not in a common law type marriage - then of course they're not going to find it easy to be married.  Because-obviously -they were single because they got more pleasure out of being single than being with someone.  Totally valid choice.  You can throw around terms like independence and interdependence and they're vague -means different things to different people, at different times in different contexts.  It depends what precisely she is holding on to and how that affects her individual relationship.  I have friends who lived on their own and then did the whole coy thing of letting their husbands order for them at a restaurant, or making excuses about getting together because "my husband might need ____" or just "my husband/my husband" as an excuse to get off the phone, not to make a plan, not to make a plan without him there, etc.  

Of course someone who enjoyed being single might have a hard time being married -the opposite is true too.  I enjoyed living in a city where public transportation was awesome.  I have never loved adjusting to a city where it is not.  I am not as compatible with my current city because I enjoyed living in a city where I had more freedom to come and go due to better public transportation. 

I don't think what you wrote is about depth but simply the application of the obvious "people move towards pleasure and away from pain".

Edited by Batya33
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1 hour ago, LaHermes said:

I still hold that no one, no one, is fit to marry before thirty.  Even more so nowadays when 30 is the new 20, so to speak. 

LH, I agree and disagree.  I think you're very very right, that whole, "30 is the new 20," thing is real!

But I also know some (not that many) people like us and are age that would disagree.

Who are we to say who is fit or not fit to marry before 30?  

Yes, I was immature and annoying (I probably still am annoying... and also annoying all of you!  Sorry!  At least I admit the problem right? 😂). 

But I'm very glad we did it when we did... yes, I could have waited, brought more to the table (as far as financial rewards go), but I also would have missed out on something I look back and treasure now... growing and learning together with my husband.  That was priceless.  

I wouldn't trade a million dollars for those first few years, I learned that much.

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21 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Right, we cannot always prevent things... so much is out of our hands.  

But its also wise to look and make informed decisions about risks etc.  It's just wise to have open eyes.

I don’t want to prevent my son being Autistic. 😁 Autistic is wonderful. 

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6 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Of course someone who enjoyed being single might have a hard time being married -the opposite is true too.

Yes, I was surprised no one brought up the opposite.  That being married and enjoying that may make it very hard to accept single life (without an adjustment period... and even then, I think some people prefer being in a marriage for some reason).

And wow!  I didn't connect that it can come down to wanting to move toward pleasure and away from pain.  

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3 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I think people can learn in different ways, and some learn more from having things explained (spoken out loud), some are visual learners and pick up on experiences they're seeing around them, and then some learn just by reading books and experiences in the books etc..  And then people can also learn in all those ways etc.  

For my kids, I'm kind of trying everything and letting them show which way they prefer learning (that's also part of homeschooling for me also... figuring out their unique and very individualistic learning styles). 

So far it's been really working... our kinder boy is excelling and doing first grade work now on his own.  It's crazy once you tap into their unique learning style, they can achieve more I think.  

Yes, people learn differently.  I think the best way for all children to learn about values is by living it and seeing their parents model for it.  I don't home school, never want to, never intend to and I've been teaching my child since he was 5 days old (I'm not going to count the first 5 days since for part of that I was totally out of it from the C-section, I was in a hospital/he was in the NICU for a brief period of time, etc).  I think all decent parents teach their children whether they are home schooled or otherwise and learn best how their kids learn.  I was talking about teaching values less by abstraction and more by living life, by concrete example.  

That's great that you have chosen home schooling and that it's working out for you.  I have a friend who's done both -she has 3 kids under 12 now.  Two are twins.  Anyway some years ago she posted this rather offensive comment on facebook how she could not understand how anyone -anyone! - could ever send their child to public school.  Then I sat on my hands when just a few years later two of her three kids- then all three -were back in school and one in that dreaded, awful public school.  I said nothing especially when she battled the school to get her child to be put back a grade.  (They finally allowed it). 

I respect those who home school and I know from experience people come to it for all different reasons -some religious, some because their kids have special needs so home schooling is the better option, or because their friends are doing it, or because the school choices are suboptimal and the parent doesn't have gainful employment, etc -so many reasons.  I don't try to convince people to send their kids to public school (like my son) or to private school (which i went to) or any school.  I do find however that a number -not all -but a number -of parents who home school do try to convince others and seem to want a lot of accolades for their choice.  I'm kind of baffled why - I feel like telling them -cool, you do you and I'll do me.  What you're doing works for you and your family - why do you need a medal on top of that?

I also chuckle at the parents who claim to "home school" and their kids are under 5.  I didn't even go to school till I was 5- maybe pre school two days a week for one year before that? - but I find those parents most certainly want some sort of bragging rights -as if they're superior to those who use a daycare or a preschool (I don't consider 2 year olds to be in "school" but that's just me).  I didn't send my son to daycare and he went to part time preschool starting at 3.5 years old.  I didn't home school.  I was home full time and his parent.  I taught him stuff every day.  Never occurred to me to talk about what I taught him or to call it home schooling but I didn't need that sort of attention -I was just my kid's mom.  And I still am just his mom lol.

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3 hours ago, bluecastle said:

Avoided? I don't think of it like that! I mean, I've "avoided" a lot in life.

Bluecastle, I have a lot of respect for you personally, based on reading your comments for awhile.

I do think you have to watch someone's actions over time.  Not just listen to their words, so I'm watching your actions here, over decades.  And just based on your actions, over time, you have (please hear me out, I'm not judging you in this) you have avoided marriage for some reason.  

Of course that can change, you can choose to marry this new person at some point.  But the reality of your choices is that, for some reason, even after spending 15 years in relationships, you have not yet chosen marriage and have avoided it.

 

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5 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Yes, I was surprised no one brought up the opposite.  That being married and enjoying that may make it very hard to accept single life (without an adjustment period... and even then, I think some people prefer being in a marriage for some reason).

And wow!  I didn't connect that it can come down to wanting to move toward pleasure and away from pain.  

I think the basic human condition (with exceptions for those humans who are wired very differently - are not typically developing, etc) is to move towards pleasure and away from pain.

My sister was married for 20 years then divorced.  She loves being on her own.  No desire to be married.  She had a long term boyfriend after her divorce -I paid for her to be on a dating site, and she met him - but it ended when he wanted marriage (although he wasn't yet divorced....).  She realized she likes being on her own, living on her own.  Now she lives near two of her daughters and two of her grandchildren and loves spending time with them.  Then being on her own.

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3 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Bluecastle, I have a lot of respect for you personally, based on reading your comments for awhile.

I do think you have to watch someone's actions over time.  Not just listen to their words, so I'm watching your actions here, over decades.  And just based on your actions, over time, you have (please hear me out, I'm not judging you in this) you have avoided marriage for some reason.  

Of course that can change, you can choose to marry this new person at some point.  But the reality of your choices is that, for some reason, even after spending 15 years in relationships, you have not yet chosen marriage and have avoided it.

 

Not choosing something doesn't mean you are "avoiding" it.  It can simply mean not choosing. I do avoid driving.  I don't just "not choose it".  Today I avoided going into the park at sunrise and chose the sidewalk because the park was muddy.  But you can't assume just because a person chooses one option over another it means they are avoiding the other option.  I chose a particular field of graduate study.  I had other choices I could have made.  I didn't avoid those other fields of study I simply chose what I preferred.  

Oh and I regret waiting till 41 to get pregnant for one reason.  It made being pregnant much much more emotionally stressful for me because of all the increased risk factors that come with a geriatric pregnancy.  I loved all the extra ultrasounds but man those diagnostic blood tests -and the decision to forego and amnio or CVS - that was rough.  I made myself abstain from searching the internet but people would make unhelpful comments including friends and acquaintances who were also experiencing geriatric pregnancies.

I am a far better mommy than I would have been in my 20s.  For so many many reasons.

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

She realized she likes being on her own, living on her own.  Now she lives near two of her daughters and two of her grandchildren and loves spending time with them.  Then being on her own.

Wow, again, this seems to prove what I was pondering yesterday.  Independence is hard to give up for some people.  It prevented her from finding true compatibility with this new man who wanted to build and create a life together with her.

How interesting.

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Not choosing something doesn't mean you are "avoiding" it.  It can simply mean not choosing. I do avoid driving.  I don't just "not choose it".  Today I avoided going into the park at sunrise and chose the sidewalk because the park was muddy.  But you can't assume just because a person chooses one option over another it means they are avoiding the other option.  I chose a particular field of graduate study.  I had other choices I could have made.  I didn't avoid those other fields of study I simply chose what I preferred.  

Definition of

Avoid - keep away from or stop oneself from doing (something).

 

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