I have always loved being around babies. There is just something remarkable about such tiny fingers, ears, and belly buttons. It's an unmatchable feeling when a baby smiles at you, this miniature human so new to the world and all life has to offer. My mom says it best when she says, "I just love little people!"
I had many jobs babysitting throughout my teenage and college years, and even a stint of live-in nannying, which was one of the most rewarding, humbling, and terrorizing jobs I have ever had. It's amazing what you'll find yourself doing (or bribing) to get a 4-year-old to not embarrass you!
It really puts you in check when you are responsible for the life of a child... And however that child acts in public, well, that's a direct reflection on you. Whatever hissy fit, loud opinions spoken about the people around you... You might as well have said it yourself!
I am so excited for the day I bring life into the world, but trust me: babysitting is the best birth control out there. My day can wait a few years.
Recently, I had a conversation about parenting, marriage, and family that really got me thinking.
When you get married, your spouse and you officially become a family. Albeit small, you are a family of 2 nonetheless. Whenever the two of you decide to bring life into the world, those children are an extension of the family you've built, but they cannot be the foundation. The family unit must start with the marriage foundation, and build off of that. This is why "child-centered" parenting just can't work. Yes, your children need to be nurtured, praised, and taught good values. But I know that if my marriage gets constantly put on the back burner, and the family foundation isn't fed into, the family as a whole will suffer.
I want my husband and I to not be afraid to show affection in front of our children, and not be afraid to take time out of our busy lives for some alone time on occasion. I believe these things are important, and will be such a great example to the children we are bringing up.
I think so often today, parents are much too focused on being their child's best friend and not upsetting them, or feeling bad for disciplining them. But let me tell you something I know is true: disciplined children grow up to be healthy adults.
So if the foundation, the marriage that the family is built on, is healthy and thriving, then both parents are on a united front and can give their children the love and lessons they need.
I know I am not yet a parent myself, but these are things I have learned and observed. I want to enter into marriage with the idea that we are starting a family, and the extensions we add on to that will be welcomed, irreplaceable blessings, but can never replace the foundation our marriage has created.