Friday, January 22, 2010

I Think I Have a Slight Fever

In my last post, I wrote about my aversion to having children (which stemmed from the fear of being a big ol' loser at parenting).  Anyway, so strangely enough, as my relationship with Mr. Pug progressed, I found myself more and more open the idea of raising kids.  It's now to the point that I have baby fever--I really want a kid and I will steal one if I have to (also keep in mind that I'll be close to 34 when we get married, so I better get crackin'...I am kidding about the stealing part).

The fever has led me to do things like this (not advised):

So, how did this happen? I'm not entirely sure.  Let me throw out a few things that I'm thinking.

**This are just my thoughts. I completely understand that the idea of having and raising children is very personal and unique to each person, and my reasons are that--only mine.  I'm not trying to impose my reasons on others or undermine others' thoughts on this issue.**

I think I want to have children with Mr. Pug because:

Being with Mr. Pug has made me realize that, while we do not by any means have the perfect relationship, I am capable of having a loving, stable relationship with someone (this was not a strong assumption of mine in the past).  I think that our love--and not just romantic love, but really a deep caring for a person who is your partner and family member--can serve as part of a foundation for a loving family. Something about being with him and being in this loving partnership makes me want to share that with others.

My concerns about my abilities to raise a child have been undergoing and continue to undergo a change, partly due to my relationship with Mr. Pug.  How?  When Mr. Pug and I became serious, I wanted to improve myself and our relationship, because I love him and I want us to be happy.

My relationship with Mr. Pug and his well-being reflected my state of being.  As in, if I was unhappy, irritable, unable to deal with stress, etc., that would negatively affect my relationship with Mr. Pug.  I wanted to improve--like I said, I wanted us to be happy, because this was something I wanted to last.

While of course in the past I had wanted to improve myself, this time I really took some action, and really saw it as more of a necessity (instead of making half-hearted New Year's resolutions) in order for us to make it.

While working on my weaknesses, I also realized that not only could I be a better person for the sake of myself, Mr. Pug and our relationship--but that as a better person, I could also be a *better parent* than I had previously thought possible.  Basically, being part of a team with Mr. Pug stirred me out of the resignation that I would not be a good parent.

For me, I wanted my lessons and efforts, as well as my and Mr. Pug's better qualities, to go beyond helping our relationship.  If I can foster a loving relationship and home with Mr. Pug, wouldn't that be nice to share with a child, someone who could benefit from our love and efforts?

I know, there's a little gap in logic going from me + Mr. Pug to me + Mr. Pug + child, and I can't quite explain it.

I admit that the gap in logic, at least for me, is probably filled by socialized thinking and a tinge of narcissism.  Mr. Pug and I essentially want our child to benefit from what we know and what we have learned, and for that child to hopefully be happy and stable, in part from what we can show/teach him/her.

But again, why do I *need* to share this with a child? Is that where my narcissism kicks in (and I wish I had a gentler word for that)?  There is a certain desire to see my and Mr. Pug's better qualities passed on to someone else, to see if I can make that child happy and have a good life, and hopefully better than the one I had (not that I have a bad life, but "better" is usually a good thing, right?).  But do I need to channel that into a child? Perhaps not.  Love is something definitely to be shared, but does it need to be shared by raising a child?

This is an important question because I believe it will help frame my parenting.  But I can't quite answer it satisfactorily.  On the other hand, at least for me, I'm okay with an incomplete answer--I know some of the reasons, and more importantly, I have much stronger hope than I ever have before that I can and will be a loving parent.

Hopefully my child will take better to being held by me than this:

(pug not at all amused)

Has being in a relationship changed the way you think about raising a family?  I'm interested to hear what other people think about the desire to have children (or not have children).

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