Not Alone Series: Children and Babies

notaloneseries

Do you have children in your life? What is your relationship with them like? Do you have godchildren, and how do you form a relationship with them? Does having children in (or not in) your day-to-day life make you feel happy, wistful, or wary (of having your own someday)?

I suggested this week’s prompt! The two-minute rule served me well: I had an idea in response to Jen’s call for prompts and wrote it on Facebook right away, and now I’m NAS famous! (That’s a good kind of famous, if you couldn’t tell.)

After I suggested the prompt, Jen gave it a title when she posted it in the list of upcoming topics. However, she calls babies “babes,” so the topic became “Children and Babes.” I thought it was a typo at first, but then I realized it was intentional. I see babes and think “attractive men,” not babies! Then again, as I pointed out to her, finding the “good-looking grown man” kind of “babe” could be the first step toward getting the infant kind!

That’s enough backstory and exclamation points for now.

I like kids. Many of my friends have had babies in the last few months (They’re all around the country, so either there’s nothing in the water or it is everywhere. I am drowning in chubby baby cheeks on my Facebook wall. It’s glorious. And liking kids, books, and helping people is what initially led me to become a teacher. I don’t teach full-time anymore, but I still have a teacher’s heart.

Loving kids is different when they’re not your kids, though. These days, I don’t even have students, so I don’t spend much time around children at all. I know that’s not good for me, because I hope to have children of my own someday. Borrowing other people’s kids (a.k.a. teaching, babysitting, volunteering, etc.) is a great way to get some practice. I only have Pure Fashion once a month, so I don’t get to know those girls very well, but at least I get some exposure (and, you know, help with the work).

jamesbaptism

His baptism day was one of the best days of *my* life, too!

Right now, there’s only one child in my life: my godson, James. He is just over two years old and is growing like a weed. At least I think he is growing like a weed. I haven’t seen him in person in a long, long time, because his mom is in the military, so they move a lot. (My military brat experience was atypical.) I treat him like family, though, sending presents for his birthday and Christmas and praying for him in my intercessions all the time. I would love to spend time with him, but unless the distance or the cost of travel goes way down, prayers and presents will have to substitute for real presence.

As you might guess from the way I phrased the prompt, I have mixed feelings about my current relationship with the children and babies in my life. Friends with kids are different. I love my friends the same, but they have a higher, needier priority than ever before. (It’s not bad that babies need you! They just take a lot of time and energy to raise.) I still spend some one-on-one time with married friends, but it’s not the same. That’s okay. Kids take more energy than spouses, though, and although I accept and support that, it still makes me sad. I am so happy for my friends who have kids, but I miss having the depth of friendship we once did. Sometimes the only way to enrich friendships with parenting friends is to have kids of your own for theirs to play with!

For me, children are all about hope for the future. Their lives are a sign from God that the world should continue. Their presence in the lives of my parenting friends is a great joy. Having any of my own is just a dream.


Thanks to Jen and Morgan for hosting! Check out other responses on their blogs.



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“Kids take more energy than spouses, though, and although I accept and support that, it still makes me sad. I am so happy for my friends who have kids, but I miss having the depth of friendship we once did. Sometimes the only way to enrich friendships with parenting friends is to have kids of your own for theirs to play with!”

I especially agree with this. It makes me sad, too, sometimes. I absolutely love my kids but I also find it hard to have that “depth of friendship” (really like that phrasing!) that I used to have with so many friends.

Over breaks, it’s nice to be able to have some semblance of friendship with friends who also have kids so ours can play together while we talk and we equally understand if our children interrupt us in conversation for diapers, hunger, fighting, etc.

I definitely try to get out of the house without my kids to see my friends without children so that our conversations can be more focused. It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s great when it does. I’m also grateful that several of my friends without kids are willing to come visit and see me even with all of the interruptions.

I didn’t blog this week because I don’t have any kids in my life at all. Im glad to see your friends are still your friends after kids. I have found a lot of people seem to disappear after they have kids…which I just find sad. :(

    Well, so far we’re still friends even after (during?) kids. In general, if I want to spend time with any of my non-single friends, I have to put in the effort to make a friend date myself. But since I care about the relationship, I put in the effort, even though I know they can’t reciprocate at the same level. That’s love. (I wonder if this is how men feel when they initiate romantic relationships.)

“I see babes and think “attractive men,” not babies! Then again, as I pointed out to her, finding the “good-looking grown man” kind of “babe” could be the first step toward getting the infant kind!” – This is a great analogy :-) Ps, what a great picture of you & your godson.

hahah!! I laughed when you mentioned the “babes” thing and I am dying laughing again! :) :) So true, though… to get a babe (baby), you need a babe (your hubby, preferably!). I love it.

Oh, friendships changing. Darn it for that. It’s expected and good, but sometimes it’s frustrating and sad. There is a sense of loss, ya know? Of what you used to have. But, in my case it’s been a wonderful transition. Sometimes some of my friends feel they “can’t relate to me anymore”- and that breaks my heart. Ya know?! I don’t know what to say to that, other than I will continue to love them and want to know about their life, and their kids. Because that is their life. :)

The interruptions is hard. When I am in the middle of a convo and someone has to talk to a kid… I have to bite my tongue sometimes. It’s just me being selfish. And, I know I will do the same thing when I have kids, god-willing, of my own. But… yea. Just being real.

I love that pic of you and your sweet godson!!

    I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to look at the word “babe” the same way again! Good times.

    Oh, friends. I think one of the aspects of friendship that tests its strength is whether it lasts when things change. If one of you moves away, or if you get a new job/hobby/boyfriend/husband/baby that takes up your time, or if the shared interest that started the friendship fades away, but you’re still friends, you know you’ve got a good friend. Friendship is a kind of love, after all, and all love takes work. Think of how much love it takes God not to just write us all off when we sin! Let’s keep praying for those husbands and kids to come along and for good friends to stick with us along the way.

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