Adult children

The older I get, the more I realize that being a good parent requires copious amounts of patience. Day after day I meet parents with adult children who are literally sucking the life out of them. They live at home or close by and are constantly requesting more items and money. Yet, they can never make enough to move out of their parent’s house. I get that the economy isn’t typically kind to recent graduates and that it takes a lot more money than it used to in order to sustain a decent quality of life. The parents feel guilty because their child doesn’t have a decent job and can’t make it on their own therefore they open the doors of their house “for as long as needed.” Bad idea. While I know that everyone needs help at some point in their life and that hard times happen to everyone, there’s something detrimental about constantly acquiescing to the demands of your adult children because you want them to be happy with you. Living your life in perpetual sacrifice for your children HAS to stop at some point. It holds them back from becoming responsible adults and keeps you stuck in your life. You can’t continue to cater to the wants and needs of able-bodied adults who don’t feel like working and don’t want to move because they’re leaving their rent-free housing. I hear parents complaining about their children and how stressed that they are but refuse to put boundaries in place and enforce them. It’s not a pretty sight. These are people who won’t have a decent retirement because of their actions and the choices that their children have made. It’s quite unfortunate.

The pregnant pastor

I ran across an interesting blog post that has also been making the rounds on various social media outlets. If you want to read it, you can find it here.¬†¬†Just the comments alone are off the chain. The author tells her story of being a pregnant unmarried woman who is also a pastor and is not stepping down from her leadership position in the church. Oh the outcry! People are shocked that she would “dare” not publicly be repentant and spend months hiding away in shame due to an unplanned pregnancy. But she is clear in her article that she made her peace with herself and God and is moving on and enjoying the moments. It’s always been interesting how women are treated versus how quickly some people are to sweep a man’s indiscretions under the rug. There’s some type of righteous indignation that seems to follow pointing the finger at someone’s supposed “sin.” She’s not a young pre-teen. She’s a grown woman with a career and a stable home and yet people are riding her about her personal choices in her own life because she’s in a leadership position in her church. I understand the expectation that those in leadership uphold a certain standard of “acceptable” behavior. However, why is being sexually active and getting pregnant on the same level as adultery, stealing, or exploitation? There are plenty of men who have committed actual criminal offenses in leadership positions and have been allowed to get off scot-free with the “we all fall short” excuse. Life is short and can end without warning or reason so why exactly is abstinence before marriage still considered a sign of a “real” Christian? Don’t get me wrong, there are people who have chosen that life of abstinence for themselves and are happy and content with their choice. But there are others who it doesn’t work for. Of all the things to do in the world that are bad, why are the bedroom activities of two consenting unmarried adults judged so harshly? There’s literally so many other legitimate things to be up in arms about in this world we live in. A pregnant unmarried pastor is a non-issue (or at least should be). Next.

Asking for Help

I know a lot of people who have a problem asking for help. It’s not that they don’t know that they need help, but it’s a leap of faith to make their needs known to others. I think that asking for help requires a certain amount of vulnerability that many people are very uncomfortable with. I think that some of this reluctance comes from the fact that many of live in an individualistic culture. Making it on one’s own without any helped is looked upon as something to aspire to while asking for help is sometimes perceived as a sign of weakness. I must admit that as someone who provides a service that is often very needed as a part of my job, it’s frustrating when people visibly put on a front and lie about how they really feel or situations that have just occurred. However, while it’s frustrating, I’m not upset when it happens because I know that it’s very hard to be honest with oneself–let alone others in a difficult situation. Not too long ago I was in a similar situation where I found myself in a position where I either had to ask for help or experience the regret that comes along with not making the right choice at the right time. Now, luckily (or unluckily) for me I’m the kind of person who is plagued with insomnia, nausea, and other weird somatic stress symptoms when I procrastinate doing something that I really need to do or if I have some kind of conflict I have to resolve. It’s essential to fix it as soon as possible so that my pseudo-sickness can go away and I can have some peace of mind. Great incentive. All that being said, I couldn’t sleep or be productive until I fixed this huge misunderstanding and at least said what I had to say. There’s a saying that says “close mouths don’t get fed” and I was in dire need of some assistance. However, since I had already failed in delivering my message effectively in person I decided that an email would be the next best thing. So I sent a very long and rambling email that wasn’t organized but got my message across. It was definitely a gamble in the long run but at the end of the day I was able to get the results that I wanted because I was willing to get out of my comfort zone and actually say something.

Good Parenting

Recently I’ve had the chance to interact with some good parents in a professional setting. This is in contrast to the hundreds of bad ones that I interact with. I’ve never been a parent but I know it’s a hard job. I loathe waking up to take my dog out in the middle of the night–let alone getting up several times a night to tend a sick child or feed a hungry baby. It’s a job with rewards, setbacks, challenges, and achievements. I’ve heard many people say that the reason they don’t have kids is because they’re too selfish and I can understand where they are coming from. Selfish parents are the worst. I’ve met them. People more concerned about their money, appearance or property than their child’s welfare, happiness and safety. That’s why I’m always so excited to meet people who are good parents and whose kids actually like them. One of the biggest perks of having kids who like you is that the will fight tooth and nail for you when you’re too old to do it for yourself. There’s nothing like addressing a complaint from an irate adult child about their parent’s care. It’s an experience I don’t relish but I don’t get upset about it because they are genuinely concerned about their parent and the fear comes out in the emotion of anger. I say all that to say that having a kid is like an investment in your future if you get a good kid and you raise them in a way that doesn’t mess them up forever. Easier said than done in my opinion–especially with the amount of selfish parents out here.