The easiest way to find out if something works for your lifestyle is to TRY IT OUT!
My husband and I are planners. We are spontaneous too, but for the most part, we like to make decisions based on a lot of fact gathering. For example, the lease for our car is up next year and we were thinking about buying a PT Cruiser. So we rented one for the weekend, which was the ultimate test drive! We drove it on the highway and around town. We filled the back with groceries. We tested out the headlights at night. There is nothing we don’t know about that car now! (And by the way, we really liked it and we *are* planning to get one next year!)
So if you’re trying to decide if you want kids, why not offer to take a niece, nephew, or family friend for a few days and see what this parenting thing is all about?
My 10 year old cousin is staying with us this week to attend a science camp at our museum (he lives in another state). And boy, is it amazing how different our lives are! My husband and I are both 100% sure we don’t want kids of our own. But “borrowing” my cousin for a week has even further cemented that decision!
Don’t get me wrong – we are having a great time! But we also know that his parents are coming to pick him up at the end of the week, and we will have our quiet routine back.
After dealing with homesickness tears the first night – which we are completely unequipped to handle! – we realized how much time and attention we were diverting to my cousin. When we went to bed that night, my husband turned to me and said, “I don’t like how we aren’t focused on each other!” Suddenly everything is about this little person in our midst!
Another thing that’s different about this week is we are doing nothing but fun stuff – taking our convertible to get ice cream, playing miniature golf. I can’t imagine what it’s like to get a child ready for school every day, in bed at a reasonable time, eat all his vegetables, discipline him when he fights with his brother. With us, it’s anything goes for a week of fun!
But reality is much different. And having a baby is a lot different than adopting a 10 year old for a week. Two of my closest friends had their first babies exactly one week ago. They are thrilled to be new parents, but they are already extremely sleep deprived…
In the end, I’m perfectly content to be Aunt Kim, not Mommy.
DISCLAIMER: It should go without saying that you should always have the parents’ permission to host a child for a few days.