Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here is my take on the different types of Adults in America

In America there are many different groups of "Adults."  These can be broken down into distinct categories, each with their own unique features.

  Here is how I see them:

 1.  DINKs (Dual income, no kids): These are the people who have worked hard at their careers and have decided either by choice or circumstance not to have kids.  To those of us with kids, these people live the high life.  They tend to have fancy toys, go on vacations, have no clue about that particular torture other parents call "kid(s) in team sports", or limitations on spending money.  I have some of these friends, and I can honestly say I am jealous of their lifestyle.  When my other parented friends discuss this we always go back to the "Oh well, we can do that when the kids are grown."  The failing I find in that logic is, I will OLD when my kids are grown.  Will I really WANT a camper, boat, big house, huge yard, cottage, etc when I am in my 60's?

2.  Partnered Parents with 1 kid:  I like to call these parents "Practice Parents."  When you have only one child you are really not that inconvenienced.  1 kid is portable and sharable.  Each parent can have equal share (even though most times we know Mom's do most of the work).  If one parent has something they'd like to do, it isn't too big of a deal for the other to keep the child occupied.  It is also easy to hire a babysitter or ask a family member to keep one child.  Start adding complexity to the equation, and your social life ends.  Most of my friends with one child still seem to lead pretty fun lives.  Their facebook pages claim they are going on vacations, many have boats, cottages, etc.  I know when I only had one, I pretty much did everything I wanted to do...I just brought Manudo with me...she was portable like that.

3.  Parents with 2 kids:  These are the justice scale parents.  They either have 1 kid for each hand, or divide the kids up equally between the parents.  Extra lucky are the parents that get one kid of each sex.  Then they can divide by gender and everyone is happy!  It is still somewhat feasible to ask a family member to watch them so you and your partner can have some alone time...just don't do it too often, as that leads to:

Oh look, mommy and daddy were busy with 2 of the 3 kids!

4.  Parents with 3 or more kids:  These are the adults that are frazzled ALL THE TIME.  When you have 3 or more kids you never have enough hours in the day, money in the bank, or hands to keep them all in line.  For some reason adding that 3rd (and subsequent) child will turn your household into a war-zone.  Why is it that if I take any one of my kids out of the equation the other two will get along and not fight at all?  As soon as the 3rd returns from wherever they have been, all hell breaks loose!  Parents with 3 or more kids also find it is more difficult to do things as a family...there is no more "pairing off" as 1 child will always be free to cause chaos upon the world.  3 or more kids is especially "fun" when they all have to go to the restroom and there is only 1 parent around.  At what age is is inappropriate for me to force my son to go to the ladies room cuz the girls have to go?  Am I supposed to just leave him out in the restaurant to his own devices? 

4.  Single parents:  These folks are SAINTS and  SUPERHEROS!  I have been there and  it was extremely trying, difficult, and many times overwhelming.  No matter HOW many kids single parents have, it is always difficult.   Add more than 1 and your life becomes ruled by the laws of fairness and your brain becomes fixated on technology for cloning.  How the heck is a person supposed to work and get 3 kids to 3 different activities, all the while planning nutritious meals and helping with homework?  At some point, a single parent learns a lesson that many paired parents do not figure out until their kids hammer it into their brains during the horrid "I hate my parents" teenage years.    This lesson is:  We are not perfect, we will make mistakes, and worst of all we will disappoint the little people in our lives who used to think we are perfect.  That look in your child's eyes the first time you forget to pack the permission slip or are late to pick them up after school is heartbreaking for every parent.  I think the Single parents feel it to a higher degree because they feel like they have to be even more perfect than their peers who have partners.  I mean at least partnered parents have someone else to blame, am I right?

Which kind of Adult are you?  What are some of the challenges I have missed?  What do you love most about the life you are living with or without kids?

Until next time,

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