I’m a new dad. Our son, Weston, is about 7 weeks old. Having a child has only enhanced my desire to live a peaceful, loving life and to really experience the life Kait and I want for our family.
Becoming a father for the first time at the age of 34 is probably considered old to some, but is perfect for me. Kait and I weren’t ready before. We had heard over the years from numerous people, “you’ll never be ready, you just have to do it”. I strongly disagree. I actually think that you don’t feel ready because you’re actually not ready. Maybe, when you don’t feel ready, you shouldn’t force the situation and have children. At least not yet.
Kait and I batted the idea back and forth for years. One of us would randomly ask the other, “Do you want to have kids?” Or “Are you ready to have kids?” One of us always responded with “No” or was extremely hesitant. We had meany reasons as to why, such as: Are we financially stable enough?, Let’s travel more first!, I don’t want to be tied down to a baby, l like our freedom now, Will we still be able to go to concerts?, What about eating out? We love going to really good restaurants., The world is already over populated!, There is so much negativity in the world, do we really want to bring a child into this?, and so on.
We know we can really do any of these things with a child, if we choose to, so the real reason we didn’t feel ready was because we had more self work to do. We both had personal growth that we needed to accomplish prior to having a child. Now I am much better equipped to handle a crying baby without getting frustrated or flustered. I will be a much better father when Weston acts out, shows emotion, and needs guidance throughout his life. I know this because I have been able to become more aware and slow down my reactions and actions. I will not be nearly as quick to get frustrated as I would have been 2+ years ago. I have done personal work to get me to this point, and I still have more to do. So, Kait and I just didn’t feel ready.
That was until we both felt ready, towards the end of last summer, 2018. She was 32 and I was 33 at that time. We knew the timeframe, biologically speaking, for a statistically healthy and easier pregnancy and birth was closing. That was definitely a factor, but we also truly just felt ready. There are things that parents complain about, such as: never having any time for yourself, the inability to stay out late or go out on weekends, life completely changes because of children, being sleep deprived forever, house is always messy, there is always stuff around, your marriage will never be the same, etc. Those are typically followed by, but I wouldn’t change it for anything or but it’s the best thing in the world. Some of those are choices, and the ones that aren’t, well, that’s what taking care of another being who is completely reliant on you for years is all about. It’s a choice to see it negatively or see it positively. We see all of those changes as positives and look forward to new adventures and challenges, together.
One of the best things we did to prepare us for having a child was getting a dog. Kait had wanted a dog since we met, but I was reluctant. I wasn’t ready for the responsibility of taking care of another living, needy being. And unlike a child, we can’t take a dog with us to the majority of places we go. But, I finally gave in and we brought home an eight week-old mini golden doodle puppy on Christmas Eve 2016. His name is Avett, named after the Avett Brothers, one of our favorite bands.
Talk about life changing. Avett woke us up in the middle of the night for a while, but we didn’t have to just change him or feed him. We had to take him downstairs and outside to go to train him to go to the bathroom outside…in the winter. He has peed, pooped, and thrown up all over our house. We have had to take him to the emergency room at 1 am when Kait was over eight months pregnant. He’s destroyed pillows, countless blankets and towels, eaten many socks and tissues, and now takes up a good portion of the foot of our bed, when he’s not trying to take over my side of the bed. We can’t take him with us to most stores or when we travel to most places. We do not leave him alone for longer than eight hours. We do not have a big yard, so we walk him every day, usually for at least 30 minutes, but try to do closer to 45-60 minutes. He’ll eat the food right off your plate if it’s in his reach. We make his food every week because none of the pre-made food was working for him. (Apparently golden doodles are notoriously picky eaters. Then when we found a food he liked, he actually started having blood in his poo. He has had no issues since we started making his food ourselves.) He barks a lot and gets so excited when people enter our house. Sometimes he can’t be contained due to the excitement. Avett is also one of the sweetest things I have ever been around. He is so loving and full of energy, it’s incredible. I can’t even express how much love Kait and I have for Avett. We can’t wait to see Avett and Weston’s relationship develop. Avett has been a huge help at preparing me for being a father, to a human.
Having a child at this point in our life has been right for us. We are not more financially stable, actually less so. There is a lot of change happening now for us, created by us to live the life that we envision and desire. Having Weston has only made that fire burn brighter and deeper. We didn’t decide to have children to fulfill us and make us happy. We did it to express our love for each other, and for the ability to experience a connection and guide another human in a manor that can only happen as a parent.
Leading up to deciding to have children, we talked about a lot of things. If we were not biologically able to create a baby, then we would look into adoption. We would be comfortable knowing that creating a human body-mind was not meant for us. That is what would be right for us. We are lucky that we were able to get pregnant without any issues. We know amazing people who are not as fortunate.
Kait and I made the decision to reduce our footprint on the Earth. When making purchases, we are very mindful about every decision and always search to find options that are made from materials that are as organic and sustainable as possible. We are using cloth diapers (bumGenius E3), cloth wipes with a cleaning spray that we make, bar soap, glass bottles, and as little plastic as possible. We opted for the MoonWomb instead of a Boppy. We chose a Joolz stroller based on their care for the environment with their design, materials, and business choices.
We will do out best to not purchase any new plastic toys. We will only use single use diapers and wipes when absolutely in a pinch. Most of Weston’s clothing is passed down by our nephew and cousin, for which we are extremely grateful! My cousin gave us a crib, that I refinished to fit the aesthetic of the nursery. We will happily accept toys and games that have been used, but we do not want to purchase new ones unless they are sustainably made – process and materials.
Sure, Weston reaps the benefits of having more pure items, but we are really doing this as a conscious effort to live more harmoniously with nature, with the Earth. Plastics are helping to destroy all of life on Earth. Humans are actually destroying all of life on Earth. We want to be on the other end of the spectrum, where everything we do is actually helping all of life on Earth. All of life on Earth. Humans can’t exist without the rest of the ecosystem.
I have said this before in my writing, we just wished that more people cared too.
Side Note: Kait will be starting a blog, at some point (hopefully soon!), that will be centered around living more sustainably and harmoniously with nature. Her first post will be about cloth diapers, their importance, and how easy they really are.
For those of you reading this who don’t feel ready to have a child, don’t have a child. Explore why you are feeling that way and understand it. Work on yourself first, then make sure your relationship is right, then think about having a child. Do not feel pressured to do anything. The collective mind of our family, friends, and society can really make us feel shitty about things like this. Do what is right for you. Don’t do anything to make other people happy, unless it makes you happy.
If you do not want to have children, be good with that. There is nothing wrong with it, and honestly, I strongly believe that our world is over populated. The Earth and nature is fighting back against our destruction. We don’t have to have children to make an impact on others and help to spread gratitude and kindness. Too many people who were not ready to have children have had them. And the result has been narcissism and a focus on all of the wrong things that don’t actually mean a damn thing, such as money and power. All of this is really just a cry for help and acceptance from a community, which we all need. If we can get to a point where we all feel loved and like we a part of something bigger than our individual self, then there will be no hate and no destruction. We have to stop being selfish.
Important to Note: Also, don’t do anything to harm other people or make them sad. If those things make you happy, then you have some serious personal work to do and should work with a team of people to help guide you through. That is not the true nature of any being, it is only the work of a very conditioned mind-body.)
As I am typing this, I have Weston sleeping against me in a Boba X carrier which I find very comfy. I love working like this. Hearing him breathe, and feeling his chest and belly move with each breath. Feeling his little heart beat and sporadic little flutters of his legs and arms.
I love the life and family that Kait and I have created with each other and with both of our boys, Avett and Weston. We have already been to several restaurants and a vacation with Weston. We look forward to many more travels and experiences with him at all ages and stages of life, enjoying each moment as it is. This family has helped me become a better person, to spread more joy and positivity to the world. I know this to be true, and I know that it is only because we did it as it was right for us. Nothing was forced, everything was with love, gratitude, and happiness.