Growing up my parents were good to me. They pretty much made sure I had everything I ever wanted and for sure ever needed. I did not end up with any sense of entitlement and work for things I want or need as an adult. I always felt loved and never wondered if they cared. My parents may have divorced when I was 3, but they are the best co-parenters I know. Don't get me wrong, it took years to get there, but to have my Dad at my Mom and Stepdads house on Christmas morning or at the Thanksgiving table all together is awesome! They both got over their dislike for each other and made it work for the kids and grandkids. That brings me to my first point - I do not want my kids to experience their parents divorcing. I was so young that I made it fine but I have seen others not so fortunate. I do not even have but one memory of my parents ever even being married. I want them to be able to have their parents together and witness them love on each other and for Nathan and I to not have to miss out on anything in the kids lives due to whose turn it is with the kids. I grew up like that and it was so routine it didn't ever bother me - but the thought of doing it as a parent kills me. I am in my marriage for life and it would take A LOT for me to give up on that. We will BE THERE for my kids and for each other always and I want them to see that.
Both of my parents have worked full-time my entire life. With that comes them missing out on some of my sporting events, school programs, etc. Once again, it was always like that so I never thought a thing about it - they were there for a majority of things though. I love my job! I have been fortunate enough to work somewhere that I don't dread going to and I make enough money to pay for what we need. I also have flexibility for sick kids or sporting events. We are not poor and don't struggle but I don't have much extra money lying around and I have some debt. I could probably go somewhere else and make lots more money but I would miss out on going to Noah's t-ball games, getting to go eat lunch with Noah at school, or I would get in trouble for taking off with my sick kid. I don't want to miss a single thing because they will be gone before I know it and these memories (both for me of watching them and for them knowing I was there) will be all we have left. Right now with life I can be there or be rich. I want to BE THERE and I want them to remember that.
Neither of my parents have much retirement but they are old enough to still be able to depend on Social Security being around for them. They are both over 65 and still working because they need the money. Last year, Nathan and I finally got around to setting up retirement accounts and doing some financial planning so we can retire later and be comfortable. That is the plan anyway. I want to be able to babysit my grandkids so my kids won't have to trust a stranger with their kids (thank God for our amazing sitter - some people have not been so fortunate). I want to travel with Nathan and see the world together. I want to be able to afford to take our kids and grandkids with us on trips they might not be able to afford at that stage in their lives. I want to spoil my grandkids. Don't get me wrong - my parents do a lot of these things anyway, even while working full time, but I know it would be easier on them if they didn't have to. I want to BE THERE for my kids and grandkids when they need me later.
I am not saying my parents were not there for me in these ways at all - just that I know it could have been easier on them and us if things were different. I want to go into the future hoping to learn from the past - not necessarily mistakes from the past, just to maybe do things differently in a way that is better for everyone.
I want my kids to have a box full of childhood memories to share with their spouses someday. I want their spouse to have an idea of how their husband/wife was raised. I completed baby books for both kids and have a birthday book with chapters for every birthday up to their 18th that is up to date and I try to complete as soon as the partying is over. I document and share my kids on Facebook and through this blog. I
We may not be rich or have the fanciest possessions. We do, however, have the memories of being there for each other and the promise to continue that.