Understanding your responsibility once you have kids.

We don’t have a choice in being part of this world. We are here because our parents decided to have us. That’s the honest truth and it comes with great responsibility when deciding to bring someone into this world. It’s not like your committing to a puppy or a material item. You’re responsible for a living, breathing beautiful creation.

One of the biggest things people forget about when becoming a parent is you’re not just committing to being a parent. Your committing to being a mentor, counselor, health advisor, grandparent, great grandparent and so on. Too many people don’t realize you are committing yourself to a lifetime of responsibilities and mentorship to this little one and his/her family someday.

Don’t let your hobbies ever come above and beyond being a good parent. When you have kids your lifestyle must change. You cannot still be obsessed with things that break down your relationships. You must embrace your new role and find things that can bring the family together. Don’t think for one second you can’t find new hobbies that include the ones you love. One thing, of many things we lose as we get older, is the realization that you can learn new things. It’s actually way more fun learning new things and mastering them and then going on to something else. Then someday in the future, you can implement your old hobbies, for your kids to enjoy with you. It will be a fresh and healthy new start to something you once loved.

With that said, don’t give up on your hobbies. Just be aware of the destruction of an unhealthy hobby that could possibly implode your family. Nothing in a healthy relationship can involve around something selfish. Find boundaries and work on them. I love to fish. Half the year I was on the river fishing. Now I go once, maybe twice a month, but I know this is just a little chapter of my life and when my kids are old enough to go, I might go more, I might not. It won’t matter because I will find new hobbies that are just as meaningful and I will still go once in awhile.

Grandparents don’t forget that your job isn’t done when that little one has his or her own family. They still need you more than ever. Not too long ago, our culture embraced the “It takes a village to raise a family”. We have went away from that and it’s not good. I believe its mostly for selfish reasons. I paid my dues and now its your turn? Im not sure what goes through some grandparents minds when it comes to grandchildren, or their own children for that matter when they get older, but it has to change. Grandkids and kids need healthy parents and grandparents to show them valuable lessons and to show them how family is always there for them. No one should feel alone but I feel like so many parents need help from their parents but they are no where to be seen. Someone once told me “If I’m not close to them, I don’t worry about them as much.” Well that someone you’re not close to now feels like your not close to them and guess what…… this makes them feel unwanted, disconnected and lost. God is always there for us and that is why he is the ultimate parent figure. It is up to us to model this for our kids and grandkids and so on. Keep reaching out, mentor, take time to just be there. Don’t take the easy way because it’s easy for you. Thats a cop out and it’s very unhealthy for you and the people that you could help with your presence.

My wife’s mom and dad are great examples of this. They are always coming up to Montana to watch the kids. Coming up for birthday parties, special events or just to be here for us. Last year they came up for two weeks, so I could elk hunt with my Dad. They blessed me so much with that. I was able to spend time with my Dad that I will cherish forever. Plus they were able to bond with our kids in a way Wesley and Joey will also cherish forever. Time is the biggest gift and you should always prioritize your time. Family should come first and if it doesn’t it might be time to change that. Big shout out to my mom as well. She has been though so much heartache but whenever she has a spare second, she is coming up to see us and our kiddos :). She also always makes sure Tracy and I go on date nights, when she is here. Also, big shout out to my Dad and his wife Michelle. As busy as they are, they still give us much needed breaks by watching the kids and going on adventures with all of us! Also, Tracy’s Dad Mike recently moved to Montana and we love our Sunday’s together. We go to church and the dollar store afterwards where he always seems to sneak a toy for them, even though they already have too many!!

I don’t know where I would be, without a supportive family, with all that I went through. I was one of those people, from someone else’s perspective, who should’t of been depressed but guess what… it can happen to everyone. Don’t ever think someone is okay just by the way you see their life in your glasses. So it’s up to us, for the people we love, to always be in there lives, through good and bad.

You want to help your kids and protect them from depression, anxiety, sadness, or any evil in this world. Give them your full undivided attention whenever possible. Give them steadfast love, positive encouragement, and a person that will always pick them over anything else besides their mother. To have healthy kids you need to show them your spouse comes first.

Don’t ever crush your kids dreams or ambitions no matter how crazy they sound. Kids need to know you believe in them. If it’s an impossible feat then let them find that out on their own. Never, never let them think for one second you don’t believe in them. That hurts them more than you know. They should always know, no matter what, you think they can conquer anything. Who are we to say they can’t? We shouldn’t limit them for our own beliefs.

Moral of this post is to never think your job is done once your a parent. Your role only gets bigger the larger your family grows. You will always be a vital part of your family and they need you. Be a rock for them and also a tree with lots of shade on those hot days. Don’t sit back and be a person that only helps out when its convenient for you. We need to show our kids that they matter all the time. Feeling loved is one of the most vital parts of being mentally healthy. It starts with us and how we prioritize our littles life, their life when they get older and their littles lives when we are older. Its a circle and it’s never too late to be the person you ought to be for them.

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