What you WON"T do for your kid...

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Submitted by CDMA ENG on June 20, 2014 - 10:34pm

I have been reading post after post about what you guys have done or are doing for your kid but what I want to know is what you are now not doing for you kid.

Let me give an example... I am expecting my first born within the next 30 days. Because of that I know within the next 18 months I need to start changing my ways. I need to start drinking less soda... Stop playing any significant amount of video games... Watch less TV... Why? Because I didn't want my child to develop these bad habits or use me as excuse to indulge in certain behaviors.

What about you guys... What did you give up so that you would be a bad influence on your kid?

Regards,

CE

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 20, 2014 - 10:37pm.

toss your tv in the garbage.

not less soda. no soda. fuck soda. fuck that whole soda industry. fucking EVIL.

me, I changed from being a flaky barely employed goofball to being a serious working joe.

Submitted by CA renter on June 20, 2014 - 11:09pm.

scaredyclassic wrote:
toss your tv in the garbage.

not less soda. no soda. fuck soda. fuck that whole soda industry. fucking EVIL.

Totally agree with scaredy on this.

Submitted by CA renter on June 20, 2014 - 11:24pm.

Congratulations, CE!!! I thought you already had kids. What an exciting time! :)

Well, one thing I can say is that having kids will be the very worst business decision you could ever make...but they are so worth it! Because of this, you will not be able to go out as much, go on as many vacations (certainly not very expensive ones), no date nights unless you have a handy grandparent nearby (or if you're comfortable with a sitter..and you might find that you're not nearly as comfortable once you hold your sweet baby in your arms). No fancy cars; you might tell yourself that you will always have a "cool" car, but most of us just give in at some point and end up with a minivan or some other horribly uncool car.

Personally, I've given up almost all TV; no TV on at our house unless I'm folding laundry late at night or if I quickly check CNBC for a bit in the early morning or closing bell in the afternoon, or if Mr. CAR is watching sports, of course (can't win 'em all). Though it's a bit overboard, the car radio is tuned more to jazz and classical than rock when the kids are in the car.

As a former smoker (yeah, it sucks), I gave up smoking. Thought I would start back up after the first pregnancy, but just couldn't do it. I couldn't bear the thought of smelling like an ashtray when I was nursing my baby. Just a different lifestyle after you have kids, and this was a good thing.

Sex. Though it doesn't fall into the category of things you're giving up in order to be a good influence on the kids. Hate to tell you this, but you will be giving up a LOT of sex. :( We all tell ourselves it won't happen to us, but it just happens, whether we like it or not. Kids are the most effective anti-aphrodisiac in the universe, especially when they're knocking on your bedroom door and crying because you've locked them out of your bedroom. Sorry to break this to you.

Submitted by svelte on June 21, 2014 - 12:43pm.

Screwing on the couch.

Submitted by SK in CV on June 21, 2014 - 7:17am.

CDMA ENG wrote:

Let me give an example... I am expecting my first born within the next 30 days. Because of that I know within the next 18 months I need to start changing my ways. I need to start drinking less soda... Stop playing any significant amount of video games... Watch less TV... Why? Because I didn't want my child to develop these bad habits or use me as excuse to indulge in certain behaviors.

You probably have it nailed as far as what will happen, but not the why. You won't be influencing your child's habits for at least the first year or two by playing video games. The reason you'll give most of this stuff up is that you don't want to be a dick of a partner. The one thing that shocked me when my kids were born is how damn time consuming they are. They suck up just about every available minute. Even when they're sleeping.

Congratulations. I hope your experience matches mine, and your kids are the most fulfilling thing that ever happens to you.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 21, 2014 - 7:36am.

SK in CV wrote:
CDMA ENG wrote:

Let me give an example... I am expecting my first born within the next 30 days. Because of that I know within the next 18 months I need to start changing my ways. I need to start drinking less soda... Stop playing any significant amount of video games... Watch less TV... Why? Because I didn't want my child to develop these bad habits or use me as excuse to indulge in certain behaviors.

You probably have it nailed as far as what will happen, but not the why. You won't be influencing your child's habits for at least the first year or two by playing video games. The reason you'll give most of this stuff up is that you don't want to be a dick of a partner. The one thing that shocked me when my kids were born is how damn time consuming they are. They suck up just about every available minute. Even when they're sleeping.

Congratulations. I hope your experience matches mine, and your kids are the most fulfilling thing that ever happens to you.

In this vein I'd submit that being in very good physical condition really helps. Never too late. Speed agility strength endurance all useful.

Submitted by SK in CV on June 21, 2014 - 8:06am.

scaredyclassic wrote:

In this vein I'd submit that being in very good physical condition really helps. Never too late. Speed agility strength endurance all useful.

And the at least temporary disabling of your gag reflex would be helpful.

Submitted by joec on June 21, 2014 - 8:33am.

I agree that kids will suck up all your time...When they are awake, you really won't have time for much else since they will want your attention so you can't tell them to read a book and leave me alone...

That said, like someone else said, the 1st 2 years, you probably can play games or watch TV...I'd say to really enjoy it since you won't get to do it as much after they are older and if it's an activity you enjoy, do it as much as you can now.

After that, you have to decide what you want your life to be like (all for the kids, give up everything?).

I don't think it matters as much what the dad does. Like my parents never used computers and we did growing up. Also, I'm sure Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, you name any tech company would've NEVER been started if the founders weren't allowed to play with computers early and play games early so is it really that bad? Just monitor use and don't let the kid EVER get it in their head that they can say no or they set the rules. I've seen a lot of other kids not so well disciplined and are wild outside. Most likely, they "won" some early battles and do as they please. Remember that letting a kid do whatever they want ISN'T helping them at all actually. I know a kid who is allowed ice cream for breakfast...

I've also heard/seen cousins which supposedly was led by a tiger mom and weren't allowed any TV time at all, last time we saw them to eat lunch, the kids had both their eyes glued to either an ipad or a gamepad...throughout the whole lunch...not sure how good that worked out.

I don't know how effective it is if you have to work and are already worn out (pick your battles)...especially if all their friends/other family cousins have these toys/phones so I'd just set boundaries/guidelines/time restrictions, etc...was never a fan of banning it all since that doesn't each people how to manage their own time/money/what's too much, etc...It's better if they learn how to do it at a younger age.

Another point not discussed so far is we don't hit our kids since studies supposedly show hitting doesn't help...I got hit plenty...no wonder I'm so screwed up...so maybe they are right...

congrats and good luck! Life is forever changed and over with kids and your time is all gone now.

studies also consistently show that parents with kids are not as happy as married couples without...I don't disagree with this, but like many things in life, it's not just about being the happiest I guess and if we wanted that life experience (which can't be described if you don't have kids), just do it and live with it...I'm sure the relationship with the spouse forever changes as well.

Submitted by NotCranky on June 21, 2014 - 8:31am.

Except for making babies I had nothing to hide and my first son was the biggest c--k blocker ever. He had this Spidey sense and would cry and need attention the second any fun got started. We had to make separate doctors visits and do artificial insemination to get his siblings going.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 21, 2014 - 8:34am.

Relax. Hard to ever fully relax

Submitted by Coronita on June 21, 2014 - 9:00am.

Congrats!....

Submitted by CA renter on June 21, 2014 - 4:35pm.

Going to echo what SK said about giving up video games because your partner will need you more...forget about the kid.

As a wife and mother, there is nothing in the world that is more endearing than a husband who focuses on the mom so that she can focus on the kid (especially if she's nursing, etc.). Her body is shot. Her hormones are rushing through her and her body is trying to heal from one of the hardest things it will ever do, all at a time when this new little person will be most demanding. She'll feel unsexy, unwanted, tired beyond belief, and overwhelmed. If you take the time to make this first year as easy as possible for her (and make her feel sexy and loved, no matter what she looks like), you will be richly rewarded for the rest of your life. Screw it up by playing video games, watching hours of TV, ignoring her, going out with "the boys" while she's stuck at home, not being helpful, and telling her that she is anything less than the sexiest thing you've ever seen in your life...and you will be paying for it for the rest of your life. The greatest gift you can give to your kid is a healthy, happy marriage and a warm, loving home. Focus on your marriage/wife, and the rest will fall into place.

Sorry for the unsolicited advice, but think this is so important, I'm willing to have you hate me for it. ;)

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 21, 2014 - 6:42pm.

Be awesome

Submitted by svelte on June 22, 2014 - 7:46am.

Concur with others on the board.

We gave up everything not kid related for like 15 years. Not a conscience decision, there was simply no time! We had to rediscover hobbies once they had their own drivers licenses.

There wasn't even any alcohol in the house during that period...for two reasons basically...(1) no time to drink it...(2) even if we miraculously found time when they were sleeping at night, we needed to have a clear mind at all times in case a problem arose while they slept.

We also found that when they were asleep, that was our time to take care of the backlog of chores we had no time for while they were awake.

Kids sound limiting and time consuming and they are. But they bring so much joy that we didn't ever wish for the pre-kid days...we just enjoyed them while we had them...

Submitted by UCGal on June 22, 2014 - 8:00am.

Congrats, CE. You and your lovely bride will make awesome parents.

You'll give up sleep for the first bit. Especially if you have more than one within a few years... the term "sleep like a baby" is a cruel ironic joke. Sleep deprivation is a big deal - and I read that if a marriage survives till the youngest is 5 - it will survive anything - because it survived the sleep deprivation years, the terrible 2's (that run from age 1 to 4), and you finally get the kid launched to kindergarten.

I totally agree with scaredy- give up soda. I can't control my kids diet 100% - but not keeping soda in the house- and encouraging them to drink water is one of the things I am giving them. (Even fruit juice is mostly sugar and junk.)

You'll be giving up going to theater to see movies for a while. But that's what streaming and redbox are for. You'll want the ability to pause what your watching. Even when the kid gets a little older - the cost of babysitting on top of the high ticket prices makes it much more attractive to wait for the movie on video. This was a big deal for me. I had a hobby side job working a movie club, and it wasn't unusual for me to see 3-4 movies on a weekend - until I had my son. Now it's 3-4 a year in the theater - if I'm lucky.

You'll give up some of your freedom to spend odd hours at work - I found myself turning down bosses asking me to work extreme hours after I had my eldest. So did my husband. We found ourselves organizing our lives around our son(s).

Obviously - if you smoke, you'll want to give that up.

I sincerely wish you and MA all the best in this new adventure!!!

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 22, 2014 - 9:23am.

it sounds kind of scary but it's actually kind of hugely entertaining. as long as you hold it together.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on June 22, 2014 - 3:41pm.

Stop being lazy and make up your bed.
I know so many who don't make up their beds in the morning. Does having kids produce better lifestyle habits?

Submitted by Coronita on June 22, 2014 - 9:26pm.

I don't know CDMA ENG... I think you have A LOT to look forward to....

I mean, remember all those times that some parent took their screaming toddler(s) on the red eye flights across the country? You know... Those flights that you thought you would hop on to sleep for 5-6 hours in the middle of the night before your meeting the next morning with a client....flights that you thought only other working people would take... But oh no.... someone thought it would be a great idea to take their toddler that never sleeps at night onto a red eye flight so that not only those parents would suffer from insomnia, but just about every other person who was catching a red-eye for work would too...

Well, you can now exercise your constitutional right now to return the favor...

And if you have miles to earn you a free business class seat for you and your family...even better.

:)

Submitted by Coronita on June 22, 2014 - 9:28pm.

Oh... And one thing I had to give up (at least in front of my kid)...swearing...

Submitted by zk on June 22, 2014 - 9:58pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Stop being lazy and make up your bed.
I know so many who don't make up their beds in the morning. Does having kids produce better lifestyle habits?

Oh, my god, they don't make their beds in the morning? Heathens! Their kids will be scarred forever. They shouldn't've had kids if they were going to be like that. That's too important.

Submitted by zk on June 22, 2014 - 11:41pm.

Heartiest conratulations, CDMA.

Life's full of tradeoffs. We make them all day, every day. The biggest one we ever make is having kids. You give up a whole world of things. And, in return, you get a different whole world of things. I guess for some people, it's not worth it. For me, it's the best tradeoff I ever made.

In retrospect, I feel like previously my entire life, as fun as it was, was like a little tea party at a little toy tea set with tiny chairs and a tiny table. When I had my daughter, I looked up, and right there in front of me was a redwood tree. I was a bit stunned and maybe bewildered and I had to crane my neck to see the top of it. That tree was part of me and part of my wife and part of our daughter. But mostly it was my love for my daughter and an appreciation of how important I would be to her. It was hard to believe something so big was part of me. But it is. And it makes me very happy.

Submitted by CA renter on June 23, 2014 - 12:17am.

Awwww, how sweet, zk. :)

What a nice way to put it. Could not agree more.

Having a kid makes you see the world in a very different light.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on June 23, 2014 - 10:12pm.

Thanks for the comments.

Swearing wasn't in the list and probably the toughest one for me. I had forgotten about it. I'm Italian and for the me the F word isn't a word... Its a comma.

One time my sister asked me what I was going to do when the kid was out of control and not listening. I told her that I was going to tell him to "Dummy up and clean the shit of your ears!" She spit coke half way across the room laughing. She knew I wouldn't say that but it was something my dad would say when we were teenagers.

We don't actually every really hit the town these days. I am in my 40s (yes and I have a video game habit) and rarely watch TV. I would rather play video games. There is some really good TV out there but I need to limit myself and what the kids are watching.

Basically I am developing some "home hobbies" that will keep me around and hopefully these things will rub off on the kid. My dad had really good hand skill and I remember watching him in his studio and doing large stain glass pieces. That I have carried with me and hopefully I can get him interested in something by him watching me wood work. Also I plan on learning the bass guitar in hopes he will want to learn something musical as well.

And when gets older... The gift of surfing...

Honestly though I will probably have to sneak soda the same way my dad did pot for years! :P

Thanks for the well wishes... and advice...

P.S. Should have mentioned though we are foodies and that is going to be a tough thing to miss out on.
CE

Submitted by CA renter on June 23, 2014 - 11:57pm.

Sounds like you're going to be great parents, CE (but stay away from that soda!). I like your ideas here. Don't worry too much about the food; you can make a hobby out of cooking with the family (that's what we do, since we also love good food, unfortunately).

This will be such an awesome experience for you guys! :)

Submitted by Hobie on June 24, 2014 - 7:18am.

A little early for you now and this is a 'would do' for your kid.

In our neighborhood everyone kept model home clean homes and yards. And none of the men did any home repairs or had tools around the house.

Our home was the 'go to' fun house. I very much encouraged hands on building and playing. I always kept hammers, tons of nails, and wood of all sizes. You can't imagion how much fun they had just pounding nails. Noisey!! I would help them cutting wood to their dimensions. They had a ball building all sorts of stuff. Towing their creations with their bikes and using skateboards for the wheels. Boys and girls.

Get ready and hang on for the ride!

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 24, 2014 - 9:18am.

I think it's OK to curse. I curse and my kids dont. They're probably appalled by the way I sound. Kind of like how utterly revolted I was by my parents smoking. Blech. I remember my brother and I pretending to gag and choke and my folks laughing about it. Ah, the old days

Submitted by njtosd on June 24, 2014 - 1:59pm.

CA renter wrote:
Sounds like you're going to be great parents, CE (but stay away from that soda!). I like your ideas here. Don't worry too much about the food; you can make a hobby out of cooking with the family (that's what we do, since we also love good food, unfortunately).

This will be such an awesome experience for you guys! :)

OK - I have to agree that soda isn't great. And maybe I am sensitive because I developed a morning Diet Pepsi habit in college before I started on (the more caffeinated) coffee. But why does this thread put so much more emphasis on soda than, say, alcohol and/or smoking? Plus, I feel like the biggest battle we face is not soda but staying fun and cheerful in the face of unfathomably messy rooms, mountains of laundry, homework, bills and (for example) my 12 year old's incessant drumming. Sometimes I go to bed at night and realize I was a real buzz kill for most of the day. Staying positive in light of all the commotion is a daily challenge . . .

Submitted by FlyerInHi on June 24, 2014 - 2:23pm.

zk wrote:
FlyerInHi wrote:
Stop being lazy and make up your bed.
I know so many who don't make up their beds in the morning. Does having kids produce better lifestyle habits?

Oh, my god, they don't make their beds in the morning? Heathens! Their kids will be scarred forever. They shouldn't've had kids if they were going to be like that. That's too important.

When I grew up, we always made our beds so I have an aversion to messy rooms.

I have the greatest admiration for parents who can keep everything perfect all the time while raising several kids -- clean house, make up beds, fold and put away laundry, cook healthy fresh meals at the dining table, tend a beautiful garden ....

It's easier if you can afford to hire a maid and a nanny, but most families can't.

I've wondered if messy people become more organized after they have children just to set a good example for their kids.

Submitted by UCGal on June 24, 2014 - 4:02pm.

njtosd wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Sounds like you're going to be great parents, CE (but stay away from that soda!). I like your ideas here. Don't worry too much about the food; you can make a hobby out of cooking with the family (that's what we do, since we also love good food, unfortunately).

This will be such an awesome experience for you guys! :)

OK - I have to agree that soda isn't great. And maybe I am sensitive because I developed a morning Diet Pepsi habit in college before I started on (the more caffeinated) coffee. But why does this thread put so much more emphasis on soda than, say, alcohol and/or smoking? Plus, I feel like the biggest battle we face is not soda but staying fun and cheerful in the face of unfathomably messy rooms, mountains of laundry, homework, bills and (for example) my 12 year old's incessant drumming. Sometimes I go to bed at night and realize I was a real buzz kill for most of the day. Staying positive in light of all the commotion is a daily challenge . . .

Good comments. I'm a buzz kill too.

And I agree that smoking is way worse than soda - but so few people smoke these days, it wasn't on my radar.

Submitted by SK in CV on June 24, 2014 - 5:10pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:

I've wondered if messy people become more organized after they have children just to set a good example for their kids.

No.

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