Having a partner, living with them full time and raising kids together is an interesting thing haha.
It really opens you up to your own personal beliefs and bias towards life and raising kids as you are both 2 separate people both with your own ideas and experiences of what you think is best.
There are some positives to this. If you have good communication you can talk about what was a positive experience for each of you growing up and how that has helped you in your adult life. You can also talk about what was negative and what you have struggled with as a result of how you were raised.
There has been one significant thing which hubby and I were raised very different with which has caused one of us to thrive and the other one to struggle a bit and we have both agreed on our plan with our kids. Let me tell you a story …
I grew up in a family that was a yes family. Mostly if I wanted to do something my parents would say yes as long as I was at no major risk of something bad happening.
When it came to discussing what I was going to do with my life I never recall my parents having any defined ideas about what that would look like or how much money they would like me to earn or what kind of job status or title they would like me to have.
I can’t remember if I made this up or it is true but I recall a conversation with my mum one day which went something like “Darling I don’t care what you do when you grow up except you can’t be a stripper” bahahaha (I may have made this interaction up but for some reason I can visualise my mum saying this to me).
My parents supported me in all my crazy endeavours and allowed me to play and explore with who and what I might like to be when I grew up. I never got the sense my value was based on this however they were keen for me to go to university but what I studied was up to me.
I did end up going to uni and studying a double degree in Theology and Human Services (Community Development) pretty random I know haha but I am really grateful I did as it gave me a good foundation for life.
My husband grew up in a family that was a bit different. For the majority of his life he experienced subtle undertones of the job you have and the amount of money you earn defines you as a person. It is not so much about enjoying what you do as it is about the prestige of what you do.
Hubby and I did grow up in different kinds of families but this one factor has become very obvious to us as a clear difference in how we operate.
The thing with hubby is what he enjoys and is good at does not line us so much with what his father had in mind for his adult working life. This has been a major internal conflict for my husband.
Even though he is a grown man and is happy with where he is in life he can’t quite shake the feeling that it is not good enough. Not because it is not good enough (it is more than good enough for me and the kids) but because it is not what his father had in mind all of those years ago.
For years growing up he lived under these expectations and whether you like it or not it has an impact on our future selves.
Hubby and I have both united in letting our kids decide. We know their value is not based on what job they have or how much they earn but what is more important is how much they contribute and enjoy what they are doing.
We obviously want them to work and be successful in life but doing the things that they love and want to do rather than what we want them to do.
That might mean university or it might not but our job as parents is to guide them and facilitate opportunities for them to discover their talents and interests and them help them the best we can to make something of that.
I don’t give advice much but if I was to give any I would say don’t pressure your kids to be something you want them to be, let them be themselves as that is who they were born to be and they will do best in life being that!
Written By Sam Shazzam aka School Mum