Yup, you guessed it. My family. Frankly, my job is wearing me out. I've got no future with them and I've accepted that reality. My finances are rough at best. I'm working toward breathing room and should be doing alright soon. My life is very family centric and I'm OK with that.
Even though I was one of those people only five years ago...I have no clue how people couldn't want to have children. They change your life. They are difficult to handle sometimes. They become the more important thing to consider with every decision. They are so worth it.
My kids give my existence meaning. I enjoyed life, but frankly they are proof that I can do something amazing and do it well.
I was talking to an employee the other day (he and his wife never want children. Messy and expensive.) and saying basically everything above. He thinks it's horrible that I've had two within two years. He thinks I'm an idiot. He was telling me about one of his customers who found out his and his wife's goals of zero kids. The customer was telling him how genius that was. He said he loves his kids and wouldn't trade them for the world, but he and his wife were so happy before them and now it's just he and them.
I told my guy that while he's semi right what I think happens to people with kids is that they forget they have another relationship that supersedes the parent one. Marriage. Keeping Mom & Dad happy makes for a much happier family. Making the connection between husband and wife thrive while kids are in the mix is hard. That doesn't mean it can't happen. You both have to make the effort.
My wife was telling me about an episode of The Talk where a professional got on there and explained how to keep the relationship alive. Her advice was horrible. It was about parents, especially women being too tired for sex. She said the best way for a stay at home mom to show the breadwinner why she is always so tired is to punish him. Leave him alone for at minimum four hours a week with the kids and no lunch made or pacifiers in the house. Then he'll be more understanding. WTF? I'm all for men pitching in and stay at home mothers getting out of the house without the kids for a while frequently. But punishing the man because the wife feels punished is retarded. It doesn't solve the problem or work toward a solution. It's just bitchy.
I don't know what the perfect solution is, but we seem to make it work. Our conflicts (like this computer) aside, we love each other and enjoy spending time together. We also have a healthy balance of work and parenting "duties." If she's feeling abused or over worked, we talk about it. I give her a break. She also knows that it's not fair to make me "take over" as soon as I get off work just because I'm the new face. We are a team. We also make time for just ourselves...or at least take advantage of the brief moments when it is just ourselves.
I went down a very different path than I intended with this post but I think it's good to get those things out there. I've enjoyed single life, married life and fatherhood. Each one different and great. Fatherhood continues to impress and make me stronger and a better person. I hope everyone can find this kind of joy. Seriously, having a little version of yourself look you dead in the eye and smile and squirm just because they got your attention is one of the greatest feelings ever.