The Questions You MUST Discuss Before Finding Your Parenting Soul Mate
Have you given a lot of thought to what makes a good life partner? Have you wondered if there is such a thing as a soul mate? When I was younger, I have to confess, I didn't think about it at all. Not one bit. I may have thought about what makes a good partner for....an evening....or a mate for...a good time...(Did I just write that publicly?)As a young adult, life was not about the future, it was about the moment and what I wanted at that exact moment. I wasn't looking for a soul mate. When I was 22, I'm not sure I had a soul to mate with another. When I met Andy, those fancy, scientific-y dating websites weren't around, or at least weren't considered reputable. For me, "dating" in my late teens and early twenties required minimal thought and generally included excessive amounts of alcohol, karaoke and bad decision-making. Given my poor planning, the fact that I have been co-habitating with the same person for 14 years, and married to him for 10, is a little bit of a miracle.
What originally attracted me to Andy? Was it his sense of humor? Our shared values? His wonderful work ethic? Our common life goals and aspirations? His relationship with his family? Ummm....no, no, no, no, no, and yeah, no. Not really. I mean, maybe. But mostly, I thought he was really hot. Sure, as we got to know one another, I suppose my subconscious valued his dry humor and we seemed on the same page about large scale values. I did appreciate his desire to get a job (especially as a poor graduate student looking for stability) and his parents were nice, not nuts, and tolerated me. At such a young age, when I really knew nothing about life, or the world around me, something in my gut told me that marrying him was the right decision, and to this day, I agree. It was. Kudos, younger self, for making one good decision.
However, the marriage road is bumpy and I wish that, in addition to my general gut instinct, I'd asked more questions so that we didn't have to stumble over many a mole hill turned marital mountain. I've drafted up a super scientific quiz, that should I ever get the chance to travel back in time, I'd ask Andy to answer. I'm not saying I wouldn't make the same decision, but I'd be sure to get some clarity, and perhaps therapy, before moving forward with any soul mating. It's a long quiz, filled with questions about topics from religion to how often to change tooth brushes. To spare you your precious time, I'm highlighting just one section, Children: ages 0-6. Here it is. Take it. Share it! See how you and yours compare.
(After answering yes to having kids, skip logic takes you here:):
Are both partners responsible for getting up in the middle of the night for diaper changing and feeding?
How many hours of TV should a kid watch a day?
Does an IPad/computer count in that total?
Should a baby cry it out at night?
Plastic toys, evil or, "Can you believe all the cool toys kids have today that we never had?!"
Should a child wear a coat when it is cold? A hat, boots, mittens?
Do you know that tights are not pants and something must be worn over them?
Microwave-able, canned ravioli? A sin or godsend?
How long an a kid sit in a soiled diaper?
For how long should a child nurse? What is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of an exposed breast during breastfeeding?
Pacifier: again, your best friend or the devil's work?
Here's a situation. You are in a grocery store. Your child wants a donut. You say no. She then goes rigid and is laying on the floor screaming "Don't hurt me!" It's 11 am. What do you do? What if this is not you, and your partner, who is later telling you this story over a glass of wine. How do you react?
After-school activities? Try them all and see what fits, focus on one and become an expert, or do none because creativity comes from boredom?
You get a note home from the principal that your kid called her friend a fu*7!ing as#4ho%e. Do you send your kid to bed without dinner, gently tell her not to ever say that again, or avoid the principal for 3 months because your kid got that phrase from your sailor mouth.
Circle all that apply: Christmas is a time for family, Jesus, reflection, rest, tons and tons of presents.
Choose one: Life is short, eat dessert first. Life is short. Dessert leads to childhood obesity.
You know the drill. Your kid wants a pet. Do you allow her to get one, and make sure she feeds and walks the pet daily or do you get one and after your kid gets bored after one day, you pretend you are a deep sleeper and hope your partner will take the dog out every morning?
Your kid falls down on the rug while skipping. Do you run, crying, over to the child, and simultaneously wipe tears from both of your eyes and scream at your partner to call the pediatric clinic or do you pretend like it is no big deal, even when you see a small gash and some blood oozing from her knee?
Tooth brushing? Get it in once a day or do nothing, three times daily, until teeth are brushed?
Money for good grades? Yes, incentives are the way of the world these days or hell, no, you don't deserve anything for doing what you are supposed to do. While we're going there: Opt out? Opt in? What are you talking about?
Circle all acceptable choices for first day of school clothing options. Tank top, skinny jeans, Uggs, sweat pants, stretch pants, short shorts, capri pants, jelly shoes, sneakers, t-shirt.
It's raining, hard. What shoes should you put on your kid- jelly shoes, sneakers, or rain boots?
Your partner is working late. She left a very long, very specific note, with details for how you should care for your 10 month old for ONE HOUR before bed. She didn't mention what to feed the baby. Do you: feed the baby,especially since there's a bottle of pureed veggies on the counter, and because babies need to eat, or do you not feed the baby because it's not on the list of things to-do?
If you and your partner can successfully have the same answer to at least three of these questions, you should go ahead and mate for life. Consider your souls one. It'll be ok. Except the one about the tights. If your future life partner thinks tights aren't meant to be worn without anything else, you are in big, big trouble.