Have you ever looked at the warning label on a ladder? It warns agains risk of falling. It really does. And as I read that, I thought about who it is that required that warning to be on a ladder- an item used to climb up higher than you normally can reach. Or the risk on an electrical cord that warns against........electrical shock. Power saws that warn about sharp blades.
Of all the crazy things. And yet we can get married and have babies without much warning at all.
Sure Dan and I had premarital counseling from our minster. It was very biblically based. Not a word about 'real lifeness'. And babies- well they just come out of no where. Bam! Here's your baby. My OB did give me a book called "What to expect when you're expecting", and I even had one called "What to expect the first year"- but in retrospect, those are the easy parts.
I suppose if I were in charge of labeling marriage and children with warning labels, a few I might include are as follows:
Warning: You will one day have your entire being judged upon finding out your child 'may' have swallowed a silly band and you simply want to check with the doctor to find out if that is a problem. As your husband begins to make you feel like a moran for simply making a phone call- you may or may not 'shut the van door a little too hard' and make your kids wonder what in the heck is wrong with mommy. As you quietly try to share your opinion with said husband in a loud voice outside of the recycling bins in the grocery parking lot (which may have included words that we don't normally use)- you may or may not forget that the van windows are open and your children will hear the entire thing. And then you will cry yourself to sleep, knowing that your husband doesn't consider you any part of his 'team' and your child is probably dying of lead poisoning from that made in china silly band.
Warning: This child will one day manage to break the neighbors garage door opener because he/she was following the advice to 'ride it up' while she presses the button. Even though you technically find the fault to be on neighbor girl (it was her idea- hello), you are going to bust out your checkbook and fork over the cash for half of the repairs. This warning would be on two of my three children.
Warning: This little being is going to require to be clothed and fed- even when you are tired, sick or on vacation. This is going to be your responsibility.
Warning: One day you are going to find yourself trying to figure out how to drop off the vehicle payment at the bank with your spouse in the car while hoping he doesn't notice you are at the bank dropping off the vehicle payment.........that was due a few days ago but you may or maynot have forgotten to pay it. You might consider unbuttoning the top button of your blouse and see if that does the trick. Warning within a warning: This trick only works for the first few years of a marriage, use it wisely.
Warning: This little human being is going to grow quickly- and they are going to learn to mimic everything about you. If you are not quite the person you would hope you are, you are going to have to work on that. Or you are going to spend years trying to fix your child with no luck. And you are going to see all of your flaws in them.
Warning: This parenting gig is not easy. You will dream about gazing lovingly into your spouses eyes while cradling your newborn baby and think that he will be filled with thoughts of love and happiness. But in reality you will be bickering over who gets to change the next dirty diaper and who is going to stop eating their dinner (again) to take a child to the restroom.
Warning: As children grow older, it becomes more difficult. The easy part is when they are little and into everything. Just prepare yourself.
Warning: There are going to be days that you just want to quit. Throw in the towel. Call it off. That is not an option.
Warning: Your husband is going to have to flop around work schedules and one year he might be working nights the week of your wedding anniversary. Whereas you used to escape for a romantic weekend of coupleness with the chitlins at your inlaws, you now will go out for a kid movie and steak n shake a few days before (since he won't be home on the actual day). The real warning is that you will actually find this to be a real treat since you didn't have to cook AND got to sit down for part of a movie. I say part because you still had to run to the restroom 3 times with children.
Warning: You will find yourself asking for things like circus tickets or disney on ice tickets for your birthday. And it really will be what you want.
Warning: Your spouse is not going to 'get' you. He will not understand why you feel the weight of the world resting square on your shoulders, why you find it necessary to do laundry and dishes after you put the kids into bed or why you find yourself crying throughout an entire church service.
I guess I am in a funk again. That should be a warning too. That you will be in a funk and not a single person in your home is going to care, they are just going to wonder when dinner will be ready and if they can have a bowl of cereal and can you change the channel and will you go for a bike ride and is my favorite yellow shirt clean yet and listen to their joke and watch me roll around on the floor in a huge circle for the 18th time.
Yeah. They aught to warn about this stuff. Not that it would change a single choice I've made. But at least I might have seen it coming, and could have prepared myself with a drink : )