Mohamed Said's Journal

Web Developer, cyclist, and freediver.

What do we owe our children?

Posted on February, 18 2019 in Life, Noise

What do we owe our children?
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Ever since we started thinking about having kids, we are trying to understand what it means and whether or not we are ready for that. We are the children now, and we have tons of things to blame our parents for, so our biggest question is if it's possible for us to be the parents to children who won't blame us for too many things.

Why do we want to have children?

Having a clear answer to why people have kids seems impossible, we feel like we want that but we are worried about not having a clear answer to why.

The common answer where we live is that people have kids so they take care of them when they grow older, but I honestly believe this is nonsense. You don't bring someone into the world just to be your free-of-charge caretaker when you are older.

After years of trying to find an answer I was only able to find a deep urge in me to bring someone good into the world, it's like that urge to create good products or build good systems at work; something similar but with a greater meaning.

We want to raise someone who is capable enough to do great things and be a kind yet strong person, I think it's just a built-in urge in our nature as human beings.

What do we owe our children?

With the reason why we brought them in mind, I think we owe them a lot, like a scary ton of things.

We are responsible for teaching them, feeding them, entertaining them, and taking care of them in every aspect of their childhood. We are also responsible for guiding them and helping them all the way until they are adults who are capable of going on their own.

After months of letting this sink in, I tried to put it into a short list:

  1. We owe them their health and well-being.
  2. We owe them their mental stability.
  3. We owe them good education (I don't mean academic).
  4. We owe them opportunities.

Providing them with Equal Opportunities is the toughest part

This is the toughest responsibility; if they are in good health & skilled enough to do great things but they don't have enough opportunities, they'll have to spend tons of effort to create opportunities, which is a waste of time & effort.

Maybe I find this the most important one because we've been stuck in a country where opportunities are very limited, we waste a lot of time and effort to create opportunities and we often fail and decide to lose hope.

We don't want them to start from where we started, we want them to be able to use their abilities from day one and not waste it on fighting bullshit and end up nowhere most of the time.

Also there's this problem in where they come from. In today's world, being born in the damn Middle East makes your life harder, shuts a lot of doors infront of you and forces you to do extra efforts to get equal chances.

Setting a good example

We can't give what we don't have; so we need to set a good example for them, we need to take care of ourselves too so we are healthy enough and mentally stable enough to raise them in a good way.

A wise friend of mine keeps talking about how important it is to take good care of yourself in order for you to be able to take care of your kids, if you go too hard on yourself you'll eventually run out of energy and won't be able to continue what you do.

Protecting them from evil

There's the evil in this world that you can only try hard to protect them from until they are strong enough to protect themselves.

It's scary when I think about situations where I might not be able to protect them; for example I was threatened with a machete and got robbed of my phone and laptop just a few years ago, I almost did the mistake of trying to resist but was lucky enough to have my thoughts back and just surrender before things go wrong.

Having to step out of your comfort zone

Because we don't raise them to become a copy from us, we have to get out of our comfort zones and accompany them in different areas that they might find interesting. I've never loved concerts or loud places, but I have to show them the option as they might like it. I don't want them to grow up not knowing what to do in a concert and how to enjoy it.

Making decisions for them

One of the most annoying things my parents did was making decisions for me that I currently do not approve, I understand that at this age I wasn't aware enough to make those decisions, but I'm still mad at them for it.

Now every time I'll make a decision on behalf of my children I'll have to think about it over and over again, I'll end up only doing what I think is the right thing but there's a big chance they might not agree that it was the right one when they grow up.

Loving them, and being tough on them

I imagine how hard it is to find the balance between taking care of them but not too much to spoil them. I hate spoiled kids, I just can't stand to look at them, they are useless to the world and their life will be miserable no matter how much they inherit from their parents. They are their own enemies.

To find the balance between being tough on them while at the same time making them happy is so tricky. Some parents I've seen are too tough, others are too soft. Both types suck.

Finding time for yourself in all this

I still have dreams of my own; I have big plans for my career, I want to travel and explore the world, I want to attend so many conferences, I want to do sports, I still have so much things that I want to do.

I honestly don't think I can sacrifice all that, I spent most of my teenage and big part of my late 20s stuck in loops, and I don't want my life to be over just yet.

I want to both have children and be able to do my own thing, it's going to be tough but I'll have to figure this out.

One Last Thing

With this huge amount of responsibilities and things we owe our children, I understand some people's decisions to not have kids. To have kids while you're not sure about your ability to give unconditional love and continuous support is just selfish.

Being a really good parent might be impossible, the best we can do is to try hard and put effort; as much effort, or even more, as we put into our career.

The challenge seems scary when I think about it, but every single person I talk to said that the moment you see your first new born the love and excitement will move away your negative thoughts. Let's hope the do :)

Care To Share?

Care to share about your experience? I'd love to read about it and reference it in this post. Ping me on twitter with your thoughts.

By Mohamed Said

I work at laravelphp on weekdays and practise running, cycling, & freediving on weekends. Find me on Twitter, GitHub, and Strava.

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