Yesterday I was chit-chatting with a couple of my co-workers, telling them about my weekend in my usual animated fashion. Just then, one of the ladies, who I actually wrote about a few posts ago, stopped me and said, "You know...I tell all my friends about you and your husband - how you are so happy all the time and how you are always doing fun things because you have no kids. You are probably one of the happiest people I know!" I never think of myself that way, so I was thrown off for a second by her comment. I sensed this fascination eminating from her and I imagined myself as one of those freak-of-nature displays at Ripley's Believe it or Not.
Anyway, I then inquired about how things were going with her problem son - the 31 year old who still lives at home with her and who I wrote about in my previous post. She told me "it's worse. He just lost his job." Apparently, during the course of driving a company vehicle, he had an accident and didn't report it to the company, but they found out and fired him. Apparently, this son of hers loses job after job after job and will probably be sponging off her his entire life. She's one of these soft-hearted enabler mothers who MEANS well but who continues to support him and won't kick him out on his own. So she's stuck with her adult underachiever son probably for the rest of her life. He is a constant source of upset and pain for her.
No wonder she looks at me with fascination and maybe a little bit of envy. Everyone has problems and challenges in life...me included. But the number of problems I have is at least HALF of the number of problems parents have.
I know what you mean, Sassy. As you know, I work in HR. I'm constantly helping people through performance problems. I can honestly say that 75% of performance problems are due to personal issues. And when people tell me about the personal issues, 95% of them are kid issues. No exaggeration. That's the truth. It could be masked as a performance issue which is masked as a marriage issue, but the root cause of the marriage issue is stress due to kids. It could be a host of other things, but the root cause has usually been "things are more complicated / stressful / expensive / harder since we had kids."
I'd love to write a book someday on how people can avoid some of the major problems in life. However, it would probably only be one page with one sentence on it: DON'T HAVE KIDS.
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