A number of years ago, my colleague, Dr. Karen Zager, and I were discussing some of the parenting dilemmas we had faced with our children. It was strange that until we were in graduate school, issues about parenting were almost never discussed. We had geometry and biology, civics class and English literature, but parenting, one of the most common life experiences, was omitted.

In school, we did not have conversations on deciding to be parents or on the skills and sacrifices involved in parenting. Some things that were never discussed were:

  1. Not everyone who can be a parent should be a parent.
  2. Not everyone who can be a parent will want to be a parent.
  3. Not everyone who can be a parent and wants to be a parent will be able to be a parent.
  4. Not everyone who can be a parent is prepared for the task of parenting.

Isn’t it odd how little guidance we are given in making these major decisions? Isn’t it odd how little preparation we are given for being childless (be it from choice or inability)?

Isn’t it odd that in a country where there are requirements for almost everything, from borrowing a library book to driving a car, that parenting stands out as an omitted topic?

Parenting is a major consideration in life. If you are struggling with these decisions, a psychologist can help. For a personal conversation about these issue, call my office for an appointment.