I am a stay-at-home mom of a 4-year-old son who is the light of my life. I truly enjoy our days together. For various reasons, my husband and I have decided he will be our only child. He will soon be in school almost full time and I will be returning to work. When I think about it, I get depressed. These have been the best years of my life, and I think I made a mistake letting my son become my “reason” for happiness. I know we will make many more memories together, but I feel like it’s kind of the end of an era and I’m not sure what to do with myself. Can you advise.
From Chicago, Illinois
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You should cherish every beautiful moment you had with your 4-year-old son. I want to emphasize “had”, because in time, your son is more than likely going to relieve you of all or your savings and most of your sanity. Here is your possible bleak future. By the time he’s around 8, he’ll be skilled on how to manipulate you and your husband to get whatever he wants through temper tantrums, tears, or the most common threat today of kids his age, threaten to lie to his teachers that he is being abused at home in all forms imaginable. When he’s 12, you’ll probably have to lock up all of your computers to prevent him from spending hours at adult websites. When he’s 16 and his hormones are in overdrive, you’ll have countless sleepless nights, wondering if and when he’ll tell you that he impregnated the ugliest girl in town, along with her sister. And when he’s 21 considering you live in Chicago, whether he has a library card or not, I think you’ll probably be putting some money on his books. I hope this helps.