Being a wife and parent is crazy. When I got married, I changed my name. My whole life I had identified myself as one name and POOF! Now I have a different one. Does it mean that I have to change? No. Did I? Maybe a little. Now I'm a wife and with that comes certain responsibilities. It's now Jerud and I as one, instead of two. Trust me, we are definitely individuals and we do our own things, but we check in with each other before making plans and we take each other into consideration more, in our day to day life.
Being a parent is all that, but on a whole different level. When I got pregnant and I started thinking about life insurance because...what if something happened to me? How could I set Jerud and Lucy up to be able to afford the house payment, college, and life in general without me? This conversation was not a fun one and it can be pretty upsetting for your spouse. It's not exactly fun to think about "what if I die," but I felt like it was the responsible thing to do.
Then Jerud and I were thinking about what would happen to Lucy if something happened to both of us? We had to go through the list of people in our lives that would be around a long time, give her the support that she will need, raise her the way we would (or close to it), and be able to handle the responsibility of another kid. We had a good problem of having all of our family close to us, but still, when thinking about the criteria listed above, it gets tricky. We decided on Jerud's twin brother and sister-in-law. They got married a few weeks before us, but have been together since they were 12 (yes, 12!!!). We know that they are loving and intelligent and would raise Lucy like their own, while keeping both of our families in her life.
Bottom line, getting married is a lot of responsibility and no one says it'll be easy. My dad said in his speech at our wedding, that marriage isn't not 50% from each party, it's 100% because if you're not giving it your all, it will fail. Being a parent is more like 110%, if there were such a thing, because without you, they wouldn't survive. You can't have an off day. You can't take a nap if they're awake. Don't get me wrong, it's the best thing that I've ever experienced to date, but not for the faint at heart.
If you don't have kids or don't want them, just remember all their hard work when your parents get under your skin. They can't help it and you wouldn't be the person you are today without them and their effort.