"Don't go out until you know you are ready to get married."
Probably the worst advice I ever received in my life. But yet everyone says it and (almost) nobody follows it.
People asked me when I started going out, "So, you ready to get married?" I used to answer "No. But I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
Despite the fact that "it's the biggest decision you'll ever make in your life," how am I supposed to know if I'm ready for something when realistically I don't know what that something is?
The advice should be "Don't go out until you think you are ready to face whatever marriage may throw at you - despite having absolutely no clue what that may be until you commit." Now that is good (and totally useless) advice.
An at-the-time-newly-married friend of mine once said to me, "I don't know what to answer people when they ask 'How's married life?' If they are married, they know already. If they are single, they have no frame of reference for which to compare it to."
There are some things in life that you will have no clue what they really are until you experience them. If you are going to wait until you know you are ready for it, you'll be waiting forever.
Shortly before my wedding day, one of the many people who felt compelled to give my free life advice said to me, "Getting married is the second to most life-changing event you will ever experience." It took me by surprise. "What is the most?" I asked, taking the bait. "The day your first child is born," he responded. "Going from single to having to care about constantly keep in mind another adult is life changing. But add worrying about a baby, now that's completely changes your life." Good chance that piece of advice was actually accurate.
Was I ready to be a parent when my daughter was born? Ha! Am I ready to be a parent now 2 1/2 years later? Double ha!
A few weeks ago someone told me "While the first child changes your life, when you go from having one child to having multiple children, your life changes all over again." (Can someone please coordinate all these sayings and get them straight?)
A father of six once told me, "There is no such thing as an experienced parent. Every child is different and no previous experience can ever prepare you for the needs of any child." Touché
On Monday, my wife gave birth to our second child; a baby boy. Am I ready? No way, but I can't wait!