Generation Over-Plan

I had a really interesting discussion with some girlfriends last week day about careers, babies, and mat leaves. We are all in our mid-late 20s and feel like we have to start thinking about planning a family. We realized that nearly all of our mothers at this age had one or two kids by this point in their lives and most of us felt some sort of growing pressure to have a plan about this kind of thing.

Plan. Is it just me or does there seem to be less and less mystery when it comes to having children these days? Within a marriage, having children just seems like a next step you intentionally take once you have the wedding, jobs, home, (and maybe dog) checked off your list. It’s methodical, intentional, and in many cases, 100% controlled and planned for.

I’m a big fan of plans. I like to know what’s going to happen and when so that I can allocate resources and savings as necessary. I must admit, however, that there is something to be said about leaving some of life’s greatest gifts up to God. Now, I’m not about to go all Dugger-style and start have 19+ kids (and counting) but I’m starting to at least appreciate the merit of not trying to control everything when it comes to having a family.

But I think, generally speaking, this millennial generation of mine is incredibly surprise-adverse.

Surprises are not good unless it involves finding a $20 on the sidewalk. With our lives, relationships, and careers we like to know where we stand, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. One of our biggest concerns is not having enough money to get to where we want to go. The number one reason you will hear millennial couples say they are waiting to have kids is because “we don’t have enough money.” In reality, this generation generally has SO much more, much faster, and much sooner than our grandparents and parents ever did.

The baby market makes a killing off of the millennial generation’s need to control every aspect of life. Just look at this book, “What to Expect BEFORE You’re Expecting.”

Before I’m expecting? What could this book possibly be about? Besides chapter one: take some prenatal vitamins, I have no idea what kind of content could fill this literary work. Expect to fit into all your normal clothes, expect to still be able to bend over and tie your shoes as per usual, expect to go to work full time, expect to eat sushi and drink wine like you normally do? I don’t get it.

I can’t judge. I’m no different. I’m not going to stop making plans about these kind of things and I doubt other people will either. At least we can all admit it’s a little ridiculous right?

Thoughts? Are we a generation who over-plans?

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15 thoughts on “Generation Over-Plan

  1. Guilty! Unfortunately I am a victim of overplanning. My hubby and I find solace in planning and I think we would both go nuts if we were any other way. You may be appalled at just how much preparation we have personally put into our family planning so I won’t give you all the details, but I could probably guess what chapters 2 through 5 are about at least. I have to admit I agree with you that there is definitely something to be said for letting God take control and I pray every day for Him to put a wrench in my plans and give me something I didn’t plan for. That way, I’ll know it was meant to be. Weird, right? In the meantime, I’m clinging tightly to my plans. 🙂

    • So there IS content for this book! Maybe I’ll just have to pick it up! lol

      But like I said – I’m in the same boat – I’m make fun of the fact that we plan so much but there’s no way we are going to stop…

  2. Not going to lie, I def perusing baby blogs and articles even though we won’t be trying for 2 years. Not so much because I want to plan but more because I’m so excited about it. Excitement def plays into it.

  3. Working on a maternity unit has certainly given me a unique perspective on family panning. Putting money and finances aside, I am a strong believer that no matter what you read or watch you can never be fully prepared for children. I have patients that even bring along their little books that claim to prepare them for anything under the sun, but when I walk into that room at 4 am they are staring at me like deer caught in headlights.
    I’m certainly not trying to give the impression that having children is a negative thing, it’s actually such a blessing to be a part of this incredible path in someones life. But I find the couples who cope the best during those first couple days/weeks of transitioning into parenthood are the ones that go with the flow. Every baby is completely unique and they usually don’t go “by the book”. When this happens, it tends to create stress and anxiety for those people who have researched up the ying yang. It’s still great to educate yourself, but it’s also great to prepare for the fact that you can never really be totally prepared!

  4. Cheryl, I love your blog- it’s very fun!! I hope you don’t mind that an old teacher is commenting on your blog. I sure feel old as I read about my former students talking about, or even having children!! I remember being your age (teaching at G.D.C.S.) and thinking that I have my whole life planned- how long I’d be teaching, when we’d have children, and what their names would be (not after any students, but that didn’t work). However, God knows what’s best for us and no matter what we plan, God has an ultimate plan that is for out good. We had our first (of 3) miscarriages while I was teaching. I thought that we’d never have any children, but if we hadn’t had our miscarriage, we wouldn’t have had our son, Jesse and I can’t imagine life without him! Then, there’s God calling us to adopt, which I never included in MY plans, but again, God has better plans than us and we need to trust in Him when things don’t go our way. I think it’s still good to plan though!! (and fun to talk about with friends)!
    Love, Mrs. Vos

  5. I think our generation is definitely full of over-planners especially because of the amount of information we have access to and how quickly we can access it… I think ultimately all of that leads to a generation of anxious people which then leads to a generation of over-thinkers/planners. At the same time, I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared… so let the anxiety continue… 🙂

  6. It is scary to leave everything up to fate isn’t it? Sometimes however, we find ourselves making some of the best decisions and finding the most fulfilling things cross our past when we least expect it. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten is – “Don’t put pressure on yourself to have it all figured out. Follow your heart and it will lead you on the path you are meant to be on.” It’s hard to take… but at the same time my heart tells me to heed the advice!

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