- Have two kids
- Spaced our kids 2-3 years apart
- Are two-income families
- Almost all (4 out of 5) attended college with our spouse
- Have similar values in terms of family coming first
The clincher is that we all have kids. It does make a difference in terms of expectations and planning. We all know about eating dinner early and working around nap time, none of us are phased by a meltdown, and none of us expect to actually eat a meal in silence or stay up/out too late.
For perspective, married friends without children came over for dinner on a Sunday night a few weeks ago and stayed past 10. The Hoos and I almost passed out from exhaustion.
Also interesting is that no matter how similar we are, everyone has their nuanced way of parenting. A way that works for them. All of the people we have been hanging out with are great parents and they have wonderful children. I couldn't raise their kids and they couldn't raise mine (nor would they likely want to after experiencing a tantrum courtesy of LP or listening to AK shriek with joy while eating).
What do I mean by all this? I mean don't ever buy another parenting book. There is no one-size-fits all way to parent. Starting with a base of good,strong values and lots of love, chances are things will work themselves out making for a less stressful, more enjoyable life. And happier, healthier kids.