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          “My Kid Is Cramping My Style”

          February 04, 2005

          Scott says that his wife of three years, Sara, practically bribed him to start a family. Now he feels resentful toward his 7-month-old son and his wife, and misses his old lifestyle. “I feel pressured into this lifeless yuppie world where I have to stay home all the time and that’s just not me,” says Scott, who would rather be riding his motorcycle, skiing, hanging out with friends or going to bars. Dr. Phil offers the following advice to Scott so he can learn to adjust to parenthood.

          Accept that life isn’t fair.
          Accept your circumstances for what they are and make the best of them. Dr. Phil asks Scott, “What good does it do to be resentful or upset about the sacrifices that you have to make?” Most likely the situation will not go away, so you must address the issues at hand and deal with them. “You do have the baby and he’s not going away so what good does it do to be resentful or upset about the sacrifices that you have to make?”

          Don’t give up your life outside of your family.
          When Scott admits that he is trying to cling to the life he had prior to having his son, Dr. Phil tells him, “A mature way to approach this is to figure out how to balance so you get as much of what you want and value on both sides. If we stop being who we are when we start being moms and dads, we cheat the child.” It is important to find the right balance. If you don’t have to make unnecessary sacrifices, then you’ll be better able to embrace the ones you do have to make. Find trusted childcare so you and your spouse can do activities, travel, go out, without always bringing your child.

          Dr. Phil explains that he has played tennis every day of his kids’ lives. “I didn’t stop being who I am, I just changed the order and the way I did things,” he explains.

          Invest in your child.
          Dr. Phil reads some of the comments that Scott has said about his son: “‘When I’m playing with him, I just feel like I’m babysitting. Taking care of his basic needs just doesn’t interest me. I can spend 15 minutes with him and then I want to pass him off. I blame him for the things that I can’t do. There just aren’t a lot of positives to having a baby. I really wanted to get a pilot’s license, have a nice car, have a nice boat, travel, go to motorcycle races.'” He reminds Scott that this is going to be his child for the rest of his life, and there’s no way out of it. “You just have to reconcile yourself to that and say, ‘You know what? If I’m going to have to do it, I might as well do it well,'” Dr. Phil tells Scott. “The thing about being a parent, it’s not all about entertaining you.” It’s a give and take relationship.

          Dr. Phil suggests Scott get down on the floor and play with his son, read with him, sing to him, and rub his back. Create interest with your child. Make an investment of time, effort, energy and emotion. You must show interest in every stage of your child’s life, so they will have interest in what you do as they grow older.

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