Denglish 91: My German Wife Inquires About the Joys of Parenting

funny parenting picture
“That’s right, Dad… go to your happy place.” — Photo by allygirl520 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scrapstothefuture/)

My German wife and I are not ready to have kids. I have mentioned this before, and yet the subject just keeps coming up. It continues to arise because all — seriously, all — of our friends are having kids. (And because my wife’s biological clock is probably ticking loud as hell, like a stopwatch hopped up on German engineering.)

I know absolutely nothing about children. I can hardly tell the difference between a 6-month old and a 6-year old. To me, they’re just annoying. All sticky and gross. Like little wood grubs dipped in honey. Man, I am the absolute last person anyone should ask about the bliss of child rearing, but that doesn’t stop my wife; whenever she sees a fresh baby, she feels compelled to fire awkward questions at me, like this little gem from the other day:

THE WIFE: “Do you think, when you have a child and you keep it alive and shit, you get a good feeling?”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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51 thoughts

  1. Bahaha, she sure knows how to ask the right questions. Such a shame you didn’t get to meet my kids. One is a baby and fairly cool unless his teething makes him majorly annoying (not to mention grubby), and the other one is a 4-year old sweetheart who can totally get your goat when he’s at his best. They would take care of your wife’s secret desires for sure.

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  2. you may not be ready , but when you get asked by her about kids, she’s probably hinting that she would like one. No one really knows about kids till they have one for themselves. good luck and don’t wait too long to have a Li’l rugrat. ;)

    Love your site, I am a fellow American here in Wuppertal married to a german woman. I’m from PA and I have a friend from OR near where you are from. so I get your insight. We are on the same page most of the time and it’s like reading a page that I would write. Keep it up!

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      1. Becoming a parent is for some people the best thing that could happen to them, though they have never wanted children. So who knows, maybe you would like it. I always wanted children but it just didn’t happen. I’m over it and enjoy every minute of being a (Step-) Nana :)

        LG Anja

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  3. I suppose nurturing the child does require keeping it alive and shit, but it sounds like a lot of work to me. I’m with you: Let someone else keep the little, germy brats. (I’m not talking sausages here…!)

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  4. As someone else without children, I’m not sure how it feels, but as a teacher, it gives me a good feeling not to have my students die on me in class. I’m sure it’d be even more so for a parent. :)

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  5. “When you keep it alive and shit” Oh my god, I really did lol. Also, “Wood grubs dipped in honey” is accurate. I have a 9 month old nephew, and I don’t know how he is so sticky. I can’t tell apart kids ages. At all. I’ve had to start, since I spoil the Neffe and buy him clothes. Definitely something I had to learn as I went. And I’m pretty sure keeping him alive and shit gives my sister and her babydaddy a good feeling. Of not being turned in to Child and Family Services.

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      1. I don’t actually. Pregnancy/labor terrifies me worse than bee/spider/bear hybrids. Plus, I don’t actually like most children (except the nephew, I like him) until they’re like 5 ish. And most of them, not even then. I’ll just spoil the shit out of my nephews and nieces, I’m 100% committed to being the Crazy Aunt.

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  6. Oh my god that’s hilarious. Your wife, from everything you’ve said, seems *completely* adorable. My (German as all hell) girlfriend says some hilarious shit too; I’m tempted to start writing them down. ^^

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    1. Kiefer, you GOTTA start your own blog! Write down the stuff your girlfriend says! If you don’t want to make the commitment, you can always type up a short anecdote and I’ll feature it in our Guest post section. I would love to!

      Have a great day!

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  7. If the kid is alive and shit, would you rather raise the kid in Deutschland oder Amerika? Have you guys thought about getting a dog first? If so, which what kind? German Shepard or Golden Retriever?

    Btw, I’m from Los Angeles looking to relocate to Munich for work. I stumbled upon your blog and it’s been THE highlight of my week!!!! I’d love to see more posts about living in Germany!

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    1. Hey Christine! I’m so glad you found our blog!

      And that’s very cool you’re looking to relocate to Munich! The Wife and I have been there. It’s obviously a super popular destination for living and working.

      Thank you for following our blog and commenting. We look forward to hearing from you again soon! Have a great day!

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  8. On reading the title, my first reaction was: There is no joy in parenting.
    I’ll follow up with: Not in the romanticized way your wife is expecting.
    We were actively not having a child. EVER. However here I sit in Belgium which is something I doubt would have happened if we didn’t have a child.
    The Child changes everything. From the way you eat dinner to the way you love.
    “Keeping it alive and shit” is the easy part. Not killing it (at times) is far harder.
    Love your perspective on things and thanks for the blog!

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      1. It was The Child. She didn’t stand much chance of a good future where we came from. My ancestors – only one generation away – were from Belgium hence the citizenship and decision to go Belgium!

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  9. Love your honesty here. Do you find that this question (“Should we have kids?”) has gotten a lot louder since coming to Germany? At home (US) the question was always, “When?” as if it were an obligatory step. There are so many child free couples here, and they’re really happy! Too much contrary evidence! Wah.

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  10. This really is very refreshing – having someone who says how it is. LOL
    My question would rather be: if you had a child – would you keep it alive? *grin*

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  11. Ha ha funny post! You both should definitely listen to your gut and not have children… I agree with you 100%. People who don’t see the positives to parenting should absolutely not procreate.

    We are expecting our first child, a boy, next month and are so excited. I can’t wait to be a parent and the timing felt right for us – very important as we are both very Independant, travel a lot and have busy careers. For us, we will have only one child. It’s all I ever imagined having anyway: one.

    But yeah, you guys are better off a single couple from what I read in your posts about parenting on this blog. Good decision to not go there!!!!

    Hope you are enjoying the weinnachtsmarkt season!

    Holly

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    1. Hi Holly!

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Yeah, we’re definitely not ready yet, but we never say never.

      And congratulations on your upcoming delivery! We wish you all the best!

      Enjoy the rest of you weekend and please come visit us again soon.

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  12. I love this so much.
    I’m only 19, and a ridiculous amount of people I know are getting married and having kids…and I’m just sitting here like NOPE. No honey-dipped wood grubs for me, thanks.
    Great post, though. :D

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  13. I don’t think of that as Denglish. I add “add shit” to vague lists as often as I can. Sometimes even at work.

    Meanwhile, I’m glad that I can count on one hand the number of people who thought they could convince me to even *consider* having kids. Now it’s too late, BWAAAA HA HA HA HA.

    …Er, I meant that I’m too old to have ’em now. Sorry if I started anyone.

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  14. You may tell her, “yes” at some point – eight years from the day you learned two cells meshed inside of you, you will look up and realize you somehow managed to navigate all the ferocious childhood diseases, questionable food items (get the dirt out of your mouth) and well meaning but horrendous unsolicited advice from the childless on how they would do it if they were you, and you kept this kid alive and shit will make you feel like the greatest person i the world. Especially, when your kid looks up at you and says you are great at it. : )

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