Parenting

My second child, Blakesley Grace Sutter, was born on April 3, 2009.  She was just over six pounds heavy and right at 19 inches long.  She is beautiful.

The time at the hospital waiting for Trista to recover and Blakesley to be thoroughly checked out amounted to three days.  It was a blizzard here in Vail but given the circumstances I avoided the urge to take a few runs and instead opted to enjoy some time with my wife and family as we all welcomed the new little bundle into the fold.  During a brief moment of free time I discovered a recent study indicating 90 percent of couples with children admitted that having kids did not make their marriages better or increase their overall happiness?  90 percent?  That sure seems like a lot to me.  I could only think that perhaps most people associated “better” with “easier” in which case I would certainly concur.  A 20 month old son and one week old daughter have certainly not inspired a household of leisure.  But than again neither did marriage.  Trista and I are married because we know that if over the course of our lifetime together we could average out all the good and all the bad that the good would make up the overwhelming majority.  If not by time than certainly by experience.  I think the same holds true for kids.  Anyone who has them knows that the are hard work.  What in life worth a damn isn’t?  But to say that they don’t better your overall experience or happiness is very hard to comprehend.  Have those people not seen their children smile as a result of something they did for them.  Have they not felt the love of teaching and fostering a life?  Do they not see the abundant hope and promise a child possesses?  90 percent?  And if the parents do not feel a benefit from having children than what must the kids think?  How is this affecting their long term views on love and life?  Have we been blind to the results of a life focused solely on economic and social gain?  Perhaps the stimulis package we really need is one that encourages a reinvestment in our future through the acknowledgement of its most valuable resource; our children…

40 thoughts on “Parenting

  1. I can’t imagine what life would have been like without you and Chris. I often feel very sad for people who never got to know the happiness, love and joy children bring to a home. I am truly proud of you and Trista and the “home” you provide for your family. Now grandparenting…that’s even better!

  2. Dear Ryan and Trista:
    Congratulations on your new little girl. You truly are blessed. I am stunned too Ryan that the percentage was 90%. That is totally unbelievable. There is no greater joy in life than finding your soulmate and creating a new life. It’s what life is all about. I’m married 30years this April 27th. There have been many ups and downs but through it all if you remember everything good about your spouse that made you fall in love, the LOVE you have for each other, will always get you through anything. I wish you the best. You both seem like such dear people. I know in my heart that your children will be loved and cherished, with such wonderful role models as you and your beautiful wife. Take care

  3. Congratulations Trista and Ryan—-

    “Making the decision to have a child is momentous!! It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body!”

    There is nothing more precious than FAMILY!!!

  4. Congratulations Ryan and Trista! Max and Blakesley are truly blessed to have two wonderful parents. Looking forward to seeing her picture on your site :)

  5. Hey Ryan, Congrats on your new girl! I can’t believe that stat! That’s crazy! I think that having our son Colin has brought even more happiness to our home and has brought us even closer. We feel like we can still be involved in OUR hobbies like diving, hockey,auto-x and it makes us excited to be able to introduce all these activities to our son and even bring him along now while we are partaking in them. This is a different time of our lives raising kids, but it’s been awesome! Hoping you find it to be true as well!

  6. Just wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your daughter. Our Blakesley just turned 16 and I wanted you to know she has always loved her name. Sure it has received a few comments now and then but overwhelmingly people have thought it unique and liked it. It was my grandmother’s maiden name… Blakesley’s middle name is Monroe after my grandfather..our last name is Wood so her initials are BMW :) It means a lot to her to have a name that represents something and comes from family roots. For a nickname we have always called her Blakes. She has been a joy and tremendous blessing in our lives. I hope the same for your family with the addition of your little Blakesley. A beautiful name for a beautiful baby.
    Blessings….

  7. Congratulations to both you and Trista! Blakesley is a beautiful name. How exciting for Max to be a big brother. My little man is 11 months and I just can’t even believe he will be 1 next month. It doesn’t seem like a year since we brought him home from the hospital. Or that my sweet little girl is 3 ½. Thank you for your post on parenting. My husband and I were married for 10 years before we had Liberty ~ we were young when we got married! Our marriage created our children. Without our friendship and love there wouldn’t be a Liberty or a Maverick in the world today. Just like with you it is your love and friendship that created Max & Blakesly. They are now part of your love story. Marriage and children both bring joys, laughter, frustration, the ups and the downs. Without the tough times we don’t know what it’s like to treasure the special moments. Life is about the moments. Our money and things all have a dollar value but our family and friends they are the true priceless things that can’t ever be measured. Thanks for sharing we need more positive outlets and sharing on marriage and children.

  8. Congrats to you both ! I agree that kids are a LOT of hard work, but are definately worth it. You are so blessed to have such a beautiful family. You and Trista seem like family to us, so the birth of your children seem like additions to our own family!

  9. Congratulations Trista and Ryan on the birth of your daughter. You are very lucky indeed to have 2 little miracles in your life.

    I just got back from a vacation in Winter Park and thought about the two of you while I was there. I accidentally stumbled on your blog and have really enjoyed reading them.

    Thanks for taking the time to post them.

  10. Ryan,
    Congratulations on your new daughter. Please do not support your wife in her essure procedure. This will put a block between you and your wife that you will not be able to explain. Sterilization for you or her is not a good plan. You are no longer giving yourself totally to each other and it will change your relationship. Just google info about people who regret their own sterilization. I am one of them. God Bless you all.

  11. Many congrats to you and your family.

    *is it just me, or is this blog incredibly difficult to read, due to the color and size of the font etc?*

  12. Ryan, this blog is very sweet. It’s true, appreciating life and your loved ones will make every breath more beautiful and good overall. If you’re counting blessings and seeing the overall picture and have determination…well you’re bound to be more positive, and the 90 percent can get there if they want to. ;) But the 10 percent thinks for themselves and isn’t caught up in the consumerism and easy-street you talk about. :P

  13. hey you guys i love you both and good luck on your little baby girl and I’m pregnant with a little baby girl and it’s my second and where going to name her alia
    lynn holen

  14. Hi Ryan,
    Congratulations on your baby girl!:) I have always been a fan of yours since Bachelorette Day 1! And I’m just so happy to know that my first impressions of you are correct!:)

    I’m getting married soon, and I pray that I’ll have a wonderful family like yours!:)

    Best wishes and God bless to you and your wonderful family!:)

  15. As usual, very insightful! Congratulations to the 3 of you on the beautiful addition to your family! (Has she worn anything other than pink yet???) Having our son is so wonderful for us….difficult at times, but who else other than my husband could really share those funny, aha, moments in our son’s life with me? When we look at each other when our son says something so 3 1/2ish, it is an incredible bond we share that nobody else would frankly care that much about! 90%? wow. Sad.

    All the best to all of you! (p.s. So sweet to read your mom’s post too..she must be having so much fun with her grandbabies!)

  16. Congratulations!

    But honestly you sound like an oppressed hostage, or something. The quoting of the statics part is frankly a dead give-away.

    Good luck and free at last to you my friend – really.

  17. I wanted to tell you Congrats on your new baby! I am so excited for you guys! I have loved you guys since I watched the Bachelorette! I wanted to also say, Ryan, I have the exact same birthday as you! That is crazy! Love you guys!

  18. First of all, congratulations! Second, I concur with EVERYTHING you said… definitely. My comment is that whenever I have heard this statistic, I have always interpreted it a bit differently. I think that people often have a misguided thought process that children will make their marriage stronger. (Not talking about you guys specifically though, just in talking about what you are referencing in your blog.) I’ve seen many struggling couples (some married, some not), go on to have kids thinking that the kids will be what keeps them together. Children are fabulous and wonderful blessings. But, they require a tremendous amount of work and initiative by the parent. They are not “glue” to keep a relationship together, especially if it’s failing. Because if anything, they put an additional strain on a relationship emotionally, financially, and physically. They create new relationship trials for a healthy marriage or further drive a wedge between two people if their marriage/relationship was not strong to begin with. Therefore, any relationship has to be strong and solid prior to having kids, because kids will weaken the relationship if the parents do not keep their focus on each other first. The focus on any family needs to be the husband and wife, first. As long as they are solid, and take time for each other after the fact, then the family unit will be solid. But children do not “fix” a relationship or make it stronger. And, it’s highly irresponsible to put such a big burden on a child to be the glue that keeps mom/dad together. We can’t place such expectations on them. They add a new dimension and create new challenges along with new joys. Anyway, that’s how I’ve always interpreted the statistic. In that, people have placed these expectations innapropriately on the child to begin with… And just to clarify too, not that kids aren’t important or are not priorities. They are. The parents’ relationship should be the focus though and priority #1 (#1-A)… Kids are priority 1 too, just #1-B. So I read this statistic from the standpoint of people that thought having kids would magically make everything alright, and they won’t. Now, they’ve obviously hit the reality “wall”… Anyway… just another perspective! You guys keep on, keepin’ on! You’ve got a beautiful family and I’m so happy that there’s one couple from the Bachelor/ette that is alive and well!

  19. I just want to say congrats on your baby girl. Also, to Trista..great blog on the Bachelorette. You crack me up!! I definately “get” your sense of humor. Too funny!! Hope all is well with you guys and hope your new home plans are coming along smoothly. Take good care!

  20. It was a sincere treat to stumble across your blog and realize how good your mindset is–I grew up in smalltown USA and have found common sense to be regretfully absent. Your kids are blessed to have great parents. Give my best to Trista–she too is an excellent example to women and mothers. Love it.

  21. I wish you and your family continued success with life, work and your future “green home”! You and your wife, Trista, are both good people, who deserve the best in life.

    Cheers!

  22. Allow me to add one more thing – the best in life was the arrival of your two children – Max and Blakesley! How does life get any better than having two healthy children?!

  23. What a beautiful blog!! It truly brought tears to my eyes! Could there be more greater joy then teaching and fostering a child???? NO!!!!!!!!!! I feel sorry for people who just do not understand this! Congratulations to you and Trista on those beautiful children!

  24. How sad for those 90% of parents. My husband and I have been married for 27 years and have 3 sons (26, 24 & 23). I love my husband deeply but I fell even more in love with him when I saw what a wonderful involved father he was. The boys made him a better man. I’ve always put my husband and sons first because that’s what made me happy and now that they’re older, my two oldest have commented on how they never realized what a great home life they had until they saw all their friends dealing with divorced, warring parents. Even though our youngest son is autistic and has presented innumerable challenges of his own, I wouldn’t have traded a minute of the time we’ve had with him. He’s made us appreciate the small, simple things in life that are most important – the safety and security of a loving home. God bless you and Trista and the children. You both are an inspiration and I wish more parents thought like you do.

  25. Ryan & Trista,
    Congrats on the new little one. They truly are blessings. My fiance and I have 2 girls of our own, ages 5 & 2, and we love them dearly. They definitely have brought us closer, as a family, and also as a couple. Thank you for writing what you did. It lets me know that I am not alone in believing in the power of love. Take Care. God Bless.

  26. Ryan,

    Congratulations to you and Trista on the arrival of your precious baby girl. I absolutely love what you wrote about marriage and parenting. I was very blessed to have two very loving and supportive parents. My parents were married for over 60 years and loved each other even more rather than less. My brother and I were the most important thing in their lives! God bless you and your dear family.

  27. Hi guys, I’ll admit that I didn’t think you were real for a long time. But now you’ve convinced me! (not that you had to), I wish you eternity of happiness and many more children each one is different and the joy increases (I have 6 and wish I could have more)homemaking is wonderful and family divine. kitty

  28. Yes, parenting is very challenging and exhausting but our 4 children are our greatest treasures. Thanks again for rescuing two of ours off the elevator today. (-: Just imagine Max and Blakesly in there about 10 years from now. It is always an adventure with kids! All you guys were a blessing today. thanks! The Lively family

  29. Children have been the greatest thing God has ever allowed me to have. They have pulled my husband of nealy 30 years closer to each other with sharing the children’s up and downs. The greatest joy has been when the children made their own personal commitment to Jesus Christ as their Saviour, getting married to great people and giving us grandchildren. Enjoy the children when they are young the house is empty before you know what happened. Congratulations on the birth of your children and may your marriage get stronger and better as the years go on. Mary

  30. I just found your blog and love being able to see how your family is growing. I am a mother of four, and they are 90% of my world. I cannot imagine life without my kids. Living began when I got kids to share life with. I look forward to reading more of your family and love you both!! You were my pick for Trista, and watching you make this beautiful family is a real treat. Thanks for sharing.

  31. I just came across your site. I wish you and your family nothing but the best life has to offer and think it is wonderful you have not only found true love but are able to share this with your children. However, there are many of us who cannot have children, and some of the comments left by readers make it seem that, because of this, we are somehow incomplete. There are many ways to live a fulfilled life with or without children. There are many ways to express love, enrich the lives of others, and make the world a better place. I, too, love and value children; however, I have learned to create my own happiness without having the ability to reproduce. Blessings and continued health and happiness to you and your family.

  32. I read this myself not to long ago and was astounded. We’re meant to love people and use things, and so many people get that backwards. Kids are great; they keep things real.

  33. Wow, 90%! yes, definately harder and more to prepare when having children but what a blessing. I have 6 myself and it is very difficult. But so much fun too! and you are right, the good should outweight the bad! Life is tough but kids make it better for most!

    Congratulations on the two beauties you have!

  34. I think you and trista are truly an example of what love is about. As a mom, physical therapist, competitive triathlete and wife I know how much hard goes into making a happy life .it’s a balance and it looks like you have truly found a way to put it all together in a beautiful and supporting way. Thanks for showing us love is possible with the right soulmate you both have a lifetime of love ahead….

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