Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mom, what does a bomb do?

This question reverberated through my very being yesterday as I drove David and I to Downtown Disney. 
"Mom, what does a bomb do?"

The cold stark realization hit me that my child is growing up.  He'll be a  young man in not too many years from now.  Why does innocence have to flee so quickly.  And how do I answer that?  The thought of sharing any information on it with David hurt me.  I feel like it's the beginning of slow dismantle of innocent times of childhood that will never be recaptured.

"Well, they go off and hurt lots of buildings and people."

He takes a silent thoughtful moment.  His little brain is always working.  "What do bombs look like?"

"Hmmm..."  I really hate this conversation.  I suddenly want to be anywhere but there in the car having that conversation.  I don't really want him to know.  I hate the hurt in the world.  I hate war.  I hate that people have to die because someone else thinks they are right.  "Well, they can be small or big.  Short or long."

"Yeah.  You know, bad guys think bombs are good.  But they are not.  They are bad."  He's matter of fact with the statement, then looks back out the window and begins humming.

"That is exactly right David."  I then remember one of my favorite quotes.  'I long for a world where my children will never know the word, WAR.'

There is something deeply frightening and sorrowful when you truly know you're children will learn and hear things that are not full of love and laughter.  And that some things are beyond our control, and they can't be protected from everything. 

I remember back to when I was 13 years old back in the early 80s.  I don't remember details, but I remember there were some things going on between Russia and the USA and I would hear talk here and there at school about war.  The typical talk where you know it's the kids saying what they've heard their parents say.  I distinctly remember that evening, laying in bed and crying at the thought of war and life ending.  My mom came in to say good night and asked what was wrong.  I told her.  She reassured me and I felt so safe.  But I know her heart hurt too for me knowing that I was fearful and learning these things too.

I realize it's a part of life.  My faith plays a big part in calming my nerves.  But I will never deny that I would much rather have a world where all peaceful and my child would never even need to ask a question about bombs.  Never.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I'm not afraid to say it! ....."Advice" for new parents!

I am so excited for my many friends that have recently or will become parents!  Either for the first time or once again!  The addition of a child to a family is an amazing thing, bringing many mixed emotions that you never thought you could feel!  It's a love unexplainable and incomparable until it parenthood is experienced personally. 

Over 6.5 years ago, I was blessed to be able to experience this journey, and then again almost 5 years ago.  With it came advice, and lots of it!  Lots, and lots, and lots....and lots...of it!  So I figured why not give my own ;)

The one thing I've learned about being a parent is that the journey is ever changing.  And thus, this is where my own advice stems from. 

1.) There are no medals in childbirth!  It's true!  There are no medals at the end of it, but a new life instead! You birth how you want!  Don't let anyone make you feel inferior no matter what choice you make!  YOU ARE NOT A BAD matter what you choose!  From hospital to home, no one gets a medal, you get a baby :)

I used to regret my births, wish it to be different, take to heart when people would insinuate that I wasn't educated because I didn't do it a certain way.  But you know what?  Years later, I could not care less.  Looking back, in the grand scheme, it doesn't really make a difference.  My son are here, happy, beautiful, and loving!  That is all that matters. 

2.) Listen to your heart and instinct!  We all have different approaches/styles/methods to child rearing.  YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM....for choosing what works for you family!  And know that that you may fluctuate in approaches, or each child will respond differently to various approaches.

With David, I started hardcore one way [to the point of being so judgemental and thinking I had all the right answers].  Boy does life have a way of showing you a thing or two ;)  I didn't really learn that lesson until Aaron came along and he was a whole other ball game.  What worked for David, was not and does not work for Aaron.  And I'm okay with that now! 

3.)You are not alone in how you feel!  Parenting is the most rewarding thing in life.  However it can be also the most overwhelming things as well.  When David was just a wee baby I remember hearing another, more experienced mother say "Some days, I don't like my children."  I thought that was the most horrible and unloving statement I had ever heard.  Cue....6.5 years later.  I totally understand that thought now!  I always LOVE my children.  Always!  There are times though that I don't like them.  I sometimes ask how can a 4 or 6 year old frustrate me more than anyone has in my entire life!  It's okay to feel this way and a million other ways! 
YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM....for you how you feel!  Parenting is emotional!  Just know that when you find a friend or friends who share your heart...and you share such thoughts, they WILL understand! 

4.) Avoid Parenting Forums!  My last piece of advice, and one I wish in a way that I had understood from the beginning is just this.  The ONLY reason I am thankful for parenting boards is because of a few very close friends that I came to know!  I wouldn't trade those friends for the world.  I'm not saying all of them are evil.  I'm just saying, if you do it, choose wisely and step away if a forum is overly judgmental.    Never in my life until parenting forums have I seen such over-reaction towards parenting issues.  To list what I've come across would take blog after blog.

Let me just say...YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM...for making different choices than Sally, Mary, or Jane!  You are not abusing our children, or setting them up for failure because you made choice B instead of C, or A instead of D.  Do what is right for your family!  [Oh and even that sentiment can mean trouble in the Parenting Board realms ;)] 

If you are a new parent, you are in for an amazing ride.  Remember to write down your many thoughts, be they positive or negative.  The look back in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc.  You'll be amazed at the various paths you go down!

As for this advice, since parenting IS a journey.  Ask me again in another 5 years, I may have something different to say! ;)