You’ll notice I’ve been posting a lot of guest articles lately. It’s been a little nutty in the Big Deal reality-world, but I promise a new post written exclusively by Yours Truly is on it’s merry little way. For now, please enjoy another fantastic guest post- an honest look back at the reality of parenting.
When you are young and in love and you start thinking about becoming parents it’s as if you are in a dream world. We dream of precious little babies who coo and smell so sweet and that make your life so blissful. I am not saying that I did not love my babies with all my heart or regret in the least that I had them. But I suppose if people actually attended classes on what to expect and allowed the students to go through a real life drama there would be a lot less babies in the world. Which as I think of it might actually be a really good idea for some folks as we all have met or seen people that should never have been parents.
It’s an important decision whether or not to become a parent and it seems that the really good parents are the ones that actually give it some good hard thought. I actually thought about it but I was one of those dreamers that I spoke of in the first paragraph. I love babies, I’ve always loved babies, but they weren’t my babies and I could hand them back.
When my daughter came into the world I was overwhelmed with many emotions. The first emotion was terror; what if I did something wrong? I had no idea how to take care of this fragile little thing. She threw me a curve ball in the first few hours of her life. She did not want my breasts and I was horrified. Was she going to starve to death because they were only going to give her sugar water until my milk came in? She wouldn’t even give it a good try!
When I got her home I literally slept on the floor next to the crib with my hand on her to make sure she was breathing and this went on for some time. I am quite sure that I was in post partum depression but back in the day it was not discussed much, I am pretty sure those of us lucky enough to have it were just written off as certifiable. I remember going to the grocery store and leaving her with my mom who had my total confidence, only to leave my partially filled basket after a couple of aisles and head back home. Thinking to myself all the way home that something terrible was going to happen to my little girl because I had left her. Talk about driving oneself nutty as a squirrel in an acorn tree, well, that was me!
I did get somewhat better over time but if you would check with my twenty-seven year old daughter she would tell you that I was still not quite alright. I find it very hard to let go of my babies, after all I was the one who went through the natural childbirth so that they would be the marvelous examples of humanity they are today, right?
When my son came along I wasn’t much better, because A: it was seven years later, and B: he was a HE. So virtually it just started all over again. Hes are so much different thanshes and not just in the physical sense. Although the physical part was daunting, changing diapers for a boy, sheesh who knew? Not me. The first day in the hospital he “sprung” it on me. You need two diapers to change a boy. What an expense! Hey, but that’s okay because it probably just evens out when they get to be teenagers and the girl starts to shop. But I digress.
My daughter was a mild mannered, well behaved, obedient, gentle, loving little child. (All except for the few months in infancy when she had colic which I’ve tried hard to forget.) My son came out on some kind of adrenaline high from day one. He was fine for the first several months and then when he was able to move about on his own he never stopped. Keeping him occupied was something you had to have prepared in advance, literally, because when he got that gleam in his eye you had to be ready. When he began to talk and you thought of something fun for him to do or had taken him somewhere you thought he would love the first thing out of his mouth was, “What are we going to do next?” I knew it was bad when my seven year old daughter was getting as strung out as I was. And people were telling me that I was spoiling him and that I should just let him be bored. BORED?? If this child did not stay occupied he would tear up every room in the house and be swinging from the chandelier! I can not tell you how many times he crawled out of his crib and climbed up to the top cabinets in the kitchen. We had to get special locks for the doors because he could open just about any lock you could throw at him. I swear we were raising MacGyver!
I don’t want anyone to think that I loved my daughter more than my son because if you would ask my daughter she would tell you it’s just the opposite. (She doesn’t mean it though.) He just takes twice as much attention, still to this day and he is twenty now. He would die if he read this and he would deny it vehemently. His salvation was that he was not a fit thrower. He was an adorable toe-headed, bouncy, grinning, all boy kind of a kid. He smiled even when he was doing something he knew he shouldn’t. I remember a video my husband took of my son back in the day when he was three or four. He was rifling through my purse and my husband asked him what he was doing with camera in hand. When he realized he was being filmed he grabbed my wallet and ran down the hall pulling out the contents and throwing them everywhere with a huge grin on his face. My husband was actually laughing. Even though it was rather humorous I had to have a talk with my husband about what was appropriate to laugh out loud at and what needed to be laughed at under your breath! You wouldn’t think I would have to explain this to a grown man, but there it is.
Oh, I just have to mention the time my daughter was selling Girl Scout cookies. Of course I helped like the good mother I am, and we worked so hard. I think we had about a hundred and fifty dollars collected at this point in time and needed to turn it in. Well, we couldn’t find it anywhere. We found the envelope it was in but not the cash. All I can say is that we were blessed that it was winter and we lived in an older house with big heating vents between my sons and daughters room. We knew my son had something to do with it but he wasn’t talking, literally, he couldn’t talk yet. Anyway, when the heat came on and we were near the tear stage we heard a sound like paper being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. I ran to the vent and what do I see but nice green money. The slots were just big enough to sort of slide the money in like an ATM machine. It must have taken him awhile to do. This did not bode well for the outlook of our future.
As stated in the title of this little story I didn’t feel very successful as a parent, I didn’t know a thing about what I was doing; to which my children will attest. The thing I did know however was that I loved them so very much, even when they had colic or threw money in vents, or drove me buggy. Since the majority of us do not go to Parenting 101 classes we all have to pull up our bootstraps and do the best we know how. I prayed, and I prayed a lot. I praise God for the grace He gave me to raise the wonderful children I have today. And I say to all you parents out there to just let love be the reason for everything you do, the kind of love that is for their good, and you will make it!
Ken Myers is the founder of http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need; instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.