Tag:

parenthood

motherhood, mommy wars, Stephanie Metz, bad parenting

You know how sometimes you read something and it just rubs you the wrong way? Well, this post by Stephanie Metz rubbed me the wrong way. Her sanctimommy antics have caught my attention and not in a good way. Apparently, these days, to be a good parent we are not supposed to give a shit about our kids and sit back and just let life happen to them. Do them a favor and let them learn about life the hard way because that’s the way God intended it to be.

Don’t let those entitled little snots think they are the center of your world. Life is hard and if you want to raise good citizens of the world, you have to make the hard choice and go against your maternal instinct and ignore your children’s needs, put your own needs first and to hell with what any tree hugging, baby-wearing asshole says about you. You have to do your children the favor of showing them just how hard life can be. Hey kid, you are born alone, you will die alone and I am not your mama..oh wait, I am. Anyways, don’t count on me either. I have things to do. Well, at least that is what all the anti-attachment parenting, baby bjorn burning, ferberizing people of the world might have you think.

I say if you had them, take care of them. I am not saying to put them in a damn bubble but you can’t just toss them off to the wolves as toddlers because it’s too “inconvenient” for you to have to exert yourself to raise them; to parent them; to protect them. If you didn’t want to be a parent then maybe you should have passed on the whole “having a kid” thing in the first place.

I’m not advocating that children should have their mommies and daddies do all of the heavy lifting but we have to at least teach them to stick up for themselves not just abandon them in the line of fire and hope they figure out how to bob and weave. Look, I have learned, the hard way, that kids outgrow the protective bubble so we have to teach them to live outside of our bubble of protection. We absolutely have got to give them a little space to figure out who they are and how to exist in the world when we are not there. If not we are doing them just as much of a disservice as those crazy moms who throw their kids to the metaphorical wolves. The point is we have to be present to teach them. There’s got to be a happy medium somewhere between attached at the hip, wearing a helmet and free-range, do whatever the hell you want because I can’t be bothered.

The rules of parenthood keep changing so quickly that my head is spinning. First, if you weren’t crunchy all the time, you were a shit parent. So we all ran out and bought all the organic food in pouches and cloth diapers we could find. Then it shifted and we were supposed to give our kids the freedom to be who they are. Who the fuck are they? Isn’t that part of the joint journey of parenthood and childhood to help them find out? Now, all the free-rangers turned on the helicopters and a parenting civil war ensued. So many casualties, what’s a new mom to do?

Who is she supposed to believe? Poor thing she’s standing there in a corner huddled with her newborn swaddled tightly, crying because today changing a diaper is like deciding which wire to cut; is it the blue or the red? If you’re wrong. BOOM! The whole damn thing will blow up and you’ve ruined this perfect person’s life forever. Don’t you know which diaper a kid poops in could be life altering? Bad.Parent! And now, the tide has shifted again and there has been an onslaught of mom’s shouting their battle cry at the children of the world, “YOU.Are.NOT.the.Center.of.my Universe!!!” just to prove to other mothers, and maybe to themselves, that they are more than just someone’s mommy. Look, I understand. We all begin to feel like were drowning in motherhood from time to time but I don’t think the answer is to throw our kids in the deep end and tell them to sink or swim.

My kids ARE the center of my universe and while, I am not going to fight every battle for my children I don’t think I have the stomach for watching them learn things the hard way. That’s my job, to be there to protect them and teach them how to live in the world and if all else fails, I want them to know mommy has their back.

We are better parents when we prioritize ourselves because over-exhausted and overwhelmed in martyr mode, renders us pretty much useless to everyone including our children. Everything ends up half-assed.

Sure, I miss peeing alone but I signed up for the “no pissing alone for 5-10 years zone” when I decided I wanted to be a mom. I knew kids needed my time, attention and love. What I didn’t count on was my own obsession with keeping them safe and happy. Can’t we all just get along for our kids’ sakes. Parenthood is not a pissing contest. Motherhood is YOUR journey with YOUR children.

motherhood,mommy wars

 

 

My girls are the center of my universe because I love them enough to let them be.

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My Daughter

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My Daughter

My New Favorite Photo of My Daughters

That’s my daughter in the water, both of them

That’s my daughter is what I want to scream every single time anyone looks at my daughter, either one of them. Anyone who’s ever had the honor of being the mommy to a daughter knows that our little girls leave us in awe on a daily basis. I can’t even explain the pride and love that I feel for these two little creatures. At their very core, they are pure good. They are everything that I love about the world, about people, even about living. Everything I do is for them.

This past month has been such an emotional roller coaster for so many reasons, least of all because of our miscarriage. I say ours because it wasn’t just my loss. It hurt our family, at it’s core. Thank God,I have so much to be thankful for. I am so freaking blessed that sometimes, I think it’s not fair that I should have so many blessings in my life, especially my daughters and husband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows over here, hardly. But even when it’s hard, it’s still really, really good because I have the girls and the Big Guy to love me. They love me regardless of the time, day, weather, whether I am fat or skinny. It’s unconditional and that is truly something to be thankful for.

So, I am not going to go on mushy on you and talk about what I’ve lost. I’ve done enough of that. You have all been such a great sounding board. I have shouted profanities at life and collapsed in a pool of snot and tears and I have had so many people to lift me up. I finally feel like I can stand alone and shout my profanities. I know y’all have got my back and I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore. I feel sad at what I will never know and I feel the void but I know that I am strong enough to survive. I know that I am a stronger and better person for having survived it, like so many other shitty things that I have survived.

This is about so much more, this is about my daughters and all the reasons that I had to celebrate this month. No, I am not crazy or delusional and believe me, I didn’t think I could celebrate anything but how could I not. My husband celebrated his 37th birthday. The Big Guy is my soft place to land in a life of never ending rocks and hard places. I celebrate his birth because, he is responsible for my rebirth. He is the part of me that holds me up. He is my foundation.

That’s My Daughter, Who’d Have Ever Thought Her?

I had to celebrate Mother’s day because look at the two daughters I have been blessed with. My girl’s bring me infinite love to give and to receive on a daily basis. They have made me better than I ever could have hoped to be, more than I could have imagined was even possible. With them, my heart grows to the point that it feels like it may swell and burst out of my chest.

The Big Guy and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. This man came into a moment in my life when I was not expecting love. Up until him, what I thought was love was a faint shadow of what love truly is. Love is all consuming and easy. It’s a submission of your heart, body and soul with a complete reciprocation.It’s a soft place to land. It’s good times and bad. It’s the big things and the little things. It’s sharing a near death experience in order to create a perfect, living breathing , walking around and breaking your heart culmination of your love. It’s holding hair, holding hands and holding your heart together with chewing gum when it’s breaking into a million different pieces. It’s silence that fills a room and noise that fills your heart. It’s all day, every day and it is unconditional without reservation, hesitation or question.

We celebrated Gabi’s birthday. My tenderhearted baby turned 5 this past week and if I were on my dying bed, I would will myself up and celebrate that child’s life. She is strong, witty, funny and amazing in ways that I’d never thought about before her. She is my baby and that is worth celebrating. She is here to be held and loved. I will do it every second and in every way for as long as I take breath into my body.

Along with all that, there were end of year programs, preschool graduation, ballet recitals, firsts performances, last days, life and death and through it all, I am so glad that you are here to share it all with. Which reminds me, The TRUTH about Motherhood just turned 3 and Throat Punch Thursday (Which I’ve been too emotionally drained the past month to dole out but will resume next month) is officially 2 years old. I have truly enjoyed getting to know all of you and I look forward to many more years of growing through motherhood and life with you.

What would I do without to you? What would I do without the Big Guy or my daughters? I don’t know and I hope I never do know life without your community, the Big Guy or my daughters.

That’s my Daughter, Every time she fell I caught Her, Every time

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miscarriage, loss, pregnancy, I forgot

What is wrongful life?

Wrongful Life; the term sends shivers down my spine. How can someone be wrongfully born? You cannot be accidentally born. At some point, there was intent. Someone caused this to happen, it was not accidental.

Wrongful life An event in which legal action may be taken by–or on behalf of the baby suffering from a hereditary or congenital defect, eg Down syndrome or other disease, eg rubella, who would not have been born had the parents had the knowledge to opt for an abortion; WL represents either the failure to diagnose in utero a condition that would lead to a major life-long handicap or recognize such a condition in a sibling, allowing a 2º, similarly afflicted, child to be born; the child is the defendant named in a lawsuit initiated to defray the incurred and anticipated medical, nursing and related health expenses; in both WB and WL, the defendant may be liable for support and care of the infant from ‘cradle to grave’

Ariel and Deborah Levy of Portland, Oregon, filed a “wrongful birth” lawsuit against Legacy Health System. The suit was filed because the Levy’s would have terminated the pregnancy had they known they would give birth to a special-needs child.

The Levy’s were awarded $2.9 million after doctors misdiagnosed their daughter as not having Down syndrome during prenatal screening. Imagine their shock when they delivered and had to unexpectedly adjust all their hopes and dreams because of a negligent doctor.

They had made the effort to have the prenatal screening. They had already made the difficult, if not impossible, decision to abort their child if there was a genetic disorder due to the extreme cost of taking care of the child.

The $2.9 million will only cover the estimated additional lifetime costs of caring for someone with Down syndrome.

Perhaps, just reading the words of this story, it sounds a bit crass or cold. After all, there are women all over the world going through hell and high water to try and conceive a child, any child. I also know many mothers of special needs children who would not trade them in for the entire world. That is a mother’s love.I understand this completely. It’s easy to judge when we are not in the Levy’s situation.

But if you were in the position of the Levy’s, faced with the possibility of a child who you would have to care for their entire life, saddled with a lifetime of extreme medical costs and having to worry if you would live long enough to secure that they were always taken care of, what would you do?

How do you label your baby a wrongful life when you’ve always wanted them?

What would any of us do? How could we know for sure until we were faced with the situation.

Would you consider prenatal genetic screening? Or would it be irrelevant to the pregnancy? When I was younger, there would have been no question. In fact, I declined testing with both of my pregnancies because my thought process was that it simply did not matter. No matter the circumstances. They were my babies and I could never consider termination. In retrospect, that was a bit naive on my part.

Now, that I am older; risks are higher, my lifetime is shorter and  having two other children, I simply could not afford the high costs of caring for a child with extreme special needs. At 39, I would have to consider a scenario that I would have vehemently refused 8 years ago. I don’t know for sure how I would feel if I ever found myself in the Levy’s shoes. I hope I never do because I imagine it was a very painful and stressful situation to even consider. I do know that the malpractice on the part of the doctors has altered their lives forever, against their will.

They didn’t sign up for this. They love their little girl, she is their little girl but they have a very tough road ahead of them, even if it is peppered with having the honor of loving this little girl.I wish the world were a better place and things like this never even had to be thought about. I wish all babies were born healthy, all women who wanted babies could get pregnant and we all had an endless supply of money, tome and patience but that’s not reality.

How to do you feel about this case? Would you ever consider aborting a baby that you knew was going to have extreme incurable medical issues? Do you think the doctors should be held accountable in the case of a wrongful life?

Is there such a thing as wrongful life?

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Parenting, unsolicited advice, I can parent my own kids

How to parenting advice ~ Parenting without unsolicited advice or intervention is something that I am happy to do. I love my kids. I had them because I wanted to be a parent. I don’t need anyone else, no matter how well meaning their intentions may be, stepping in and grabbing the parenting reins. We all get our fair share of “how to parenting advice”, sometimes by people are not even parents,but how many of us had had someone actually step in and flex their how to parenting muscles?

how to Parenting, unsolicited advice, I can parent my own kids, children,moms

Kindly STFU, I can parent my own kids. NO how to parenting intervention needed

We are in a situation where we are currently living with the Big Guy’s parents. It is very generous that they allow us to live in their house while our house is on the market. It really is and I truly appreciate the sacrifice they are making. We tried the whole commuter marriage for two years and Sunday’s just became too much to bear. But lately I see the lines becoming blurred. It’s slowly but surely evolving into a too many cooks in the kitchen scenario.

I’ve noticed my MIL raising her voice a little more at my kids lately. She’s taken it upon herself to tell a 4 and 6 year old that they need to help out around the house more. What? 4 and 6, people not 14 and 16. They already set the table, help load the dishwasher and feed the dog. This seems like a lot to me, aside from picking up their toys. After a particularly aggressive conversation between her and the girls my husband stepped in and reminded her of their ages. She responded ,”Well, I just thought I’d teach them some responsibility.” Is she implying that we do not discipline them or are too permissive in our parenting?

How to parenting interventions are Most always Unwanted

I can feel the judging eyes and impatient stares when the children misbehave. I feel like my every parenting move is under scrutiny. How do I stop this? I ‘ve tried the firm yet gentle approach but my efforts seems to go unnoticed.

Sitting at the dinner table the other night, I watched in muted shock as she scolded my children for not eating everything on their plate. I am trying to teach them to eat until they are full and then stop. I have rules that they have to eat certain amounts of fruit, vegetables and milk. They are never obligated to finish carbs. In fact, I prefer they not. But she stepped in and reprimanded them for NOT eating the 3 helpings of carbs in its entirety.

I feel like my hands are tied because of the situation we are in and I really prefer not to be homeless. How do you tell your MIL that her, assumed, well meaning how to parenting interventions are stepping on your parenting toes? I know she loves them and she’s a good parent, after all, she did raise the Big Guy and he’s pretty freaking amazing. But these are our children and we are the only authoritative figures that should be parenting our children. I appreciate wise how to parenting tips from someone who’s been there already but I feel we can parent effectively all on our own.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she is doing this to be nasty or undermine our parenting or even intentionally. I just think she thinks she is doing what is best. She’s a fixer. If there’s a perceived problem she fixes it. I am more concerned with the effect that it is having on the girls. They are getting confused about who is in charge. My 4 year old told me the other day that is was Grandma’s house and she makes the rules. Which we all know is true except for when you live at Grandma’s house. In any case, Mommy and Daddy always have supreme reign over the children. Even worse, I am afraid that going from being the visiting, doting Grandmother who loves to spend time with them to the Grandma who they see every day and she reprimands and has no patience for them may hurt the relationship between her and our girls.

Am I looking a parent resource gift horse in the mouth or am I right in feeling like my parenting skills are being questioned? We all know how hard it is to parent in the first place, try doing it with your every parenting move being under a microscope. Has this ever happened to you? Has a parent or well intentioned family member or friend stepped in and parented on your behalf, without your permission? What did you do? How would you handle this sticky how to parenting situation?

No how to parenting assistance needed

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Sometimes,in those fleeting quiet moments, where coherent thought still exists in the recesses of my mind, I think about the meaning of life. I know it surprises me when it happens too. Usually, I’m trying my damnest just to keep babies alive and thriving without traumatizing them in any way that is so awful as to trigger a major mental breakdown in the future. Because, just so you know, I totally hold my parents accountable for my years of therapy..my therapist agreed with me,so there is that. But in those almost extinct moments of quiet, I ask myself some of the big questions of life. One that crept up on my unusually peaceful drive home this morning in the rain was “Why are there no miracles anymore?” I mean, there are everyday miracles like the sun shining or gravity or a mother’s blind love for her child. But what about the real BIG miracles? What happened to seas parting? People walking on water? Water into wine?

Then it hit me, right over top of the head…babies. Babies are a miracle.  I don’t mean in the they are such a blessing in my life sort of way. I don’t even mean the we tried for 7 years before we got pregnant sort of way. Though in there own respects,they could certainly be considered miracles. No, what I’m talking about is the fact that the goo that was left behind on Ms.Lewinski’s dress meets an egg in a moment of uncontainable passion and , in that moment, something that so closely resembles snot turns into Daddy juice and is on it’s way to having a heart beat and breathing, walking around, smiling, and living in the world. I mean think about it, really think about it. It’s really quite profound, the whole process. It’s like creating something grand from absolutely nothing.It is my very own water into wine. There is so many miracles involved with babies, aside from creating them; growing them, sustaining, the way they make our hearts grow, our minds expand, our lives richer. See what happens when it rains and I have a minute of quiet time? I see the little miracles in my own life. How did I not see this before?

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Miracles #1 & #2

 

What are our ever day miracles? Do you believe in miracles? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this discussion. Maybe it’s the rain, or spring and all the new life all around but I am seeing little miracles every where. Go enjoy the little miracles in your life.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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It’s that time again, yes, everyone around me is either having a baby or anticipating trying to have a baby. I know, didn’t I just post about this? Anyways,there are two things that I have come to know as my truths..they may even be universal. The first is that apparently I am still on the fence about a third child because no matter how many times I tell myself, I am done and I want to move on with my life, every single time one of my friends or relatives tells me they are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or has a baby I get just the tiniest pang of ,”Oooh, I want one.” My cousin just had one, and she is absolutely adorable in every way ,shape and form and , at the mere glimpse of her photo, I am magically transported out of the house of the screaming preschoolers, the biting toddler, the bizarro world where I find myself being sarcastic to children back to that first moment of their first breaths..where the entire world was magical and wonderful and unicorns lived, etc. Imagine what would happen to me if I were to be in the same room with this little blessing, I could quite possibly lose it and ravish my husband in the instant like a rabid dog trying to consummate and obtain the fruit of his loins.Seriously, I could not be trusted that close to a brand new baby. Is it just me? Or is this a pretty common scenario for Mid thirties Mommies with 2 already? I just about can’t handle it anymore. I feel like I am crazy. I know on Tuesday that there is no way I want to do this whole ordeal again ( well, to be honest.. I know that I don’t want to intentionally do this again. I think this is my way of not accepting responsibility if the next one were not perfect or I found myself ready to pull my hair out in the middle of some random 3 am awakening. Then what?Who would I blame?) but by Wednesday I find myself day dreaming at the possibility. I don’t know how this is going to come out but I think I need to be protected from myself:) I don’t think I have to worry too much, seeing as my husband is on “hell nah” patrol and he will be working out of town a lot soon. Thankfully, saving me from myself!

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tips for potty training, potty training, toddlers, motherhood

How did you go about potty training your little ones?

Two years ago, I first embarked on this lovely little fact of life, we lovingly refer to as Potty training. It was my first time and I followed the advice of all the parenting books. I constantly , from the age of 18 months, stalked my daughter for any indication that she was ready to start the dreaded Potty training regime.

So, as soon as I noticed that she 1) absolutely hated her diaper being wet 2) told me that her diaper was wet 3) did not want to wear diapers anymore; I got right on the potty training. So, at first I tried the whole “take her diaper off and let her run around commando”, all that did was let her pee all over my carpet. I thought it was embarrassing the first time I caught myself sniffing her butt in public to see if she pooped, holy guacamole, that was nothing compared to the fact that her urinating on my floor didn’t even phase me. I simply thought to myself, “Yeah, that’s going to have to be shampooed tomorrow!” When did I devolve into this butt sniffing, urinating not caring, vomit and spit up wearing person?

Anyways, back to the task at hand..”potty training”. Yeah, the peeing on the carpet wasn’t working for either of us. She was wet and irritated, I was annoyed and somewhat grossed out and I felt really bad for her. Next, I tried the “put on some panties and take her to the potty every 15 minutes” approach. All attempts and approaches were coupled with lots and lots of praise, her Dad and I would jump for joy and sing the “Go,Bella! Go, Bella!” song. She loved it and squealed with delight and pride, asking for more, each and every time we did it. This seemed to work and after only a couple of mishaps and near misses, she totally got the hang of it. We were so proud. So, of course, the Diaper fairy had to pay a visit. I stole this gem from Jo Frost of “the Nanny”..but hers was a pacifier Fairy, luckily, we had no need for that Fairy.

In effect , what happened next was my husband and I had our dear, sweet almost 2 year old put all her “daytime” diapers in a Fed Ex box and mailed them off to the “Diaper Fairy”. Well, that was our story and we are sticking to it. It just so happens that the Diaper Fairy is one of my other alter egos. The next day, the Diaper Fairy sent our girl a Fed Ex box full of goodies for her accomplishment. All was good in our household.

Baby # 2 was coming in a couple months and baby #1 was on her way to making life, for Mommy, a little easier. What a little rock star she was to me.
Fast forward 2 months, Baby #2 is here.Life is fantastic.Baby #1 decides that “No, not feeling this potty training stuff. That baby’s not stealing my thunder.” She completely regressed. I knew it was too easy.So, fast forward almost an entire year and finally, it stuck! It was a long haul but totally worth it!It’s always worth it not to have to change diapers or shampoo pee out of the carpet, thank God that we never had the privilege of having to shampoo a “poo” out of the carpet, or she still may have been wearing diapers to this day.
Now here we are, almost two years later and guess what? Baby #2, that awesome, rock star Gabs, is ready to be trained. But the most amazing thing has happened.Having learned from my previous fiasco and the “Year of the potty”, I have decided that I will just wait until she is ready… really ready . Well, she follows her sister everywhere, to the ends of the earth and that includes to the potty. So, one day she just comes to us, rips off her diaper, “Mamma, potty!” and she takes my hand into her little hand and pulls me to the potty. She sits on the potty and promptly pees. A huge smile, ear to ear, and she is beaming with pride.

We are shocked and amazed.I was seriously expecting to fall over and pass out from shock. But in true Truthful Mommy fashion, I scream for my husband, who rushes into the bathroom ( probably thinking that one of the girls has fallen in the tub or maimed herself in some horrible accident) only to find me smiling from ear to ear. I point to my little genius on the potty and we immediately break into that old familiar chorus of “Woohoo!Go Gabi!Go, Gabi!” and we clap and tell her how proud of her we are and her sister tells her what a big girl she is. We are ecstatic. The thought of no longer having to buy or use diapers, thrills us all, beyond fathomable belief but it has to be a fluke.

Then the next day, she does it again, and then so on and so forth. Now, 2 weeks into her doing this on her own and her big sister constantly reminding us, the Diaper Fairy is finally making an appearance at our house again.She’ll be 2 tomorrow and she’s potty trained, all by herself. Oh my God, SHE IS POTTY TRAINED!!! Seriously, there is a silver lining to every cloud. Life is good.Diapers be gone, come again no more!!!

We survived potty training..TWICE!

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