Tuesday, November 9, 2010

thoughts on parenting.

I woke up this morning and truly felt the need to comment on parenting. The joy, heartache, stress… the choice of parenting. I use the word “choice” on purpose. You choose this people. Now, you get to figure out how to manage it. I think there are two main ideas about parenting that I’d like to touch on…
1. I have noticed how easy it is for people to comment on parenting, or stages of parenting when they have never experienced it. I would bet that I am guilty of it myself…not only in judging my own mother, but other women around me. However, now that I am a mother, I take offense to it. It is easy to tell me what “I should or should not do” when you have never tried to keep a house, a job, your sanity, all while having the life, happiness and well-being of a tiny human in your hands. I can promise you, anyone that is happy their their CHOICE of being a parent is doing the best we can. Some days it takes all of my energy to get out of bed and get some type of outfit on, so please don’t judge me. I had a friend recently tell me that she was shocked when people could not control their toddler in a restaurant. She is a mother, of a very tiny infant. This is so easy to say when your bundle of joy will sleep through an entire meal in a restaurant without so much as a peep. When she doesn’t need attention or reassurance, or isn’t struggling to get their food on their fork. As the mother of a toddler, I can tell you when they get frustrated sometimes they only understand how to communicate loudly. Have you ever tried to REASON with a toddler? Yes, Emery is rather smart, but negotiation isn’t really one of her strong suits yet. Here’s where good parenting comes in… Jason and I have come to truly enjoy home cooked meals, or take out. Yes, toddlers are going to scream and cry sometimes, but I don’t have to take them to a restaurant. And if we CHOOSE to do so, we have the responsibility to get up from our meal and take her outside. Or leave. I think my main point here is that if you don’t know what it is like to stay up all night, get pooped and peed on…and cry right along with your baby because you are so tired, please don’t judge me. I am doing the best I can. And, in return, I will do my best to keep my child from ruining your meal. I swear.
2. I think the biggest challenge I have faced as a parent is consistancy. It might as well be a 4 letter word. Recently, I found myself telling Emery she can not, under any cirmcumstances put a blankey over her head and walk around growling like a monster. Why? Because she has fallen several times in recent days and hurt herself. However, two weeks ago it was so cute and we all laughed and giggled at her silliness. I might find myself laughing in another two weeks, because let’s be honest, she’s the cutest monster ever. It is so hard to keep consistant on anything: bedtime, eating, saying please, and picking up toys. It is exhuasting spending every moment of your day trying to do the same thing you did the day before to maintain some consistancy. Sometimes it’s just easier to let her go to bed with toys all over the floor. Or to pick them up myself. I struggle with this, maybe more than anything.
Finally, I can tell you that Emery did not come with a manual when she was born. I did not immediately have a clue what I was doing when the doctor handing her to me. I’m figuring it out as I go along. I take when I learned and loved from my family, and adding things I feel are important. Sometimes these things change. As Emery grows and changes and we see her personality, we have to change how we parent. She is sensitive, but willful. She requires endless patience, consistency, and compassion. Jason and I had certainly talked about how we wanted to parent, but there is nothing like figuring it out as you go and based on your child’s needs and your own needs.
I think every mother is asking for a little patience and compassion from those around them. Please don’t judge me, but offer to hold the door open when I’m carrying my toddler, diaper bag, and 10 grocery bags. Understand that yes, I might be crabby, there is a good chance I only slept 3 hours last night, all of which had a heavy toddler kicking me in the face. I love my baby. I know she is my responsibility, not yours. Give me a break. Have a little patience. Know that I am doing the best I can.


  1. I'm not a parent but I can only imagine the struggles you deal with on a daily basis. I know how much you love your little girl and how hard you are trying to be a good mom and I know it's safe to say that you are succeeding with that.

  2. Preach it sister!! Emery is lucky to have such a fabulous mom! I can only hope she grows up to be as a great a woman as you are! Love you! xoxo