Having a child can be overwhelming, in every possible way. Especially if the child is your first born. You see, kids don't come with a manual. You have to mostly trust your gut, take some advice when needed and sometimes rely on the Internet for a huge chunk of information. I used the internet to Google "How to bathe a three-day-old" because I didn't have much help after my child was born.
Sometimes I think I must be a really nasty, boring, bee-otch to be around. They're growing up fast, I just want my kids to want to spend time with me. I want them to be excited when they know we have an entire day together. I want them to think I'm the best thing since sliced bread, but I think those times are starting to disappear.
Having kids is a bit of a crap-shoot. Some people are born parents, others struggle significantly -- and a few (let's face it) can barely look after themselves, let alone another human being. What I think is one of the biggest gambles of becoming a new father, however, is not knowing how becoming a mother is going to affect your partner. It's funny because, the lyrics of Kenny Rogers' famous song, The Gambler, really apply here.
The trend towards kids having rigorous schedules is a relatively new phenomenon. Perhaps a result of the pervasive guilt that so many of us share because of our need to work longer hours, we've put our kids in as many lessons as possible, some for practical reasons (after-school lessons and sports practice keeps our kids busy until we can leave work and pick them up) and some...well...not so much.
There we sat, changing their outfits, brushing their "hair," with me doing my best falsetto voice, as we all got ready for the prom. My daughter, Kirsten, was giggling at me not so much for the voices, but for the fact she had put a lovely purple bow in my hair that matched Malibu Barbie's hair ribbon. We were having a blast!
Two summers ago I developed the rash of all rashes. There was only one medication the doctors told me would make it go away: prednisone. A steroid that crosses into breast milk. Breastfeeding was too important to me, so, I declined. That is -- until today. After almost 30 consecutive months of breastfeeding, I reclaimed my boobs.
I'm all for uniqueness when it comes to naming a child. After all, no one wants to give their child a name that will be shared by three or more kids in their grade school classroom. That being said, parents still need to consider certain parameters when making a decision that will affect their child for many years to come. Case in point: the poor child incredulously named "Adolph Hitler Campbell."
Like many Indian girls, I wasn't allowed to date when I was a teenager. But today, it's been a different childhood for my 18-year-old. In fact things are very different in my household. My husband and I do our best to cope with the reality that she wants to date, even though we never had the same opportunity as teens.
There are days when I feel like there is an alien invading my little boy's body...who is this demon? His sister went through a bit of the same at this age. Willful. Stubborn. Naughty. My darling son is all this with the added bonus of also being completely irrational (no...you cannot wear your basketball shorts out in the freezing rain), disobedient (I already told you, you are not allowed to eat Easter eggs for breakfast) and violent (if I had a dollar for every time I've gotten a foot in the boob...).
Dear Andrea, circa 2007: You decided to wait until your 30s to have children. Good for you! You don't understand it yet, but one day you will be "that mom." The one who lets her kids watch TV for hours so she can get the house ready for a party. The one who gives up on wiping a snotty nose while out in public.
Getting an epidural is a very individual decision and probably one of the first ones that we, as mothers, feel conflicted about. I wonder if this is due to our actual expectations around our child's birth or if it is how we think we will be perceived if we opt in (or out) of using drugs to manage labour.
I take full accountability for the fact that my kids are hardly ever...nay...are NEVER able to take accountability for their failures. When my son came out of the dressing room, his first words were, "We lost because the refs weren't calling any penalties on the other team." My husband stopped in his tracks, turned to face our little forlorn, sore loser, and said, "No. You lost because you guys stopped skating in the second period."
This time last year, I read an article about a bucket list for kids. Are we, as parents, really so buttoned up, paranoid and regimented that our kids are really no longer just "going outside to play?" Not the case for my kids. My mom has a saying, "a dirty child is a happy child." I love this rule of thumb and it is so true.
Watching The View this morning the controversy whirred around reproductive parts, and what we, as parents, should be teaching our children to call them. The consensus: It just doesn't seem right to hear a little girl referring to her breasts. Boobies is much cuter. Because we're concerned about the cuteness of these body parts on a seven-year-old?
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had a list of all the "dos and don'ts" required for effectively achieving the status of perfect parent. As I swapped my hopes for a career in nursing, and instead chose countless hours of time bonding with my children, in those early days of motherhood when I was stumbling over the educational toys strewn about my home, nobody could have convinced me then that I would become what I am today.
More words were exchanged between us two just the day before. Trying to sort out the tangled web of emotions from the days prior. He, with a hoodie pulled over his face. Me, raw emotions and bundled nerves pleading for answers. Both of us feeling raw and exposed. On a road of good intentions, going nowhere fast.