|My babies. Wonderful in spite of my mess ups.|
I got a good grin out of the post.
It was so true. Parents can break down with worry.
My first son was my trial child. Poor guy. I was petrified to take him out of the house. Every time I took him out, there was a constant barrage of strangers ready to say hi to him. I was aware from watching news reports that most people don't wash their hands properly after using the bathroom, hence they were all probably hepatitis infected.
Or so I convinced myself.
So, he was six weeks old (evidently the magical age of immunity) before I took him on an outing to somewhere as loathsome and dirty as a mall. By this time, it was the end of May. A day where the thermometer reached low eighties, with a slight breeze...a breeze that could give an improperly dressed infant pneumonia. So, I put him in a snowsuit.
Later that day, I noticed he was covered in a red rash. I rushed him to his doctor- the whole time feeling immense guilt for bringing my sweet child out into a world filled with microbes and diseases. My doctor told me to take the damn snow suit off the baby- I was giving him prickle-heat rash.
I felt like a horrible mother.
I was reading all the books. I was addicted to Dateline and every news story that involved killer nannies or freak things that may cause a child harm.
Basically...I was trapped in the sunscreen conundrum. Apply too much or the wrong kind and you'll give your kid weakened bones or cancer. Don't apply, you get horrid burns and cancer.
|From Deep Friar blog.For more laughs, click here!|
The problem is, we live in a world that bombards us with a plethora of information and opinions.
It can make a worried brain melt down to a puddle that leaks out through the tear ducts.
I know. I've been there. Done that. Still got the tear stains on my tee-shirt.
Then one day, I had a thought: what was worse for my kids- the occasional parenting screw up, or the constant vigil of perfection?
Was I, with my constant worry, going to create more problems than I would by chilling and allowing them to eat a few toxic chicken nuggets?
It was then I decided: My kids. My rules.
I did things that would make squeaky wheels scream.
I let them drink Mt. Dew.
I fed them at McDonalds.
I let them play video games. Even the violent ones.
I let them listen to Eminem and 50 Cent.
I let them pull movie all-nighters and never set a summer bedtime.
But I loved them. I taught them to trust in God. I listened to the advice that suited me. I ignored the stuff that didn't. And best of all...I stopped sharing my life with overly-opinionated people.
You see, I once had a woman give me a condescendingly high-arched brow and a lecture on the evils of salt when I added the poison to my kid's popcorn.
Yeah, yeah...salt is bad, but I explained to her the risk/ reward ratio of the situation...popcorn is so much better with salt, therefore worth the risk.
She wrote me off with an eye roll and never tried to help me again.
So, as I read Sarah's post, I thought- poor woman. I should send her a note and tell her-
It's obvious you love your babies. Tell the world to go to hell and raise them the way you want. You know better than anyone else what your children need or don't need. Trust yourself. Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy these years. They go by in a flash. I'm pretty much at the finish line of child raising. I did it my way and I made mistakes. But I have great kids. And in the end, that's all that matters.
Conner (Boy #4) is learning to drive. I've been making him accompany me on all my running around town. It's so nice to have a personal driver!
The beach countdown has begun! Thirteen days until saltwater therapy time. I am usually able to get writing time in on vacation, so double yay!