Parenting Hot Topics

I am not one to get deeply involved (or involved at all) in the hot topic debates that accompany Motherhood.  You know those I’m talking about. . .

Natural birth vs. Epidural
Breast vs. Bottle
Stay at Home vs. Working Mom
Vaccinations vs. No vaccinations.

. . . to name a few.  It’s not that I don’t care about these topics. . . I’m just of the belief that each woman/family can make their own decisions and I truly respect that. 

I do not read a lot of parenting books, magazines, and other resources.  I have found that they tend to make me more anxious than make me a better parent.  After Charlie was born someone gave me a “First Year” book that told me what he was supposed to be doing each minute during his first year.  (Okay, maybe not each minute, but it seemed like it.)  If he wasn’t doing this or that I would worry that something must be wrong or I am parenting him wrong.  After awhile I had to chuck the book and trust my own God-given instincts when raising my little guy. And guess what?. . . His first year went perfectly fine and far more pleasant after the book went into the trash.

Note: I said “perfectly fine” not perfect.  I am not a parenting expert and I’m not above checking out resources for specific questions or ideas for parenting. . . For the most part, though, Chad and I decided to trust our guts.

I would bet that anyone who has a new baby at some point hears or makes the statement  “I wish they came with an instruction manual”.  I must say that I’m glad that they don’t or I would see only those things I am not doing right.  If I had to write a manual based on my own very limited knowledge, though, I think it would go something like this:



Okay, so maybe it’s not that simple. . . but maybe it is?  Love means so many things and can be expressed in so many ways and while I know I am FAR from the perfect parent, I absolutely adore these kiddos.  I  hope that whatever trials they face in their lives and wherever they might go they always know we love them and try to show it in so many ways. . .

By snuggling with them. . . taking moments to sit and just be with them. 

By playing with them. . .

They both beat the pants off of me playing these games this afternoon. 

By exploring the world in books. . .

and in nature. . .

They worked long and hard to catch a grasshopper that was quite feisty in his numerous escapes.

By telling them how proud of them we are. . .

And how much we believe in them. . .

And of course, by setting boundaries. . .

I make my living listening to people recount their stories.  Often these stories are painful and heart-wrenching and have negatively impacted their lives in numerous ways.  To date, I have not had a single individual enter my office and talk about the pain they feel at their mothers choice to bottle-feed or her choice to have an epidural at he or she’s birth.  Often, I hear about how they did not feel loved and accepted.  
 I guess what I am trying to say is that  for me these are the “hot topics.”  Asking myself how am I doing at loving them?  How often do I catch them doing things right?  How often to I let them know how proud of them I am?  Am I allowing myself to be fully present with them?  Am I teaching, rather than preaching?  Am I noticing their uniqueness. . . and celebrating it? 
In all reality, I get that this is it. . . my only chance and I really want to do it well.  I’ll admit it, some days are better than others. . . way better. . . 
I am, after all, a work in progress.   
“The Golden Rule of Parenting is:  Do unto your children as you wish your parents had done unto you!”
-Louise Hart

  • lisa - September 16, 2010 - 1:40 pm

    LOVE THIS!!! 🙂 What do you do for a living? It sounds interesting…although maybe sad?

    Love the quote…we use the "golden rule" all the time in our home…but this is so perfect! I had a difficult childhood and that's all that I am ALWAYS trying to achieve that my own babies have a better one!

    Thanks again for your insight!ReplyCancel

  • Rachael Hammett - September 22, 2010 - 6:14 pm

    What a great post that totally shows your heart! I think that is such an honest assessment about what really is important…and oh how right you are regarding the stories we hear. Never have I, either, heard someone complain about the fact they got vaccines or their mom did not have a natural birth! 🙂 How funny to think if that were only the things our clients had to process and work through! Thanks for the wonderful perspective….ReplyCancel

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