Friday, May 20, 2011

Spanglish



 
Earlier this week, I cried for hours. I even cried myself to sleep.

I had checked out a book from the library on parenting. I wanted Jake and I to read it together because I hate trying to tell Jake how to do something that I'm not even sure how to do myself. But I couldn't wait and I started reading the book by myself. About 30 pages in I was feeling a knot in my chest tighten and I couldn't read anymore. A few minutes later Jake came into the room and asked what I was up to. I started telling him about the book and then I started crying. Even sobbing.

I understand the magnitude of parenting. I get it... and that's why it is so hard for me.

I know that all people and parents make mistakes and that children don't normally remember much before the age of 3, but I wanted to make sure that I was doing- or at least trying to do- things right to begin with. Because, you know, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I wanted to start parenting the right way (for my family) from the beginning.

I was sobbing because I knew it was going to be hard- harder than it already is- to be a parent. I didn't want to make the same mistakes that my parents did. I am not saying that my parents are or were bad parents, I am just saying that we learn from history... and some history just isn't worth repeating.

It's like learning to speak Spanish when you grew up speaking English.

****

I was blog hopping today and found my way over to Single Dad Laughing. I spent several hours reading post after though provoking post and I was blown away. A few of my friends have mentioned the blog before but today was the first time that I made the effort to find it. I have only read a few posts but they caused a great shift inside of me.

SDL and I don't see eye to eye on every issue, but he spoke straight to my heart on an issue or two that I can't stop thinking about. I'm pretty sure I read some things that will change me forever.

There is so much to read, so much to digest, and so many things to ponder about but I know that one thing is for sure; I want to be a good parent. I need to be a good parent.

I don't want to be the parent that tells you how their not-yet-one-year-old CAN'T walk and CAN'T clap his hands and CAN'T wave 'good bye' and how naughty he can sometimes be... I want to be the parent that tells you how much I adore my son. How sweet and smart and lovable he is. The parent that says  "I think he is the cutest baby in the whole entire world." and tells you how much I love all 23 pounds of his pure sweetness.... and that I do, I love and adore Everett to no end.

I am not taking back anything that I said the other day because I meant every word of that post. It was me. 100% me and my emotions... but let's just say Everett is 8 years old and reads how miserable he was making me and how I think he is stubborn and whatever else I said. That's not what I want!

I thank all of you out there who pointed out that I was probably just a little stressed out and needed a break. That maybe I was my own problem (and that I want to control everything and everyone and how I shouldn't compare)... not that Everett was my problem.

I am leaning one thing at a time.


3 comments:

  1. I was really struggling with Avery not making all the milestones on "time" and was starting to stress myself out thinking she might have some learning disabilities. That's when I decided to stop reading anything about milestones, and anything that taught me how to parent. I have watched my siblings, I have watched friends, and I see things in them that I try to exemplify. I have found that I am so much happier when Avery accomplishes something. I couldn't care less what the books tell me anymore. It really has eased my mind about parenting. It's so hard. So hard. Avery is almost 2, and she has only recently decided to enjoy doing more to her books than throw them all over the place. There is no way you can turn reading into a learning experience if you are so frustrated with them. I would find myself getting after her for turning the pages faster than I could read them and then resenting wanting to read to her. I guess my point is, those people who write all the books that tell you how to be perfect don't really know what your baby's potential is. Just keep praying to know what is best and he will turn out perfect. It gets better, I promise!

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  2. STOP READING PARENTING BOOKS! There is no was a book will ever tell you everything you have to do to be a perfect parent. No kid is that easy! Parenting, unfortunately, isn't something you can get a "how to" book on and be set. It's crazy and changing and overwhelming and insane. It's also fun and exciting and loving and worthwhile. I understand not wanting to repeat history, but you already know, in the pit of your stomach, what not to do. You aren't going to mess your kid up forever by not starting "sleep training" by 4 months exactly or by not starting time outs at 2. You know your Everette better than any book does. You'll know when it's time to hold back or advance. You are a great mother. You just need to get some self esteem boosts in your parenting abilities. YOU can do this and you already ARE doing a great job. I think parenting is a lot like your Tae- Chi experiment. You look at the class list at the gym, think, "humm maybe this will work," try the class and sometimes it's the best thing ever and sometimes it's not. You just switch and move onto the next thing. Kids just need constant love, acceptance and direction. Keep learning together, be perfectly content with where you both are now and enjoy life. Don't stress your way through the fun times because they "should" have happened weeks ago.

    PS... I found that one of the best things I did for myself was to go and have weekly therapy. It's rediculously helpful to have someone from the outside tell you that you're doing a good job and give actual useful tips. Good luck! Call me if you want some help finding a good one. I've had a couple in that area :-)

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  3. Those photos make me laugh...only because that is what happens to our books almost daily. Is it bad that that has made me want to get rid of ALL of our books??? haha Parenting is so hard. And there will be many ups and downs. I always hate it when I am struggling with the time that I am in and someone says to me, "Oh, you just wait until they are teenagers." REALLY???? How is that helping me now? How is that going to make me want to go on? I don't listen to those comments anymore, and I DON'T EVER say that to anyone else. It doesn't validate the feelings that I am having at the moment. I feel an immense amount of responsibility to raise righteous children. and I know you do too. But, I think that because you are concerned about it, it just shows that Everett will turn out to be an amazing man.
    You know Everett better than any book does. I have found that some ways work better with Kennedi, and some ways work better for Kaden. Meaning, there is a different book out there for every kid. Don't get discouraged if something isn't working on Everett. Every child is different. That is why there are thousands of parenting books out there...NO ONE has a perfect way to parent.
    Don't be too hard on yourself. It breaks my heart. You are an amazing Mom and Everett is so lucky to have you. You can do it, Tyrell. Sometimes you just need to take a break from him and have some time to yourself. You will only be a better mom when you can do that for yourself. If you ever need a date night with Jake, let me know. I would LOVE to have another little boy for a few hours around our house!

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