The worst part about being a parent.

 We’ve all heard it before, “Becoming a parent was the best thing to ever happen to me!”. Before you have a child, you kind of just blow this statement off.  But when/if you’re lucky enough to experience having a child, you know that feeling. That sudden rush of overwhelming love pulling at you like an undertow, making your heart feel 50x bigger than you could’ve ever imagined it could grow. Life now has purpose, unlike you’ve ever known. You see the bigger picture. This is what it’s all about. And it’s true. As ridiculously mushy and sentimental as it may be, all of it is true. Having a child is the best thing to ever happen to you. Having said that, it is also the most challenging.

Everyone knows there are quite a bit of downfalls to having a child. Although, most of the people discussing these downfalls are not parents. But, it is a fact. I suppose it depends on the person as to which is the worst of all.

Some believe it to be the ‘Terrible Twos’.

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Although this is a VERY difficult part, as long as you keep your patience and understand that your child is learning how to express emotions they don’t understand and it’s your job to teach them, you’ll be alright. And truth be told, sometimes when they’re stomping their tiny feet and screaming at you, it’s hard not to laugh.

Some think the worst part to be teen angst.

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I must admit, this part really does scare me. But at the same time, I went through it and survived, and so did my mother. I’m aware it’s something I will have to deal with, but it wont be the end of the world.

A lot of people (especially people who don’t have children), think their inability to go out drinking and having a grand ole time with their kids free friends all the time is the most devastating part.

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I guess for some, this could be a real issue. But honestly, good parents lose interest in partying and prefer to spend time with their children. Even those who once were what some would call ‘wild’, change their ways by instinct. Most of the time this naturally fades.

This one is a downer…the ‘Frumpy Mom’.

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It’s hard, ladies. I know. With a baby on your hip, or a toddler at your heels begging for attention, it’s not easy to get/keep yourself lookin’ fly. There are times when you forget yourself all together. Your clothes are out dated and baggy. Your hair is a rat’s nest. And for goodness sakes, when was the last time you shaved your legs in private (or at all)?! But by taking the initiative to have some ‘me time’ every day, week, etc., you really can prevent this. Mostly it’s just a misconception that moms who take care of themselves are selfish. Which is complete hogwash. A woman who takes good care of herself, is always better equipped to take care of others.

Now, all of these things are not fun, but they aren’t the worst. In my opinion, none of these hold a candle to the real downfall of being a parent. The real horrible part of being a parent is the fear.

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The moment that little baby looks into your eyes, you’re suddenly aware of everything that could possibly ever go wrong and everything that could ever harm them physically, mentally, emotionally…any way possible. The world is a much more dangerous place than it was mere months ago. I know, because it has been the main thing raining on my parent parade.

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Driving is nothing short of terrifying. Any cough or runny nose could be a disease. Someone could break into your home any day now. What if you’re parenting them wrong and they turn out with some sort of dysfunction and need therapy? Is public school really safe?? What if other children corrupt them? What if they’re picked on? What if they can’t concentrate and the school board blames it on a learning disability? What if they try drugs?

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What if they have some sort of food allergy you wont know about until they almost die?? What if they break a bone?

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What if some psycho snatches them out of the cart in the grocery store while you’re checking prices on cereal??? The fear is infinite. There is always something to be afraid of because you want the best and only the best for your child, but you also know the world. It’s a rough one. Life is hard. You know they’ll get hurt. You know they’ll get sick. You know bad things will happen to them. But how do we stop the fear from taking over the millions of joys we should be enjoying?

If I knew, trust me, I’d share it with you. Unfortunately, I have no clue. I do, however, have some ideas on the subject.

Besides having to go through whatever is going to happen simply because “time marches on”, I think there are ways we can avoid living in fear and go through whatever happens with joy and faith. First of all, we can make the decision. I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But the truth is, determination has so much power that most people don’t use. If you decide to keep your joy and have faith that your child can overcome anything, that can be the first step to living a fear-free parenthood. And a lot of it has to do with our lack of faith in our child and how we raised them. We need to make sure we instill our children with strong morals, values and principals. Not just for themselves, but for the good of the world and how they treat others. Not only can we teach these to our children, but we need to lead by example. A child who sees their parent overcome a rough situation, is much more likely to overcome one themselves when it comes their way. If we teach or children to be strong and keep faith, while also doing it ourselves, maybe we can knock out the problem all together.

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I mean, fear will always be there. But it doesn’t have to control us. And I know I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter suffering from fear that holds her back. But it’s all easy to say and plan, but fear is the strongest, most controlling emotion next to anger and love. It wont be easy. But it is worth a good try.

How do you control the fears you have as a parent?

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Trial playground run.

Yesterday we decided to take Rayne to a playground. The last time I had taken her to a playground was when she was about 5 months old. She went on the swings and that was about it. This time, she’s almost 2, so I figured she could enjoy more things it has to offer. We took her to ‘Imagination Station’, a park that I played at when I was little. 

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She was a little apprehensive to wander in without holding on to me, probably due to the older children who seemed to be parkouring on the structure. 

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I tried to get her to open up by showing her the slide. With the help of her Aunt Amber, she made it down safely. But didn’t really enjoy it, and didn’t try to go down it again.

But then we found something she did like.

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The good old swings.

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She spend a good 20 minutes on the swings and refused to get out. I didn’t want her being a swing hog, so I took her out and tried to show her around.

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We traveled through the maze of a castle. 

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Climbed on tires.

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And watched the other kids play so comfortably.

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She never fully let loose, but her curiosity got the best of her at times, enabling her to approach interesting looking kids and stare creepily at them, while trying to steal their ball. 

So she didn’t have as great of a time as I thought she would, but I’m sure with some playground practice, she’ll be playing comfortably in no time.

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And all in all, she had a good day.

My little prankster.

I’ve noticed Rayne acts a lot like a teenager. Her humor, her independence, her inability to show love for her mom. She never says she loves me anymore, and of course she would never give me kisses, only everyone else. 

Well, last night while I was trying to tire her out for bed (tickling, peek-a-boo, brush mommy’s hair, attack of the kisses, etc.), I told her I love her and asked if she loves me too. She ignored me, as usual. So I asked again. She didn’t answer. Then suddenly she leaned over and kissed me on the forehead, as if to say, “Yeah…I love ya”. I was so excited. 

Then she took my phone and texted “poopoppop8spoppoppoop”. Literally, that was her exact text. I got excited about that as well. I ran out to the living room to show everyone her spelling of pop and poop. She decided she was going to stay out there and play. She wasn’t ready for bed. 

So she started hitting everyone with the oven-mitt. She hit me right in the face. And got everyone else as well. We noticed the oven-mitt was wet. Why was it wet? Turns out she dipped it in the toilet then wiped it on everyone’s faces. My little prankster

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Losing friends, gaining lifelong sidekick.

In becoming a mother, I’ve noticed the inevitable drastic change in any hope of a social life.I’d never been an especially social or popular person. I had few friends, and the ones I did have were very close. So close that I consider them family. But once you become a mother, you don’t really have time to be social. Even the little bit that I was, isn’t something I have the time or need for anymore. I miss the people I was very close with. Because I had grown up with them. They were all close friends since childhood. But now we all have children, or have just gone in different directions. And that’s okay. Because people change, and you grow up. Life is different than it was when we were kids. More complicated and time consuming. And we have these little children that we are responsible for, which doesn’t leave us much time to think about ourselves, let alone a social life. 

The first months of Rayne’s life were difficult for me. I was very depressed. Maybe not having a social life played a small part in it. I was alone with a baby all day. I had never been a mother before. Yet, there I was. Not sleeping. Not eating. Trying to be perfect and failing miserably. I started smoking again when Rayne was about 4 months old, I think. I had stopped right before I got pregnant (thank God), but I was under so much stress and pressure in the beginning, I felt I had to start up again. I lived on coffee and cigarettes. I didn’t speak much with any of my friends. And I didn’t see them either. Day in and day out…it was all the same. No sleep. No naps. Hardly shower. Hardly eat. And when I did eat, it wasn’t healthy. Which isn’t good when you gained 55lbs while pregnant. 

Soon, I realized how stressful smoking actually was. It was relaxing when I needed a break, but then I would obsess over avoiding any possible secondhand smoke getting to Rayne. I would pull back my hair, wear a certain jacket, wear my hood, then wash my hands, brush my teeth, chew gum, put on lotion to take the smell off of my hands, and change my clothes. Every time. So I decided to stop smoking all together. Luckily, I don’t have much of an addictive personality (unless it’s with shopping or coffee), so it was a done deal. I just said I was done, and meant it. I haven’t smoked since.

But I think I really just felt alone. I’ve always felt pretty alone but now I was alone, scared, confused, and had very low self-esteem. I’d see how all my friends who even have kids as well, would hangout together, go for drinks, go on vacations. But there I was, alone with my girl. I hadn’t even celebrated my 21st birthday. I felt rejected. I felt like after all this time, I hadn’t built strong enough bonds for anyone to want to even want to see how I was or get me out of my hell for a night. I realized I didn’t really have any friends. 

Even today I know I don’t have any close relationships with anyone. No one I confide in or converse daily with. No one to call my “best friend” or to go out with for a girl’s night. I still have family like bonds with people, but the thing about family is, sometimes you go months or even years without seeing them. Doesn’t make them less family, just not close. And I’m okay with it now. Because I know I love them all very much, but we all have our separate lives. But I came out of it with something new. A true comrade for life.

My closest confidant is a little over 2 feet tall and a toddler with an attitude. She’s 60% sassy and 40% sweet. She’s true blue, tough and stubborn. She dislikes authority and is a my-way-or-the-highway kinda girl. She keeps me on my toes and humbles me, daily. We have our disagreements, we wear on each other’s nerves. But we love each other more than anyone else on the planet could ever dream. We learn from each other. We grow with each other. We make mistakes together, and we always forgive each other. There’s no one else we’d rather spend our time with than the other. We’re cut from the same cloth and share the same blood. We share a bond that is no doubt unbreakable. She is my daughter and I am her mother. That will never change, even when we do. I’ll always be her mother, and feel the same about her 50 years from now, as I did the minute she was born. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through, or any struggle. As long as I have her, I have a future. We have a future. What that future will bring us, I’m not sure. But I do know we’ll get through whatever it holds with a lot of love, fight, and hope. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’ll do it together and conquer. This is just the beginning.

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Image Nose picker.

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Much needed rays.

One of my favorite ways to wake up is by opening my eyes to see a sunny day. I am not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. But some extra vitamin D floating around makes it much easier to get up and go. Especially when it’s been incredibly rainy and, on occasion, snowy. 

Rayne was pretty happy about the weather, as well. 

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She decided to wear her new skirt.Image

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But then we made peace. And she decided to play with the cat who was sleeping.Image This is Rayne kissing our cat, Goblin, while waking her up. Goblin doesn’t look too amused. 

After kissing cats, a much needed cup of coffee…or two, and getting dressed, we made our way outside to enjoy the weather. At the moment I am trying to get her to take a nap before we go out again. So far, it’s not working. 

Here’s to enjoying the day! 

Cookies and disobedience.

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Above is a photo of Rayne not being happy that she is dressed. I happen to love her outfit. Rayne’s style is a mixture of boyish/tough and girly/sassy. A lot of the time I let her choose her clothes and shoes. Which usually leads to a mismatch outfit, but I love it. It shows her crazy personality. But to Rayne, getting dressed is a waste of time.

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In this photo she is being told NOT to get into the trash can, but she is anyways. She gives me that look when I tell her no. Then smiles at me and nods while I shake my head no. She seems to think that she makes the rules.

After she had gotten dressed my parents decided to take her along for a drive. So I took that opportunity to have some “me” time and go for a walk. It was good to get some fresh air and get some exercise in. I try to go for a walk at least once a day. I don’t always get to, but when I do it is much needed. It also helped me lose nearly all of my pregnancy weight (8lbs to go). It’s always my go-to break to clear my head when things get stressful.

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When I returned I found Rayne laying on the floor in our room, naked, eating cookies, watching her shows. She knew she wasn’t suppose to be eating cookies. And she’s naked!?! I thought we had successfully gotten her dressed. But I guess it wasn’t permanent.

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This is a photo of her face while I asked her if she was eating cookies, even though I told her no. She shook her head…while her mouth was full of cookie and chocolate surrounded her lips. Although it does frustrate me that she is so crazy about cookies and candy, it’s hard to be upset at this little face.

As of this moment she is still running around wild in nothing but her pull-up. And that’s okay. Because it’s Saturday, she’s having fun, and it’s more important to just enjoy my crazy wild child, than to force clothes on her and battle all day.