If you want to see me flee the scene in a real hurry just bring up parenting. I love talking, I love writing about anything…but parenting. Ask me about Down Syndrome, or food, photography, or travel and I could go on for hours but ask me about parenting and…..well that’s about it. Perhaps, it is because I am still in denial about being a parent. Sure, I have kids but being responsible for the wellness of a human being with the pressure of turning them out to be upstanding contributing members of society, devoted believers and successful leaders…No way! I have nothing to offer. I can offer no expertise.
In fact, I find the whole outfit a little exhausting. And I am not even talking about what they will turn out to be like as adults, I am talking about the pressure of remembering to get them to brush their teeth, or making sure they get enough iron, or calcium or vegetables, or sitting with Jakob and doing his reading for school, or putting oil in Ella’s ears so that they won’t get clogged with wax and she’ll be able to hear properly so that her speech patterns will develop properly so that when it’s time to go to school she will be ready…Some days, I just can’t handle it. And it’s not that it is about remembering because I am the queen of lists and schedules but the bottom line is that I just get tired….and lazy and I just don’t want to.
Does anyone else know what I am talking about?
But before we even get to physical needs there are emotional needs. Making sure they are getting enough verbal affirmation, physical affection, encouragement to be confident, secure individuals. I heard somewhere that two-thirds of what we say to our children is instructional.
“Get your shoes on”
“Eat your supper”
“Go to bed”
A child needs to be nurtured at home. A child needs to have structure. You shouldn’t let your baby cry it out. You need to put down your foot and enforce. You need to train your child. You need to discipline your child. You shouldn’t spank your child. You should use positive reinforcement….
Sure, I had opinions too. I thought that babies should not be reliant on soothing aids therefore my child WAS NOT going to have a pacifier. Yeah, that lasted three, agonizing days of NON-STOP crying until I caved and bought a soother…(actually my mom brought it over late one night when I was ready to throw in the towel). My child is FOUR and still sucks on his shirt and chews his toys. Today, I even caught him chewing on the cupboard. Can you say oral obsession?
There are books, but really, has Dr. Dobson ever met my children? And does the sleep whisperer know anything about Down Syndrome? Every child is different and not one book can cater to all types of children- I know because I have two polar opposites. They each come with their own personalities, talents, challenges and they come without an instruction manual.
So where is this going? How do you do it? I only have two children. Sometimes I think I am crazy for even considering the possibility of having more when I can’t even cover the basics for two. How do the mom’s that have 4 children, or 7 children or 10 children do it? How do you think straight?