Family Business

For Dina…

January 22, 2008

Because I love you and wanted to share some of my thoughts on parenting… You can decide if they are pearls or junk.

Parenthood. It changes everything. What you eat, when you sleep, how you talk to your friends and even how you relate to your own parents. It’s one of those steps in your life that will change you intrinsically, permanently and hopefully, for the better.

You are responsible for making decisions for two. Or three. The decision you make today will carry ramifications for years to come. Whether or not you want to accept it, you will make some bad decisions, some really great decisions and a whole bunch muddled in the middle.

Will you work outside the home? Can you find a great childcare provider? Will you stay at home or will your spouse stay at home? Can you afford to buy every learning incentive tool out there in an effort to create your own little Einstein? Is it worth it?

The biggest decisions you can make, the greatest priority changes you can implement will have far less impact on your child than the simple decision to live every day to the fullest and enjoy every possible moment. After all, you are the only person in the world who can say, “This is my baby girl or little man.”

In a perfect world we think the changes in our lifestyle required by the addition of one very loud, very needy, very sweet little person should happen smoothly, naturally and beautifully. In the real world we find out that very few things happen smoothly, naturally or beautifully. And that is a very real cause for the necessary objectivity prior to bringing that precious little one into the world. Do you believe you are ready to handle the responsibility a child requires you to carry? Are you willing to try even though you feel grossly under-qualified or inept? Can you handle days where nothing you do is right and all you can do is grit your teeth and hope tomorrow is better?

Every person has a different circumstance and every day brings new challenges. The biggest questions aren’t the ones I may ask, but rather the ones you will find yourself challenged by every day.

Here are a few tips from my life experience: Ask for help, seek out solid, tried and true information, make your own informed and conscious decisions regarding schedule, medical care, child-care and support structures. Don’t do what your big sister, Aunt Julie, mother or TV talk show tells you without considering your child. You will know your child better than anyone. Don’t forget to take a few minutes a day to stop and evaluate your life. Pray, journal, meditate, or go for a walk. Do something to remember you are a person first, a parent second.

Parenthood. It is a journey you will start one day and stay on for the rest of your life. You will never not be Mom or Dad to someone from that day you find two lines on the test.

  • Very insightful. I can honestly say that having children made a man out of me. And I can understand how parents look at those without kids with a bit of longing for that lack of responsibility but never willing to trade places for more than a few hours.

  • Anonymous

    I am grateful to be blessed with four amazing children.

    I have to put myself in #1 spot, they are my #1a …

    FOREVER.

    WW 🙂

  • momma dragon

    you, by the way, are doing a great job. growing up is hard work for both parents and children. Isn’t it fun we get to do it together?
    I am so glad we have a heavenly Father who cares and never leaves us alone to manage the day to day stuff on our own. Of course, we sometimes think we know best – but He’s patient and waits till we mess it up or realize we need help and then He is always there with wisdom and knowledge – sometimes from the most surprising places.
    keep up the good work……..

  • Anonymous

    Your words certainly require me to reconsider, sincerely, my notion of trying to find a wife and develop a family from there. But I already know I can never be ready, for certain. There are too many possibilities for me to know that I will pass every test, or even the most important ones at just the right times. As you said, I will fail.

    Only with faith could I contemplate sailing that sea called family. I do so, even before this, with trepidation… but not without joy and hope, if in the grace granted by faith. Thanks for sharing some of what you have seen and learned.

  • “…make your own informed and conscious decisions …”

    Isn’t that it in a nutshell? My kids have changed my life. Without them, I would never have gotten serious about following God.

  • “…make your own informed and conscious decisions …”

    Isn’t that it in a nutshell? My kids have changed my life. Without them, I would never have gotten serious about following God.

  • Dina

    thank you for your colorful and inspiring words of wisdom. i have found myself on more than one occaision sitting in puddles self-pitty and then i hear my little darling let out a squeel and my eyes are filled with tears of joy,hope and love. the smell of her sweet breath and the soft touch of her hand on my face reminds me that life is fleeting and i only have the NOW to share with her all that i am all that i have and all that HE has to offer. so thank you for the encouragement and support through it all.

  • Dina

    thank you for your colorful and inspiring words of wisdom. i have found myself on more than one occaision sitting in puddles self-pitty and then i hear my little darling let out a squeel and my eyes are filled with tears of joy,hope and love. the smell of her sweet breath and the soft touch of her hand on my face reminds me that life is fleeting and i only have the NOW to share with her all that i am all that i have and all that HE has to offer. so thank you for the encouragement and support through it all.

  • Dina,

    EVEN IF you weren’t prepared, thoughtful or “ready” for a baby (and, honestly, none of us are) YOU are still the best Mommy for your sweet little girl.

    You have had the wisdom to choose to live near people who can offer both emotional and physical support. People who are willing to love you, love Ryleigh and do whatever they can to insure your success.

    You had the courage to carry this baby to term, let her live and let your future head in a completely different direction.

    You have had the humility to seek the Lord and His will for your life.

    You are amazing, my sweet niece. Absolutely amazing and I am proud to be a part of your life.

    But seriously? You live way too damn far away. How am I supposed to kidnap your child for ice cream sundaes and flower picking?

    This is a problem. And you can tell your mom I won’t apologize for swearing. Strong feelings require strong words.

    SO THERE!

  • Dina,

    EVEN IF you weren’t prepared, thoughtful or “ready” for a baby (and, honestly, none of us are) YOU are still the best Mommy for your sweet little girl.

    You have had the wisdom to choose to live near people who can offer both emotional and physical support. People who are willing to love you, love Ryleigh and do whatever they can to insure your success.

    You had the courage to carry this baby to term, let her live and let your future head in a completely different direction.

    You have had the humility to seek the Lord and His will for your life.

    You are amazing, my sweet niece. Absolutely amazing and I am proud to be a part of your life.

    But seriously? You live way too damn far away. How am I supposed to kidnap your child for ice cream sundaes and flower picking?

    This is a problem. And you can tell your mom I won’t apologize for swearing. Strong feelings require strong words.

    SO THERE!

  • momma

    cute renee, cute!! I couldn’t agree with you more……..
    so when are you coming to visit?