Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Where the heck is that Parenting Manual??
Mainly because I'm so smart about all this (cough, cough).
It's funny writing these things out. The words swirl through my head, but when they come out of my fingers and onto here it gives me a whole new HOLY CRAP realization... sort of like I had the other day when I was discussing how my mother ripped me out of Catholic school & deposited me into the local public school. Then I realized - WOW - I did the same thing to my son.
In my defense, totally different issues and I was really helping my kid, not myself.
That whole thing gave me the realization that we tend to repeat the same patterns our parents did.
Some may call it the generational curse or sins of the parent...Me, I just call it learning what we see.
Hard to break those habits & learn what's good when what you grew up seeing wasn't fabulous.
I'm going to put this out there again because it's really the truth - I am NOT trying to throw my mother under the bus via my blog. While it is true that we do not have a "real" relationship and haven't had one in more than 15 years, I know that she would agree that she didn't do her very best parenting with me. I'm not trying to trash her because I truly believe that she didn't have a clue what to do with me after I was born.
That gave me the brilliant idea of discussing first kids.
As a top expert in the field of screwing up, I give you my theory on parenting your first child.
I was a first born. I know that when my mother first had me, after the initial disappointment wore off that I didn't have a penis, she still looked at me and thought - OK - I have this kid. Now what the hell do I do with it?
Really, Did any of you parent people get the instruction manual that comes along with your kid? I still can't find mine. The only thing I go on now is experience.
The experience that my beloved first born did not have the benefit of.
When I was a kid, there were many, many times I'd said, "Why does D get to do that??? You never let ME do that." Well it's easy. The first kid?? Practice. Yup - I said it. Practice.
Oh stop... I know some people are getting all up in arms right now thinking how awful it was of me to say that. Tell me truth... were you an expert with your first kid? If you say yes, you're lying!
I know that I didn't know what the hell I was doing when I first had my son. I just flew by the seat of my pants. I knew he had to eat, be loved, be bathed, be changed... all of that normal nurturing stuff that came naturally to me. BUT -- Oh, you can't let a 2 year old watch Scream?? My bad...
Yeah - stuff like that. The what the hell are you doing's that startled the ever living crap out of me. The stuff I truly didn't know what to do or how to do it!
I had nothing to compare being a parent to. No prior experience. No one guiding me through the specifics. My childhood was pretty much a horror story. At 7 years old, I mostly raised my brothers. I could do this. Yeah...No. It was a learning experience. Truth is that my brothers and I are lucky to be alive! Pfft, 7 year old in charge. What the heck?
With my son, I did everything I thought I knew on how to be a good mom - but the fact was, I didn't know what that was. I was really good at the love part and all that other stuff... but play dates? What the hell is that?? When we were kids, we were never home. We just showed up at our friend's house and voila... play date.
I knew nothing. Everyday was a new and different adventure.
It was only in experiencing the day to day life with my child that I learned to figure out what works and what doesn't. Watching what other parents do & how they handle things. How much freedom is allowed, how much is not, etc. By the time #2 came along my darling son was 10. I had 10 years of learning under my belt.
I never once dropped #2 on her head. Never.
I'm kidding, I'm kidding... I never dropped my son either.
#1 is older now and he has made me so proud. I refer to him as my magnificent creation. He hates that, but he is a well adjusted young man, who has overcome his childhood. Right, K? (insert nervous laughter here)
From time to time, he will look at what his little sister is doing and say, "I can't believe you let her do that! You never let me do that..."
Well... now I know better.
Kids don't come with instructions!
Thank you for reading my blog!