Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Being a Parent has Taught Me

How have I become a better person since having children? What kind of effect has being a parent had on other aspects of my life?

I reflected back to our first born son. My mom had left my husband and I to figure out how to do this parenting thing on our own after staying with us and helping out for about 2 months. During her stay, I had someone to tend to him early in the morning and late at night so I could get a little more sleep or just take it easy as I was recovering from the pains of bringing a child into this world.

We were driving back home one evening and our baby was screaming to the top of his lungs nonstop. Fortunately for me, I fall in the middle of 8, so i'd somewhat dealt with putting up with crying babies. My husband, on the other hand, having been the youngest of two and not constantly surrounded by crying babies couldn't take anymore. He pulled over into a parking lot where I got into the back of the truck to console our infant.

Days turned into months of learning how to comfort a crying baby. I'm one that never mastered the different cries that a baby has, so if one thing didn't work, i'd move on to another. This absolutely can get frustrating. As time went on I dealt with several poopy diapers, blowouts (where anything in those diapers run over and you're victimized as well, tend to take place publicly) spit up, throw up, tantrums, stares from others who had not yet had children, obviously thinking I didn't know how to be a mom. Going through the stages where my child is clingy, but before I knew it, wanting to do things independently. Through it all i'm still here. A survivor with a total of four children now.

There's so much we learn in the process of raising children that can be applied to other areas of our lives:

1. Screaming babies and learning how to comfort them
Translates to don't give up the first time. Just like I have to try various ways to comfort a screaming baby, in life when i'm trying to figure things out, I can't give up on my first try because the problem will never be solved. If I want to see a positive change, I have to keep trying until I figure out the right formula or equation for that change to take place.

2. Poopy diapers, blowouts, throw up
Translates to don't sweat the small stuff. Learn how to handle the curveballs life can and will throw at you. Fix the situation and keep moving because life goes on. Don't let things get you too far set back because of a mishap in your life.

3. Evil stares from people who haven't yet been there
Translates to "Exactly they haven't yet been there!" You're there already and well on your way. You can't please everybody. Not when it comes to raising a child, not when it comes to your life and the direction you're taking.

4. Clingy Child
Translates to we all need someone at some point and time in our lives. Don't try to bottle everything up inside you. Hug. Love. Appreciate.

5. Independent Child
Translates to there are some things that we will have to figure out on our own for ourselves. Don't expect everything to be handed out to you. Some things you have to go out and get for yourself if you really want it or it's worth having.

Check out the Building Camelot Better Together Promotion where you can win two laptops.