Thursday, June 20, 2013

Parenting is a LEARNING experience

Well it's official..I am finding my way around this parenting thing. Max turns 5 months old on June 22nd and I am finally beginning to get my life back to something that resembles what it was before. I should note, I really don't ever want it back to what it was before because being a Mom is awesome. I have learned so much in the short time we have had Max and more than that, I have smiled more than I have in my entire life. He is precious and growing and healthy and well....just a sweet little guy. We are incredibly blessed to have him and not a day goes by that we take that for granted.

I am so happy to be back on my blog as it has always been a place for me to talk things out. Lately there have been so many topics on my mind to rant about, pray about, and talk through. My blog is going to be getting an earful. I guess I should start by what it looks like for me to be a parent finally. Anthony and I went through quite a journey to get to our little Max, although there are others who certainly go through longer and more difficult journeys to have children and some of those couples still don't become parents. We are incredibly grateful to God for the blessing of our little boy. It's almost hard to remember what our lives were like before we had Max. It seems like he has always been here.

In some ways though, I am learning quite a bit about what is different about being a parent. Here are some learning experiences I have gone through in my first 5 months of being a mommy:

1. I really believed that I had done a lot of work in therapy about my family of origin. As I have mentioned in the blog more than once, I did not come from the ideal home. My Dad was not really around and my mom was less than a stellar parent most of the time. I have spoken to both of my parents about these experiences and we have done the work to talk them out and they know where I stand on how they treated me. There are still painful issues that surround my childhood but again, I know there are several people who had it worse because at the end of the day, my mom was still there and is to this day. She does the very best she can to love me and there are limited things she can do due to having some mental illness and a past of her own. I accept my parent's limitations and the pain they have inflicted both accidentally and purposefully.

In saying that, I am re-experiencing so much of that pain through raising Max and find myself hyper-vigilant in how I am raising him. I don't think this is all bad. I think that it is interesting how we, as humans, have to re-grieve a lot of things in our lives even when we feel like we are done grieving them. For me, I have always grieved, pretty deeply, that I really did not have my biological dad around when I was growing up. Again, this isn't a platform to bash my father for how he did or did not do things. He has to live with the choices he made and I forgive him and accept those choices. However, it is also hard to watch my husband be a fantastic father and think about what I missed by not having one like him. I, however, did have a fantastic grandfather who played that role for me very well. It sure did not stop me from feeling I wasn't good enough for my dad though. I am grateful to Anthony that Max will never feel like he isn't enough...Anthony thinks he is absolutely amazing and spends every free moment he has telling him that!

This part is a bit awkward for me to write but I also feel jealous that I did not have a mother like myself. I feared for so many years how I would be as a mom because my mom, although I still love her, was impatient, yelled constantly, and various other things were not quite right and have been hard for me to overcome. I am amazingly patient, never raise my voice, and pray diligently and work very hard to be the mom I have always wanted to be. I should note here, however, that Jesus plays a huge role in this and the fact that I surround myself with great parents and seek plenty of guidance from them. Also, my role has not gotten quite as difficult since my sweet pea is only 5 months old and still adorable and doesn't talk back. My mom was the mother of three girls and we fought like cats and dogs. I realize that her challenges were different from my own.

2. Another big lesson I have learned from having Max is that he is the answer to one of my biggest flaws as a human being. I have always struggled with being consistent. This goes for all sorts of areas of life. I am a perfectionist so I was the person who would start the school year out with the perfect order and organization and do every word of reading I was assigned, etc....until I burned out and then would crash! I am the sort of person who wants their house PERFECTLY clean and organized and every project takes me way longer than it takes others. This leads my house to always have at least one room that looks like a construction zone. I am the type of person that does everything to the largest degree until I absolutely fizzle out. In having Max, I am having to do things far differently. I can't strive for perfect because I don't have time to be perfect and still give Max the attention and love that he needs. This has led to me being more consistent in everything. For example, since we have been home from Louisville I have been consistent about making three homemade meals a day (as opposed to getting behind on things and caving to eating out and eating poorly), consistent in Max's schedule, consistent in my time with Jesus, etc... It is refreshing to be a person who can let things go to attend to more important things. This is a whole new life for me but one thing I am super proud of as a parent/woman.

3. There is just nothing better for me than praising and worshiping God while holding the sweet little gift he let me borrow.

Life is good. How are you all doing?!


No comments: