“It takes a village to raise a child.” – a proverb I completely agree with and one Auntie A references frequently.
One of the most important decisions we will make as parents is to decide who to include in our “village”. They will be the people who influence your life the most and help to shape who you become as a person. People who help you grow up to become a strong, independent, and well-rounded individual. These people are very important.
This village will also be the support system that guides us in our journey to become parents. To me, the most important part of this job is to support the decision we make. I don’t claim to know it all nor do I think I ever will. But having the support of our village will get us through the tough decisions and gently direct us when we ultimately make the wrong one (Sorry kid, but as your Grandpa K says “You are the oldest so you were the experiment. We learned a little more with each of you.”).
Lately, the term “Mommy Wars” has been brought to my attention. I find it disheartening that anyone feels their decisions are judged, especially mothers. I believe we all make decisions with the best intentions for our children – some go the “granola” route, others the convenience, and some somewhere in the middle – but the destination is the same. Well-adjusted and happy children is the end-all-be-all. More importantly, I completely breaks my heart that mothers allow their decisions to be judged. If you truly feel you made the best decision possible and it worked out best for your child, why would any mother feel guilty about a decision they made? And why would those same mothers make others feel guilty for making different decisions?
Baby S isn’t even here yet and we have been met with resistance to the decisions we are making. But it makes it easier for me to move forward knowing that I believe I am making the right decisions and we will slowly build up a village of people who support those decisions – regardless of their opinions and personal beliefs. Our village will support us because they support our right to parent, to make decisions, and to grow as a family.
Our little Hammie will be here so soon. In the meantime, I will continue to digest and sift through the piles of advice, stacks of books, and plethora of blogs to learn as much as possible from other who already know. But in the end, I will follow my heart because I believe instinct will become the best guide.
Proud of the House We Built
Last week we got to see you – not just the fuzzy outline of a fuzz. We actually got to see your face. It was amazing. At 21 weeks old, your momma and daddy got to meet you. I thought for sure I would cry. Lets face it, between hormones and this whole momma thing, I have become quite the crybaby.
But there weren’t any tears. Instead, I went into concerned parent mode and asked all the vital questions – All limbs are present? Lobes of the brain? Chambers of the heart? The spine? The size? The placenta? I asked a million questions and your daddy quietly held my hand. Everything was there and everything was healthy.
After spending years thinking my body wasn’t good enough because didn’t fit perfectly in that teeny tiny pair of skinny jeans and years of thinking my body was broken because it would never be able to grow a child, there you were – every body part and system was present and accounted for. The overwhelming emotion didn’t hit me until we were leaving the clinic – you were prefect.
Now I am just excited. Everyday, I find myself daydreaming about holding your tiny, warm, cuddly body and your kicks against my bladder are a constant reminder that you are fighter. You are just as stubborn as your momma (your granny reminds me of that often enough). We are going to do this.
As much happiness as 2013 has brought us, I am very happy it is over. I think the most important part of this journey has been realizing is it easier to be unhappy – unhappy for others, unhappy for myself, unhappy with life in general.
I have learned that family really is the most important support system in our lives. There is a reason we can pick our friends but not our family. Sometimes the things we least want to hear or feel we need least, are the things that pull us through. I don’t know about everyone but my “picker” has been off multiple times with regard to friend choices. Which is why I am grateful to have been born into a group of people who didn’t pick me and I didn’t pick them. They didn’t decide to love me unconditionally or support my many half-baked ideas. Yet they do.
I have learned that choosing your spouse is the most important decision you make. (You think I would have figured that out before May…) Unlike your family, he chooses to love you unconditionally. He chooses to support your decisions and stands by your side whether or not you are rational. He chooses to not judge you when you pour that fourth glass of wine and cry about something that probably won’t matter in 24 hours. He chooses to not make you feel like you are difficult to love when some days you probably are.
Knowing all this, I have decided to make a change for 2014 – not a New Year’s resolution – because I hope this decision lasts much longer than one year. I have decided to be happy. Regardless of what happens in our lives, if you find that elusive, internal, soul-satisfying happiness, it becomes that much easier to be happy for everyone else. I have decided to be happy with all decision we have made together. To be happy with the direction my life has taken. And most importantly, to be happy for others in our life because that it the ultimate sign of happiness – Possessing the ability to be happy for others.
Thank you 2013 for teaching me that happiness comes from within and not what is happening around me. It is something I am able to control. Thank you for bringing us life changing events that have taught me. I am looking forward to 2014 and the clean slate it brings with it.
Cravings: My sweet tooth is going crazy – Anything sugary! Plus, OJ and, you guessed it, Crispix’s
Bump: …. I think so….
Latest Project: Finally finished your blanket last night! Planning to start working on a snuggle sack and bedding.
Nursery Status: Dresser is complete and daddy helped me to paint your room.
Fear: I will never be able to eat spicy food again. Seriously, my taste buds are not happy with you.
Excitement: Getting to see your face for the first time and hearing that everything looks healthy.
Cravings: Orange Juice and STILL obsessed with Crispix*s
Bump: Maybe… more so at night
Latest Project: STILL knitting the blanket and painting all the nursery furniture.
Nursery Status: Found a dresser and am almost finished repainting it.
Fear: We won’t get everything done and situated before you get here!
Excitement: Daydreaming about snuggling with you 🙂
Complaint: Unsolicited baby advice – everyone thinks they are telling us something new but it’s all the same advice!