Parenting Puh-lease- The Story Behind It All
I used to think as a child and single gal growing up that parenting would be a piece of cake because children were constantly drawn towards me! When I was homeschooled during my grade eight year I would longingly wait until the afternoons of each school day. Not to talk on the phone with my three best friends who were also homeschooled at the time, not to watch MTV or paint my nails. No I was counting down the minutes and hours until my favorite show of all time came on. Spilled Milk! Can you guess what my favorite TV show was? A parenting show that featured different parenting tips, stories, ideas, and professionals who talked about all the interesting topics of being a parent. I watched it religiously every day each afternoon for the year that I was homeschooled. I thought I knew everything there was to know about raising kids and being a mom. I would constantly think to myself “puh-lease! when I am a mom I’ve got this!”
I remember being about 15 or 16 and going with my mom to the bank. We were waiting in the area where you go for when you have those super important meetings, or at least they lead you to believe it is super important because they offer you water and coffee and constantly check on you when a little girl came over to the area. She sat down at the children’s table and grabbed a crayon and a coloring page and stared at me until I looked at her. Each time she would look at me I would look at her; she would dart her eyes away pretending that she hadn’t been looking at me. She then ever so slowly inched her chair closer and closer to me and with her little pudgy hand grabbed a crayon from the cup and shoved it towards me. “Color please?” she asked me as she dropped the crayon into my hand and proceeded to slide her paper over so I would color with her.
I looked over at my mom who had been reading a magazine up until this point and she looked back at me with a puzzled expression but encouraged me to color with the little girl until her mom finished up with the teller. Later the mom of the little girl approached us and was amazed that her little Sophie had not just spoken to me but asked me to color with her. Apparently, she was quite a shy child and had struggled socially. We learned that she was four and would avoid any social situation where she had to talk with anyone who wasn’t her mom or dad.
It was through this experience and having children talk to me wherever I went, drawn to me like a magnet, that I learned that I had a knack with kids! So in thinking about having my own children, I would constantly think “Puh-lease! parenting is going to be such a breeze!”
After graduating from high school I scored my favorite job ever of being a nanny to three children who, at the time ranged in ages from 20 months to 8 years of age. Each day I woke up looking forward to being able to go play with my kids and I would imagine the crafts or games that we would play that day. Every day I went I came home happier than when I had started. About a month into my Nanny job the eight-year-old boy and I had started to have some differing of opinions and he was very vocal about letting me know how disapproving he was of me! It took about a month to iron out the kinks where we weren’t butting heads and I wasn’t going home in tears because he had told me he hated me or that he didn’t like me. You know in hindsight this should have totally been one of those humble pie moments where you realize just how hard parenting is but I didn’t because they weren’t my kids and I wasn’t their mom and I moved on thinking, “Puh-lease! when I have my own children things will be so easy I have dealt with three every day!” I nannied for five years and we had our share of troubles but what it came down to was the amazing memories and friendships I made. So again I thought, “Puh-lease! Being a mom is going to be so easy!”
Due to my self-proclaimed title of being a child magnet and always having children drawn to me, I started my post-secondary career in Early Learning and later went on to finish my degree in Elementary Education. With each experience, I guess I became a little too cocky because when I thought of parenting my go to phrase would come, “Oh Puh-lease! I have totally got this covered! I have dealt with tons of different kids; some with behavior issues some without. I have dealt with easy to get along temperaments and not so easy. So parenting should be a piece of cake. I’ve got this!”
Fast forward a couple of years, that place you all know about when you are newly married and you sit around with other newly married couples and talk about all the things you are not going to do that you see parents doing. “I’m going to dress my child in the coolest clothes every day!” or “I’m not going to let my child watch television, or eat sugar, or go out of the house wearing a costume!” “I won’t spank my child, or put them for time-outs; we will reasonably discuss why they shouldn’t have done what they are doing!” Again my attitude and go to phrase came across again as “Parenting? Puh-lease! I’ve got this!”
And then I got pregnant. And I was sick for the first three and a half months of my first pregnancy. I was tired and still attending University with a full 5 class course load. I kept putting off getting everything ready and perfect for when baby would come because let’s face it I would have four weeks after finishing my semester or so I thought. My attitude still was “Parenting? Puh-lease! I’ve got this” and then my baby came four weeks early via emergency c-section.
I was shocked into motherhood. I just wasn’t ready! Her birth, her early arrival, her birth weight it all went against my plans! It wasn’t how I expected motherhood to start! or be! I hadn’t researched the complications, the implications of having a c-section it wasn’t in the plans! I didn’t know how to care for a baby that weighed only 3 pounds 15 ounces! I didn’t know what to do when I was told that my baby was so little, too little in fact that they were shipping her by ambulance to another hospital where she would be placed in the care of the NICU. I didn’t know how long we would stay in the hospital, some nurses warned me that it could take a long time for my baby to grow and she might have to be placed in an incubator! And then the whole world of being a parent crashed down on me and for the first time, I thought “Oh please!!!!! I don’t have this!!” And the reality and magnitude of being a mom crashed down on me.
Thankfully I have found through the great mercies of God that I have been blessed along the way to find the information needed to raise my girls in a way that I feel confident and happy as a mommy and see my babies blossom despite the hard trials we have faced along the way. So when I felt for the last couple of years to start a blog about parenting and my teaching journey and share tips and resources I have found to be helpful I really tried to push that feeling away. I thought “oh please!! I can’t do that I don’t even know what I am doing most of the time!” But then I have thought about the many times I wished I had had a sister I could go to to find out the popular parenting or teaching advice of the time, and hence Parenting Puh-lease was created.
I want other moms no matter how many children they have or how much or little experience they have to feel empowered to be able to be the best mommas (or daddies!) out there and embrace my younger attitude about parenting, “oh puh-lease! I’ve got this!” even if your child is running and screaming through the store and every dang blasted customer is staring at you and shaking their head or you find that the older children have hidden baby somewhere in the house while you were in the bathroom or have taken a bite out of each and every apple in the fridge. I want you to say “oh puh-lease! I’ve got this!”
So welcome to my blog. Come on in and stay a while! Relax with me! Laugh with me! Cry with me! Parent with me as we continue on together as parents through this crazy journey they call life and parenthood!