Sunday, September 21, 2014

An open letter to parents

I don't stare to judge I stare in awe, in wonder, in curiosity.

Dear Parents, Guardians, Grandparents, Babysitters, Siblings....

I stare because I care. 

In the past, before I had children, I would watch all "types" of parenting being displayed in the public.  I wasn't for sure why or what I was watching, but I would just watch.  It is in my nature to observe and gather information.  And little did I know, I was doing just that, preparing me for a time of parenthood. 

I stare because I care.

I care to know how to do better for my own child.  I stare because I am wondering - does "that" *insert whatever action of discpiline, bribery, love, trick*  really work?  Will "that" work on my child? 

Yes, sometimes I do stare becuase I want to make sure that your child is safe.  As an educator we are also trained to be mandated reporters.  We are there to protect all children, at any given time.  I am not staring to make you feel like less of an adult, less of a parent, less or beneath me in any way.  I truly want to make sure your child is safe and that whatever you are doing is for the greater good of your child's life.

I spank.  Yes.   Is it punishment or discipline?  To those who don't believe in spanking, it's punishment.  They too might stare if I was to spank my child in public. 

I stare because I need to know that I am not alone.   I am not alone in the feeling of "am I doing this right"    I am not alone in the sense of that I can't believe my child just did *insert whatever creative nerve clinching stunt your child probably JUST did*.   

As parents, we are too hard on ourselves.   We live in a day where parenting is always in your face.

Should we do disposables or cloth diapers?
Breast or bottle?
Make or buy your food?
Name brand or no brand clothing?
Ipad at 5 or wait?
Shoes outside, why not?  Or why?
Pop before they are 12?  Juice needs to be watered?
Spanking?  No!
Time out?  No!
No yelling - lourder voices so they can hear.
Crib, cosleep, baby bed, gate, couch, floor?
Carry your child?  Swing your child?
Cry it out?  Pacifier?  Feed all hours? Schedule?

There are too many things to drive a wedge between parents and those who care for children.   We have to remember to look to the commonality in all of this - WE WANT THE BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN.   WE WANT THEM TO GROW UP TO BE BETTER THAN WE WERE. 

So, from a new parent, I want you to know that I am not really staring to make you feel uncomfortable.  I am starring at you, because I am learning from something better than a book written by doctors who don't have children but have done "studies".     And the next time I am caught where someone is glaring me down as I parent - STOP - come talk to me.  Ask me questions about my style.  We need to band together and stop tearing each other apart. 

Just the other day I felt so little dropping my son off for church nursery on Wednesday nights.   I was having him go over our rules with me (it's been all summer since Wednesday night time and needed to remind him" 

I say: rule number 1 we listen       he says "and obey"
I say: rule number 2 be                  he says "gentle"
I say: rule nubmer 3 have a good  he says "attitude"
I say: we do this because we         he says "love people" 

After we finished this another parent dropped thier child off and chuckled and walked off.  It stung a bit.  Are you laughing because you think it's cute?  Laughing because you think it's going to fail?  Laughing because you are covering up your own pain?   It would have been nice to stop and have a mommy conversation about what just went down.    Who knows - maybe she went home and wrote a blog about what she "encountered" at church that night "the most bizzare thing!"  =] 

So parents, we need to bond over having children.  We need to get over OUR differences and truly make this world a better place for our children to grow up in. 

Let's stop staring and do more talking.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It feels like late fall.

I love. I mean truly am crazy about fall.  

The strange part is that I usually go through a small phase of seasonal depression around this time.   

Driving to work yesterday - it was 45 or 50 degrees out - it felt like November not the start of September.  I am okay with that.  

This morning, it was hard to leave my cocoon of warmth, but so worth it.  Making biscuits and gravy while laundry whirled and coffee brewed is the best way to slow down.   We continued with chocolate chip cookies and brownies.   

I love baking. And I love fall. 

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to go with two good friends to daughter of the king rally.  Our god is so great. Worshipping with sisters is always a blessing.   We are all important, created in his image, and should love, encourage, build one another up.   

Our family is busy. Always.  And we need to stop. 

Prayer focus 
~ our ban toons hearts to love and not judge 
~ Robinson family going to N Africa. 
~ t and l in NYC. 
~ melkamu and Ethiopia 
~ Emily and family working with Glenda. 
~ z and h family 
~ our new community and it's purpose (love and healin) 
~ a and m and path to family 
~ small girl group - reading James.  Open hearts 
~ youth group girls - challenges to follow Jesus 
~ Jeremiah - balancing all tasks 
 ~ neighbor jane and her husbands surgery recovery 

God we are so thankful for salvation and your son. We are so unworthy of all you've done.   May we be better humble servants. May we build up one another in truth and gentleness.  May we be generous and compassion.