There are so many things that no one ever prepares us for when we venture into the wild unknown called motherhood. My two little ones are not so little anymore and made it to young adult hood with out any major convictions or jail time (that I know about) – so that qualifies me as some sort of know it all mom who can hand out advice – right?? Thought I would share just a few little insights from the mommy trail I have walked down for the past 24 years – I have always believed that our children come into this world with every intention of finding a way to control our lives and change the rules we live by. From the time they are infants and want to convince us that 3am is the new 9am and we better get used to it or the crying will never stop. To those infamous toddler years when they believe it is actually acceptable to throw their bodies down on the filthy floor at the local mall and kick and scream like a trapped wild animal because they were told it was time to go home. The memories of cheesy fries flying from my baby girls little hand and sailing across the table – only to nail the blue hair in the booth behind me followed by that absolutely irrepressible giggle she possessed (and still does) are still very vivid in my mind today. The key was to hold back the instinct to bust a gut and join her in the unchoreographed food fight and instead – sternly grab her little paw – slap the remaining fries from her grip, look her deep in those beautiful brown eyes and tell her “NO”!!! Yes my friends – we tell our children “No” – and we mean it when we say it. And we let them pout and whine and cry because of it – but we say it – over and over and over again – until they begin to play by the rules we have in place.
The parenting part comes when we do not stand for behavior we understand is unacceptable – and we teach the adorable little bastards how to behave in this wonderful world of ours. We teach them how to behave because we want them to function and to be successful as human beings and to know the difference between right and wrong and good and bad and that respect for their parents is non-negotiable. It is not tough love on any level – it is just the immeasurable love of a parent – a love that is vital to the heart and well being and the very spirit of any child.
There will always be another challenge and a new frontier to cross with each passing day when you take the plunge into parenthood. I believe it is our duty and responsibility as good parents to gently remind our perfect children that they have no say in what the rules are until we say they do – and to hold our ground for the next 20 years or so…that’s what I have been doing. It seems to be working…
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.