I am really bad at this blog deal...
Lately, I have been really thinking about what my life would be like when I have a child of my own. To be completely honest, six or seven years ago I was pretty sure I didn't want to have children. I was too afraid of being a bad mother because I lack patience and rational behavior at times. I am also not a very affectionate person, as my parents were not either. Don't get me wrong...I love my parents, but there weren't many "I love yous" and hugs in my household growing up. I don't think I would change a thing though. I am pretty happy with the person I have become and I am very happy with my parents. Growing up, my dad wasn't one for going to school activities/shows/games. He was relatively quiet and impatient. He was also the funniest person I know. This is probably where I get all those qualities. My mom was someone who would freak out anytime I wanted to bring a friend over or stay all night with someone else. I would always have to let her know a week or more in advance if I was going to be staying with someone. I am kind of like that too, or just more understanding. I don't really like surprise visits from people and I am freaking out about how my house looks before someone comes over...so I have to plan around it. I have to clean every nook and cranny of my house to ensure it is clean enough for guests. Chip off the ol' block, eh? I found that, when I cook, it's like a tiny whirlwind came through the kitchen creating messes and a pile of dirty dishes. That's pretty much my dad. So, since I can see how I am like my parents, I often wonder what parts of me will be passed onto my child. Will they be positive traits, or something that I don't particularly like in myself?
What does all this come down to? Well, let's think about every material thing we have in the house. Let's include our cars too. Say you are ready to have children, or you have children already. You have a 55 inch TV that's your pride and joy. You have a 4000 dollar, white Italian leather sectional that you saved up for. You drive a car that you baby like it is actually one of your children. Your 3 and a half year old decides to draw on your couch in permanent marker. Your 10 and 8 year old are playing in the house. It's getting a little rough and they are running around. One of them either throws something into the other's general direction and they fall into the TV...killing it. Your 2 year old has a sippy cup in the back seat of your car. She/he is throwing it about. The lid comes off and it spills grape juice out all over your seats. What do you do? ESPECIALLY with the 2 or 3 year old? These were all accidents, as the children didn't do any of these things to be malicious. Do you fly off the handle and beat them senseless for destroying your beloved material possessions? Do you scold them and put them in time out for being awful little brats? You'd be surprised that a lot of people would do just that and/or maybe something worse.I am not a mother yet, but I would like to think that I would be better than that at controlling my temper. I am sure there are mother's out there that thought they were going to be better at controlling their temper with their children, but struggle. Now, if my 2 year old accidentally spilled a drink whether it's their fault or accident...I don't see any reason to punish them. They are still learning motor skills and they are incredibly clumsy little things. A 3 year old doesn't really have a good concept of what's okay to draw on and what's not okay to draw on. Paper's white! Hey! This couch is white too! Same goes for walls. Toddlers love drawing on walls ESPECIALLY if they are white! I am someone who loves art, so I am pleading with parents everywhere DON'T SCOLD YOUR CHILD WHEN THEY DRAW ON WALLS, FLOORS, FURNITURE. Just try to navigate them to paper (it might take a while). Now, if they are 15 and drawing on walls...then that is a different story. I've heard some pretty intense horror stories about kids with markers. This is why I am going to paint all my walls brown with super high gloss paint...problem solved. The TV incident is kind of a unique one. There are a couple things I would consider. First, did I already get onto them about rough-housing? Was there another parent/grown-up involved (happens)? Have they ever faced actual consequences from rough housing before? If they weren't scolded before, a parent was involved, or they have never really faced actual consequences. Then, I would probably be light on the punishment. It was an accident, as they didn't mean to kill the beloved TV. I would set rules about where rough-housing can be done. Kids are incredibly full of energy and we all know they can't really go outside (weather permitting) every time they have all the energy. Might want to consider a room that they can be energetic in. After establishing that what they did wasn't good and that it's no longer permitted to rough-house in certain areas of the house, I would probably let them go with a light punishment. If they do it again...I'm cracking the whip. There will probably be an again. It's a parent's job to be consistent. Don't tell a child you will punish them and then not. Consistency is key and they will learn better from that. Kids are smart. If you tell them they cannot have a toy while you are shopping and they throw a ridiculous, embarrassing fit while you're in the store until you cave...THEY WILL LEARN.
Let them be adventurous.
Let them be creative.
Let them be independent.
Let them learn.
So, am I going to be a perfect mother? You're darn straight I am going to be, as my mother was to me! Am I going to follow all my own rules as described above? I hope so, but it's pretty certain that I will lose my cool at times. I am sure there will be a hundred different challenges along the way, but I am working at preparing myself for these situations and I hope that I handle them all in a way that my children will appreciate and learn from.
I look forward to comparing this blog entry with my real-life experience in the next 10 years. :)