One interesting thing with this Spectrum Parenting (having kids from one end to the other) is how much things changed from when I was expecting-raising Gorgeous Gal to when Little Sir came along (17 years later).
The pregnancy was pretty much the same. Which is to say, Awful.
I am not a cheerful glowing pregnant lady. If you didn’t get a precious baby at the end, I would reject the whole thing. There could be no incentive- other than a baby- to make me think nine months of nausea, pain, alien occupation is worth it.
However, there were a lot of new ideas and products for the baby. And new ideas about raising kids to make them turn out exactly like you planned (see this post on what I think of that). Here is what I do the same:
Words Will Never Hurt Me: I do not believe it warps a child to hear the words “no”, “stop”, or “bad”. “You are driving me crazy” is simply demonstrating good communication. Euphemisms are confusing. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Including “yes”, “no problem”, and “good”. And the best: “I love you.”
And I Use Novocaine at the Dentist Too: I do not believe using pain relief during childbirth is wrong. My Grandmothers were put to sleep and woke up holding their babies. I’m not sure why this had to change. Seems wonderful to me. I actually had a better birth experience with Gorgeous Gal and the protocol than I did with Little Sir. And I didn’t use all that was available, but I do not feel less noble for accepting some relief from what- no matter what they give you- is going to be intensely painful.
You Helped Make the Mess: I am not a neat freak, but I don’t like chaos either. My kids help clean. And from young ages they help. Little Sir helped with the pets beginning at 2. Gorgeous Gal was helping fold laundry at 4. It’s not a labor camp, but I see no reason we can’t all pitch in as much as we are able to keep things from getting out of hand.
God Bless Your Heart: When I had Gorgeous Gal, a lot of my motherly wisdom came from my Grandmothers. That is to say, it was not the most modern. And it worked. Gorgeous Gal lived and the scars barely show. She is thriving. So when I started to get all this advice about Little Sir- when to start solids, how long to breast feed, potty training, etc. I was able to nod and say thank you and move on. In the South, a polite way to deflect unwelcome intrusive advice is to just smile and say, “God bless your heart.”
There are some things I am doing differently. If there is one relationship that proves change is constant- it is parenting. But that is next week’s post.