What Is REALLY Being A Parent?

8 08 2010

It’s staying up all night rocking him back to sleep. Making his baby food myself, so I know exactly what is it. Breastfeeding for 18 months because it’s better for the baby. Playing peek-a-boo for hours instead of studying for a big test. Not leaving the hospital for three weeks, to be there for every alarm sounding, tube feeding, weigh in, and diaper change. Laughing and playing at the park all day. Giving him medicine six times a day, so he wouldn’t have to have surgery. Making up silly games that make him laugh. Cuddling all night when he can’t fall asleep. Making sure the car seat is always in right, so he is safe. Waiting in the doctor’s office for hours for every check up. Giving up going out with friends every night for more playtime with baby. Taking as many classes online at night when he is asleep, so I can spend all day with him. Funday Friday’s and Super Sunday’s. Calling and checking on him the few times I have to leave him with someone else to go take an exam. Reading him books when I should be reading my textbooks and still having a 3.8 GPA because my education is both of our futures. Taking him on bike rides because he loves going past the dog park and saying dog. Going in stores with a fussy toddler to buy new clothes and shoes. Carrying him everywhere because he likes it better than riding in the stroller. Playing ducks and splash attack in the bath time. Fixing grilled cheese and macaroni all the time because it’s one of the only things he will eat. Painting him pictures that he can keep forever. Changing every smelly diaper in the middle of the night. Waking up at five when he runs down the hall laughing. Dancing crazy because he thinks it’s funny. Blowing bubbles and playing with chalk all day. Making every holiday special. Thinking about him every second of every day. Saying a prayer for him every night before bed.

I’m not a perfect parent, but I’m doing the best I can. I’m there for almost every second of his life. Someone else can take a million pictures twice a month for a few hours and pretend like they are there, but what about the other 28 days and all the nights? No phone calls asking how he is doing. Never asking if you can see him other than the days you are suppose to. Not even spending the whole day with him the couple days a month you do see him. No call or card wishing him a Merry 1st Christmas. Not giving him a present to open on his birthday. Not even holding him the first five months and supervised visits, instead playing on the phone the whole time. Never giving him a toy to take home with him that he can play with more than twice a month. As much as I do for him sometimes I worry it’s not enough. He won’t have a dad around the worries about him and thinks of him all the time. Twice a month that’s it. Sometimes I think he would be better off without a dad because he will never grow up and take responsibility. He’s too concerned with himself to have time to think about someone else.


What Is TV Teaching Us?

23 07 2010

I may just vomit if another person asks me if my life is like ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ or ‘Teen Mom.’ NO NO NO it is NOT. Yes I got pregnant at 16 and became a single mom, but no my life is NOTHING like that. I think shows like that glamorize and make being a teenage single mom seem easy. It kills me when I watch any of those shows on a rare occasion and see how easy some of the girls have it, yet how much they complain. I am blessed that my dad let me move back in, so that I can stay home with my baby. But my days aren’t filled with dropping my kid off at daycare while I run off to high school to gossip and hang out with friends all night. I brought my son with me to high school and finished a year early. I spend all day and night watching my toddler, cooking, cleaning, laundry, oh and throw in five online college classes that I maintain a 3.8 GPA in. I can count the number of times I have been out for the night since bug was born, ZERO. The only time I ever have someone, that someone always being my dad, watch him is so I can take a timed test or a twenty minute shower. I feel bad for even admitting this, but yes sometimes I do go to the gym and workout for an hour so I can get a break while bug plays in the nursery. Running is my idea of a break. I wish bug’s dad was like one of the so called “deadbeat dad’s” on those shows because they are a million times better than my son’s dad. He sees him twice a month for a few hours and that’s the only time I ever hear from him. Not once has he asked how he is doing other times. A lot can happen in two weeks and he hasn’t a clue anything about our son. Oh and less than 50 dollars a week in child support doesn’t really buy shit these days.

Enough of my exhausted single mom ranting… but what is TV really teaching us? We see these ‘reality shows’ and shows filled with superficial people, violence, and sex. Did you know the average child spends 7 hours a day plugged into media? That is a scary thought, are we the ones raising our kids or has TV replaced parenting? There are shows that I think are acceptable for children to watch, but I think that it is so important to get outside too and to be vigilant about what we let our children watch. If we let our kids watch shows filled with gorgeous, plastic surgery enhanced models then it can lower their self esteem and they start wondering why don’t I look like that. If we let kids watch shows about teen pregnancy and drugs, they may start thinking hey having a baby looks easy and drugs don’t look to bad. Growing up my parents never let us watch TV, something I am thankful for now. We spent our days outside using our imagination and making art work. I think innocence and childhood should be protected and cherished. I want to shield my son from all the violence and negativity on TV. Getting pregnant at 16 made me grow up much faster than I should have and I don’t want that for my son. I want him to enjoy every minute of his childhood and spend his days with me outside sailing pirate ships not inside watching them on TV. So what do you say let’s turn of those TV’s and go for a walk!

Dadgum Dog…

6 07 2010

Today was one of those days. I didn’t get much sleep last night because bug woke up twice. Then I had to read three chapters of my textbook and take three tests ugh. L wanted to help me and kept running off with my pencil or slamming my computer shut. After four hours of studying, I just wanted to relax for a minute. Bug didn’t, he kept pushing his stroller around and ended up pushing it to the front door and climbing in.

I couldn’t say no to his pleading face to go on a walk, so I got him strapped in . When I opened the door to push the stroller out the door, the dog got out. I tried to catch her in the front yard, but she just kept running. So off I ran after her, in my flip flops pushing a stroller. She ran about half a mile until I finally caught her while she stopped to pee. Dadgum dog.

While awkwardly running through the neighborhood I passed several people in their front yards. Not one of them stopped to ask if they could help catch my runaway dog.  When did neighbors become so unfriendly? A man out in his front yard with his two kids even asked, “Is that your dog running away?” I told him yes and he just nodded, no offer to help. What is this country coming to, that we can’t even stop to help a stranger? I am going to teach my son that sometimes you just help people out of the kindness of your heart not because you expect something in return.

This incident also made me realize that sometimes being a single mom is just hard. If I had Mr. Prince Charming he would be walking the dog along side me while I pushed bug in the stroller and we would go on a leisurely walk as a family. Or at the very least if he wasn’t walking with us he could’ve at least stayed with the baby while I chased the dog in a half a mile sprint. But nope, no prince charming here. At least being a single mom is making me stronger, more patient, and hell even skinnier. I love my bug to death and some day I may meet Mr. Prince Charming and then we can go on our family walk, until then it’s just me and L.

Do We Become Our Parents?

5 07 2010

I’ve always heard that once you become a parent you become just like your parent or parents. I’m starting to wonder does this hold any truth to it? Is the way we raise our kids biologically coded into us or is it completely up to us how we treat our children?

I don’t think becoming our parents is inevitable. I think it is an easy trap to fall into if we don’t make a conscious effort to change. Our parents are our model for parenting. It’s easy to stick to what you know and follow their behavior. Personally, I don’t want to become my parents.

I think it is a hard thing to change. History can become so easily repeated unless we do something to change it. I’ve thought a lot about parenting and the approaches I want to take in raising my son. I don’t want to ever scream and yell at him. I will NEVER call him names or make him feel stupid. I want to be there for him unconditionally even if he makes mistakes. I want to teach him right from wrong through words, not spanking. Most of all I just want to be the best mom I can be to my son and raise him to be a handsome gentleman. I think that is all any parent really wants.

Do you see yourself becoming your parents? Are you doing something to change it? I hope that I am a wonderful mom (I’m trying my best!) and that L would be proud to become just like his mommy. What can I say spending every second with me is bound to turn him into a mama’s boy.

Starting the Journey

4 07 2010

I had WAY too much time to myself today, something I rarely get. So, I was reading through some single mommy blogs. Their blogging inspired me to start one. So here I am…

Definition of TREK: a journey on foot, sometimes a long and difficult journey.

Is motherhood really any different than trekking? It’s the most amazing journey in the world and it never ends, but sometimes you run into some obstacles along the trek. For me those obstacles are being a single mom and a teenager. You can’t let those obstacles keep you from moving along in your journey. The trek of motherhood isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. What is the destination in motherhood? I don’t know the answer to that, but I know the little things along the journey make the journey worth taking… the first smile and hearing your child call you ‘mama’ for the first time.

The past two years have been a whirlwind of a crazy journey. It started with an unexpected pregnancy at 16, leaving home, finding an apartment, and also finding myself along the way. Just when I was starting to figure things out, my baby came (almost eight weeks early).  Young, alone, and scared with this tiny miracle that couldn’t even breathe on his own. There were a few friends and family there with me when he was born, but then they all went home. That night alone in the hospital room I realized I was in this journey alone. It was just me and this tiny blessing in disguise.

The weeks that followed were the most painful and joyful weeks of my journey so far. My son stayed in the NICU for almost a month and that truly tested my strength.  Today my son is a healthy almost one and a half year old and I am a happy 18 year old single mommy. At times it’s hard and lonely, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My son had brought me closer to God and helped me understand the meaning of life. Cheesy, but true. It’s the little moments that make life big and no matter how hard things you just have to keep trekking onward to brighter days.

This little guy turned my life around and gives me the strength to make it through anything.