September 13, 2003 in Rochester, WA. I married the love of my life, a man I have been in love with since I was 14 years old. Every year since May 20, 1998, we celebrate another year of us!

am the mom of 4 kids, 3 boys and 1 girl. The girl was not last, she was 3rd. Number 4 was not an "whoops", he was planned. Being a wife and mommy is all I have ever wanted to be.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My experience in parenting


Why do I say children make liars out of you? Because they do! Hahaha I will explain further. I have learned, that everything you can ever know about children can be proven to be wrong. There are children who live, who should not be alive due to some sort of "miracle". There are children who read, walk, talk, grow teeth etc all at random, odd, unexplainable times... these children do not fit the mold, and they will prove that mold a lie. There are children who are supposed to be handicapped and unable to do A, B, C... yet, they do it, to no explanation of anyone. There is also the simple "look what they can do" hahaha this is my favorite! Guess what, they can't do it any longer. Children are masters at proving people wrong. 

Below is a list of understandings I have come to learn about being a parent and the different stages of understanding that come from parenting. It's not something that bam hits you like a bolt of lighting in the delivery room with the birth of your first child.

First, you will have your 1st child. This wonderful bundle of joy, anxiety, anticipation, love, dread, fear, and wonder will steal your heart and change who you are forever. No matter how much education or experience you have had, this child will without doubt teach you things about babies and love and individuality that you had never known. But, contrary to popular belief of new parents,  it will take years to fully understand just how much it will change you, and everything you knew before about children and life. Every child you add to your family will again change you and increase your understandings of parenting.

Second, you will get past the toddler/preschool years and into the "child rearing" years. By this time you begin to grasp a bit more what being a "Momma Bear" truly means. As your children grow and leave your nest more often and are having more interaction with the outside world your desire to protect and stand up for their rights will meet an all time high. You will also begin to see just how the teachings of children and the common conceptions can on occasion be just plain and simple, WRONG! Just plain wrong. Also, having multiple children will increase this "Momma Bear Syndrome" feeling and intensity. It's as though with the birth of every child a dose of it is released into your blood.

Third, having 1 child, while it is without a doubt parenting etc. DOES NOT MAKE YOU AN EXPERT. 1 child is easy to manage. There is so much more that you will never fully understand about being a parent and parenting until you have at least 2 children. This is not a derogatory statement, nor a put down. Its not meant to be little those with 1 child or say that their experience is not a credit to being a parent. 1 child can be exhausting, trying, challenging and create that "momma bear" feeling just as much as someone with 5 or 6 kids. However, there is though a difference. Until you have more, you won't understand it, and I can't explain it in a way that will ever help you to see it. Especially since just saying that, will most likely cause your "Momma Bear Syndrome" to flare up. haha

Fourth, you can read 100 books, have a Doctorate in Childhood Development, have worked with children 50 years and STILL you will not know how everything about children. This is a lesson parenting multiple children will teach you. Many moms I know with multiple children in fact, require their Pediatrician to have raised several children in order to be their childrens doctor. The reason for this? Raising children will without a doubt teach you things books, education and working with other peoples children will NEVER teach you! The biggest thing it will teach you, not all children, actually most children will at one point or another be an scientific anomaly. Children at just tiny people, they are 100% their own person and will do things that do not fit into an average, a box, a mold, or scientific findings. Children are just as complex as adults if you sit back, stop telling them what they are supposed to be, or how children are supposed to grow, you will see this, parenting will teach you that.

Fifth, no matter how many children you have had, no matter how long you have parented, you will still be learning, and discovering new things about children. Think about it, we face things today in parenting that our parents or their parents before them never faced. These things change everything you know about parenting and will continue to do that with our children when they raise their family.

My favorite lesson in parenting as I am a soon to be mom to 4, is that parenting will make you CrAZy! Not by the definition of Loco, but rather the psychosomatic, often defined as "Momma Bear Syndrome" definition. To 99% of parents this is not news. What I would like to instead point out though is the understanding of this has levels. Just as the understanding of what it means to be, or just HOW being a parent has levels as well. 

With my first son I can remember being protective of him and having this feeling from time to time. Going into the birth of my 4th, I feel as though I wake to the feeling of... how do I say, sleeping with one eye open. It's as though not only is that feeling lurking and ready to come out in full force at any moment, it is always somewhere in me at different intensities. I have talked with many moms who have had several kids and most will say the same. That as your children grow and are at all different levels and most of the time different places, you feel as though you can not rest. You can not for a moment let your defenses down. Funniest thing about this feeling, is that it is a good feeling, a feeling that is associated with love for those kids. Protecting them, standing up for them, and standing by them, allowing them to grow but being ready to step in at any moment when they need you is bar none one of the best feelings that only comes from watching these children grow, from the understanding of what your smaller children will soon grow to be, as you have seen it in your older children.

You can tell a first time parent, "when you meet this child and hold them for the first time, you will experience the most profound love you have ever felt, you will instantly feel a protective instinct that is beyond all others". But until they experience it on their own, they will not fully grasp it. Same thing goes for having multiple children. You can't explain to parents with 1 child how having multiple children only intensifies this feeling. With your first "your pregnant" you are so excited to be having a baby. You can't wait to hold and meet your first child. With subsequent "your pregnant" the love for the child is almost instant, the grasping for what is to come and the love you are soon to feel, and the anticipation for that is heightened. Watching your already born child(ren) play or holding them will stir a love for your soon to be child that again is indescribable at a understandable level.

I think these understandings are what for me, makes being a mom something that is so amazing. It is the reason I wanted to have a 4th child even though I already have each sex child. For me, its the love, the excitement, the learning, the wonder that comes with each child that I am so in love with. I don't think for me there is anything more amazing then being a parent, and creating a family. I look ahead into the future and think about having grandchildren, wow, how exciting will that be! I can't wait to play with them, to discover with them, and to learn from them. Every grandchild will be the most amazing gift, just as my children are the most amazing gift. I am not a grandmother (Captain Obvious here lol) so this is just a guess, and I am sure it isn't the same for all, but, I can only assume, you have a sense of pride and "momma bear" with the birth of each grandchild. That with the birth of each grandchild you still have a sense of wonder and amazement.  I spoke to a grandmother of 18 and great grandmother to 5 who told me that she still gets just as excited for each birth as she did the first because each one is a new person... She also has 8 kids herself and said each one was so exciting for her in its own way. I felt so happy after talking to her. I feel the same way towards kids, I just love my family and can't wait to experience so much with them and see what Kevin and I's love will create!

So why did I call this "My experience in parenting"? Because I am sure many moms will experience different things from me, they will learn different lessons as again, their children are all different from mine. I don't have any idea what it is like to parent your children, just as you have no idea what it is like to parent mine. That is the very reason I started this by saying "children will make liars out of you", its sort of my disclaimer, "*clears throat*  I am about to spurt a bunch of lies" hahahaha

So yay for kids, yay for learning, yay for discovering, yay for Momma Bear Syndrome, and yay till later.