You should have done this…
I did it this way…
I always heard…
You’ll regret doing…
My child’s Pediatrician told me this…
I read this is the best way to…
My friend said this is the only way to get through…
OVERWHELM. That’s the only word to describe the massive influx of opinions that people will not bat an eye to give you when it comes to all things raising our babies. Whether those opinions are wanted or unwanted people are going to give them to you. For the most part, they mean well.
As a Mom of a, way to quickly approaching young lady, it really does take a village. That doesn’t mean that any of us are exempt from the opinions, and judgements, of other Momma’s. Even our OWN Momma.
Parents want their kids to have good morals, be kind, compassionate, smart and strong. I didn’t understand how early on we begin to instill these things into them. It starts by leading by example and teaching them how to become that person.
A few months before my daughter was born I was terrified that I would not get that “mother’s instinct” that everyone said I would. People would say anything and everything to reassure me that it just happens. My, how I prayed that was true during those last few months. They were right, though. All those good hearted women. Bless them.
When my little was out of the toddler years it became very evident that God gave me the child that He knew I needed. She asks BIG questions and thinks on a deeper level than I ever thought possible. Answering some of her questions requires me to dig deep into my heart and soul and talk to her like I am talking to my very best friend, sometimes.
She has asked about death dozens of times over the years. I still cringe when she asks even though I feel like we’ve covered it all! She asks questions like, “why do people bury people that are dead, isn’t that a waste of land?” “How does our soul get out and get to Heaven?” “How does it feel to drown?” “Who is God?” “Why did my fish die?” “When will my Grandma die?” “Will I be alone in the world when you and Daddy die?” “What is a period (at 5 years old)?”
Lying is hard.
Even making the truth “super-kid friendly” is hard.
A piece of advice I was given by her Pediatrician (whom I am forever grateful to) was, “if they are old enough to ask the question, they are old enough to hear SOME version of the answer.” When children start asking questions, it seems like the why, why, why are never ending. Most of the time, are we giving enough explanation to satisfy their curiosity? Or, are we giving just enough to stop the question and let ourselves off the hook from answering the really tough ones?
We tell the truth.
Even when it’s hard.
Even when she may not understand.
Even when I fumble because I don’t know how to tell her why a child would tell her that she doesn’t have to love her Mommy and Daddy if she doesn’t want to.
As a society, we have become consumed with the belief that we need to protect our children from EVERYTHING. We could try that, sure. But what happens when they are all grown up and pushed off into the world? The world we’ve tried to bubble wrap them from? Nothing good. Nothing. Sheltering them from the truth, even the harsh truths are doing our children a disservice. We are short changing them.
The world they are going to inherit is preparing itself for them.
We are supposed to be preparing THEM for the WORLD.
The power of talking.
The power of conversation.
The power of communication.
Break the cycle, one question at a time.