Tag Archives: rearing

From a Non-Parent to Parents

Note:  I know I said I would post wedding photos last night…but it just didn’t happen.  My apologies.  They will be up here eventually.  I swear it (do you trust me?).

But I did want to discuss this whole parenting thing again.  I know I went through a whole series on raising my youngins.  In my head, I have a clear picture of what I think is important in raising childrenwhat I will do, what I want do, how I want them to behave.

But the truth is this:  I am not a parent.  As desperately as I would love to be one right now, it’s just not in the cards until Mike gets here and I get married.  But I came across this gem of an article called “Apologies to the Parents I Judged Four Years Ago”.

In the article, Kara Gebhart Uhl talks about how she said she would use cloth diapers, and how she judged folks who let their kids watch Nick Jr. all day and fed their children McNuggets.

Here’s an excerpt:

Pre-children: I was going to cloth diaper.
Post-children: I did with my daughter, sort of, but not with my twins.

Pre-children: No TV until age of 2 and then only 30 minutes a day.
Post-children: Ha.

Pre-children: Only organic, healthy, homemade food.
Post-children: My kids love Wendy’s.

Pre-children: Public tantrums are unacceptable.
Post-children: Removal of the child is only sometimes doable; predicting when a tantrum is going to strike is often impossible.

Pre-children: Complaints about childrearing and its hardships annoyed me (this was your choice, no?) and saddened me (parenthood is supposed to be a wonderful thing!).
Post-children: Parenthood isn’t wonderful 100 percent of the time.

I was intrigued by this article for obvious reasons…but I felt so…opposite.

You see, I do judge parents (even as a non-parent) right now.  But I don’t judge them for the same things that Kara does.  I judge them for trying to feed children all-organic, all-the-time.  I judge the parents who don’t let their kids play in the dirt.  I get angry whenever they rush over to a kid who’s fallen lightly on his padded little ass and is obviously not hurt at all.

I judge parents for being unrealistic.  Maybe, just maybe, because of this, I won’t be so shocked when I have children.  I hope I don’t judge wrongly.  I probably do though.

You’re the parents…tell me.


Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Raising My Youngins


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Raising My Youngins’: The Basics for Boys

I love love love reading 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son, and I agree with the majority of them.  I love how specific they are, from “You can’t serenade a girl on the drums” to a Buddy Garrity quote:  “He loves football.  He just doesn’t know it yet.”

And while I am not that detailed, I thought I’d make a list of the basic things I know I will teach my son(s).  This may get long, and it may get more detailed, but hell, that’s just how I am.  I’m going to try to keep this away from the “how to treat women” side of things.

  1. Don’t hit girls.  (Broke my rule already.  This is the only one.)
  2. Dress for the occasion (hunting boots in the woods, suits in church).
  3. You can cry, but make sure it’s warranted.
  4. Don’t piss into the wind.  Or in front of women.
  5. Watch Indiana Jones.
  6. Go outside.
  7. Learn to hunt.
  8. Learn to fish.
  9. Learn to work on cars.
  10. Tell the truth.
  11. Don’t put yourself in situations you know you can’t get out of safely.
  12. Play baseball.
  13. Climb trees.
  14. Wrestling on TV is not real.
  15. Always come home when someone is sick.
  16. Read a book once in awhile.
  17. Always bring at least a 6-pack.
  18. Spiral a football–don’t just throw it.

Aaaand I’m tired, and am ready for the weekend.  So have a great Memorial Day Weekend!  See you Tuesday!


Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Raising My Youngins


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Raising My Youngins – Falling Down

It is inevitable that children will fall down.  So will adults, after many brewskis or tequilas or broken hearts.

But there are different levels of “falling.”  Sometimes you fall out of a tree and break your leg.  Sometimes you fall down and just scare yourself.  Either way, I will deal with my children in a composed manner.

I never want to be the mother that hard-chargers her kid every time he plops down on his diapered butt while learning to walk.  Now if he smashes his head into an end-table, I’m there.

I spent Saturday night at the park with Mike’s family and friends in Pennsylvania.  I watched the boys play basketball (Mike included) and I watched the kids played on the jungle gym.  And it was freaking darling.  Of course I was also holding an infant while I was watching all of this, so my ovaries were in full-on nuclear meltdown.  I started playing, too-helping kids climb up the slides (why do they love to do this so much?) and letting kids hang from the monkey bars, my arms always waiting to catch them (I’d put the infant down at this point).

And one little girl fell on her butt, and another rolled around in the grass until she rolled onto the blacktop and hit her head.  And both of the kids were perfectly fine-not hurt at all.  Just scared.  I must commend their mothers and fathers and siblings and everyone else for the way they responded.  They told them that they were okay.  They didn’t get up and run.  And because of that, the kids didn’t cry.  I am so proud that they are raising tough little kids.  Stand By Me kids.

I’m so excited to raise children who will face the world without tears in their eyes.


Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Raising My Youngins


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GUEST POST: Jenny P’s Version of Raising Youngins

As you all know, Jenny P is a friend of mine.  In fact, I’ve written her an ode.  Upon discussing our child-rearing plans through email, Jenny did not disappoint me.  She wrote this (with my asides in italics):

Shoot dang, you got me rolling. Here’s my top ten as of now.  My kids shall . . .

  1. Love animals – screw the scared kids. Buncha wimps!  (As a child who was afraid of dogs, I agree.  Buncha wimps.  Teach kids to not be scared of dogs and other animals.  Just teach them caution.)
  2. Speaking of wimps – my kids will have the ability to “shake it off” – my kids will be tough, meaning, they’ll know the difference between getting hit hard with a tennis ball (shake it off) and falling out of a tree, breaking a bone (valid pain – let’s go to the hospital)
  3. Be much more interested in playing outside than playing on a computer or watching TV (Ahem-eating dirt.)
  4. Be capable, creative, and resourceful – Their swing set breaks? They find rope and set up a tire swing. They spot a raccoon? They rig up a trap to catch him (of course this will worry me if I find out about it because raccoons carry rabies and can bite, but I will appreciate the creativity and drive).
  5. They will question everything. Why does it hail when it’s not even cold? Why do the worms come out after it rains? How could one guy really build a boat big enough to fit two of every animal, and why wouldn’t the animals all have eaten each other? How, if Adam and Eve were the only two people on Earth at the beginning, did there get to be so many people now? (Jenny, please catalogue your answers so that I may use them in the future.)
  6. They will see the magic in things – lightning bugs, dandelions, thunderstorms, rainbows (And they have to want t0 lick the moon.)
  7. They will play well with others and be on many sports teams. You can’t beat sports teams for building an appreciation of unity, teamwork, and toughness.
  8. They will all know how to throw a spiral.  (A requirement.)
  9. Be confident in their intelligence and appearance.  Looks are not important – understood – but confidence is. I’ll let them know they’re smart and beautiful so they can worry about the other stuff.
  10. Dance. They will dance, and they will sing. It doesn’t matter if they have rhythm or can carry a tune. Dancing and singing promote joy.

Kid looks like a dandelion...

Upon being told that I would post her list to my blog, she wrote the following:

Some of your people aren’t going to take kindly to me calling their kids wimps.  Does this make me sound nicer?

I will raise my kids the rough and tumble way. They will fall down and hurt sometimes, and so will I. But we will also get up, shake it off, and dance. I will have fun with my kids and raise them to be fun. I want to be my kids’ best friend. I will discipline them, yes (I freaking hate whiny kids who think they rule the world), but I don’t want to merely occupy the role of dictator in their lives. I want to also be part of their fondest memories. Remember that time Mama Jenny checked us out of school, bought us big bags of M&Ms, and drove us to the beach for the day? Just because she said it was a “windows-down, road-tripping kind of day?” Yep. Those are the kinds of memories I want my kids to have of me. I also want them to grow up loving nature, loving each other, seeing the good in people and the world, and loving to learn. I think people who are blessed with the thirst for knowledge have overall happier, more interesting lives. So I will not make my children pick their passions and their interests at an early age – I will let them explore and discover them as they come. Mostly, I just want my kids to be happy. And the only way to be happy is to be happy, I think. I don’t think happiness is the result of anything – sure you can eat chocolate cake and be happy or win a million dollars and be happy – but I think that happiness has to have been in you anyway or else it will be a fleeting thing. So I will raise my kids to find happiness every day, whether it is a good day or not. Never go to bed on anger, my dad always told me. I will see that and raise it one to “never go to bed not happy.” I almost always wake up happy. And I want my kids to too.

Pretty glad my kids will have an Aunt Jenny.  🙂  Love you, Bingo!


Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Raising My Youngins


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GUEST POST: Erica D’s Version of How I Will Raise My Kids

Regarding the responses to my parenting blogs, I thought I’d ask some friends to write guest posts.  Erica is a former student of mine from my time in North Carolina.  She is also a writer, and a do-gooder, and a great person.  Anything I’m commenting on in this series is in italics.  🙂  Thanks, Erica!

So I was asked to write a blog about how I thought to raise my kids a few days ago and I’m honored to be asked by such an awesome blogger with whom I share a name. For the past two years, I’ve worked with people with mental disabilities. And for the past two years, I’ve worked with the same individual at my job and despite what you might think, its kind of like taking care of a kid in its own special way. I have to take the individual to the doctor, make sure he has lunch, correct him when he has done something wrong, make sure he’s taken care of when I’m out of town or sick, and the list goes on. I also take this person to the YMCA because he likes to swim and of course there are a bunch of munchkins running around. So I’ve had a lot of time to pay attention to parents and kids and the way they interact with each other. And I’ve came up with my own mental list of how I plan to raise my offspring! So here’s a list of 10 things I plan to do when I pop my kid out:

1. My kids will know who God is. They will be raised in church. What they decide to do when they’re 18 is a different story, but they will know who their Heavenly Father is.
2. Breastfeed (Don’t say “ew” or – it’s a natural thing and much better for your baby),
3. You know when you see mothers  in other countries carrying their child in big cloth blankets around their shoulders? Yeah, that’s my plan. Much more cheap and motherly, in my opinion.
4. Like Erica, I’m going to let my kid eat dirt. It’ll be okay. They won’t die.
5. My kids will not know what a “fast food” restaurant is. Chick-Fil-A will be a treat, but that’s about it.
6. The punishment will match their crime. Thanks, Harden Rives, for this beautiful insight. Ha!
7. TV will be kept in the living room for family time.
8. I will push my kids to be the BEST they can be. I will support them no matter what.
9. Their grandparents will play a role in their upbringing.
10. My husband will do the spanking. 🙂 Ha.

I realize these may seem outrageous…especially the fast food one. But hey, fast food is not good for you and if they don’t know how it tastes, they won’t miss anything. The most important is that my kids will be raised in a home that knows who God is and the purpose He has for their life.

Also, my kids will laugh their whole life. Because I plan to be the silliest, most awkward, most coolest mom EVER!

The End.

Very glad my kids will have an Aunt Erica.


Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Raising My Youngins


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Raising My Youngins-Playing In the Dirt

Even though my ovaries are in a constant state of glow these days, I’m pretty thankful that I do NOT have children yet.  I mean, I see how much stuff costs…not to mention I’ve been looking at a $700 purse on eBay.    Don’t wig out on me, I’m not gonna buy it.

But I also get to learn from those around me who are having children.  I like the way my parents raised me, but I was never aware that I was being raised, so I didn’t really pay attention.  Now I look around and see parents (my friends and strangers) raising children.  Sometimes I think, “BRAVO!  Now that is great parenting!” Other times, it’s, “Note to self:  Lord have mercy, please don’t ever let me think to do this to my child.”

NOTE TO YOU:  Before you start defending your parenting techniques to me, DON’T.

So then I stumbled across this blog called Rules for My Unborn Son and I thought, “BRAVO!”  I’d like to do that!  Or at least discuss it so that people might change my mind.  Occasionally now, I will post about how I will raise my children.  And today, the post concerns DIRT.

I say let them get dirty.  Let them play in mounds of dirt.  H*ll, let them EAT dirt. It’s freaking fun, and you can do so much with it!  Draw in it, make mud out of it, throw it at each other.  Dirt’s a FREE easy toy, and kids look darn cute covered in it.  Who cares about the mess–they’re having fun.  I had plenty of fun in the dirt–digging to China for instance.  Also, there’s no better track for Matchbox cars than dirt, and nothing can cool you on a hot day like slapping some mud on your forehead.  Not to mention that sometimes, it tastes good.  My God, if dirt feeds anything, it’s the soul!

For the longest time, even before I did this research, I figured that dirt was healthy.  How is it now?  Everyone preaches about exposing their children to “natural” things and “organic” things.  Well how much more organic can you get than dirt?  Yeah, I know there’s stuff in there that’s not totally natural, but GET OVER IT.  There’s stuff in EVERYTHING that is not totally natural.  Let them eat dirt.

Some say kids who play in dirt are less prone to diabetes.  Others just insist that it’s good for ’em.

“So let your child be a child. Dirt is good. If your child isn’t coming in dirty every day, they’re not doing their job. They’re not building their immunological army. So it’s terribly important.”

Letting kids play in the dirt, Hill pointed out, is the first of five immune-system-building steps parents should take for their kids.

Next, “absolutely” wash using regular soap, not the antibacterial kind. “This is one of the (reasons) I suspect I’m not going to be getting a Valentine card from the sellers of antibacterial washes!” Ruebush remarked.

I totally agree.  🙂  I’m ahead of my time–or behind on it.  All I’m saying is that most of us today got here b/c our parents weren’t yanking us out of mud piles and dousing us in Anti-Bacterial stuff.  We got here and we’re strong because we lived in the world, and didn’t try to avoid it.

CHEERS!  You dirty little freaks.


Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Domesticity, Raising My Youngins


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