Trust your parenting decisions

As we get closer to summertime, I am seeing more posts on social media and blog posts about what to do with the kids over the summer.  Some parents put them in day camp, some parents leave them home, some parents have friends watch them, some parents have no idea what to do…..

And, unfortunately, when I hear parents talk about what they are doing with their kids, be it allowing them to watch certain tv shows, read certain books,  watch certain movies, I also see something else happening:  Judgement from other parents…..  and then I see the parents who are being judged do one of two things…..either they just keep talking, like they didn’t notice the judgement, or they apologize, and start explaining why they made that decision as a parent.

As if they somehow feel the need to apologize for making a decision they feel is best for their own kids.  Concerned about being judged by other parents as “too conservative” or “holding them back””, or “hiding your head in the sand”.  Then there is the other side of the coin.  They might be judged for being “too permissive”, or “too liberal”.  so the parents feel they have to explain why they DID allow their children to read a book, see a movie, go to an event, start dating, wear makeup, etc etc etc…the list is endless……

They worry about judgement for seeming too “permissive” or not caring about the scars their kids might get from the message of the books or the violence. Or the worry about seeming too conservative” and sheltering their child(ren) from the “harsh reality” of life.

I have a difficult time with both of these points of view.  Not because I think there is a correct age or time for a child to see a particular kind of movie or read a particular book, or date, or wear makeup, etc etc etc. The problem I have with those two trains of thought is WHY the parents even feel the need to explain their decisions to every one else.

I feel bad for the parents who feel they need to justify and explain their actions to others. Maybe they are new parents, maybe they are first time parents, maybe they are just insecure….there could be a million reasons why they are unsure of their parenting decisions.  Parenting is HARD!!!!   There is no manual, and most of the time we are just flying by the seat of our pants, having NO CLUE what we are doing.

I will say that I have made MANY MANY bad parenting decisions, and I have also made MANY MANY great decisions.  I have learned from the bad ones AND the good ones.    Parenting is full of mistakes and learning curves.  There is no manual that a person gets to help them when they become a parent, and even if you did get a manual with your first child, you would need to toss it in the trash when the second child comes, and the third, fourth, etc etc….  Each child is unique and what works for one child won’t work for another child.

For example, our oldest, (my stepdaughter, Katarina) doesn’t even acknowledge me as a parent, and refuses to even speak to me, so while that is an incredibly difficult situation it doesn’t take me off the proverbial “parenting hook”.  Her  mom is my partner, and we make decisions together….but my stepdaughter  doesn’t accept my decisions….it is complicated….   The three boys are completely different though.  Karol and I parent them together, and they understand that  we decide together and lets be real here…..Karol and I don’t always agree on what we are going to do…our parenting styles are very different…

And that is something else.  Parents are different from each other, and if you have more than one parent involved with raising a child, the parents sometimes need to talk about what to do, how to do it, etc, and parents don’t always agree with each other, so that requires discussion and compromise.  Parenting is the TOUGHEST job I have ever done.

 https://www.facebook.com/rusticpinedesigns

I used to feel as if I had to explain my actions and motives regarding my decisions about my kids, but not anymore!.  They are pretty awesome people, and I know that the only person that knows them better than themselves….. is me.  I know what makes them tick, what motivates them, what they are afraid of and what they want from life.  I know their hearts and most of the time I know their minds.

My point is that I want parents who are caring, trying their best, and just doing what they think is the right thing for their kids, (bio kids, adopted kids, step kids,god kids,  ANY kids), ….to own their decisions, and know within ourselves, that we do not need to justify or explain our decisions regarding our children to anyone besides our partners, ourselves and (sometimes) our kids.

So if you want your kids to see a movie or read a book, date, wear makeup, stay home from school, (or not), it is your decision to make.  If you think they should or should not attend a party or a school dance, or a movie or a football game, that is a parents choice as well. So decide, and own that decision knowing that you are always trying to do the best for your children. Trust your parenting decisions!

Found on momfabulous.com

Found on momfabulous.com

Silent Sunday

 

bailey and emmitt in the sun

 

 

 

 

 

Silent-Sunday

 

Menopause: My New Best Friend

I was born a woman, and have always been comfortable as a woman.  There are many ways to be a woman, and declare your “womanhood”.  Some women follow societal norms and portray themselves in the way that society and the media desires them to be, which is “feminine”, “womanly”, “compassionate”, “Nurturing”, and in most cases heterosexual.  Some women choose to be the antithesis of what the “norms” tell us to be, and portray themselves as “masculine”, “Butch”, “hard”, “lesbian”, and some women fall somewhere along the spectrum of these two.  Some women were born with male sex organs, and have never felt “right” as a male, and have gone to great lengths to make their physical bodies align with who they truly are.  There are many many types of women in this world, and in 2015, it is becoming more common for women to be allowed to express their gender in the way they choose with acceptance.  Unfortunately this is not the case for all women, but it is slowly getting better.

However, no matter how each woman chooses to express her gender, except for the women who were born with male sex organs there is one thing we all have to go through, and that is:

Menopause. 

hot_flashes

Menopause affects each woman differently, and at different times in their life, and for different lengths of time, but it still affects women who have female hormones.  Some women have hysterectomies because of health issues.  They can still experience menopause symptoms if they have their ovaries.  Menopause is defined as: the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months.  Now just to be clear, that is 12 months IN A ROW!!  Meaning if you don’t have a menstrual cycle for 11 months, and then have a cycle, the 12 month count starts all over again….

ain’t’ that a bitch???

But to be honest, even that isn’t the part that bothers me.  The part that bothers me is this:

Menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process. This transition period (Perimenopause) is a different experience for each women, and there are some websites I have read that state it can last as much as 10 YEARS!!!!

Oh, and this:

The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but perimenopause may occur as early as the 30s. What???

And this:

There is no reliable lab test to predict when a woman will experience menopause, or perimenopause.

Wait, what??  so with all of the incredibly smart people in the medical field, we have no way to know when this will happen to us, how long it will last, or even exactly how to treat it??

Of course some doctors will recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but not all women can, or want, to go that route.  For those who can’t or don’t want to use HRT, there really is nothing they can do except walk through perimenopause.

Here is some of what that walk looks like (some women experience some or all of these symptoms, or even others):

Mood swings- or as I call it, wanting to throat punch someone one minute, and being a sobbing mess the next minute.

Hot flashes- or as I call them, “personal summer”, and Karol calls them “Power Surges”

Insomnia- although  this makes me either very productive, or a person who can perfect her late night World of Warcraft skills

Lack of libido- this one sucks…….a LOT!!!  (or if you are hetero, I guess maybe it makes you suck less???)   sorry I couldn’t help myself…..

Night sweats- this one is fun.  Especially if you have a partner, and you don’t go to bed at the same time, because it is super fun to get into bed, and it feels as though someone wet the bed because the bed sheets are damp…..ewwwwww

So how does this stuff qualify as “best friend” stuff?

well, think about it, when you laugh with your best friend, sometimes you pee a little, and that is like night sweats,

and you might not love your best friend “like that”, so there is a lack of libido in the relationship,

and your best friend can really make you mad, and also really make you happy, sometimes during a single conversation: Mood Swings..

Insomnia?  How about all those nights staying up talking until the wee hours of the morning?????

Hmmm Hot flashes, okay, how about when you see a piece of eye candy, and you get a little flushed???  Yup, there it is

so let’s reevaluate Perimenopause, and think of it as our new best friend, one that can last up to 10 years!!!  I know I have had best friendships that have lasted for shorter time periods than that, so I guess, it works out!

So perimenopause is my best friend….is it yours??

C’mon ladies….amiright????

#womenslives