Thursday, December 29, 2011

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome . . .


"Improvise, Adapt, Overcome" -Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway



I think everyone has some sort of "rules" stuck in their head before they have kids. You know, stuff that they will NEVER do when that little bundle of joy makes it's entrance into the world. Jun and I were no different and as he reminded me on my Facebook page we have essentially blown all of that out of the water. The above quote pretty much sums up my parenting style now that she is actually here. Theory and practice are two completely different animals.

Please allow me to publicly enumerate these rules:

1. Josephine will NEVER sleep in our bed - Yeah, as I'm typing this right now, she is fast asleep in my queen size bed. My poor husband has been sleeping on the couch for the past 6 weeks because she has decided that even though she WAS sleeping through the night, that just wasn't working for her and she needs to wake up at 4AM and then not go back in her crib. I think I see a King size bed in our future before the next one comes along. Someday I will sleep with my husband again, but for the sanctity of sleep we are living separate sleeping lives.

2. We will not keep a quiet house because she needs to be able to sleep through anything. - Dude, what the hell was I thinking on that one? That makes no sense. I mean if Jun or I were sleeping we wouldn't tolerate some random person coming into our house and making a bunch of racket. I'm still ticked off that our neighbors got surround sound in their tiny condo making it sound like a T-Rex is living next door to us.

3. I will only cloth diaper my little bundle of joy - Uh yeah. We only cloth diaper at home and I'll be honest there are some days when we don't even do that. Listen I love the new cloth diaper products out there. They are great and definitely not your grandmothers cloth and pins, but here's the deal: I'm busy. I've got a Beagle with diabetes and a thyroid issue, I've got a business that constantly needs my attention, I've got family and friends that would like to see me at some juncture. All this to say, I just don't have infinite amounts of time to be laundering diapers. I feel bad about the whole "polluting the earth" thing but at the same time I also feel bad when I'm stressed to a breaking point and snap at my family so sorry Mother Earth, you're gonna have to take one for the team.

4. Josephine will only have breastmilk! - Thus far she has only had breast milk but the little bugger is a hungry little fiend and she's growing at a rate that the Guinness World book might want to look into, all this to say my poor body just can't keep up. This week she will be starting to be supplemented with formula. Gasp! I know the lactivists are going to throw Medela cream at me, but listen I feed her, I pump, I even drink this weird Hippy tea that's supposed to stimulate more milk production and alas there is only so much going around. Enter my new friend Enfamil.

5. My Husband and Marriage will ALWAYS come before the baby! - This is one that pains me to write and I give much props to my long suffering husband. While I think I'm a pretty darn good Mom, I think I pretty much suck as a wife since this little bundle came into our lives. I don't think there is a Mom out there that would not willingly do anything for their child, but ah there is a catch. Remember that man that made this little bundle possible? The man that you chose to forsake all others for? Before Josephine came on the scene I really underestimated the great force with which I would love her. I didn't understand couples that were having issues with loving their spouses after the baby came along. Oh, now I do. This is the one rule that while I have blown it for the past 4 months I WILL NOT continue to allow. Jun is my partner, my best friend, and the one who will (God willing) still be here after Josephine and her siblings leave the nest. I don't want to wake up after 30 years of parenting and look over to the other side of the bed and think "Who is this person and do I even like them?".

When Mother Theresa was given the Nobel Peace Prize she was asked "What can we do to promote world peace?" Her answer was striking and one I take to heart: "Go home and love your family."

At the end of the day, the most important thing for me is that my family knows that I love them. That's it. I don't need them to know that I am extremely smart or witty or have a flair for interior decorating (which I don't) but that they are loved by me. That's it. If I have to break every single parenting "sacred cow" out there to let them know that, then so be it. Besides as the book title says, they make the best burgers!


5 comments:

  1. So funny! I have said many of those things would NEVER happen in my house also. You know, none of it really matters in the long run. For goodness sake, kids don't even remember anything from before the age of like 4- they won't remember if they were breast fed or cloth diapered, save your sanity, woman!

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  3. People used to ask me all the time (before Will was born) if I thought all of my years in youth ministry gave me any advantage as a parent. My answer was always, "Yes. I know better than to ever say my child will never..." Welcome to the club, Jen. The list will grow longer every day! Happy new year to you guys!

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  4. Hi Jen. I'm a new reader to your blog and found it through Carl (who commented above). I love your ending paragraph about loving your family! Thank you for sharing your heart. Kindest regards. And, it is nice to "meet" you. :)

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  5. Amy, you are totally right! Carl, I would like to have some sort of decoder ring for this new club I belong to. Brook, thanks for reading, it's nice to "meet" you too!

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