Tag Archives: parenting

I Had the Best of Intentions

When I decided to send my two oldest to school, I figured it was simply time. I had this great, philosophical attitude about the whole thing. I taught them our values, I taught them Church teaching. Heck, I immersed them whole-heartedly for the past 15-13 years in what we believe. It’s now up to my kids to take those values and teachings and decide for themselves what to do with them. If I am lucky, they will embrace them. Or maybe they will fall into step with what everyone else is doing, and come back to them later in life, as many people do. Or they may simply reject them.Fact is, I have done is all I can do. I can’t dictate their feelings and I have desire to control them.
They of course are still children, and just because I put them in public school, doesn’t mean I am throwing in the towel. It just means I simply do not have the same amount of control as I used as to what they are exposed to. I actually think that is a good thing. It is one of the many reasons I decided it is time for them to go. I do not want them to be faced with people problems when they are away from home, and do not have family support to fall back on.
Before I go on, let me state, these are my reasons for my children, right here and now, where we are in our lives. This is not a formula I think every good Christian parent needs to follow. Every situation is different, every parent is different, every child is different. All this is is me reflecting (ok, blathering…whining) about stuff on my mind in regard to current choices I have made in my very hormonal state (hence my need to work things out in writing)
So, here I had this great philosophical attitude that shaped my judgments. Why is it then the first time a teacher starts his anti-Catholic rhetoric, I start to panic? I mean it is expected, it’s popular intellectual thinking, how the Church ruined the world throughout history. How the Church kills people with Humanae Vitae. How the Church is made up of misogynists because they preach against abortion. When I thought about it, I was ashamed of my own answer: the teacher was telling my daughter her parents are wrong. I want to say because “he is misleading kids” and other more altruistic answers, which I do feel, but the heart of the matter is I was insulted. This is my culture and he is dissing it. He probably has no idea. Just like all the Albany priests say they cannot preach about abortion, contraception, divorce from the pulpit, because you might insult someone, I have a feeling it didn’t occur to this teacher that there might be a child of a practicing Catholic family in his classroom who embrace Catholic teaching right down to the no-divorce/no-contraception teachings. So after my own personal revelation, I decided, (like hopefully sane people usually do) get over myself, to stay my course and move forward.
I think, as it turned out I had very little to worry about as as my daughter is concerned. My daughter came home that afternoon with more questions about what she learned in history that didn’t seem “quite right’. She said she learned about the Western Schism and that the purpose was to make money and persecute Protestants, which didn’t sit right with her. She also wanted to know how it would play out today, who would be the “real” pope-the one in Rome or in Avignon. I have to admit, the little I learned on the schism always confused (and gasp, bored) me, so I told her to call my father.
Do you remember when Jeff Miller said “scratch a dissident and you will find someone upset about some area of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality”? No exception here. I over heard her tell my father that the teacher complains a lot that he is divorced and feels birth control is necessary. She also said that she liked her global teacher, she loves how intelligent he is and that he was the only teacher to give her an assignment on the first day of school. She said she didn’t understand why he simply didn’t say “I made a mistake and that area of Church teaching was hard for me to follow”, but rather turns it into a long vent against the Church. When he starts his stuff on what’s wrong with the Church, it makes her doubt his intelligence, because he is plain wrong. She also said that it worries her that is she hears so much mythology day in and day out about what the Church teaches or what happened, she will no longer question it and try to seek out the truth-just simply take it at face value. My father told her the rule of thumb regarding Church history is, unless you understand the theology and what was going on at the time, you never get a full story of what happened and what truly motivated people. They are simply leaving holes in the story and making up the rest.
I thought my father gave good advice about Church history. And I thought I should pray for the teacher. Imagine how much of struggle his choices are that an otherwise intelligent man has to hold a captive audience of 15-year olds hostage to hear about his therapy. Sheesh, that’s what blogs are for.

Can Anyone Offer 1st Trimester Advice?

You know it’s funny, 15 years ago, after I had my first, I would have considered myself the go-to person for advice. I loved going to Mom’s groups and talking shop, being able to share my tidbits of information that I have learned with other new Moms in exchange for their pieces of knowledge describing things like how to get a shower each day. We would commiserate over the prospects of never seeing a movie again or what to do with a toddler in a restaurant (of course you pack a cooler full of healthy finger-foods and you walk around with them instead of sitting any enjoying your meal). Or we would offer opinions about the latest study that suggested you should never put footwear on a pre-walking baby, even in winter else you stunt their development due to sensory deprivation. Or how tofu was one of the best first finger foods to give. Ohmygosh, I don’t think I could have stood to be around me. I can’t imagine sitting around talking boring baby/toddler crap for more than 5 minutes, let alone picking up another issue Parenting Magazine to find out what I might have missed. You know, the rules are so simple: don’t give them raw meat (especially before they get teeth), get some vegetables into them, keep them clean, try to deter them from eating dirt and garbage and I don’t know, hug them as much as possible (seriously, that’s the most important).
In retrospect, I get it. Changing from not having children to having children is huge. People have no idea until they each do it themselves. Your life is totally turned upside-down and inside-out. With your first, if you were a person who dressed nicely and wore earrings, now you wear sweats because you never leave the house, are covered in spit up and earrings are gone because the baby pulls on them. Who knew? So it makes sense to think you learned a thing or two by undergoing this complete transformation.
Here’s the weird part: while I would have stepped forward with advice on how to get baby to sleep 14 years ago, today and 6 or 7 (I lost count) kids later, I’d be the first to admit I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. After 14 years of reading ,Dr. Sears, Dr. Brazelton, Dr. Mendelsohn, and Dr. Spock; subscriptions to Parents, Child, and Parenting Magazines (the last I have not renewed a subscription to in 6 years, yet I keep getting it with “This is your last issue” notices), you think I would have picked something up. (With the periodicals, the same advice gets recycled over and over again, much of it contradictory One month it will be “Well Baby Visits: Are They Necessary” and an article condemning parents who miss them as neglectful and 4 months later it will be “Well Baby Visits: How Necessary Are They?” stating that being late for one or two when a child is obviously healthy is not going to hurt anyone. 8 months later, it’s back to the original “a child’s life depends on well baby visits” article.) Seriously, of course I have, but every new child has both given me confidence and thrown my confidence for a loop. Every child is so different and some of the experience you gained from child #2, you might as well ball it up and throw it out because you will never need what you learned there again.
So here I am with pregnancy number 7 wondering if anyone would like to offer their 2 cents on how to survive morning sickness. People are probably thinking “Hey Lady, if you don’t know, who does?”, but I don’t think I have ever been this sick and dysfunctional before. Maybe I have been, and was so grateful when it was over that I never looked back. But this is hard! i have so much crap to do and I can only get one or two things out of twenty done before my body shuts down. I try hard to one more task, and I am paying for it big time with ten times the nausea. But for example, I have never been this sick with 6 kids, 3 of which eat adult value meals at McDonald’s and gas nearly $5 a gallon, therefore making blowing off cooking supper for one a financial impossibility. So you see, the rules are constantly changing.
And my kids, ohmygosh, what annoying little buggers! It never occurred to me how much I have to keep on their little behinds (and how much physical energy that exerted) to do their chores. Now I haven’t got the energy to do anything more than “Posco, clean the kitty litter, Posco, clean the kitty litter…” and of course that isn’t enough to ensure it gets done. And requesting for help beyond their regular chore roster only incites yelling at the younger one under them for doing nothing to help…yet nothing still gets done. One rule is no video games during the day, no TV until chores are done (during the school year, no games during the week period and TV for evening shows). Every time I turn around, these buggers are turning on games and the fight starts “No games until… (insert what needs to be done)” which elicits one of two responses: “Oh, ok, I didn’t know” or “Why not? That’s not fair!” Yet, after I yell a few times they win out because I am too queasy to keep yelling, I have a constant migraine, and my thoughts are constantly occupied with finding new ways of breathing without smelling anything in the world.
So any advice on dealing with morning sickness, tying up kids, getting boosts of energy with pregnancy fatigue, bending the wills of little people to do your bidding (mwoo ha ha ha), telling teenagers to just get dressed already, keeping a house running clean and smooth when you can’t get up and do anything, would be most appreciated.

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