I just watched a wonderful interview about the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Organization. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to have this done when I delivered Nate. At the time I didn't think I wanted to have pictures at all. I know that sounds harsh, but I was just in such shock and denial. Thankfully, I said yes. I am forever grateful to Heather & Tracy for giving Bryant & I such an amazing gift. Not only do we have those precious memories of Nate but having these pictures really helped us process everything. It was a way of validating Nate's existence and by doing that, validating the pain and grief we were experiencing. If you don't know about this organization the video below does a great job of explaining there role during the loss of a infant.
Someone had posted this article on facebook today. I thought it was great advice! Please don't think I'm posting this because someone has offended me or down something to upset me. Honestly, I don't really get upset when people say the stuff that the article below talks about. I just know that I'm the minority when it comes to this subject. I know a lot of people who get very offended and hurt by certain comments and questions that come with not having kids.
First, I should say that I am 100 percent guilty of all of these. I know this reads as an advice list, but really it's advice I'm giving myself. The "you" I am addressing in this piece is me... unless it applies to you; then it is you.
I ran headfirst into this parenting thing, and have gladly and gratefully let it redefine me as a person. One unforeseen side-effect has been that I view everything through the lens of parenting. Sometimes that is a good thing. For instance, I don't leave steak knives lying around as much as I used to. Sometimes -- and this is what I've recently learned -- it can alienate my non-kid-having friends. Here are some things that are better left unsaid.
1. "Dogs are not kids."
It usually goes like this. "Ugh. You know what really bugs me? When so-and-so compares her dog to my kid. Or when so-and-so refers to his or her dog as his or her kid. Dogs are not kids! She has NO IDEA!"
You know what? Unless "so-and-so" needs professional help, I guarantee "so-and-so" knows that her dog is not a human child. She also knows that having a dog is nothing like having a kid. What she's really saying is "Oh! Yes. I also have something in my life that poops AND brings me joy."
She is trying to relate to you and be a part of your life -- the life where all you do is talk about your kids. I know that it's hard to relate when you have kids and your friends don't. What were once close relationships can become sporadic meet-ups where you do your best to try and catch up with someone with whom you have very little in common anymore. Sure, you two were best buds in college, but now you have very different lives. So, when "so-and-so" offhandedly, and perhaps awkwardly, tries to relate to your story about picking poo out of your bangs by comparing it to scraping dog shit out of the carpet, cut her some slack. She's just trying to be nice. And she misses you.
2. "You think you're [insert anything here]? Try having kids!"
Tired, stressed, in pain, covered in urine, it doesn't matter. They all apply. Too often, we parents downplay non-parents' concerns by pulling ours out and tossing them on the table. "Oh man! You worked 50 hours this week? Try doing that with kids!" "Oh man, you think your feet hurt from working outside all day! I've been chasing my toddler blah blah blahpunch me in the face, please."
It's not a competition. If, on a scale of 1 to Passing Out Awkwardly in the Shower and Waking Up When the Hot Water Runs Out, your friend is at a 7, and three weeks into your first newborn you were at a 9, that DOESN'T MAKE YOUR FRIEND ANY LESS TIRED.
It isn't that your experiences can't be a valid contribution to the conversation, but instead of a "my pain is more painful than your pain" approach, instead, try sympathizing. Why not try using your experience as a new parent to help instead of compete? Say something like, "Whoa! I bet you're tired. When I was tired after my daughter was born, I found that pouring coffee directly into my eyeballs was incredibly useful."
3. "Don't worry, when you have kids you'll..."
... not be grossed out by boogers, know who Dora the Explorer is, be happy... UGH. We've got to quit assuming that everyone is going to have kids. Some people don't want kids and choose not to have them. Some people really want kids and are trying incredibly hard to have them. Indicating to these people that having kids is the only way they will reach some higher level of understanding is both inconsiderate and rude. I don't know what the alternatives to these statements are. Maybe just cut anything that starts with "When you have kids..." out of your repertoire all together. It makes you sound like someone's mom, anyway.
4. "Is the party kid-friendly?"
Unless you and your friend have some previous communication on this topic about how your little one is always welcome, assume the party is not kid-friendly. Don't ask. If it were "kid-friendly" they would have invited you AND your kids, and mentioned the awesome playroom that they will have set up in the basement. By asking your non-kid-having friends if their party is kid friendly you are putting them in the really awkward position of either MAKING their party kid-friendly on the fly, or telling you that the party is NOT kid-friendly which, then, no matter how low-key the party was intended to be in the first place, pretty much requires that they now provide a steady supply of hookers and blow. Don't make your friends set up a kids' room, and definitely don't make them buy hookers and blow.
5. "My life didn't have meaning before I had kids!"
Another way to say this: My life was meaningless before I had kids. Another way: Life without kids is meaningless.
Look, I know this feeling. Sometimes it feels like all the worries I had before my kids were trivial. I understand the urge to convey that feeling into words. Don't do it. Your life may have a different purpose now, but your pre-kid life was an important part of your story, and your non-kid-having friends are a part of that. Don't dismiss that part of your life the way most people skip the foreword to a novel they really want to read. By dismissing the "before" as just a buildup to your kids, you are not only dismissing your friends, but you're also implying that their story has not started yet.
Lastly, if you have done or said any of these things, you don't need to apologize. Just stop saying them. Apologizing will make it worse. I apologized for one of these things, and it came out poorly. It basically sounded like "Oh, you poor, delicate, non-kid-having flower. I am sorry that I was so consumed in my awesome parenting that I was neglectful and dismissive of our friendship. Please forgive me."
There was no forgiveness needed. I hadn't harmed anyone, I'd just annoyed them. Forgiving me would have been like forgiving a fly for landing on you. So, I promise to try and be more aware of how I say things, a better friend and less of a fly.
My poor little blog has been feeling VERY neglected over the past several months. I really don't like how chaotic and crazy our life has become. I keep telling Bryant that my thirties are going to include a ton more relaxing and hopefully sleeping! Every time I sit down to write a blog post I get so overwhelmed with trying to write about all of the things I've left out. Oh well...it is what it is. This is a very short catch-up list of what we've been up to: - Summer is here and it's hot - very hot! - I am working two days a week at a hair salon & boutique that two of my good friends own. Bryant & I decided I needed something that would get me out of the house and away from the demands of TFAC . It's been challenging to add something else to my schedule but it's been to have some social interaction during the week. - We are still working on our master suite remodel. The saying "the cobblers kids have no shoes" is so true. In my case it's "the home builder/contractor's wife has a punch list a mile long"! Bless Bryant's heart though, we haven't had a free weekend in months. The goal is to have it finished within the next month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and saying lots of prayers! - Bryant has a new job. I could write a whole blog post on this but I don't have time today. This opportunity/position feels like it was tailor made for him. He is a managing a new Auburn division of a construction company that is based out of Montgomery. I am so proud of him. It's such a joy seeing Bryant so happy and excited about his career. - We just got back from a week long trip with our family. It was great getting to see all of my nephews & nieces (I love love love Aunt CC time!). I'll end this blog post with some pictures from the last couple of weeks.
I've had the hardest time blogging lately. I had set a goal to blog every day in the month of February. That didn't happen.
B and I are stuck in the madness of working ALL the time and not having much time for anything else. I am so blessed to have a business that is doing so well. I'm just not sure how much longer I can keep up with the pace of it all and the insane workload.
I have some exciting opportunities in the works right now. I'll give details when I have more info. Exciting and Scary at the same time.
A very quick recap of our February:
- We attended and watched a ton of Auburn basketball. (Not a good year for AU basketball)
- Dawson & Ellie Kate turned 1!!
- Auburn baseball has started. We will now be crossing over from basketball to baseball. (Hopefully our baseball team will be better than our basketball team)
- We spent countless hours working on our bathroom, bedroom and closet remodel. We are now referring to the master suite as "The Money Pit". The joys of home ownership. There were several things that had to be done and that's taken away from the fun stuff I was hoping to do. One of these days I'll have pictures to post!
- I got to go with B & Gwen (Bryant's co-worker and a great friend of ours) to Chateau Elan for the Southern Living Custom Homebuilder Expo. Chateau Elan is located north of Atlanta. It is such a beautiful resort and winery. We had a great time!
- Insomnia has caused many sleepless nights. I did sleep for almost 5 hours last night...that's a huge deal for me lately!
I really can't believe that tomorrow is March 2013. I'm still writing 2012 on everything.
I didn't realize how difficult it was going to be to find time to blog every day! I know I'm several days behind. I did say that I would "try" to blog every day in the month of February!
My day has been full of sanding, painting, staining, returning emails, sending invoices and a bit of cleaning. It has been a very busy day!
Tonight was "date night" for us! We went to the AU vs. UA basketball game. B is very thankful that he has a wife who loves sports & sporting events almost as much as he does! Anytime we beat our state rival (University of Alabama) it's a good day.
I promise that I will try to make my blog a little more interesting! It's been boring to me lately so I know it's been boring to you! ;-)
There isn't really much to blog for day 4. I've spent 90% of the day laying on a heating pad. The medicine I'm taking has made me somewhat of a zombie. I am hoping that I will wake up tomorrow and all of the kidney stuff will be gone!
I promise I'm going to blog about stuff other than kidney stones this month! I will finish this very short & very boring blog post with a picture of Dudley from today.
We really think he has no clue he is a dog and not a human.
He sleeps with a pillow. He has to have his blanket on him or he won't go to sleep.