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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NOT Thanking my Lucky Stars


     Sometimes, on the rare occasion regarding my children, I've been told "You're soooo lucky!" I like hearing that phrase although I admit as a mother of five children, including twins; it's not usually folk’s first reaction. Mostly people say things like, "Wow! Five? That's a lot!" or "Oh my!" Sometimes they don't say anything at all. Sometimes their eyeballs fall out of their head or they sort of spit out their drink. I don't go around announcing, "Look at me! I have five kids!” Instead I've noticed my friends or coworkers will use it as a way of introduction, "This is Stephanie, she has five kids! (witches!)


     I guess there are worse things to be known for - octuplets or taking my child to a tanning bed being two of them. 

     While I do indeed have more than the average number of children I also happen to be pretty stubborn. What that means is when I was thirty two years old with an eight, five, four year old and newborn twins I was determined that while I may be outnumbered, I would never be outwitted. 

     That's when I became serious about parenting. I read books and attended seminars on the subject. I collected data on all forms of parenting styles and worked out a method of raising kids that neither drove me insane nor broke the bank. A little over the top you say? Perhaps, but the way I saw it was not going to be known as the woman who, in the words of Mother Goose, "has so many children she didn't know what to do".

     Five kids were not going to rule me or run me down. I was the parent, the adult, and I knew I had only one shot at doing the mothering thing. I was not going to spend the next eighteen years with my fingers crossed hoping someday they'd leave the nest. Oh no! I was going to work and put in all the effort required to maintain a successful launch. 

     I did this, am doing this, with a two-pronged approach; I take care of me and I take care of them. 


     I need food, exercise, a social life and time to sleep in on the occasion weekend morning. I need coffee, a good book and comfortable shoes. I need all these things to be in tiptop shape. And believe me when I say parenting requires I approach it in my best form.

     Secondly, I take care of the kids. I provide healthy meals and limit screen time. I teach them responsibility and make them do chores. I put them to bed early and encourage them to find work. I make sure they, not me, do their homework. I teach them it's more important to be kind than almost anything else. I respect them and demand it in return. 

     These things are not easy! Nay, I am almost always in full on mom-mode, checking in on them, checking up on them, teaching and correcting any one or all five of my children. I invest almost all of my waking moments to physically and mentally taking care of them. So when someone says "All your kids got a good report card?" or "How do you get your kids to go to bed so early?" and then precludes the statement with "You're sooo lucky!" it really sort of burns me.

     We've got no magical blend of DNA here! My kids aren't good/smart/well behaved because I'm lucky! I've spent years investing into them. I've worked at establishing a healthy bedtime routine. I've labored to instill a good work ethic! I've lost sleep - ok, no! I have not lost sleep - who am I kidding? I pass out exhausted in bed at night. I'm too tired to lie awake worrying.

     The point is these kids of mine didn't fall out of the stork's blanket all precious. That's the testimony of all the hard work I've put it day after day. I'm not lucky! I've been doing time!

read to be read at yeahwrite.me     Parenting is without a doubt one of the hardest and most challenging jobs there are out there. Parenting well is darn near life threatening. It will suck every ounce of energy and life out of you if you're not careful. Luck, however, has pretty much nothing to do with it, if you ask me. Luck is for the Irish, shooting stars and four leaf clovers ... not parenting! Why? Because I'm the mom and I said so! That's why!




This article appears as a part of my weekly Practical Parenting series for The Daily Review Atlas also I'm hanging out with the YeahWrite group. I love them! Be sure to check them out!



Help a mother out .... how do you feel about this idea of "You're so lucky?"...


if you enjoyed please...

12 comments:

  1. AMEN. seriously.
    i know i only have one and she's only 2.5 (and i really am lucky to have her), but it steams me that i never get any credit for being a good parent. i'm not saying other parents are bad parents, i'm just saying that part of the reason she is so good, smart, funny, well-mannered/behaved, etc is because of her parents. that said, i'm not sure how things would be with 5 kids. ;)

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    1. thanks for visiting my blog! I was a little worried the piece would sound a little self congratulatory ... I'm not like that, really! I just know I'm putting in the work here - it's not necessarily luck we are where we are! Good luck with your kiddo! One. Five. parenting is parenting and it's all hard work! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. You're an excellent role model not only to your kids, but to other parents as well. Thank you!

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  3. I can't stand the 'you're so lucky' thing. I have three. We homeschool, so I'm with them a lot. My husband and I work really, really hard at raising them. It's not easy at all to raise good kids in today's world. It's not luck that I have great kids, it's parenting!

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    1. I know some folks who refuse to use the word lucky and use the word blessed. Either way, they don't fall out of heaven all good and sweet. Otherwise, what's the point of parenting? It is a job isn't it? Homeschooling? Good for you! I relish school! I need to send my Tribe to school! I love August. ha!

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  4. I love how you managed to perfectly say something that has been on my mind!
    Until we win the lottery, luck has NOTHING to do with anything in our lives, be it my children's behavior or any of our belongings. It is constant hard work.
    You have said it very well!

    Dawn
    (Swinging through from the Challenge Grid this week)

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    1. Thanks for "swinging thru". I love yeahwrite and am so thankful for all the visits I get from the link up! Thanks for stopping but and I won't say good luck with your kiddos but I will send you good wishes for a hard job done well! Hang in there!

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  5. You are so right - parenting IS the hardest. When yo try to do it right it takes a lot of time and patience.

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    1. a.... yes! Hard work. Patience. Time. I don't always and will be the first to say that I don't ALWAYS do it well. But I am doing it. Working and practicing patience! So. Much. Time. And. Effort.

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  6. Sounds like you've got it all together. Parenting is not only the hardest thing to do; it's the most important. I wish more parents realized that.

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  7. I agree. My work motto in the preK is borrowedd from Parents As Teachers; Parents are a child's first and most important teacher"

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