When You Decide To Have Children….
Looking back at all the former generations they all had children or procreated for different reasons. There was a time when families were much larger and stayed together on one farm. They had large families to CREATE financial stability. The more kids, the more workers, the more the farm or family business prospered. That was their life. They worked hard and had unity…one common goal. During the depression these families were hit hard and then it became about keeping enough food on the table and not losing the family business. I learned so much from my grandmother about this time in history. I loved her stories. To this day an elderly person will stop me in my tracks if I can hear a story from their time. It is FACINATING. And if you ever have the chance please take the time to listen. Not only does it make them happy to tell those stories but it teaches us so much if we choose to hear them and absorb it. (****This is my sweet friend from Tennessee, Jackie, how I miss her and her stories 🙂 )
Then time slowly changed and large families became rare. The time of “Suburbia” arrived with the 2.5 kids and the white picket fence. Possessions became a staple and started to define us so therefore parents started having less children to be able to afford them. The family dynamic in my opinion became more about a social statement than about procreation. Women were looked down upon if they couldn’t have a child or even if they chose not to have them…well, that had been the case for many generations but for different reasons along the way. We saw the rise of women fighting to enter the man’s world of having a career and being competitive in it. That alone began to change families, motherhood, and how we then and now define parenting.
Have you ever REALLY thought about how different parenting and families have become over just the last few generations? It’s mind boggling. There is really no one definition of it. Most of us were raised to believe that you find someone you love…you get married…you have children…work hard…grow old. Simple as that. But as we now see that was WAY left open to interpretation. Now we have, single Moms, single Dads, 2 Dads, 2 Moms, “Grandparent” parents, 2 working parents, no parents, etc. etc. I am not judging in anyway….let’s make that clear. I am a Christian and I believe what I believe and even if I don’t believe what you believe I love you anyway… until you hurt people, then I have to work on praying for you and forgiving you. But, the point I am getting to is no matter who you love or what you believe, what are our children to think, understand, or believe in? Traditional values are getting pushed away by Liberal mindsets…again not judging just feel as if there could be room for both with understanding and love. I feel if we don’t figure out a way to define all these family dynamics and\or learn to co-exist as a “human” dynamic of love and tolerance, we cannot possibly expect our youth to function and thrive as they grow up and begin to try to make their own ways and own decisions on how THEY will form their own families.
We have gotten so far off into a “do whatever you want or feel like” mentality that we have lost all structure and there are no guidelines for our children to follow. CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS NEED LOVE, STRUCTURE, DISCIPLINE, AND CONSISTENCY. I will say it til the cows come home!!!! Again, this is my opinion but a formed opinion from LIVING it. I feel like I’m old enough now to share advice because I’ve been through a lot for a lot of years and I will tell you no matter what you believe I made it through it all with God. I am so thankful I had Him. From a very young age I had a very strong relationship with God and I don’t know why but I would have hated to see what would have become of me if I didn’t.
I come from a family of major dysfunction, 2 divorces, and plenty I could write an entire book about… but I won’t get into details out of respect for the people involved. I grew up saying to myself, “When I grow up and have kids they will be loved, put first, and will always know I have their back…and I will MAKE SURE they have respect and love and whatever discipline and sacrifice it takes to make them good citizens…and they will LOVE Jesus!!” I promise you…it was my one goal. I wanted to be a wife and Mother. I think it was fueled by me wanting to show my parents how to do it right! I NEVER wanted my children to feel what I felt. I spent so much of my childhood not feeling loved or protected and I cannot tell you in words what that feels like but I can tell you I will never forget that feeling…never.
Now I didn’t always go about things the right way…I got married way too young, didn’t prepare myself with skills or education for a time when God forbid I had to become the breadwinner, and I have made many mistakes along my 35 year parental and marital journey. But, I have always believed a mistake is only a mistake when you don’t learn from it or make the best of it….and for goodness sake don’t repeat it!!
We did wait 3 years after getting married to start our family. I pretty much have to “cookie cut” everything. I HAVE to accomplish A-B- & C before I can attempt D. I didn’t want to have baby number one until we bought a house…and that’s what we did. We moved in our first house (loved that house) during the 5th month of our second pregnancy (we had a miscarriage with the first 😦 ) and we were sooooooooo excited! I had to have EVERYTHING done, set up, and tidy before that baby came….and it was. Those of you who know me probably aren’t surprised and are having a chuckle right now. 🙂
Every time I write I worry I will offend someone out there with my opinions and I apologize for that if I do. I just feel so strongly about some things and I write hoping it will make a difference to more than it doesn’t.
I watch all these young parents starting their families and I see joy and I see things that break my heart. I see everything from, overly attentive, spoiling parents to completely self-absorbed parents, to parents who have given up and just let the kids take over, to parents who are too hard and expect way too much, to parents who do this whole “free range” thing to.. you name it. It’s all over the place….and I will tell you it’s taking it’s toll on our youth and how they will grow up and serve this world.
Our TV shows are a really good example. Just take a look at what shows don’t make it and what shows get the ratings. I remember as a kid we had WHOLE nights of family shows we could sit and watch and our parents didn’t have to worry about the content. I was so excited about Fuller House coming back. YES!!!! A family, sweet, good show to watch! Wow….was I shocked. It honestly isn’t appropriate for small kids, (in MY opinion). There’s partying, drinking, adult subjects, sexual innuendos and jokes that are not for kids. But…they fell prey to trying to get that bigger audience and bigger ratings. Every good wholesome show they come out with ends up getting cancelled. I couldn’t believe how long The Middle made it. Such a good show. Funny AND clean. It’s almost as if people NEED the extreme to be entertained now. Don’t get me wrong, I like good ADULT humor but why the CONSTANT profanity? It’s every other word. My ears start to bleed! Between this, the video game content, social media and a completely unfiltered world our youth doesn’t have a chance without guidance and a watchful eye. But…how sadly I fear most are not getting it.****READING!!!! Real books=Real Reading…let children continue to experience the smell, look ,and feel of a good book 🙂
These are just some of the examples of what our youth sees and is exposed to and has very easy access to. I believe kids have WAY too much freedom these days and it’s a recipe for disaster in this over exposed world we are now in. With most parents working outside the home at jobs becoming more and more demanding unfortunately you are seeing more kids home alone WAY too much. I’ve seen it at every age level and I am ASTONISHED! Ask yourself….in today’s world do you honestly think it’s wise to let a child the age of 12 or 13 stay home alone everyday all summer? WAY too much time on their hands. Way too much time to delve into all the things they have inappropriate access to. And the one thing I have learned about teenagers…we are raising our 4th one.. is you CANNOT trust them until they prove you wrong. Now I know a lot of you will disagree with me…and that’s ok….it’s what I have discovered the hard way. Do NOT blindly trust a teenager. They are wired to make stupid choices and they need us to control the environments they are put in. It is not wise to just let them go and do whatever and say, I trust my child to do the right thing, this world is honestly pushing them and pumping stuff in their brains every day to NOT do the right thing. BECAUSE… NOW the WRONG things are idolized as the RIGHT things and they are more and more tempted to follow suit. I consider raising kids as a battle….survival of the fittest. As I stated in my introduction it has become harder and harder to discipline and stand up for the rules you want your kids to follow. I feel the majority of parents have just given up. They are tired and overworked and just don’t have the energy to deal with it. It’s a sad state of affairs that parents can’t parent because they have to work and work way too much and there is usually not a parent home to keep a watchful eye. ****My beautiful young Grandma ready to start her life as a Wife and Mother… would love to go back to that time and hear what she’s thinking 🙂
Then there is the new definition of a Mom. Don’t kid yourself…it has definitely been redefined. Think about when you were a kid…didn’t Grandmas LOOK like Grandmas???? My Grandma looked the same for 30 years and she was beautiful. She never felt the need to get plastic surgery or a facelift or a gym membership or to wear a bikini until she was 65! She was the most energetic, hard working woman who was fit and healthy and did it by helping others, gardening, walking, and keeping her house and yard in order. That sounds like a list of all the things we now don’t have time for. Mmmmmmmm??????? That sure makes ya think doesn’t it? There is such a debilitating pressure on women to stay the same after they have kids. Keep the same body, the same social life, the same hobbies, AND to work a demanding job, keep your mate happy, wear the latest fashion, keep your house clean and decorated, and don’t forget to log it all on social media…..ya know, portray that image that its all perfect and you have it ALL under control, and ooooooo yeah…BE A MOM. Do you see the difference from then to now? Another example of how change didn’t make things better. When things get overwhelming SOMETHING has to give and when you dissect this situation what do YOU think has suffered from it? Our youth….and I don’t see how you can deny it.
As Mother’s we have a role. It’s different than a Father’s but they are both very important. God made us the nurturers and men the providers. I know how basic and barbaric that sounds but that’s how it all began. Why do you think Mom is always the first one to hear the baby cry in the middle of the night? We were wired that way. Men’s brains were wired to sleep to rest to prepare for the next work day we are the opposite. We wake up because we were made to nurture the children. Again, sounds crazy and not the way of today but I think an interesting fact.
So with all this pressure to be a modern day woman/Mother most are just exhausted trying to keep up with it. Because remember???? We CAN have it ALL!! I don’t agree. And trust me I know a lot of you do and would love to show me proof but this is what I have not only experienced but seen first hand. I have a pretty firm philosophy to back my opinion. This, and how our newly defined roles as parents are affecting our children, our society, our family life and especially the state of our schools I will leave for Part 2.
Thank you for reading 🙂
Until next time,
Created with love by:
Char Head 🙂