Category Archives: The More You Know…

Advice and lessons

That time that I was made to feel worthless…

(Image via Yahoo)

I’m not sure why I have to write this,

I don’t even know why or how this can still be a thing.

But I recently saw a comment regarding this topic on Facebook, so I guess it is, so here we go.

Let’s just clear this up right now: being a stay at home mom IS a job. According to Merriam-Webster, a job is:

  1. 1a :  a regular remunerative position *got a part-time job as a waiter *she quit her job :  a specific duty, role, or function *The heart’s job is to circulate blood.c (1) :  something that has to be done :  task *was given the job of delivering the bad news (2) :  an undertaking requiring unusual exertion *it was a real job to talk over that noise

Did you catch that?  Or did you just skim over it?  NOWHERE in the description does it say “only paid positions”.  It DOES say “remunerative” (meaning financially rewarding or lucrative), but it doesn’t say ONLY those jobs.  Actually, though, it also says “an undertaking requiring unusual exertion”, and if THAT doesn’t have “parenthood” written all over it,then I don’t know WHAT does.

Now, I get that many people ARE willing to admit that being a Stay At Home mom IS a job, but now that we’ve made sure to establish that, I want to address the latest conversation I saw on Facebook on the “worth of a stay at home mom.”  Someone chose to go off on one of those videos that gives a run down on what SAHMs do, what each of those jobs would cost, and then gives a grand total of what a SAHM would be paid in a perfect world.  This person took offense to that figure- apparently they get paid less than that “imaginary perfect world” number, and they needed to spout off their dissatisfaction at the ludicrousy of even the mere THOUGHT of a stay at home mom getting paid for each of the jobs they do every.  single.  day.

(Image via Yahoo)

But can I ask you a question?

Why?

Why would ANYone get offended at giving a WORTH to someone?  Why is it SO horrible to look at ALL that a stay at home does; take into account what it would cost for someone ELSE to do those jobs; and give a grand total?  To my knowledge, this video NEVER said that 1 job is harder or more important than the other.  Neither was it a call to action for all SAHMs to go on a strike (EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!).

Nope.  All that video was doing was giving stay at home moms, like myself, that sometimes get depressed, think their job isn’t important or that they’re failures or that they aren’t contributing to society -or their families- at all, and they’re saying,”See?  You’re worth WAY more than you give yourself credit for,”

I ask you- is that bad?  Does putting a worth on the job of a stay at home mom cause YOUR boss to say,”Well, this has made me see that I’m paying you WAY too much”?

Trust me when I tell you that I KNOW there’s envy and difficulties on both sides.  I’ve been the mom who had to drop my kiddo off at daycare, worked a full shift (sometimes overtime), cried that I was a horrible mom for leaving my child, picked my kiddo up, and then had to put on the “mommy hat”- and it was HARD.  All of it.  And now I’m the stay at home mom who can’t even hide in the bathroom, and tries to talk the ear off solicitors at the door just to have some adult conversation, and cries because she worries that she made all the wrong choices that day.  Its ALL hard.

I’ll never say that 1 job is harder or easier than the other.  Every job has its perks, and every job has its pitfalls.  My perk is that I get to be around my kids all day, every day.  Unfortunately, that’s also a pitfall.

Another thing, if someone STILL thinks that putting a worth on my job is stupid-

Do you ever say to yourself,”I’m worth more than they’re paying me”?  Have you ever demanded a raise?  Have you ever gone through  a performance review and gotten less than you thought you should have for the job you do?  How about this- do you ever scoff at foreigners that get paid in a different currency?

I know I don’t receive a paycheck.  By society’s standards, I’m broke, but this job I’m doing allows my family to be what it is.  Its not worthless just because my paychecks don’t get deposited in the bank.  I get paid in kisses, hugs, messy-handed high fives, pictures of dragons, rocks, bugs, and dandelions.  No, I couldn’t exchange any of that at the bank for cash, but the money we DON’T spend on a cleaning service, fast food, a chef, ride service, nanny, day care, etc., can certainly be pulled from our account and spent on other things we need.

One last thought before you go on about your day: giving my job worth doesn’t diminish yours.

Now, go be nice to each other.  We’ve all got it hard.

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Wish You Were Here

Its been 8 years since I had to say “See you later”.

How has so much time passed?  How can it have been 8 years, when I can still remember every single vivid detail from the day we found out we had lost you?  It doesn’t seem fair that time plays tricks like that- making some good memories feel like its been decades  (like feeling you kick), while I can still remember how I lost my breath when I KNEW we had lost you, and I wanted to shout for your brothers not to look at the ultrasound screen, but I couldn’t find my voice.

Sometimes I get jealous of the moms that can easily name off how many kids they have.  For me, I have the option of either going into detail (which can be akin to picking at a scab until it bleeds) or naming off all but the ones I lost, carrying with that choice the mom guilt of not acknowledging the life- however brief- of one of my kids.

Moms of miscarriages and stillbirths, though- its a completely different club; not better, not worse, just… different.  We ONLY had a “fetus”or a  “clump of cells” or whatever society wants to claim.  Since we never had to stay up late with those babies, kiss their boo boos, worry about fevers, laugh at their silly antics, etc, our babies don’t seem to usually “count” as much as those who’ve lost a child.  Sure, people will say they’re sorry for our loss initially, but after a while, its felt as though we should just “get over it”.  They’ll tell us to “look at the bright side”, or (if we had kids after our loss) they remind us that “if we’d had the one we lost, we might not have the ones we have now.”  Don’t they know that’s ALWAYS on our mind when we start to miss our babies we’ve lost and then hear the ones in our arms call us “Mommy”?  We aren’t wishing we could have one instead of the other; we’re just wishing that there was some way we could have had them all.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking, Christopher- if I’d had your brothers AND you, there’s a chance I’d be more crazy than I already am, and we’d be WAY worse off financially; but to hear you laugh along with your brothers right now- I’d happily live in a cardboard box and eat Ramen noodles until you all graduated.

I know that “everything happens for a reason”- it was my mantra for getting me through those difficult, heartbreaking weeks and months after you were delivered; but despite staring into the eyes of each of your brothers, I still try desperately to understand the reason behind my losses.  I told myself-as I’m sure any mom who’s had a “Rainbow Baby” has- that maybe our new baby might have the cure to cancer or bring about world peace, but then I have to wonder what the world lost out on when we lost you.

See, each pregnancy starts off the same way: you see the “+” sign, and you realize you’re actually carrying another life inside you.  If its happy news. you start imagining what he (or she!) will look like, who they’ll be, what kind of addition they’ll make to your family, how your life will change…

And that’s the only part where I think this club I’m a part of has it a little worse.  Our babies we lost never even had a chance.  I never got to experience your personality, Chris.  You never had a nitch in our family tree, and since you passed at 15 weeks along, we never even got to examine your features to see who you looked like, because -as your dad has said, all babies look like aliens the earlier they’re born.

The only question I most definitely had answered was how you changed my life- and an overabundance of “what ifs”.

I think its time that the world should recognize any loss of life as significant and not something that they should be told to “move on” from.  It shouldn’t be marked as “less than” simply because the world never met our babies.  The fact of the matter is, WE did.  We had hopes for them, visions of their futures; we changed physically and emotionally with the anticipation of meeting them; we saw them squirm on the ultrasound and joked about paying them back for the heartburn and nausea; we felt them kick and just KNEW they’d have a career in soccer.

Shouldn’t that count for something?

Shouldn’t it be normal to acknowledge their due date or the date we had to say goodbye?

Shouldn’t we be able to count and celebrate their Heavenly birthdays without being told to move on?

I AM moving on.  I know time hasn’t stood still, as much as I wanted it to.  I take care of the kids, the house, the pets; I live my life; I keep moving forward; just, sometimes, I want a day to remember a life that was so extraordinarily important that he left a mark on my life without ever living IN it; who’s tiny footprint never touched the ground, but touched my heart; who’s sole purpose, as far as I can see, was to come into my life to teach me that sometimes love means letting go and trusting that God not only knows what He’s doing, but that He’ll fill the hole that was left behind.

Shouldn’t a life that important be counted?

I miss you, Christopher Scott.  Now, forever, and always.

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Coming to Grips with Who I’m Not

Before Pinterest- I was AWESOME.

I mean, I don’t like to brag, but I was crafty, creative, made amazing meals, was able to entertain my boys, was an amazing wife- heck, I was even pretty good and knowledgeable at running.

And then Pinterest came along.

Now, I don’t know if you know this, but unless you’re able to recreate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel using the items from your kiddo’s lunch, you’re doing a sub-par job as a mom.

I have well over 20 “boards” on Pinterest, all designed to make me a better EVERYTHING.  By all accounts, if you were to look at my page, you’d probably think,”Man- that gal is like Wonder Woman”, and you’d be wrong.  I’m a Sortasupermom, but I digress.

The funny thing was, for a long time, I spent more time “pinning” the life I wanted, and less time LIVING that life.  5,296 pins (give or take) on how to entertain my boys, and for what?  They’re currently “cleaning” their room by throwing the items at each other, and using the pillows as weapons and fort material (another thing to clean up later).  They don’t care that I pinned how to make yet another craft using hands and footprints.  Pins about new meal ideas?  They like all the old ones (plus, there are only so many mealtimes in a lifetime- I’m pretty sure I have more than I need to justify more pinning).  Pins about hairstyles?  Oh, good grief- my standard go to is the Mommy-tail, and if I EVER have any time on my hands, and I use it to style the perfect updo on myself, I give you all permission to have me committed.  Pins on how to decorate my home (ok- holding onto those) using nothing by pallets (I might have a problem there)- we don’t make enough money to even afford all the hundreds of pallets I’d need.  Oh- and pins on how to make myself a better, more informed runner- because pinning about running is JUST as beneficial as running itself, obviously.

Its hard, because I compare myself to others a lot as it is.  Facebook doesn’t help in that area, but Pinterest is the “friend” that says,”You can be that awesome, too!  Just follow these simple 6,235,728 steps (pins)…”

Everyone thinks about who they are.  Little kids are always asked what they want to be when they grow up (for the record, I’m still not an astronaut or a rock star, but I DID become a mom); adults are asked what they do for a living (for the record, the next person who tries to tell me that being a Stay at Home Mom isn’t a job, well, I might slug you- or better yet, have you watch my boys for a week and see if you need a vacation… which I won’t pay you for any of it).  And you can read articles all over geared toward teaching you how to be who you want to be.  One of the slogans for a military branch is even “Be all you can be”.

But its not often that someone is told to embrace who they AREN’T.

Coming to grips with who I’m not designed to be is kinda freeing and a tad on the terrifying side.  Its hard, because- especially as a mom- I’m told I should be able to have it all, do it all, be it all, but I’ve found that that mindset just breeds discontent with what I have and who God created me to be.  Its scary, though, to ask the questions: What if I’m NOT supposed to be the crafty mom?  What if I’m NOT supposed to be the wife that always has the perfect conversation starters and is able to “complete” her husband (answer: I actually CAN’T complete him- that wasn’t God’s design for wives, otherwise, why would we need God?)?  What if I’m NOT supposed to be Julia Child in the kitchen?  What if I’m NOT supposed to be the next Flo Jo?

What if all I’m meant to be is all I am right now?  Is that enough?

I’ve told my boys too many times to count that they shouldn’t compare their lives and our family to their friends, so why am I constantly trying to achieve perfection based on what I see according to Pinterest and Facebook?

Hopefully no one started reading this, thinking,”Oh!  She’s going to tell us her secret!”, because that isn’t going to happen, otherwise the title would be ‘How I Came To Grips With Who I’m Not- And How You Can Too!”  Even as a Christian, its hard to accept that I was lovingly made a certain way, with certain gifts, and that I don’t have ALL the gifts.

And, I most definitely don’t have the gift – nor the patience- to create lunch art.

8 Ways to Help a Grieving Parent (and 3 Don’ts)

October-infant-loss-month-2013-e1381331575122

The 15th is Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day.

I thought about not writing anything since I’ve already written a couple of posts on my losses (HERE & HERE), but since its something I’ll never likely ever forget, I don’t see a problem with posting something again.  My losses- my kids that went to Heaven- they’re a part of me and they always will be.  Regardless of if everyone else has forgotten about them and figured I should have already moved on, I haven’t and I won’t ever “move on”.  That’s like telling an amputee,”Oh, come on- aren’t you over it yet?  Suck it up.”  People would look at you like you were insane or, at the very least, insensitive beyond belief, but for whatever reason, when you lose a child, you’re expected to learn to “deal with it” even sooner than someone who’s lost a limb.  Why do we accept the difficulties that come with learning to cope with the loss of a body part, but we give a time limit on how long it takes to get over losing a part of your heart and soul?

Every single day I wish I wasn’t a part of this club.  I think about my boys all the time ( I knew the gender of one, and -considering I have all boys now- I’m just going to guess that the other was a boy, too), and, years later, it can still feel as fresh as when I heard the doctor say,”I’m sorry, but I can’t find a heartbeat.”

Yeah, I know that there’s some that will point out that if I had the ones I lost, I wouldn’t have the ones I have now, but can I tell you something?  Telling me that doesn’t help- if anything, it can make me feel even more guilty. (Mom guilt is a real thing and it sucks.)  Besides, I’m a mom- I can multitask.  I can be thankful for what I have and grieve the ones I lost- AT THE SAME TIME.

I know.  Mind.  Blown.

The funny thing about the comments well-meaning individuals will say after you’ve lost a child (or anyone, for that matter) is that, most of the time, they aren’t very helpful.  So, in honor of this month, I’m going to give you a list of things you can say (and do) when someone has lost the most important thing to them in this world:

  1. “I’m so sorry.”  Simple.  Straight forward.  No frills.  No BS.  Timeless.  Its like the Little Black Dress of consoling phrases.
  2. “I’m here for you.”  And then ACTUALLY be there for them.  They need you.  Whether its a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to, or to just sit in silence to not feel alone, they need you.
  3. “I love you.”  I’m not talking about professing your undying love and devotion during their time of grief- I’m talking about letting them know that they’re loved, even when they might be unlovable and pushing you away because they just want to hide away from the world.
  4.  “Is there anything I can do to help you out?”  And then, like #2, follow through.
  5.  “I’m bringing you dinner- what do you want?” They might say they aren’t hungry.  That’s ok.  Bring them a freezer meal (in a container they don’t need to worry about getting back to you).  They will be at some point.  Studies have shown that humans need food to survive.
  6.  “Do you want company?” Be ready to visit them if they say yes.  Don’t just say it.  If you aren’t able to, don’t offer.
  7.  If their child was out of the womb when he/she died, share memories of things you loved about him/her.  Don’t shy away from mentioning the loss.  Their child was real and alive and breathing and a part of their world.  Their child was there, and then one day, they just weren’t.  They’re feeling that loss.  Don’t ignore it.
  8.  Buy them a gift card for dinner for them to go out once they’re ready to leave the house.  A freezer full of meals is nice, but the ability to leave the place where all the memories are- words can’t express how much that meant to my hubby and I.  The loss of a kiddo- no matter how old- is hard on a marriage.  I dare say, it could be the hardest thing your marriage can go through.  A date night away to be a couple again where you aren’t surrounded by ghosts, well, its more important than you could ever realize, unless you’ve been there.

I need to point out that these suggestions can be combined in any number of ways.  Do some, all- the possibilities are endless.

Ok, mathematically, maybe not, but you get the point.  Also, grief isn’t a timeline with a point A and a point B.  A lot of people will stop checking in on them after a while (because those people feel the parents might have “gotten over it” by now), but, the thing is, that’s when things tend to get a little lonely and when you should make an effort to check in.  See how they’re doing.  Let them know you’re thinking about them.

Things NOT to say and do:

  1.  Don’t say,”He/she is in a better place now.”  Sure they are, but I wanted him here.  Are you telling me that being with me WASN’T a good place?
  2.  Don’t say,”Everything happens for a reason.”  No.  Just, no.  Now is not the time to wax philosophical.  If you say this, be ready to be slapped and watch them say,”Do you know the reason I did that?”
  3.  And, finally, do not- under any circumstance- contact them or attempt to go over there if you can’t keep yourself together.  Their loss is not about you.  This situation is not yours.  I don’t care if you’re the grandparent- it wasn’t your child so you don’t have a CLUE what they’re feeling.  They don’t need to be trying to console you and keep you together when they’re feeling lost and confused and falling apart themselves.   If you love them, get a straw, suck it up, and keep it under control.  They need you to be the calm in the middle of their hurricane.  To do anything else is selfish on your part.  Its ok to shed tears with them, but when it reaches a point where they’re telling YOU that its going to be ok, there’s something wrong there.

These are just my thoughts on it all, but considering I’m speaking from experience, I think I’m a pretty reliable source.

In closing, if you’re readng this and you’ve lost a child, my heart goes out to you.  As a nation, we only recogize the heartache bereaved parents go through for 1 month out of the year, but I know that you don’t just feel that empty feeling during October.  I wish there was more I could do than just offer up kind words, but I also know that unless I could give you back that piece of your heart you lost, there really isn’t much more I could do.

But, boy, do I wish I could give that to you.

october

Its been 6 years…

Grief

Grief: n. noun; 1.  keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.  2.  a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

Loss: n. noun; 1.  The fact or process of losing something or someone. 2. The state or feeling of grief when deprived of something or someone of value.  3. A person or thing that is badly missed when lost.

My own definition: Grief: 1.  something that can sneak up on you anywhere, at anytime from anything and has the power to hit you like a Mac Truck going 1000 miles an hour.

Grief is a strange thing, and the things we can do to ride the waves can be even stranger to anyone not experiencing our particular grief.  The two definitions I gave don’t say a single thing about time limits or how people should react to each, but it astounds me sometimes how people who’ve never been through it will interpret each one.  It also blows me away how people will unintentionally give values to that which was lost, even though those same definitions don’t state that the person or thing of value that was lost must have any particular value to anyone else.

6 years ago, at 12:10 a.m., I said “Goodbye for now” to my son, Christopher Scott.  He was 15 weeks along when he passed, though I didn’t find out until I went to an appointment at 19 weeks.  Initially, everyone gave their condolences and was there for my husband and I, but -like most people who’ve never encountered this situation themselves- they gave our grief a timeline and a value.  I was told things like,”He’s happy and whole in Heaven now” and “At least it happened before you got a chance to get to know him” and-

Actually, no.  Let’s stop at that one for a moment, shall we?

Have you ever been pregnant?  Even if it was a surprise pregnancy, tell me that you didn’t envision his or her future.  Tell me you didn’t talk to him or her.  Tell me- if you have other kids- that you didn’t wonder what features they would all share and picture them all playing together.

You KNEW them.  You knew that at a certain time every single day you’d get sick, and you’d joke that your little bean was already putting you through the ringer and promise them that you’d pay them back.  You knew every poke and prod and eventually could pinpoint what part of their body was working to break your rib.  You knew when their witching hour was and wondered if it would be the same once they were born.

You KNEW them.

I knew my son.  I knew he’d probably look just like his 2 older brothers and that they’d probably all be wrestling before he was even walking.  I had plans for him.  I pictured his future.  So, tell me again- how was I lucky?

See, here’s where I take issue with everyone’s opinions.  Those that haven’t been in my place- or your place, or anyone’s place that has lost someone.  They think I should conform to those opinions and they make comments that either make me feel foolish or bad about my own feelings.

Its been 6 years.  Ya know what?  It still hurts and causes my heart to break all over again sometimes.  I think about our family dynamic and how he would’ve changed it; how they all would’ve gotten along.  Ya know what else?  In neither of those definitions did they give a time frame.  If you look up the 5 stages of grief, you’ll see: Denial/Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.  Do you know what it DOESN’T say?  How long someone will experience each stage.  Or what order.  Or if one of the stages will be skipped.  Or the fact that even once someone has finally reached the “Acceptance” stage, that a song might come on or a certain date will come ’round that sends them right back into the isolation or anger stage.  Or that, years later, they’re still bargaining even though their loved one is long gone- “If I could just have one more minute with him again- just one- I promise…”

Its been 6 years.  I still can’t listen to ‘London’ by Brandon Heath without remembering that I had been singing that song to him the day before I found out he’d actually passed 4 weeks prior.

Its been 6 years, but some days it feels like yesterday.

Its been 6 years, but please don’t tell me -even now- that everything happens for a reason, because I still don’t see it and I likely won’t until the day that him and I are reunited in Heaven.

Its been 6 years.  I’ve been through every single stage of grief multiple times over.  I’m sorry my grief doesn’t fit YOUR specifications.

 

 

Peggy Bundy ruined the vision of the SAHM

 stay-at-home-mom
Somebody said once that it must be nice to be a SAHM because all I have to do is play with my kids all day.  In PJs.  And watch TV.
They might as well have added in “eat bon bons and shop”.
Can I vent for a minute? Because it’s been a long couple of…15 years.

I get up every morning and survey the disaster that lies before me while I make some coffee- the ONLY thing that stands between my kids and death most days. Since I had just cleaned the day before, you’d think there wouldn’t be a lot to do, but you’d be wrong. Even if I finished the whole job AFTER the boys were all in bed, somehow the messes are new every morning. And since none of them will own up, we apparently have ghosts, too, which just leads into a whole new slew of issues I’ll have to deal with at some point.


I clean the living room and in 2 seconds (I am NOT exaggerating) it’s destroyed again. The same with the office, dining room, entry way- don’t even get me started on the kitchen and the bathrooms *shudder*.

*side note: when you have a toddler, always flush and NEVER leave the door open. If you have older kids, disregard this and just buy a LOT of bleach.

Cleaning while you have kids, well, people have compared it to shoveling a driveway while its still snowing, nailing Jell-o to a tree, and other things- might I add to that?  Its like trying to build a sand castle near the water’s edge at the beach: try as you might to get it perfect, a wave is always gonna come up and destroy it.  Another example is: trying to dig a hole near the water’s edge- you can dig for a year and that hole is never gonna get any deeper.  What it all comes down to is, progress in cleaning is slow, if at all, when you have kids.  Some people might say,”Then why bother?  Just wait for them to move out”, and to them I must ask,”So, how ARE your friends Mr. and Mrs. Cockroach and all of their kids?”
And, let’s just get this out of the way, the only TV that I get to watch regularly is Nick Jr.

What I’ve mentioned doesn’t even go into the fact that I do all of that while trying to take care of meals; driving to places the boys or I need to go; any appts.; breaking up the multiple daily fights; attempting to keep a toddler alive- which is NOT as easy as it seems.

*Side note: there’s a reason why, the younger the child, the more daycare providers are needed for any institution. You can’t take your eyes off of them. Think about that before asking a SAHM what she does all day, you know, if you value YOUR life.

But besides that, us SAHMs do this job willingly. Why? Because we’re crazy, masochistic, and we prefer that if anyone is going to screw up our kids, well, it’s gonna be US, dang it. No one is going to take our place- not even in their therapy sessions later.  We also don’t get any benefits of any kind.  We’re all kinds of crazy.  Or hard core.  I’ll go with hard core- sounds better.

I know you’ve heard it, but most people rarely think about exactly WHAT SAHMs have to deal with all day- I know I never did before I took on this job (and make no mistake- it IS a job).  Heck, even women that used to be SAHMs and then went back to work outside of the home forget what we ACTUALLY deal with.  I think its kind of like that amnesia that we get after we give birth- if we could remember the pain, its very likely that the human race would cease to exist.  Its a survival mechanism.  Or something.
So, the next time you see a SAHM, think twice about asking her what she does all day or, GOD FORBID, try and tell her about a great work from home opportunity you’ve heard about since she has SO MUCH time on her hands.
Oh, who am I kidding?  If you’re a SAHM, you understand everything I’ve said and are nodding you’re head.  If you aren’t, you don’t get it, likely never will, and you’ll continue to think that we live the easy life and that your job is harder because, well, the government pays you to do it, so it MUST be more important.
I tried, at least.

You aren’t ready

bthf
I was 19 when I got pregnant with my oldest- 20 when he was born. He was a “surprise” baby for my fiance and I. Definitely NOT in our plans- God’s plans, yes- ours? No. I wasn’t what anyone would consider “ready to have children”. Actually, if I remember correctly, I believe my motto was “The words ‘Amber’ and ‘serious’ don’t belong in the same sentence.” Kinda funny when you think about the fact that i was engaged (to my now-husband).

I was 19. A baby myself. I had just graduated high school about a year before, basically. I didn’t know anything about raising a kid. I’d had siblings, but neither of them were much younger than I was. I grew up in a Christian home (I know- SCANDALOUS!), and it was always assumed that marriage and kids would come after college. After college, I’d be “ready”.

I’ve read numerous posts on FB lately stating a similar theme: “If you aren’t ready for thus and so, you aren’t ready for kids.” Well, we’ve already established that I wasn’t ready for my first one, but I can tell you- after 4 kids- you’re NEVER ready.

You won’t be ready to see that 2nd line show up- even if you were actually TRYING.
You won’t be ready financially- ever. Even after they move out.
You won’t be ready for potty training- just throw those “how to” books out.
You won’t be ready for “The Talk”.
You won’t be ready for their first day of school.
You won’t be ready when they finally head off to college… or if they flunk out.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to experiment with cigarettes or alcohol or drugs.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to bring shame upon the family.
You wouldn’t be ready if they crashed your car.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to go into the military.
You won’t be ready for them to get married- even if you love their future spouse.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to give their life for our country.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to tell you they’re gay.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to denounce their faith and walk away from all you believe.

You. Won’t. Be. Ready. None of us are- EVER. There’s no instruction manual and no 2 kids are the same- think “cheesy snowflake” comparison. In fact, the closest you’ll get to “ready” is to absorb all the knowledge you can from those who’ve been there, but, even then, you need to take all advice with a grain of salt.

To tell a mom (or dad) that “if they aren’t ready for this and that, thus and so, some possibly improbable possibility, then they shouldn’t have kids” is, in my opinion, mean and confusing- especially for first time parents. And (because I just read this) to say ‘don’t have kids if you aren’t ready to love a gay child’ is just plain stupid. I understand why the article was written, but she took a comment that someone had made -that never stated either parent wouldn’t LOVE their gay child, they just wouldn’t handle it well- and made an entire post about how everyone should be ready to love their kids before they have them. Well, duh. But why not also say,”If you don’t think you can and you’re pregnant, choose adoption.” The article was pretty much an opinion piece bashing others’ opinions of homosexuality. The mother had questions; she was confused; and understandably so- whenever your child isn’t what you imagined them to be, there’s an adjustment period. But everyone touts tolerance and understanding and acceptance, but only as long as its what they believe- and if you don’t have it when they expect it, then get ready for a verbal assault.

Like I said, I came from a Christian home, so *gasp* I don’t agree with homosexuality. Does that mean i hate gays? NO! And anyone who says that Christians HATE gays hasn’t ever even seen a Bible, much less read one. I’ll admit that there are some wackadoos that are, well, wacko, but -for the most part- Christians believe as Jesus taught- to LOVE people, because HE does. He LOVES people. Short, tall, skinny, fat, Hebrew, Gentile, hetero, homo- he LOVES them. When he walked the Earth, he didn’t surround Himself with “perfect” people; He hung out with those that really needed Him- Sinners. And some of them were murderers, which is far worse than finding the same sex Shag-worthy. Just sayin’. He didn’t agree with their sin, but He loved them so much He gave his life for them- for US. All of us- even gays.

All that to say, would I be ready to love any of my boys if one day they came home and introduced me to their partner “Steve”, of course. Would I be ready? No. I wouldn’t, but I’d wing it, just as I have every day since that 2nd line showed up. Prayers and lots of winging it. Does the fact that I wouldn’t know how to act immediately or know all the right words to say mean I don’t love them and shouldn’t have had any of my boys- as in, never tried or had an abortion instead? I think not. I mean, honestly? Seriously? Come on. Every person has a purpose in this life, and holding off until you’re the Gestational Guru is nutty. I’m pretty sure that all of humanity would cease to exist- and all because, in a few peoples’ eyes, no one should have kids until they’re completely 100% ready to talk about the birds and the bees… or the bees and the bees… or the birds and the birds. My head hurts.

So, yeah. In case you’re now confused as to what this post is about: you aren’t ready. You’re friend- she isn’t ready, either. Your mom? Nope. She didn’t have a clue. Regardless of what any of them might have said, they all freaked out pretty regularly. Not knowing it all doesn’t make you a special little snowflake- you come from a long line of Know-Nuthins. But not having a clue and jumping in anyway? That makes you a-freaking-mazing.