Friday, December 29, 2006

From our kids: Do parents go to far?

By Iyana E. (age 12.5)
Parents love you, parents care for you, and parents also butt into your business.

We all know parents only want to protect us. However sometimes they go too far. Digging in are stuff is bad. Listening to phone calls, and reading your diary is worst. Say for example,say the mother of a 14 year old daugter, the daughter has a new boyfriend, however mom doesn't trust him, so she listens to their calls. one day while mom was listening, and she heard somthing about a party she wasn't suppose to know about. Then mom grounds her and tells her that she cannot talk to her boyfriend anymore. Later she comes to find out her daugher and the boy were just planning a surprise birthday party for mom.Some times situations like this occur, and even the best parents end up embarassing them selves.

In my opinion, parents just need to talk to their kids. Just because kids aren't telling you something, it doesn't mean thier doing anything wrong. My mom and I always talk, if we need to. If she does need to know something, she just asks me, before jumping to conclusions. I usually just go ahead and tell her what's going on. If I don't she understands that it is somthing that I am not ready to talk about or no big deal and she leaves me alone. I usually tell her eventually, because I trust her and she trusts me.

I'm not Dr.phil or oprah, but sometimes parents just need to leave their kids alone, and trust that thier kids are not dumb. If their is a problem or a situation, your kids will talk to you when their ready. Kids and parents just need to learn how to trust each other. That's the bottom line

- what do you think?

Monday, December 11, 2006

What I Know About: Doing it on your own

By Jennifer Texada

I had been married about three months when I started to see the warning signs that I might not be in a healthy relationship. I had been fighting the drama for about a year and a half before I had the courage to step away from this dysfunctional relationship for the first time. I came back about 6 months later, but only to endure about 9 more months of lying and stealing before separation number 2 began. I moved with the responsibility of supporting our two children and he checked himself into an addiction treatment facility. The letters, calls and promises piled up and gave fuel to my fear of moving on. Six months later he was back “home”. This time it took two years before I discovered that not much had changed. I am not sure if he got better at hiding it or if I had gotten better at pretending it did not exist.

Part of the reason that I kept going back is that I wanted my marriage to work. I wanted to honor the vows I took in front of God and our families. I wanted my children to be raised with both their mother and father. The other part of why I kept trying was pure fear. It was the fear that I would not “make it” on my own. On top of the fear, there was this idea that my children could never be whole if I did not press on despite his destructive behavior.

At some point during all of this I decided I was going to stop living in fear. When I finally stepped out on faith and trusted God to take me through this he did exactly that, and all of the obstacles fell out of my way. In facing my fear I learned a few things that helped me to more confidently do it on my own.

1. I can do anything I put my mind to. I used to stay home instead of go to church without my husband, or take a vacation. I used to go months without an oil change or new tires because I felt uncomfortable in auto shops alone. During my times of fear I believed that I needed to keep what I had, because how would I ever manage without it. I realized that it was only fear that was fueling those thoughts. There was no reason that I could not go to church without him. They were just as happy to see me as they were to see us there. So far I have been sold tires, gone on vacation with my friends, brought in my own groceries, called the yard guy to mow the lawn, the list of all of the things I have done on my own is endless. Not only can I do them, I can do them faster. I don’t have to wait for him to decide that my needs are important enough. If I can do it, anyone can.

2. I am enough. I am a child of God and in Him I am sufficient. Having a significant other does not make me any more whole or healthy. Striving for health and wholeness is what makes me healthy and whole. Yes in a perfect world the union of man and woman is blessed, and children thrive with both parents. However, in theory people are also more productive with 2 legs. But what if one of those legs is gangrenous? Should we keep it despite the fact that its existence could devour the entire body? Or remove it, mourn its loss and find wholeness in your life without it? I know that this example is a little harsh but I think it illustrates my point. I know lots of people with 2 legs that never go anywhere. While the few people I know with one leg, live every day to the fullest, and I dare you to tell them they are not whole.

3. I am not alone. I have some wonderful friends and family. I am blessed with so many people who have helped to support myself, and my children through this journey. Before I went through this, I often felt that I could not lean on anyone. I was such and “independent woman” I could do it all. What I soon discovered is that these people love me and are happy to be my rock in time of need. I am not in good spirits every day. When those days come I make a call, and I am encouraged or soothed or listened to. If you feel like you don’t have these people go find them. Join a church, take a class or group counseling session, reconnect with the people you used to know, chances are they are still there and still love you.

I have been through quite a journey. However I feel I am successful in my single-hood. My children are doing well; my ex and I are friends and co-parenting. I have a great job, and making enough to buy MY family a new house. I have a fun and busy life; I do exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it.

I am often asked if I miss the relationship, the companionship? Sometimes, but I don’t miss the fear, pain and uncertainty of the former relationship. Plus, I am so in love with my new life, and I am satisfied with what I have been blessed with today and choose not to be consumed with what I may or may not be lacking.

Friday, December 8, 2006

I Think: Having a Baby vs. Being a Parent

By: Mia Black

When I decided to have my daughter, it wasn’t so much that I wanted to have a baby, but I knew I was ready to become a parent (as ready as one can be). I knew that parenthood was the next step I wanted to take in my life. I had the college degree, a job, my own place; a family was my next move. When my daughter came, I was prepared for the sleepless nights, the throw up on my clothes, juggling my budget to now accommodate diapers, daycare and formula, and buckling down to spend time at home with my new baby. I got exactly what I expected. I walked around like a zombie from lack of sleep, wanted to scream when I discovered the foul smelly white goo running down the side of my arm, and half the time didn’t know where the money was going to come from, but nothing could keep me from being with babygirl.

Now let’s examine these two statements:
1) I want to be a parent,
2) I want to have a baby.

They seem to say the same thing, but when examined the meanings are very different.

For me, becoming a parent meant that my life was about to come second to the needs of my child. Hanging out until all hours of the night or going out whenever I felt like it, those times were going to be few and far in between. Hunting for the job that would have me out of the office by five was my new mission. My point being, I was ready to put the party times behind me because I had been there and done that. And if I had to make the career change so that my child wouldn’t be putting in ten-hour days at daycare, so be it. I had already formulated in my mind what kind of parent I wanted to be, before I had my child.

Then there are the people that fit the baby around their lives. The partying doesn’t stop; they put their needs above those of their child; it often gets to the point where the child is calling the daycare provider mommy. They become dependant on babysitters, other siblings, the grandparents, and friends, to take care of this child so they may continue on with the conveniences of their life. They have fulfilled the want of having a baby, but the role of parent has become the responsibility of everyone else.

The most interesting part of this “just have a baby” phenomenon is that it crosses all races, economic classes, and age groups. The obvious example is that of the young teen that gets pregnant, or gets someone pregnant and continues running the streets, and extended family takes on the role of substitute parents. But are they so different from the corporate executives that continue to work the sixty-hour workweek, and depend on everyone else to pick the baby up from daycare.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t go out, don’t have a career, or forsake your entire life. That is absolutely ridiculous. What I’m saying is having a baby comes with the automatic responsibility of becoming a parent. In my opinion, you should want both before your child is here.