So I was reading this post about the kind of parent this blogger thought she might be when she was a kid, based on TV parents she had watched growing up.
That got me to thinking…
Q. What kind of parent do I want to be? That is, if I ever even get that chance?
A. I want to be the type of parent who trusts their kids. My parents trusted me growing up, perhaps even when they shouldn’t have, but I think it made me into an honest person with a level head. I want that for my kids… I want them to start walking and fall, and I want to trust that they’re okay.
I want them to make mistakes and tell me, and have them know that I trust that they’ll do the right thing in the future. I want to have kids who know right from wrong, and who have grown up with enough trust placed in them that they trust themselves to stand up in the face of the wrong thing.
I know that because I’m not yet parenting that this is a complete fairy tale I’m making up here. I fully expect parenting to be dirty and hard, and I expect to cry and stay up nights worrying about death and destruction of property and loss of virginity like my parents did, but I figure if I go in with some idea of what I want, maybe that ideal can keep me somewhat on track as I barrel through the dark and terrifying parenting territory.
Q. Will the husband and I be like TV/movie parents I’ve watched for years, and if so, which ones?
A. Of course I have no idea how this might play out in the future, but my ideal TV parents are actually from the movie Easy A. Seriously, if you haven’t watched this Emma Stone gem, you’re missing out. The parents make the movie, and I wish wish WISH they would make a spinoff TV show staring JUST THEM! …You know, with random Emma Stone guest appearances, because she’s freaking adorable.
Other parents who get honorable mentions are the Seavers, the Huxtables, and another set of parents after whom I would totally model my parenting style: the Weasleys.
Q. Will we be some smoosh of our parents’ parenting styles?
A. Sometimes when I open my mouth, my mother comes out. Similarly, I see my father-in-law in the husband’s actions and reactions all the time. Will we become like them? Probably so.
And that’s not a bad thing.
The husband and I consider ourselves in the lucky minority in that both of our sets of parents are still married. To each other and everything. It’s a rare thing these days… I can only hope that we are also able to enjoy thirty-plus years of wedded bliss without any attempted homicides in the house.
Our parents are amazing. The husband’s parents had three children in 13 months, and managed a loving home, school and jobs, sports and vacations. They are the Seavers, if you ask me… Loving and quirky, suburban and well-rounded. If we employ their methods of child-rearing, we will have exceptional children.
Mine were young parents, and my younger brother and I were close in age. When we were 15 and 13, my mother was pregnant unexpectedly, and there were issues with the pregnancy early on. She spent much of my freshman year in high school in the hospital on complete bedrest, an hour from home. I couldn’t drive, and my dad worked an hour away, so my brother and I were often in the hands of neighbors or church family after school.
Though my baby brother was born very early and subsequently passed away the day after he was born, my parents never let us think that we were forgotten or let us go unattended. We grieved as a family, but never lost our way. We had another addition to the family two years later when I was 17, in the form of a little sister. My mom again spent much time in the hospital both before and after she was born, but life went on smoothly. We were always surrounded by family and friends, and loved and fed and nurtured. My dad took me prom dress shopping in my mom’s absence, and although it was late, I learned to drive so I could take my brother around to his various practices and such.
Life wasn’t always easy growing up in my house, but my parents did the absolute best they could for us, and with stellar results, in my humble opinion. They trusted us to make wise decisions, and allowed us to make our mistakes. We learned and grew, and as a result, my brother and I are both well-adjusted adults.
Well, I am. You’d have to ask my dear sister-in-law if what she thinks of her husband on a daily basis. 🙂 As for my sister… she’s basically an only child to parents who are tired from raising kids for the past almost-thirty-three years. For all that though, she’s an exceptional fifteen-year-old. I can scarcely believe I have a sibling in driver’s training, when I was in driver’s training when she was born. My parents must be doing a good job with her, though, because she is kind and funny, quirky in her own right, nerdy and owning it, and artistically talented beyond the scope of anyone else in our entire family. She’s growing into an amazing young woman, and it’s been so fun watching her learn who she is from afar. I only hope that she one day appreciates our upbringing the same way I do.
Q. Will the lasting effects of infertility color the way we deal with our children?
A. This one scares me.
I want to say that it won’t. I want to say that I’ll be able to let my kids fall off their bikes and scrape their hands and knees and not panic. I want to say that I’ll be one of those “No blood, no foul” parents whose kids get up and keep playing when they bump their heads…
But I just don’t know.
Working so hard to create a family has the very realistic possibility of turning me into a raging, overprotective mom-machine. I might put my kids in a bubble or move us to a commune in the woods where there’s no cable TV or pointy corners on furniture or pesticides in our food. I might keep them on leashes at the mall, or make them wear germophobe masks in the airport. I might become a control-freak.
HAHAHA… Okay, I’m already a control-freak, and I think I owe much of that to infertility. However, I am a laid-back gal at heart, and hope that I can impart that feeling of “hey babe, every little thing’s gonna be alright…” to my progeny. I do worry though, that the stressful ways we are going about creating said progeny may somehow be storing up in my cells, just waiting to infuse my future babies in Type A Personality Juice.
I sincerely hope that’s not the case, but one can only hope and pray, right?
For all the questions I have about what the future may hold for the husband and me and the ways we may find compromise to parent our brood – whether that be one child, many children, adopted kiddos, or genetic copies of him and me – I do know one thing with absolute certainty:
The husband and I are the best of friends. We love each other, and we are kind to each other. We are considerate and always smiling, and I cannot remember the last time we fought about anything. We are logical and don’t often find ourselves unable to see things from the others’ perspective.
We’re dorky and embarrassing, love to laugh, and are both that dangerous combination of funny and smart enough to read innuendo into any conversation.
We are also strong for all that we’ve had to endure. We know each other as well as two people can, and we both know that being too tired one night can impact the future of the family we both want. We are sacrificing for each other daily, weekly, monthly, and we do it without question.
If we parent in the future the way we are working to parent now, we will be in good shape.
And if our kids learn anything about relationships from observing our marriage, they will be, too.