I Hate the Word Hate

I read an article this morning regarding the Westboro Baptist Church holding a protest at the Wilson High School in Washington DC regarding the new principal being gay.  As I read the article and looked at the pictures that went along with it many thoughts came to mind for me.

First of all, no matter what side you stand on in this issue there is something extremely upsetting about children holding signs that use the word hate in it.  HATE.  The Merriam-Webster defines the word hate as:

a :  intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

b:  extreme dislike or antipathy :  loathing <had a great hate of hard work>

Do kids really hate?  Or do we teach them to hate things?  Liam doesn’t have in his vocabulary the word hate.  I do not use that word nor do I like that word.  However he has told me he doesn’t like tomatoes .  He came to this on his own by trying it (an educated opinion).  On the other hand Liam has also told me he doesn’t like pork chops (which I have never made because I do not like them).  Since Liam has never tried it before I have to assume his aversion to them is because he heard me say I do not like them (a bias opinion).  I can’t help but wonder if these children “hate” a certain sect of people or is it because that is what they have heard so much.  There is something to be said in regards to the saying, “Little pitchers have big ears.”  So much of our children’s reactions and feelings about things are learned from watching how we respond to things.

I really really dislike snakes.  I am scared of them.  However, I have run into the situation twice now while on walks that we came across one.  I don’t want to teach Liam and Ava this fear, so as calmly as I could muster I let Liam and Ava take a look.  We are shaped by our surroundings and the experiences we have.  Without getting into a religious debate because that is not the point of this post, I can’t help but come to the conclusion hate is learned and is that not the opposite of what any religion would want?

I guess my whole point to this is we really need to be cognizant of the message that we are sending our children.  Without throwing out too many cliché lines, our future is based on the children of today and I for one would rather live in a future of tolerance and love than prejudice and hatred.



What’s so wrong with getting away?

Being a parent at times can burn you out. Its long hours, exhausting work and no paid overtime. However the rewards outweigh all the sleepless nights and tiring tantrums, and that’s why we do it. Even so sometimes we all need a break.

The decision to go away without the kids for me was quite easy. Besides figuring out the logistics of who would take care of the kids to me it was a no-brainer. My husband and I never wanted to become the parents who once their children are out of the house no longer have anything in common with each other. We have gone away twice without our kids for long weekends since they were born. I missed them a lot and checked on them regularly but it was also very nice.

I remember sleeping in to 7:30. My body naturally now just wakes up and has a very hard time falling back asleep; however to lay in bed in the quietness was wonderful.

I read. I read for more than 15 minutes without being interrupted or falling asleep. I actually got to finish two magazines and a book that I had picked up many times before but never got to complete. It was so nice to get lost in a story.

It was nice to reconnect with my husband and be able to have a conversation without being interrupted and inevitable lose our train of thought. A lot of people around us said good for you for getting away but then there were others who were not so supportive. They were actually downright rude. Making comments such as, “How can you leave your kids behind?” and “Aren’t you going to miss them?” and “What if something happens while you are gone, wouldn’t you feel terrible about that?” and my personal favorite, “Why do you need a break?” At the time it really hurt my feelings and I wish I had said something back to them. However I thought maybe I was doing something wrong and used their judgment as a form to judge myself. I pondered about this a lot because these strongly worded comments came from parents themselves who I am sure could use a break.

So here is my challenge to all the parents out there who have the support and have never done it.  Go away, even if it’s to your own home.  Take a long a weekend with your spouse and really enjoy your time together.  Indulge yourself in something just for you because you deserve it.  After all don’t we all need a break once and a while?

Judgy Wudgy Was A Bear

I had written on my personal Facebook page a while ago about an interaction I had one time with a mother in the waiting room of the pediatrician.  It all boiled down to the fact that I mentioned that my husband and I have no problem putting our kids down to bed at night. When she asked how we did it. I explained that we play by the 5 minute rule in our house which means when we put our kids downs for bed at night we let them cry for 5 minutes before we go in and check on them.  If they continue to cry we soothe them and then put them back down and repeat this method until success.  The mother’s reply to me was, “As a mother I could never do that because I love my children.”

It infuriated me because (1) she asked me and then judged me and (2) her remark implied that I don’t love my children.  I replied back to her “As a mother I taught my children their first lesson in independence.”

 Now this next paragraph might come across as bragging but I am not. I am just merely trying to make a point.  Liam is 3 and Ava is 18 months and bedtime is never an issue.  They go down with such ease and there is no crying, no fighting, no tantrums.  I really think it has a lot to do with the fact that we never let the kids dictate the guidelines of bedtime, we did and we stood strong to them.  We read to them every night and we tuck them in and kiss them good night but when the light is out they stay in bed and there is no fuss.

The truth of the matter is there a lot of theories out there in regards to putting children to sleep (co-sleeping, self-soothing, etc) and we all find one that is comfortable to us. I could never do the co-sleeping situation for me because it just seems like it creates a lot of bad habits you sooner or later have to end. I also enjoy having the quiet alone time in bed to read or snuggle with my husband and I don’t see that being a possibility with two children in between us. With that said I don’t think people who do co-sleep are bad parents, don’t love their children, etc. I guess my point is this (1) don’t ask for advice if you aren’t truly willing to hear it (you don’t have to agree but you don’t have to condemn either) and (2) we are all doing our best in this crazy parent world so let’s take the judgment down a notch.