Friday, August 12, 2011

Motherhood for Dummies......Sometimes Parenting Sucks!

Today is the day that Lindsay leaves us. We knew the day was coming....but I personally really didn't want to think about it. Now there is no choice. Sigh. I am gonna miss that is David. She has been a part of our week day life and even some of our weekends for the better part of a year now and without her....I would not have had the peace of mind to go to work and know that David was in the safest hands possible.I keep feeling the tears well up...but I refuse to let them loose, because if I do....they may not stop. are definitely a one of a kind and we love you with all our hearts. Good luck at KU and in all you do in the future. The world is what you make it...and you are going to make it great!  sniff sniff

And now, lets talk parenting. Anyone who has done it for more than a decade knows that at times it plain and Kids don't come with handbooks and no one issue can ever be handled the same with more than one kid. Like it or not our kids are individuals and they have their own way of handling things and reacting to things. As parents is our duty to get these kids from point A to point B (point A being conception  and point B being out of our house) with as little collateral damage as possible. And while many of the milestones in life are joyful, miraculous and amazing.....a few of them suck beyond words. You might notice that I seem to be using the word "suck" alot. The reason is....because there is no other word in the Webster dictionary that describes some of the things we as parents have to go through to get our children raised.

Possibly, one of the most important things we have to do is......give our kids "the talk." Whether you call it the "procreation talk" or the "sex talk" it all means the same thing. It is the most uncomfortable 30 minutes to an hour of both of your lives. And when you add to that  a boy having to talk to his mother or a girl having to talk to her can multiply that discomfort by 10 and add 6 and you are still not even remotely close to the awkwardness that can result.

I grew up in a time where many parents still viewed sex as a taboo subject. So taboo in fact that no one ever discussed it....not even in the privacy of their own homes, and they refused to allow their kids to participate in any sort  of discussion about it at school. The result of this lack of communication about such an important subject was that kids learned about sex on the street and the facts they learned were sorely lacking. Girls got pregnant, both sexes got STD's (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and parents where sending girls away to have unplanned children and boys and girls alike were having to be treated for diseases anonymously at public health clinics. Parents blamed the kids for acting and the kids were left to pay the price for not being educated. Thankfully my mother was willing to step out of her comfort zone and talk to me, but even as enlightened as she tried to be, it was still excruciating for both of us. When all was said and done though.....I did get the gist of the biology involved and that I wasn't suppose to have sex until I was married. Getting the orders and following them were two different things to me....but at least she tried. Looking back though, I believe we only had the one painful conversation and many morals and values were emphasized maybe even more so than the actual act or possible outcomes. After that one "chat", there were no more conversations about the subject and I was pulled from any obvious attempts to teach sex-ed at school. And the eventual outcome with me, as with many my age was.....pregnancy!

Now things are different. From birth almost....children are thrown into a very sexual world. We are taking our little girls as young as 9 months old and dressing them up like miniature versions of adult women for the ever growing beauty pageant scene. They become eye candy for every pervert and pedophile out there. There is explicit sex in our music, our movies and on tv. Kids know words like condom, lap dance and many colorful and extremely descriptive words for acts of passion at a very young age. But all this is thrown at them through the media and the outside world. This is where parents have to step in when the time is right (no you can't wait till they are 32 and married) and make sense for them of all the information that is floating around out there. Sex is far more complicated than in the days where my mother told me...."Good girls don't." Today we have date rape, diseases which weren't even heard of when I was young and regardless of moral or religious beliefs....there needs to be a talk about abstinence and birth control.

For boys, the talk has to be about respecting girls, knowing that "no means no" and understanding that 10 minutes (I know that is generous) of fun for them can lead to a life time of raising a child, or an STD that might prove fatal. For girls...there has to be a conversation about self-respect, sexual pressuring and again pregnancy and disease. It is up to us to send our kids out into the world with the education and resulting knowledge to know how to protect themselves and how to avoid the consequences of misinformation.

Granted...this whole talk will prove difficult, awkward and most likely...amazingly embarrassing for everyone involved, but what is a little embarrassment compared to a nasty disease or a 15 year olds life being changed forever because she is pregnant. Education is the key and if you don't want the schools or their friends morality being brought into the discussion, then you need to speak up and educate your kids yourself.

Being a parent is no walk in the park. Not only do we have to deal with the banged up knees, the broken hearts and every fad that comes along, but we also have to deal with the tough stuff like riding with our kids when they are learning how to drive.....and helping them to make good choices where sex is concerned. We have to keep our minds and our hearts open and after our talk with prepared when they take us at our word and come to us telling us that maybe they are ready for sex. God gives kids parents for a reason. We are there to not only teach them what we want them to know....but also what they need to know. And sometimes....that just sucks!

So we have jumped ahead a couple of hours. Lindsay is now gone...and yes....there were tears.....mine! David knew something was up as he became really quiet and has watched the door since she left. I know it is not forever and with any luck....she will be back next summer, but for house is a little quieter and my heart a little emptier as Miss Lindsay goes off to join the world. Happy Friday.


Marni said...

GREAT blog today Lisa!! Something that many of us have had to deal with. WE always tried to be very open with our kids...sometimes to the embarassment of their friends but I did not care.....We are still open and have no issues talking about it. This coming from two people that of course it was a taboo subject with our parents.
Great writing!!!!!

GiGi said...

I am not to the sex talk stage yet and I dread that time coming. I thought it was just me being uptight and other parents just breezed through it. After reading this, I am feel much better. I also agree, sometimes parenting does suck! I loved your blog today. Made me understand the road ahead a little better.