Saturday, January 12, 2008

What's the impact?

Posted by Mandy at 1:49 PM
Have you ever had a conversation with a child and you knew you'd probably never see them again, but they just stuck in your head and heart? You just prayed that something you said would stick with them? I had this experience recently. I was waiting at the Dr's office to get one of Samuel's immunizations (do delayed vaxing, so we do one a month) and I had Carter in tow, Madison was at school. A little girl was sitting nearby and she came to me and said, "I'm not sick... can I please talk to your baby?" (such a sweetie!) I said, "Well sure! He loves peek-a-boo if you want to make him laugh." She was probably 10 years old... give or take. Carter was playing with the germy, sure to get you sick if you weren't already, toys offered in the office when he decided he didn't want to share with another child. I warned him of what i wanted him to do, he didn't, so I sat him beside me in "time out." The little girl asked, "So, you do timeouts?"
me:"Yes, sometimes."
Girl: "My mom doesn't do timeouts... she spanks me instead!"
Me: "My mom spanked me too, I don't think I ever got a timeout either."
Girl: "Do you spank your kids?"
Me: "No, I decided not to do that."
Girl: "Wow, really? I thought everyone spanked their kids!"
Me: *laughing* "Well, most people do... but I didn't like it when I was little so I decided to be different when I had my own children."
Girl: "Cool... "

A few moments later Samuel got fussy and she asked what was wrong with him. I told her he was hungry.
Girl: "Do you want me to get his bottle for you?"
Me: "Aw, thanks, but he doesn't have a bottle."
Girl: "Oh, so you breastfeed?" (she sounded like quite the grownup asking these questions)
Me: "Yep!"
Girl: "Really?! I hear about that on TV but I've never actually seen anyone do it before!"
Me: *nursing Sam* "If it makes you uncomfortable you don't have to sit here with me.. you won't hurt my feelings. Promise!"
Girl: "No, I think it's neat! Does it hurt?"
Me: "nope.. not at all"
Girl: "How do you know that he's eating enough like that?"
Me: "See these fat legs? That's pretty much how I can tell."
Girl: ***giggle*** "Did your mom breastfeed you?"
Me: "No, I don't think a lot of women breastfed their babies when I was a baby. It probably never even occurred to her to do it."
Girl: "You do a lot of things differently than your parents did, don't you!"
Me: "Yeah, I guess so! I guess when you know better, you do better, right?"
Girl: "Well, then I guess I can do things differently from my own mom once I have kids then!"

The girls mother (who had been back seeing the dr) then came out and told her to come on in a not so nice voice. The mom seemed angry at the little girl just for being around. My heart broke. We've all seen those kinds of parents... always snapping at their children. Always quick to smack them or scream at them. For NO reason what-so-ever. The girl told me goodbye, and I told her thank you for helping me with my baby. I also said, "I can already tell you're going to be a very loving mommy when you grow up."

For some reason this little girl popped into my head this morning. I kept wondering if our conversation would stick with her like it had with me. Would she be able to follow any of the quick examples I had set for her when she had her own child? Would the thoughts of breaking the cycle, being different from what she was raised to be help her be a better mother than her mother might have been to her? I pray to God that yes, it will. I pray that he put us together that morning, for those few short moments, to change both of our lives. Children like that put the thought of adoption closer and closer to my heart. The things I feel we could offer... the things I feel we're not doing God's ultimate will if we don't offer. I have prayed that she would seek out alternative parenting methods as she grows older and these things pertain to her. That maybe a Dr. Sears baby book would be handed to her to teach her all about attachment parenting... cosleeping, babywearing, nursing, and just basic loving and warm ways to care for your infant and your child. Gentle ways to discipline that really work. Oh the things I wish for this child that I do not know. May God bless her!

12 comments:

Blog on Saturday, 12 January, 2008 said...

well I don't agree with the 'know better do better' part, because I get offended all the time when people assume that I wasn't a good mom for not breastfeeding. #1, it was not physically possible. I had no milk. #2, I wanted my husband to feed all my kids too, and I didn't want to pump. Just something weird about it to me, and I know that is silly, but it is just me. Now that certainly doesn't mean I am against breastfeeding. I am not. And as for spanking, I am a spanking mother as well. It's in moderation, and normally not something we do anymore, but it was not uncommon for me to 'spat' a leg on a fit throwing toddler. Now it works better to take away privledges, but 5 minutes in time out with my kids when they were little would've done nothing but give them time to recharge. I understand you being strong willed in your manners of raising your babies, but please see that your way is not the only way.
I also do not believe in the family bed, homeschooling, working mothers if it is not necessary, and several other things. I am opinionated, but I don't bash others, because opinions are like armpits, we all have them and we usually think other people's stink.

Mandy on Saturday, 12 January, 2008 said...

Was I bashing? Didn't think I was. If you didn't breastfeed that's fine... I have no judgements. I wasn't able to breastfeed my first child so I've been in those same shoes. I know i was a good and loving mother despite having to formula feed. But, we do KNOW that breastfeeding is best... so it makes sense to do that if you can. That's where the "Know better do better" part comes in. Why would you not do what was better if you knew it was? Same with spanking. I am aware that I'm in the vast minority here in the south on the spanking issue.. but most well respected doctors and child psychologists agree that spanking doesn't work. Period. A well behaved child might occasionally be spanked, but the spanking isn't why. It's all of the discipline that takes place besides the spanking. So again, Know better-do better. These are my strong opinions based on facts that I've researched. Not just culturally acceptable beliefs. That's why I cling so strongly to them. And why be against homeschooling? I don't homeschool but I can see the benefits to it for so many. I agree that most mothers should stay at home if they can... but I know a few women that I know wouldn't be happy being a full time stay at home mom... so no judgements from me there either. I'm totally happy here at home so that's where I'll stay. I'm fortunante to have a husband that wants me to do that too and works hard to make it possible. Just for the record, my husband has helped feed all of our kids.. and I breastfed the last two. You can always use a bottle of formula if you don't want to pump and still breastfeed too. Many working mothers do it. My good friend is doing it now.

I'm curious why you stand against things like the family bed, homeschooling, and "several other things." What's your basis for this? Again, many FACTS and studies prove that infants thrive when in a family bed (done correctly.. not just shove the baby in the covers with you) and it lowers the chance of SIDS. A baby is made to be close to its mother.. it's body temperature, breathing, and even blood pressure work at the appropriate levels when against its mother. Hence why cosleeping makes sense. Anywho.. long winded comment.. but I am always curious as to why ppl stand against certain issues and they seldom say.. so if you don't mind.. what say you?

Mandy on Saturday, 12 January, 2008 said...

One more question... if you disagree with me on all of these issues.. why are you reading my blog? lol

Shelley on Saturday, 12 January, 2008 said...

Non breast feeder here........one that has had the pleasure of bottle feeding your little man more than once. So I guess that makes it possible for someone besides YOU to feed Samuel, huh?

I hate seeing kids that have pointless stumbling blocks in their life as they grow up. You described a lot of them!

Mandy on Saturday, 12 January, 2008 said...

Shelley, Wanna come give him a bottle now? lol He's teething (I think) and is super fussy tonight.. ack!

Shelley on Sunday, 13 January, 2008 said...

I gave Jagger one of those mesh thingys with the little handle that you are supposed to eat fruit or other stuff through with when you are a baby and it keeps them from choking. I put ice in it, and he was a mess, but boy did that thing help! You should look for one of those.

WendyJanelle on Sunday, 13 January, 2008 said...

Mandy,
Thank you for defending the many of us who stand with you. I homeschool, I breastfeed, and I normally do not spank. We have also done the family bed in the past, although we don't anymore. We have spanked before, but came to realize that time-outs and lost privleges are much more effective and help us maintain a better relationship with our kids.

Now, I'm not against public school, and I understand that some women cannot breasfeed, and that spanking may be more effective with some children than my own. But I am convicted about the way that I parent my kids. I don't need to worry about how others parent their kids, as long as the children are loved and nurtured.

I hope your conversation does stick in that little girl's mind. I hope she went home and wrote it in her little diary that night. And I hope she remembers you and the baby in her prayers. Wouldn't hurt to start praying for her, too.

I love the chubby leg comment. Isn't it just amazing to think that our chubby babies were nurtured and chunked-up with our own breast milk. Wow.

thejoyfulchaos on Tuesday, 15 January, 2008 said...

oh, you made me cry-y. so good.

thejoyfulchaos on Tuesday, 15 January, 2008 said...

and by the way, "blog", i just read your comment. stand down. go read a different blog if you want to stir up strife. this is not the place. here we encourage, love, help each other to press on. if you think there is correcting to do, then pull the person to the side personally and speak with loving correction. the bashing was on your part. and if you can't stand behind your comments, i think i can speak for my friend, you are not welcome here. look hard at your motives. if you want attention that badly we'll be thrilled to love on you, but don't seek negative attention here. if you don't agree, move onto a post you do agree with or go find a blogger that enjoys arguments. there are plenty out there.

Rosjuane on Tuesday, 15 January, 2008 said...

Wow!! I read this the other day through bloglines, but didn't get a chance to comment. It seems to me like "blog" missed the whole point of the story. I thought it was very touching and paid little attention to all the other things. I was too caught up in the child, and her story.
But I guess that is b/c even though I don't practice the same as you do doesn't mean that I care!! Let it go BLOG! I'm a stay at home mom and I enjoy it, but seriously do you not have other things to worry about?

K.T. is Mommatude on Tuesday, 15 January, 2008 said...

What is the deal with the anonymous commenters?

Anyhow,I think if we have another baby,I would try the breastfeeding again-I was unable to previously for various reasons.

I think homeschooling is cool.

I dont think there is anything wrong with working mothers,I was raised by one,but I am not a working mother and there is nothing wrong with that either.

Mandy on Wednesday, 16 January, 2008 said...

KT, I bet you could really succeed at bfding your next baby with all of the support you now know is out there! (aka ME lol) And I had a working mother as well... actually I had my 'real' mom that worked and my stepmom that stayed at home. :)

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