Setting the Right Example.

God
I found myself reflecting back on some of my recent posts…

And it got me to thinking…am I setting the right example? Sure, we all can get ‘fired up’ about certain topics. We can all state our ‘opinions’ (which we know, are like blank and everybody’s got one). But I guess it’s how we deliver those messages that really set or don’t set the right example…

Recently there was a trending topic about the owner of a restaurant (a woman) who yelled at a toddler who was crying in her restaurant. Since there are two sides to every story, the argument seems to revolve around the woman owner yelling at the toddler vs. the parents not removing their child from the restaurant. As a mom, I do not feel it is appropriate for another adult to yell at my child, no matter what the circumstances. However, there are others who felt were happy she yelled at the toddler as one individual commented, “Kudos to the managers for setting that mom in place. So sick of parents not parenting.”

Now here’s where I get fired up. Parents not parenting? First, you weren’t there, so let’s just hold the phone on that one. Second of all, what makes you think they weren’t parenting? And who are you to judge? Have you ever taken a toddler to a restaurant? It’s not the easiest thing to do but that shouldn’t mean those with toddlers can’t go out to eat! This is where I believe everyone starting jumping on one bandwagon or another and the media went crazy with its exploitation of the situation (are you surprised?).

I guess my point is that we need to set the right example in life, especially those of us that have children/watch children/are children caretakers/etc. And sometimes its hard to figure out what those examples are. My baby doesn’t have the capacity to understand ‘no’ yet or how to reason. Here’s a great article explaining this if you don’t believe me. So if we’re in a restaurant and I tell her to stop yelling and she doesn’t, I’m not a bad parent and she’s not a bad kid, she’s just at the age (12-18 months) where she’s learning to express herself through her voice. I do tell her ‘no’ in a quiet tone or we don’t talk like that in a restaurant to encourage her to stop or distract her with something if needed, but I don’t yell at her. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments where she makes me so angry and I do yell (then of course I see that scared look on her face and immediately apologize and hug her!), but does that make it right? Do I want her to learn that every time she is upset or frustrated she can yell? No.

There are things in life we all have issues with. I don’t think there should be websites for married people to have affairs. I don’t think Victoria’s Secret should target teenagers to buy their ‘lingerie’. I don’t think Facebook is an accurate representation of people’s lives. These are my opinions. And maybe I haven’t gone about them in the right way, but it’s how I feel. Our feelings are what drives us. They make us passionate, crazy, angry, excited, fearful…the list goes on. We live through our feelings. But just because you feel a certain way doesn’t give you the right to act a certain way either. If I feel mad at a co-worker I can’t just go and punch them. I mean, I can, but I would most likely lose my job and be facing a lawsuit in the process.

I want to be a better example…and my example starts from Jesus and my faith. Here’s a man who was ridiculed, betrayed by one of his own and persecuted. He died for me and my sins…for the sins of the world. That is the ultimate example. And no, I’m not saying you need to die, but I’m saying that sometimes setting the right example isn’t easy, but there is a reason for it. I want to be someone my daughter looks up to. My love for her is like Jesus’s love for the world. I would die for her. If I had to, I would without hesitation so that she could live. Sometimes while I believe my intentions are good, I don’t always say things in the right way to get my point across. The point becomes lost in my rants. I think the same goes for most people.

So as I reflect upon the example I want to set, I know one thing is for sure. I want the best for my daughter. I want to give her the best of me, so that requires more patience, more practice and more understanding to those around me. There are lots of situations completely out of my control, but how I behave as an individual is not. If I can’t respect myself, how can I expect anyone else to? It’s time for me to start setting the right example not only for my daughter (and God willing any future children), but myself.

I’m Not Cut Out For This…

It was her first accident. I wasn’t there. It was a complete accident but nonetheless, it made me think that maybe I’m not cut out for this… 

Emma has two teeth now and her bottom one had hit the edge of those plastic tables kids with all the gadgets on top that babies her age play with. While the injury was unknown of its location at the time, I was told she cried very hard. 

 She wasn’t herself on the way home. It wasn’t until I began feeding her solids I noticed her tooth had gone from upright to bent forward. I had my husband confirm it which he did. I started to sob. I couldn’t stop. I was angry then sad then angry and then sad again. While it was an accident, I couldn’t help but be upset because I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there.  

 I gave her Tylenol to ease the pain and she was back to her smiling, happy self (pictured here). She wouldn’t put anything in her mouth and it was clear why. I felt terrible. I felt helpless. I felt in the moment that maybe I’m not cut out for this… 

Maybe I’m not cut out to be a mom. 

I can’t handle the stress of knowing that these injuries will only continue! I can try my best to prevent them but I won’t be able to. I won’t be able to control it…any of it. And yes, I’m not supposed to. I’m supposed to trust that everything will work out and when it doesn’t that everything happens for reason but I have a hard time with that. She is my baby. She is my sweet little peanut. She is the joy of my life! 

I heard a beautiful homily at mass the other day. The priest (deacon who is married) talked about how you don’t really know what true love is until you have children. He said that couples who first get married are in love with the idea of love, but it isn’t until you are responsible for another human life that you realize what unconditional love and sacrifice really is.

He couldn’t have been more accurate. I love my husband but it was honestly the birth of my daughter that I really understood true love. I understood the love that Mary had for her only son Jesus. And she had to watch her son be crucified. I. Can’t. Even. Imagine. 

I can only hope I continue to grow stronger, especially when she is injured, intentionally or unintentionally. But for now, I will be a little heartbroken over her accident and how I would give anything to take away her pain. Maybe I am cut out for this after all :). 

 And it’s off to the peds dentist we go!