Neglectful Parenting

The news and social media has been a buzz with a public service announcement or warning for parents via a video of a dresser falling on a child.  The parents shared their story to remind parents to be safe and what could happen. For the most part all of the comments I have read in regards to the video are pretty positive toward the parents but one stuck out to me. One comment that summed up the pressure parents feel and which actually hurts our children more than anything.

Sure there were comments putting down the parents and saying how they should not have kids unless they can watch them all of the time. However, it was the comment  about how the parents were neglectful because it took them around 2 1/2 minutes to get to their children’s bedroom and render aid.  It does not matter how long it really took, it is this kind of attitude that ruins people. Okay, not ruin, but it does not help. Here was somebody accusing others of being neglectful because of 2 1/2 minutes.  Did this person know how big the house was? Did they know where the parents were in the house or what they were doing when it happened?  What really made them neglectful parents? If 2 1/2 minutes away from my children makes me neglectful, especially when they scream then I ought to join those others parents through the publish shaming them receive.

What happens if my child get hurt while I am in the bathroom? Oh wait, I cannot do that unless they are in there with me because I cannot possibly let them out of my sight or I am neglectful. No more taking a shower alone, letting my kids play in their bedroom without me. I cannot let them go outside or do anything alone because if they get hurt then it is my fault and I am neglectful because it may take a minute or two before I can come to their aide. The thing is, society has it all wrong. It is not neglectful. I do present the idea that it is more neglectful to not allow them out of your sight.

Never allowing children out of your sight neglects their need for independence from you. Of course this is just observation and opinion, so I will not go into detail but I will give you the opportunity to think about it yourself.

There are many ways to neglect children, but it probably does not include many things so easy to dismiss as such.

Parenting is never easy and it especially is not easy when the whole world judges you and has some voice (directly or indirectly). There will be accidents, there will be preventable a and there will be times that you feel like a complete failure, but those things are not what makes you a neglectful parent. You look at what you do provide, who they are, what time you do give, and what you teach and then decide what kind of parent you really are then make improvements where need to be.

Keeping it all together

It takes great planning to take my children somewhere. Sometimes it works and other times my efforts leave me rather ragged, especially if some unexpected things come into play.

Today I attended a large service project with my church. They had babysitting for most of it. At one point they needed another serger and so I quickly went home to get one and brought it for others to use. Sadly it did not work. It was great to help out though and even watch my oldest daughter as she participated. For a few short minutes I was without children needing my attention.

Following the service project we were served dinner. It was at this point that my children returned to me. They didn’t want to eat as they didn’t like the options served for us adults (they had been food in another room). I attempted to eat my food but it took awhile as I had to keep chasing down my son who was stealing dessert off people’s plates that had been left unattended.

As soon as I finished my food I decided it was time to go. I gathered up my youngest-who had wandered off to play. I found my three year old and wrestled my son toward the exit. My son kept trying to take his place laying on the floor so my task was already turning out difficult. On the way out I remembered the serger so I went to gather that. Mind you, I was making sure not to put down the youngest as I didn’t want to chase her. While I was getting the serger my son went off in another direction and my oldest came to me with a problem that needed solving (sweeping up broken glass). With as many kids as I had with me at that moment I left the serger and took care of the broken glass. My oldest also handed me something else to carry and then she ran off to finish her project.

My attempts to leave the building must have been quite comical. After the glass was clean (hard to do that holding a kid), I chased the other two down, got my son to my purse, forgot I needed the serger so went and got the serger–left my son at the purse–then gathered the container of items–nope, that came last I forgot that near where I picked up the serger.  Are you still following me? Can you figure out where my kids are? Well, I was surprised I could find them at that point in my adventure too.

When I finally managed to get all my kids, but the oldest, the serger and my purse I tried to do it all and realized it would not work–not with a boy who refused to walk. This is where I threw in the towel.  I put down my purse and the serger. I put down my youngest but maintained a hold on her shirt (I was not about to chase after her) and put my son on my back. With him on my back and a kid at each hand I attempted, again, to leave the building. It was at this point I couldn’t help but laugh and even caught a few teenagers laughing along.

There I was with a disabled boy on my back, not holding on well, my three year old struggling to stay on task and my youngest refusing to walk. My only option to quickly exit was to pick up the youngest and walk as quickly as possible without dropping anyone or falling.

Finally! Finally! I had made it to the car. It was much quicker to buckle my children in their car seats than to exit that building. Exhausted, I quickly ran back in to retrieve my purse, the serger and the container of objects my oldest had handed to me.

I have to say that I was very happy to have my kids in the car, at least the three youngest. It took thirty minutes. Thirty minutes?! Next time I plan better. However I did get a thirty minute workout.

regular life

regular life

We invited a few people over to our home to eat cake and ice cream in celebration of my oldest daughter’s birthday. Prior to their arrival I thought to myself that I needed to invite people over more often as it would definitely inspire me to get the house clean.

This morning I cleaned the living room and moved onto the kitchen. My goal was to clean myself up after these two rooms were clean. Before long my daughter was telling me that someone was here for a visit. What?! Already! I forgot they had planned to visit earlier in the day. I was grateful that our friendship was not based on looks as I was still in my pajamas and sans bra. That’s attractive.  Not only that but when I walked into the living room it was back to its prior messy state. Great.

My friend offered to help clean and I let her know I was almost done. I really was as on a tiny home a small mess looks terrifyingly large.

After our guests left I was pretty much done. I didn’t want to clean again (I did just finish dishes), so I tried to procrastinate. While doing that-right before dish starting-I had a kid take applesauce to the table. Really?! Really?! Why dump the applesauce? To play in, of course. It was an “oh well” moment.

Before the “oh well” moment, my son shed his diaper and stripped the bed. Into the tub he went and I did attempt to clean the mattress. I am sure it will smell for days. It could have been worse. My daughter suggested using duct tape to keep his diaper on. I told her I had tried that once before. He outsmarted the duct tape and still managed to free himself from all that was on him. It may not have been close to bedtime but be earned himself the right to wear his footy pajamas-his favorite. That keeps the diaper on.

The day was good. I got on here because I had something to say, but as I started typing I forgot the main purpose of my post. Go figure. That’s my life. I share most of my aha moments with my sister over the phone. Sometimes I remember. Maybe it is it good I forget so that I can continually be inspired everyday-even if it is the same thing.

This is life. Take it or leave it. My life consists of the many messes that I clean up but most of all it is full of love. Now that is something I cannot argue.

fever

Today has been a slow day. The weather is cooling down. Cooling don enough that I have turned on my heater and when we left the house today I covered my children with blankets. Way too cold way too soon. What happened to Summer?  What happened to warm weather? I am cold. I freeze at night and require four blankets on top of me. My children kick the blankets off.  I spend all night covering them up to ensure they are warm enough.

With the change of weather and the onset of school also means the beginning of sicknesses. My son brought it home-whatever it was.  It is enough to cause congestion and a runny nose.  It is enough to pass on to other children in the family.  I know many people flip out when their children get sick from other children. You know, I am all for preventing disease and doing your best to not pass stuff on but I am not the kind if parent who freaks out. I figure it is just a part of life. My kids will get sick. That doesn’t mean I enjoy the moment.

Today, three out of my four children have some form of this cold. I am grateful it is not extremely bad, although the youngest seems to have gotten the worst of it. This means I get to hold my youngest while she sleeps and cuddles in my arms.  I can be grateful it has been an easy day.  I had enough healthy snacks in the house that everyone has had enough to eat and everyone has been able to rest.

I always tell people that there are two things I hate with being a parent…okay, so I know there are two but my brain. An only think of one at the moment.  That one is the biggest one. I hate being a parent when my children are sick. Not because they need me constantly but because I feel so helpless and there is little to nothing I am able to do for them excep love them.

When children are sick the compassion needs to come out no matter how frustrated it may be to meet their demands. It teaches us to slow down and put aside our wants because somebody else really does need us.

Ice cream and chocolate

Ice cream and chocolate

I swear there is never an ending in sight to the messes children make. I have spent the last few weeks trying to catch up. It is not working. At. All. Really? Every time I turn my back to clean an area there is a bigger mess happening behind me. Welcome to motherhood. Welcome to parenthood.

Even though the house is still a disaster I do have some things I can feel joyous about accomplishing.  I finally recovered my hideous chairs.  There were already five covers in them that means somebody loves those chairs enough to recover them at least four times.

I also got my car cleaned out. Yay. Ok, not so yay. It is the simple things in life that can bring tons of excitement. What has my life turned into? Shouts of joy and excitement at a clean car? In fact, it isn’t even all the way clean. I went to two different car vacuum cleaners. One did not work and the other was occupied. I tried my own little weakling of a vacuum (I don’t think it can ever truly count as a vacuum) and before I finished it stopped sucking. It was mostly done though. Car seats washed and cleans. Gross and gross. What a pain. But they are cleaned. The day after I reinstalled them into the car I decided my car was never going to remain clean. I removed some seats and moved the bench seat and reinstalled car seats. Yay. Really. This time is the real yay. Why? Having to climb into the back to buckle kids is difficult. The new arrangement leaves more room for the wheelchair and I do not have to stick my butt out for the world to see while I climb in The back–because I can firmly keep my feet on the ground.

Even though I managed to complete at least two things I was still found myself in need of something more. After a day of screaming kids and never ending cleaning I stopped. I locked the kitchen gate, got out the carton of ice cream and sat on the floor near the sink-out of eyesight from my children-and enjoyed sweet delicious chocolate. It was great! One kids caught me. She glared at me in her own silly way. She was more appalled at my lack of a bowl than not sharing.  It was exactly what I needed-at least temporarily.

all a part of life

Whatever “it” is it is a part of life. It is what it is and so forth. Whatever you want you “it” to be you can that happen.

Today, it just was what it was. We had just arrived at my mother’s home after a long day of driving.  This was probably the fifth time this summer we had come this way. This time we waited a few hours for her return back from the airport-returning home after surgery. The goal is for me to be her hands and do the things she cannot do while she heals and goes through cancer treatment.

So, here we were waiting. Moments after getting one child to sleep and before going downstairs to tend to the next child I heard a loud clunk followed by a scream.

I headed down and grabbed my three year old from her older sister’s arms. My daughter relayed the incident to me-at least they were having fun prior-and I felt my daughter’s head for any bump or sign of injury. I felt nothing so we continued to wait for my mother.

Just a few minutes prior to my mother waking in the door my three year old walk passed me. For some reason I put my hand on her head and I felt stickiness. Sticky hair happens when you have kids-probably just slightly less than sticky hands. It took just a moment for me to realize what was in her hair. So…off to the bathroom to wash the wound and get a better look.

By the time I saw the wound it had already stopped bleeding. I was left wondering to myself if I should take her to the ER (too late for the clinic or urgent care) or if she would be fine with home care. During my debate my mother and stepfather walked in. They offered their advice and set me up with their first aid products.

Tonight my little girl sleeps with a tiny bit less hair, near the wound, and a pink bandage on her head.

Tonight was an “it” kind of night. I am here thinking of it all and the debate that many parents go through-wether to take their kid to the doctor or not. We freak out with all sorts of amount of blood. We wonder if it is bad enough to warrant the expertise of a doctor. We wonder and question our own knowledge and ability to provide simple first aide to our children. There are a number of more things involved that we consider too. When we finally decide, on those iffy ones, we doubt our decision.

Granted, if it was still bleeding I would have taken her in. If it was worse I would have taken her in. Last year my son injured his forehead. It was not debatable. It was obvious he needed stitches. years ago I met a family. They were about to leave their home to take their child to the ER for a cut on the  finger (it was a very, very minor cut).

Needless to say,some things are obvious yea or no injuries. Others are not. What do we do then? At some point we have to trust our parenting and make a decision. At some point we cannot be afraid that our decision will scrutinized (there will always be someone who will). We just have to do. We have to take our “it” that happened and do whatever we feel best.

Today I did what I felt best. I will continue to do what I feel best-which does not mean neglecting the wound. I will be a mother and a parent.

the yummies

the yummies

When my young children eat they enjoy themselves. Do I enjoy when they eat, or rather what they do when they eat? Well, I sometimes get my camera out. I do not think my children actually eat very much as most of the food ends up on them, the table or the floor.

What I have to remember as a parent is to not freak out when the mess happens. Some day they will understand how to eat neater. Right now they are experiencing new sensations and ideas. Yes, playing with food is very educational. So for anyone who may want to argue that just look at how many sensory books and toys are out there. The toys and books are less messy than food but they are no more educational for one’s senses.