Have a question, concern or problem regarding your child's behaviors? Send me an email and I will do a blog post about it! You will always remain anonymous! tkmiller81002@yahoo.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Motivational Monday: I didn't sign up for this . . .

I am going to change direction of this blog a little bit, don't worry it will still be focused on parenting advice but I am going to have it be more focused. Every Monday is going to be a post directed at parents specifically. A lot of parenting issues stem not from our children but from ourselves as parents so expect Mondays to be more for you!

My first installment of Motivational Monday is going to be directed at my LEAST favorite expression among parents and that is that "they didn't sign up for this!" I cannot tell you how many times I hear this from so many people, in fact in the last two weeks I have had multiple friends on Facebook make this their status and it boggles my mind that people would say this. I don't understand where this thought process comes from, maybe they haven't been exposed to hardships from children as much as others, or maybe they really just thought life with kids wouldn't be that difficult and trying, or they just like to complain about how hard it is, either way I am hear to tell you that the minute you chose to have a baby you signed up for all of the drama, hardships, frustrations, joy, happiness, fulfillment, and love that comes from being a parent!

I think I have never thought this because compared to a lot of other people my life is pretty easy going. Of the 6 living kids in my family 4 of us have kids and I am the only one who so far does not have a child with special needs, I have 2 nephews with autism, 2 nephews with FASD - one of which doesn't have fingers on his left hand, and 1 nephew with speech and other learning disabilities. So for me the little issues that come with parenting, like a sick kid, or a kid who cries non-stop for hours on end, or difficulty finding a babysitter or good friends for them are nothing compared to my siblings who have it so much harder than me. I am also very aware of how fragile life is, my youngest brother passed away when he was 3 1/2 years old from an accident so I know that any moment could be the last moment I have with that child before something fatal or life changing could have with them. Having that perspective makes it so I never think I didn't sign up for this, instead I think it could be so much worse.

So here is a list of things you sign up for when you have kids - and anyone can leave comments adding to this list in case I forget something

Sleepless Nights - kids wake up in the middle of the night for a variety of reasons - scared, hungry, sick, peed the bed, the list goes on and on and so getting a god nights sleep is nonexistent from the moment the child is born till they move out of your house. Enjoy the good nights you get but don't be shocked and complain over the bad ones, it comes with being a parent

Sickness - kids get sick, they puke, they have runny noses, they break bones, they get nasty coughs, they get rashes and as heartbreaking as it is - unless your child doesn't have a serious disease - it will pass, it is part of parenting and you will deal with it and then move on. Yes it is hard to see your kid sick, it breaks your heart but welcome to parenting, it is hard.

Attitude - everyone has one, including you, so get used to it and learn how to teach your kids to control their attitudes, but dishing your attitude back at them is not going to make it any better.

Messes - kids make messes, it is how they learn, they never outgrow it, just ask a parent of a teenager, all you can do is teach them to clean up after themselves and accept that sometimes life is messy and that's why we have washers, vacuums, and mops!

Noisy - kids don't come with mute buttons, unfortunately sometimes, and the more fun they are having the louder they get. Also the more their needs aren't being met the louder they get so invest in a good pair of ear plugs and don't attempt to watch TV when the kids are awake.

Your wants are second to theirs - Parenting equals sacrifice and there are going to be things that you are going to miss out. You are going to miss parties if your kids are sick, you're going to have less free time, you're not going to be able hang out with your friends, you're not going to be able to go out as a couple as much as you did before you had a baby, you're life now revolves around your kids and their needs and while your needs are important there will be times when your needs come second and theirs come first.

This is just a small list of things you sign up for when you are a parent that I have found most people complain about, and there are a whole lot more that I can't think of because I have a newborn baby and I am drugged up so if you would like to add any feel free.

While everything I listed are all negatives there are a thousand more good things you sign up for when you choose to be a parent and I choose to treasure the good things because I know there is opposition in all things and in order for me to really love my children I know there has to be some bad thrown in with the good. It is all in our attitude!


  1. Kim - I love this posting. I feel the same way. Sometimes I feel like, "I know I signed up for this, but today motherhood is really beating me up!" I feel that is a totally acceptable feeling because it happens universally.

    The best thing that I do as a mother is to take time for myself. I am 1000 times better at being a parent when I take care of myself. Now, you have to schedule this and make it a priority. Parenting, like any job, has its burnout periods, but I think it's important not to take it out on your children. They are, after all, just children.

    For the most part, I try to always focus on the good things that my children do, instead of the naughty. Of course, it's easier to focus on the naughty, but I read somewhere that if you praise your children 10x more than you punish/discipline them, that they will be happier and make better choices. It's a daily and CONSTANT job that never goes away. It also comes with many, many rewards.

    As a suggestion, I think you should write a posting about ways (inexpensive and some a bit more expensive) that mothers can take a time out. I really think more people need to know the benefits of being a better parent when you make time for yourself and quality time with your spouse as well.

  2. Jen I just might do a post on that :)! And you are right when you focus on the positive kids will behave more positively, but when you are always focusing on what they did wrong then they will continue to misbehave, it is called negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement and every parenting book I have ever read talks about this!


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