readers beware…venting required

I saved this post for far too long. Now I have an appropriate place to post it. :)

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To no one in particular,

I am quite sure that your slight remarks, quick roll of the eyes, and obtuse views of my parenting are due to the fact that you are completely incompetent at parenting yourself. If you think I am too structured, too strict, too hands-on, that is fine. I know it is completely counter-intuitive for you who takes no responsibility. If you have a problem with my expectations for my children, please feel free to talk to me in private.

Heaven knows, you would not want me to talk about your parenting in front of everyone…like how your children are starved for structure and attention because you cannot seem to get off of My Space, Facebook, U-Tube, whatever! Or how your children are complete terrorist having no consistent consequences EVER for their behavior. 

Contrary to your view of the world, children do not need another friend–they need a parent. They need structure. They need engagement. They need a mother who models strong moral character and sacrifice. They need a teacher. But hey, who I am to know anything? I mean, I have only “been a mom” for five months (so now it’s been nine :). I never thought I would use this line because I have hated it for years. But you have no clue! And just as I have no idea what it is like to dodge responsibilty my entire life, while having multiple children in the interim, you have absolutely no idea! 

If you think you can do a better job at raising four adopted children, I invite you to spend a week in my home, solo. You’ll need to be engaged 24 hours a day. You’ll need to actually do housework and laundry, keep the family budget buzzing, and cook dinner every night. You’ll need to practice letters, sounds, and words with all of the children every day after homework time. You will need to juggle four children chirping in your ear after school that they need your help with this or that or the other. You will need to go to the park and watch the kids ride their bikes outside–yes, you will actually have to play with them.

You will need to deal with Juan P’s tantrums firmly. You will have to actually say “no!” You will need to be off of the computer most of the day. You will need to spend your free time giving attention to each child–reassuring each of them every single day that they are loved and wanted. You will need to run interference every few minutes. You will need to get used to not having TV. Aside from normal kid stuff, you will need to monitor and correct food issues, intimacy issues, bonding and attachment issues, language barrier issues, etc… And you will need to put extra time into a thriving loving marriage so that it stays as strong as possible.

Good Luck!!!!

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Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

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6 Responses to readers beware…venting required

  1. J Dawg says:

    Yes. As we have previously discussed after I spent 4 days in your home, I’m totally not sure if I could do it. My concern (knowing myself) about me adopting older children is that I wouldn’t be structured enough to provide them with what they need. You, my friend, are doing an AMAZING job and are a beautiful mother.

  2. Kirsten says:

    I think you are doing wonderfully! Most parents have no idea what their kids really need and then when they are uncontrollable teenagers they wonder why and what went wrong. Your kids will be able to grow up in a healthy home, knowing what is expected and knowing they will be loved.

  3. Laurel says:

    Heehee! Oh Rach, how I love you! I will treasure our costco trip and all the joys/woes of parenting that we discussed..and all that jazz! :) LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!

  4. andrea says:

    It’s interesting how parents are in the same boat. Most of us are just trying to do the best we can for our kids, but at the same time there are those that are hypercritical of other parents. Since you became parents x 4 all at once I can totally imagine all the “helpful hints” you were deluged with. It bugs me to and I don’t even have to deal with it too much.

  5. basford family says:

    I will say with confidence that even though I have been a mother for a little over 3 years, you have been a better mother before you even thought you were. I have always looked to you Rach as a mother figure which I think has put us as sisters in the slow lane. I think it is getting better for us, but you have always intimidated me in a positive way. When mom wasn’t around I always had someone else there and you were one, you and grandma. I always new you were going to make a terrific mother. I don’t think I have ever told you thank you for being my older sister. You have always been there for me never sugarcoating anything. And that is what I admire about you. You are not afraid to speak your peace something I have always struggled with and hope to do better at.

  6. Adrianne says:

    Rachel!
    It’s SO wonderful to read your blog! I feel like we have very similar views about life, children, etc. Thank you for posting that letter: there have been many times where I have felt those SAME feelings and wanted to shake them into whoever it was they were directed at. Though it does get easier to let go and only worry about yourself, there are times when you give in and stew about what other people think of you (esp. if you have spent a lot of facebooking and seeing that other people’s lives seem so “perfect” “fun” and “carefree.”). Its hard not to be sensitive and defensive, but as you said, time helps to heal.
    Back I go to reading more of your blog posts. I say, “Amen!” to most of them and feel that you have put the thoughts in my head into words on your blog. Bless your soul. Now let’s hang out with those DARLING lil’ ninos! I might steal one of them, so then your other kids can sell the Wii for a baby. ha ha

    Much Love,

    Adrianne

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