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Stuttering Shell: me, as a parent.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

me, as a parent.

this post has been in the works for a while. and, when i say "in the works," i really mean that the idea has been in my head {and my heart} for quite some time. up until now, i never really knew how i wanted to word things. honestly? i still am not entirely certain if this post will come across the way i want it to, but...what the heck.

going from childless to being a parent was a big change. 
going from parenting one child to parenting two children was a big change.
parenting a boy versus parenting a girl? i'm still trying to figure that out.

in the past, i've been accused of loving & treating my children differently. and, while i might deny ever doing so, deep in my heart i know it's true. to most people, it isn't obvious. but to others - like my mother - the distinction is very blatant & obvious. sometimes, i'm not sure if she tells me this to be mean or if it's her way of keeping me "in check" as a mother.

so, before you throw stones, i'll just come out and say it...yes, i love both of my children dearly, but i love them differently. and, yes, unfortunately, i do sometimes treat them differently, too. here's the kicker - and i know each & every one of us has vowed never to be like this - but i sometimes feel like i am acting the same way my mother did when i was growing up. why? because, honestly, i believe that my mother loved & treated my sister and i differently, too.

i'm biracial. what's race have to do with this? well, ask anyone you know who is of asian descent and ask them about their mother. 'nuff said.  while my dad was the breadwinner, my mother was the one who ruled the roost. and rule she did. i feel like a lot of how she raised me & my sister has rubbed off on how i am raising my own children today. that being said, it's not a bad thing. in fact, i'm very proud to emulate my mother in certain ways {much to the dismay of my husband}. i feel that my mother {both of my parents, in fact} did a damn fine job of raising both me and my sister. but, what does this have to do with my children?

i know, but i don't know. yeah, it doesn't make any sense, does it?

obviously, how i was raised reflects a great deal upon how i choose to raise my own children. therefore, when i seem mean or like i'm coming down on my children a little too hard, it's because that's what i know. this frustrates my husband because my husband was raised by a single mother with a completely different parenting style from what i grew up with {and this subject, my friends, will be blogged about soon...very soon}. my children are not mistreated nor are they abused. they just, by the grace of God, have a {to an extent} controlling, micromanaging mother who is not overly doting or lovey-dovey {because i was not raised by a mother like that}. i realize that a lot of my issues, if you even want to call them that, are of my own doing. it's how i've always been. it's who i am. and, because of this, i know that God has a sense of humor. why? because he blessed me with a child who is exactly like me.

{sidenote: last spring i read amy chua's battle hymn of the tiger mother for a child & family class i was enrolled in. let me just say that i could relate to a lot of what the book covered. a lot.}

my oldest is ten years old. malia & i have the same chinese astrological sign {we are both snakes}. take one look at her and you'll quickly agree that she is my mini-me. and, we are very much alike in terms of looks and, unfortunately, personality & temperament. to an outsider looking in, it would seem as if i am detached from my daughter...that i don't love her and that i criticize her entirely too much. i'm not & i don't. she & i have a special relationship that, in all honesty, only she & i understand. i am amazed by her abilities. she is creative, smart & gifted beyond her years. she's a lot like me when i was her age...and then some.

my youngest is eight years old. aidan was one week overdue and i hope his entrance into my world is not an indicator of any future plans of never leaving home. boys were a new territory for me. but, looking back on his infancy & toddlerhood, it was a very pleasant, very loving experience. both of my children were phenomenal babies & toddlers, but aidan was different. jovial, cheerful, and easy going {except when he was potty training}. aidan is so much easier to deal with than malia. sure, he might whine, but i'll deal with whining any day over sass & a smart mouth. i'm sure their age difference has something to do with it all, too.

but, there really is a difference between boys & girls, especially if you're raising both.

i've said it before and i'll say it again: i love both of my children very much. but, i love them each in their own special way. yes, i do treat them differently, but not in a double-standard kind of way. my children are encouraged to strive beyond their potential. they make me very proud not just as a mother, but as a person, too. i cannot imagine my life without them {even though i do daydream about being single & childless sometimes} and i would not change either of them for the world.

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Blogger Mrs. Monologues said...

Loved this post so much! I found it fascinating. Also, I do agree with you that love is different for each person. Each has unique qualities that make them special.

Jan 4, 2012, 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger irishgalkelly said...

Hi Michelle! I get what you are the "t". I have an 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son. I do treat them differently, but love them the same. She is older, I should be harder on her. I tell my hubby that. He treats our son differently than our daughter too. He loves them just the same. I grew up with 1 sister only. My mom was fair and just. I try with my whole heart to do the same. I think I'm pretty good at that. My kids call out injustice when they see it and I know who they got that from! As parents we do the best we can and sometimes the way we were raised will come back. I try the best I know how. I ask for guidance and pray to be the best mom I can. I read about other moms and try to learn and take in what I can to do a better job. This is the hardest job I've ever had and that won't change. I appreciate your thoughts and that you open your heart to some of us who are strangers. We learn from each other!

Jan 4, 2012, 1:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Stacy Ruckman Arnold said...

One! I'm impressed by the brutality of your honesty and applaud you for "taking the risk" of publicly "denouncing yourself." :) Parenting is the most difficult and daunting task any of us will ever know. My daughters are 15 and 8 and I (crazily) am getting ready to have my guessed it...daughter! I am the epitome of my mother and my oldest is the epitome of me. People can comment on how and why you raise your childen the way in which you do, but simply put, I applaud you for doing it! For being there day in and day out, and furthermore for being a role model your daughter can admire and aspire to be! Love your posts, keep them coming!

Jan 4, 2012, 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger Whitney Caroline Designs said...

Yes, but you still have a favorite!(Kidding) Girl you know I know nothing about this subject but I do know one thing... when it comes to being a mom, you are the jam!!! ♥ you!

Jan 5, 2012, 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cas said...

I'm not a parent, but I will say that I was raised in a house where one child was treated differently than the other. In my case we are still treated differently. It offends my wife and puts her in an outrage when she's around my family because of the treatment my sister gets compared to me. In my eyes it's no big deal, that's how I grew up, I know no difference. To my wife it's obvious and blatant. I don't feel less loved, or unloved, but my sibling gets and I have to give. It's how it's been, it's how it will always be. But I just ask that you pray for me, pray that I only have daddies little girls. hahaha I also didn't grow up in a lovey dovey house, and my wife is constantly working on me to open me up and show more affection. I have learned from the way I was raised and I vow to do a "different" job. I feel my parents did a great job raising me so I can't say better job.

Jan 5, 2012, 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

The above have made great points, so I'll just add that I have 2 boys, 2 years apart. And they are completely different kids. I parent them differently. May even treat them differently. Because they're damn different! Love them both, equally.
Well, I lie. That depends on the day. 4 year old is in a freakin' mood these days.

Jan 6, 2012, 4:19:00 PM  

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