Encouraging creativity. 

Dear Delilah,

There are no limits to your imagination & creativity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, & you’re the beholder. Open your mind & explore, the world is at your fingertips. 

I am so open minded when it comes to parenting. I firmly believe that parenting is different for every child. I don’t care if you breastfeed, formula feed, or do both; as long as your child is fed. I don’t care if your baby cosleeps, sleeps in a play pen, or has slept in their room since day one; as long as they’re getting a good night’s rest. I don’t care what language, culture, or political preferences you teach your child. But please let your kid be a kid. 

Don’t constantly sit them in front of the television.

Don’t give them your iPad or cellphone every time they get hyper; they’re children. 

Don’t sit down at a restaurant & allow your kids to bury their heads in technology. 

Children have to learn to be decent human beings. They have to learn how to act in public when they don’t have electronics everywhere. I know it’s easier than actually teaching them how to behave. It’s easier than disciplining your bratty child in front of people. 

However, overloading your small children with technology doesn’t just hinder them socially. They suffer from “I’m entitled to new electronics for every holiday”. Cell phones, tablets, iPods, laptops, TVs, etc. 

The thing that bothers me the most is that we as parents are killing our children’s imagination. We’re killing their creative capacity. 

I work at a child development center where I run the performing arts classroom. All day long children from the ages of 6-12 transition in & out of a classroom full of costumes, masks, art supplies, music, & props. I would’ve LOVED something like this as a kid. I used to gather food in my backyard (leaves, dirt, grass, pebbles), put them in my big stew pot (any bucket I could find), & mix them with all my different cooking utensils (sticks). Didn’t we all do things like this? 

I really struggle to encourage creativity in my classroom.. During our Pirate themed week I allowed the kids to drawing treasure maps. I was thinking this would be a super easy & fun activity for all the kids. I gave them 3 rules: there has to be a starting point, an “X” to mark the spot, & 5 obstacles of their choice (volcano, caves, forest, rivers, lions, etc). This was ridiculously hard for the majority of my students. They literally could not make themselves think of 5 things when they had an endless amount of options. The next day was worse. I asked the kids to write a short pirate story. There simply had to be 4 characters, a problem & a solution. I think maybe 5 kids were able to write a story that literally could have been about anything in the world as long as it included a pirate. 

These kids have been raised on television & movies, video games, & music videos. They haven’t needed to pretend. They’ve never needed to think for themselves because someone else’s thoughts & visualizations are plastered on a screen for them. The kids can’t even play charades unless they have props for everything. If they were supposed to act out “driving a car” they would literally ask me, “how can I act that out? I don’t have a car.” It is honestly heart breaking. I can’t imagine a childhood without imagination but I witness it everyday. Not to mention they ask me everyday to trash my lesson plan so that they can play on tablets or play on their phones, or worse, MY phone. 

I’m not saying never let your kid watch TV or occasionally play games on a tablet. But please stop handing children electronics every time you don’t feel like parenting or spending time with them. There are so many dramatic play toys & costumes for kids of all ages. Next time your 3 year old brings you a fake phone, answer it. Next time they ask you to have a tea party or hunt dinosaurs, play with them. When they’re playing doctor & need a patient, pretend you broke your leg. Choose books over movies. We can encourage their minds to grow. We can support their creativity. Don’t kill their imagination for your convenience. 

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Coparenting isn’t part time parenting.

Dear Delilah, 

I promise that you will always be at the top of my priority list. I promise to strive to give you the time & attention that God offers us as our Heavenly father. 

There’s a problem I see more & more everyday & I’d like to address it for those who are confused. 

BEING A SINGLE PARENT DOESN’T GIVE YOU A FREE PASS TO BE LESS OF A PARENT.

Just because you are separated doesn’t mean you’re a part time parent. It doesn’t mean you are half responsible for your child.  

I have literally heard parents say things like “my babies dad/mom never gets them so I never get a break”. What even? 

Yes, ideally we could all make it work with our children’s other parent but that’s just not realistic. 

Why does it seem like the mentality of parents (sadly often the younger ones) is “I wonder is anyone wants to watch my kid this weekend so I can be free”. Free? For what? Free to go to the lake, the casino, hangout with my new girlfriend, or get drunk with my friends. 

This is so depressing to me. 

You are a parent now. I am SO sorry if that inconveniences you. You literally have a child that wants nothing more in the world than your time & attention. 

I’m not referring to an occasional spa day or date night. I’m not referring to your child wanting to stay the night at grandma’s every few weeks. There are parents who literally post about going clubbing or partying every other weekend because thank goodness the kids are going to their dad’s house so I can finally be irresponsible. 

Another thing I feel like people do not understand: coparenting does not mean with your parents. Why are grandparents who’s children are grown expected to raise your kid half the time? 

Find new hobbies that your children can take part in. Go to the park, amusement parks, fishing, skating, go on picnics, swimming, an arcade, etc. Your child is not a burden. Stop looking forward to pushing them onto other people so you can think about yourself. 

Your kids are gonna grow up & realize that under the sugar coating of “going to grandma’s” or “dad’s gonna watch you”, you’re just trying to get rid of them. 

This world will break you.

Dear Delilah, 

As I watch you sleep, I can’t help but think about the terrible world around us. Right now you’re so peaceful & safe but I know in time the world will steal your innocence.

Despite my efforts, one day someone will come along & make you feel things you’ve never felt before. You’ll think that they’re the one & then they’ll break your heart. It’s going to hurt, hurt like nothing you’ve experienced before. For a while you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll live on Netflix & ice cream. As soon as you think your heart is healing you’ll cry yourself to sleep looking at old pictures & reliving the memories that you’ll never get back. I wish I could prepare you for that. Know that it will get better. I know it feels like the end of the world but even on the darkest nights the sun will rise. Remember during this time to love yourself. Find hobbies & spend time with friends, isolation is no good for the broken hearted. 

There will be times in your life that you feel so alone. Times when you feel like no one understands you & you don’t know where to run. I hope you know that you’re never too old to crawl in bed with me when you need to be close to someone.

In your life there will be people who discourage you. Teachers who don’t understand the way you learn, coaches who don’t see your talent, management who doesn’t want you to move forward in your chosen career. Ignore them. You can do anything you set your mind to.

This world will teach you what it means to lose someone you love. It’ll start with a pet & you won’t really understand why your dog is gone. Then one day it’ll be someone you know, someone you see everyday at school. Suddenly you realize that we’re not invincible, that realization is going to consume you, let it. Then live everyday like it’s your last & let everyone you love know how special they are to you.

One day you’ll make a mistake, not coloring out of the lines or spilling your juice but a mistake that makes it hard to look at yourself in the mirror. In the moment you’d do anything to take it back but know that holding onto the past keeps you from moving forward. Your mistakes do not define you, they aren’t who you are. Remember that.

This world will make you question your worth. When the boy you like doesn’t look your way, remember that you’re still beautiful. When you don’t make the soccer team or cheer squad, know that God has given you a special set of skills for a reason & you will discover them. Don’t base your worth on Twitter followers or how many likes your selfie got on Instagram. Love yourself. “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” This world will tell you that you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too freckly, too pale, too smart, too dumb, etc. Please don’t listen. Growing up I was always “short stuff”. People thought it was funny to run into me & act like it was funny because they “couldn’t see me”. When I hit puberty my breasts started growing & I remember going shopping with my mom for a bra. A lady told me that they don’t make bras my size because it was abnormal for someone to wear a D cup when they were so small around. I felt like a freak. (Turns out the lady was just ignorant on the subject.) You are you for a reason, don’t let others diminish that.

Lastly, one day you will realize that your dad & I are not superheroes. We don’t know the answers to all of your questions. We have made mistakes & unfortunately will keep making them. We’ve been through our fair share of broken hearts, lost friends, self-doubt, & discouragement. There will come a day when we disappoint you. When you realize that we probably shouldn’t be put on that pedestal where you’ve had us placed your whole life. As much as this day will break my heart, it will allow us to bond in a new way. You will view us in a new light as you see that we are human too & we’ve been where you are. We will always be here to listen and give you advice. We are nowhere near perfect but remember that we’re doing the best that we can. 

The reality of postpartum

Dear Delilah,

There are plenty of things women know about postpartum struggles; flabby bodies, soreness, breastfeeding issues, etc. I’m here to talk about the things nobody tells you. This blog is not for the faint of heart & it will not be sugar coated. Continue if you dare. 

After 29 hours of labor, in the midst of sweating, crying, pain, & exhaustion, you were laid on my chest. I was terrified because I was so weak I knew that I couldn’t support the weight of a baby even if I tried. My brain screamed “no, I can’t hold her!” but words failed me as my head fell backwards onto the hospital bed. The truth is with all the nurses, your dad, & grandmas standing there, there was no way you were falling but I was too far gone to realize that at the time.

So that was the beginning of the “postpartum” stage.

Shortly, the doctor informed me that I had a second degree vaginal tear. This happens in 50% of women. I somehow thought that it was a less common thing but after pushing a baby out it is completely understandable. So after delivering you, I placed my legs on stirrups while the doctor sewed me back together. We’ll go more into the tear shortly.

Next came the uterus “massages”. What the hell is the definition of a massage?! These are horrible. Basically, nurses shove their fingers into your abdomen & into your freshly emptied uterus to make sure it’s contracting. Every time they did this blood gushed out of me. Disgusting right?

The first several trips to the bathroom were a nightmare. They looked like a murder scene & I was the victim. Not to mention the smell of blood is crippling. Toilet paper is out of the question, especially with a tear because it’ll rip your stitches out. So they give you this little Peri bottle to fill with water & squirt yourself clean.

My first shower was supposed to be great & refreshing, ha. As I walked from the toilet to the shower I left a blood trail behind me. In the shower I scrubbed clean from the blood stains that covered my legs. Then, before I could even step out of the shower or dry off, blood ran all down my legs again. I quickly put on the huge pads they gave me & proceeded to clean my own blood off the bathroom floor & myself.

It’s been a week now & this has gotten easier in terms of the blood flow. But the bathroom routine is still a process. With my second degree tear, using the restroom burns. I mean alcohol in an open wound burns. I lean as far forward as I can to prevent my laceration from getting hit but it never works. I then use the Peri bottle to rinse, pat myself dry, apply soothing ointment with cooling pads, spray myself with duraplast spray, & apply a frozen pad that has been soaked in witch hazel & diluted lavender oil. Can you imagine attempting this in a public bathroom? It’s hard. The doctor has also prescribed me ibuprofen & Tylenol that I take religiously every 8 hours or the pain takes over. They also prescribed me stool softener because pooping is rough. The swelling of the tear has to be the worst part. I tend to waddle around the house & sitting up hurts. I still involuntary gush bodily fluids at times but it’s happening less all the time. 
Did I mention that I’m not allowed to take a bath for 4 weeks? So sad..

My bathroom supplies. 

Everyone knows there are obstacles to overcome with breastfeeding but my goodness there’s a lot. I may write a whole blog about it. Your breasts become engorged (painfully full of milk). They become rock hard & you literally have to massage the knots out of them (Heating pads help). You’ve got to constantly apply lanolin or some type of cream to your nipples because they quickly become raw & will crack, bleed, & scab over. Breastfeeding is a wonderful, beautiful thing but it doesn’t come easy.

Your postpartum body is strange. First off, I was so sore after labor that I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. Pushing, I was laying on my back, pulling my legs towards my chest, my back & head up, & pushing a baby out. It took a toll on my nonfit body. Also, it’s a huge change going from a firm baby bump to a flabby, loose stomach. I went from feeling pregnant to just feeling fat. Eventually I’ll be able to do something about it but right now I’m still too sore & swollen for that much activity. Your dad constantly tells me how beautiful I am, it really does help. Now the huge pads & mesh panties, not so much. lol 


I thought labor was the hard part of it all then you take home your baby & lose sleep but live happily ever after. That is soo not the case. Nevertheless, I would do it all over again to have you. You, Lilah Bear are so worth it.