Friday, February 25, 2011

"Scare Tactics"

Motherhood is downright scary. Questions constantly creep into the mind and paralyze decisions. What if I don’t breastfeed for the full 6 months? What if I don’t breast feed at all? What if I don’t give my baby organic , hand-blended food? What if my child doesn’t start crawling as soon as my sister’s kid? What if they roll over, pull the blanket on their face, and can’t get it off? What if they fall out of their crib? What if they fall off their bike? What if the car door accidentally swings open and they fall out? What if you accidentally drop them? What if the stroller gets away from you while you’re pushing the cross walk button and a giant truck that decided to take the back road detour is coming by at that exact moment and barrels into the stroller? What if you leave them too long in the jumpy thing and their legs don’t develop properly and they are bow legged? What if a strand of hair gets wrapped around their toe, cutting off the circulation which leads to an inflamed and swollen toe that needs to be amputated? (it can happen people…I just read the “It happened to me” blurb in Parents magazine) 

WHAT IF?????

Gosh! If you were a worrier like me before you had kids, you’re a manic worrier now. I guess everybody is at least a little scared. Many times what makes it so frightening are the books upon books written or websites upon websites dedicated to answering all the “what if” questions one has.  It would be much less terrifying if the “what if” questions I have didn’t have case scenarios and examples; especially the “what if’s” that are so out of this world!! Seriously, does Parents magazine need a “It happened to me” section?

To make matters worse, there is a “googling” epidemic among us. Panic is rampant when you google an illness, symptom, or common complaint. The answers you find put a person with a common cold possibly bald, crippled, or dying within 3 months. 

We have created our own episodes of Scare Tactics. Have you ever seen that show on the Syfy channel? I now live with an imaginary Tracy Morgan in my brain that comments on the “what if’s” that play out in my mind. (here is a link in case you're unaware: Scare Tactics) In the end, the truth is that I was set up and I really had nothing to be worried about to begin with.

Oh the scariness that is motherhood. Motherhood is a laden with worry because our kids depend on us to know what to do and when to do it and how to do it and if we should do it and…..*deep breath.* Motherhood is scary because we love our little ones so much that we worry we won’t do what we need to do when we need to do it! In the end, the truth is that God is in control and He has set us up to be able to have nothing to be worried about to begin with! This is not to say I won’t ever worry, however, there is no need for Tracy Morgan to be living in my head!! 

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message) Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Say What?"

Choosing your baby’s name is one of the best parts of finding out you’re pregnant. When we found out we were pregnant, we celebrated with dinner at good ole Panera and a trip to Borders to read baby name books. I find it funny when you talk to some couples that are newly pregnant (with their 1st, 2nd, 3rd…whatever) and they want to pretend like they haven’t talked about names yet…you’re lying. Yes you have. My husband and me weren’t even sure we’d have kids and we still talked about what to name children. Perhaps they want to keep the name a secret. I digress. 
We hunted name book after name book. We had long discussions about the meaning behind the name, how it sounded with Jackson, and trends to avoid. Some names we threw out immediately, while others we tossed around for a bit. After all, it’s not like you’re choosing a pair of shoes that your child can change when they learn to tie their laces. This is the first impression for all who come in contact with your child for the rest of their life.
After weeks of discussion, we settled on a name for a boy and a name for a girl. Of course my prayers were answered and we had a girl (see “My Little Ballerina blog post). Selah Marie Jackson….pronounced Say-la. It’s a Hebrew musical term and can be found in the book of Psalms after choir hymns. Although the exact meaning is unknown, some suspect it means “lift your voices in praise.” It’s like the sermon equivalent to “Amen.”
Although the name we chose is beautiful, our daughter will lead a life of answering the questions, “Say what? How do you spell that? Is that a family name?” In fact, her first string of sentences together may just be, “It’s pronounced Say-la, not See-la.” Personally, I don’t get it. It’s spelled S.E.L.A.H. and pronounced Say-la. Come on people!!!!
On one of her first visits to our church, a lady approached to see her. When she asked me her name and I told her, she replied, “That’s my cat’s name!” Thanks lady.
We’ve doomed her for life. She will be the student in the classroom on the first day of middle school whose teacher mispronounces her name. My poor baby. I remember once a teacher thought the ‘y’ in my name was an ‘e’ and asked for Joe Graham. I about died. Looking back I realize how ridiculous it is to feel insecure about such a thing, but in middle school, no feeling is ridiculous….and nobody understands what you are going through.
Her pediatrician’s office spells it phonetically on her chart. Why don’t more places do this? It could eliminate a lifetime of hurt.
Oh my. She will never own a keychain or mini license plate from a rest stop. She’ll more than likely have her name mispronounced at her kindergarten graduation, her elementary graduation, her middle school graduation, her high school graduation, her college graduation, her master’s graduation, and her doctorate graduation. Oh well. At least we didn’t name her after a piece of fruit or something.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"My Little Ballerina"

I love all things girly. I love dressing up, clothes, shoes, make-up, toiletries, perfume, jewelry, and romantic comedies. I also love ballet. When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina. I wanted to be a missionary/ballerina to be exact. Isn’t it funny that kids often have two diametrically different jobs they’d like to do simultaneously? How I was going to make ballerina/missionary work is still unclear, but I was unwavering nonetheless. During my lifetime I have done some mission work in Africa, but needless to say, I’m not a ballerina!
When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted a girl. I did not want a boy. I prayed for a girl. Some may find this repulsive, scolding me that I should only have prayed for a healthy baby. Well, scold me. Before I entered the sonogram room on week 20 to find out what I was having, I prayed that if the baby had a penis, God would miraculously remove it. Yes, yes, yes….I wanted a healthy baby. I just wanted a healthy baby girl. When people would ask if I had a preference as to a boy or girl, I would unequivocally say, “GIRL.”
Now that I have my baby girl, I want a ballerina. I do. I am bound and determined to make my daughter into a ballerina. Yes, I want my daughter to pursue her passions and dreams and blah, blah, blah. However, I want her to pursue them wearing a tutu. Visions of The Nutcracker, Swan’s Lake, and So You Think You Can Dance twirl in my mind.  I mean come on…her name alone screams dancer. Selah Marie Jackson. Can’t you just see it printed in a program? I can!
Yes. Unabashedly I will live vicariously through my daughter and fulfill my dancer dreams. I always wanted to be a ballerina. My husband keeps telling me it’s not too late….I just think he wants to see me in a leotard!!
Okay. In the end, I will support my daughter in her endeavors and dreams.  However, I will try and push her toward ballet…I am a mom after all. It’s kind of a God given right to make your kids do things.  For now, my little ballerina is only interested in eating her tutu and sucking her toes…and I couldn’t be more proud!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Baby Poop"

“All new parents develop an unexpected interest in bowel movements and baby poop.” Uh yes. This was the first sentence of an article I saw on the website -WebMD…as I was looking up some information on baby poop.

Yup! I’m a mom now! Bowel movements, the color of snot, diapers, and puke…great topics of conversation. When I was without a child, I couldn’t stand being around mothers of young children.  I thought they were plain crazies. I knew if I ever became a mom, such conversational topics would not come out of my mouth. Baby showers made me cringe and I had only attempted to change one diaper in my life…and he peed on me, which left me screaming and scarred for life.
And then I had a baby. I literally began talking about poop since the second my daughter was born.  You can’t avoid it. In fact, the hospital wanted me to document the color, the consistency, and the number of movements per day! I was in shock and horror. But wait…not only did I have to adjust my brain to now include documentation of bowel movements, but I also learned that babies projectile poop. The first time this happened, I about fell over. Nevertheless, I learned and grew quite comfortable changing diapers and catching shooting poop!
Soon I became acclimated to all that related to bowel movements….AND THEN my daughter started eating solids. Oh crap…now I had to amend my understanding once again.
What’s worse is that I know this will be a main staple of my conversational repertoire for several years to come. Even once kids are potty trained, it seems they still need help wiping. Dear Lord, help me.
Motherhood brings such new and exciting challenges. But it also brings poop or should I say, “poopy doopy.”
On top of accepting the fact that I’ve become what I vowed I never would, I’m learning how to successfully work full-time outside my home and still give all of me to both my daughter and my husband. The balancing act of new mom and working full-time is leaving me literally and figuratively pooped! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.