Learning To Walk

As I watch Silas take one step followed by another before falling down, I am filled with joy. Each milestone bring its own set of challenges and as parents we celebrate each one as it means that our child is healthy. Another emotion hit me as I watched him pick himself back up to try once more- understanding.

Do you realize how hard it is to get knocked down, pick yourself back up, and try again? It’s almost excruciating to dust yourself off after what feels like failure after failure. I’ll admit I don’t have any secret method or sauce to push past this, all I have is faith.

Faith that no matter what, if God placed it on my heart, then it will get done. Faith that whatever it is that I am going through, I will be able to push past by leaning on God. Faith that there is something waiting for me on the other side- something extraordinarily.

Babies have this natural faith that each step is propelling them forward. It doesn’t matter how many times they fall down, they get right back up with the same gusto as before. Somewhere in the midst of growing up and becoming more aware of the world around us, we lost that unwavering faith.

I know right now may seem like this weird juxtaposition but if there was ever a time to turn towards God and turn that faith meter all the way up, the time is now. Just put one foot in front of the other, it’s okay if you stumble, it’s okay if you fall down, just keep going, and trust in our Father.

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How Having a Child Affects Your Relationships

I always believed that having a child would bring family closer together. Now, I’m not talking about significant others. I’ve heard stories of how the stress causes people to drift from one another. My husband and I struggled in the early months with Silas.

But what I want to focus on, is not significant others, but other familiar relationships. For me, I thought that my mom would be over all the time, wanting to see her grandson. I thought that because we lost our first son, that others would want to hold on as tightly as we do with Silas. Instead, we’ve( my husband and I) have gotten crickets. This isn’t to say that my side of the family hasn’t seen him, but there has been no true effort on their part.

In the beginning my mother would offer to come watch Silas for my husband, as he is the stay home parent. Well, she wouldn’t show up. She has done this several times, so much so that we don’t even think to ask her when we need someone to watch Silas. I’m taking this up with God because I realize that there are other factors at play here. I felt lead to share this with you all because someone else may be going through something similar.

We have these expectations that other members of the family will love your child as much or nearly as much as you do. Sadly, that isn’t the case. You don’t truly know what someone is going through. For my family, kidney disease runs rampant, and I know that has been the cause for some of the no call no show, so to speak.

I believe these changes are just the natural order of things. I don’t talk to my mom everyday like I used to. My focus is on my husband and son. Being the working parent, I want Silas around when I’m not at work. This has been another source of conflict on my side of the family. They only try to get Silas on the one day that I’m guaranteed off. It’s frustrating to say the least.

I do want to reiterate that I know my family loves Silas. I know my husband’s side loves him as well. This is simply something that I have to pray on because there’s something much deeper going on. That may be the case for you. There may be a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

So, today I urge you to seek God. Cast all of your worries onto Him. It may seem like your family is more distant because of the new additions or things became more strained. I say, babies have a way of shedding a light on our brokenness. Some of us choose to address our faults, while others try to ignore them. I urge you to seek God, and get to the root of it all.

Please don’t forget to check out Parenting After Loss on iTunes and Spotify. I would also like to connect with you guys on Instagram ( potter_india).

Dreaded Sleep Regression

I think I saw somewhere that babies have sleep regressions at nine months. In the earlier stages, I remember crying because Silas would not wake up. I would have to put a cold rag on him, and still he would not wake.

Literally nothing would wake him, and as a mom parenting after loss, I was extra paranoid about him not eating every three hours.

Silas has since woken up since then, but for the most part he has been very good about taking his naps until now. Now, he is down to taking one nap, and just wants to party the rest of the day.

I know this phase won’t last long, but I like to reflect on how we pray for some changes, we get what we prayed for, and then pray for more changes. Silas is making up for all those times he slept the days away. He’s too focused on playing with his toys or knocking his books down.

Maybe it’s the dreaded sleep regression that I hear whispers about. I’m not entirely sure as I don’t spend too much time looking into that kind of information. I’ve just been going with the flow so to speak.

What I do know, is that I’m so grateful for the bouncer we were gifted for Christmas, and that we now have a back yard to let the dogs run around in.

Have you ever prayed for a situation to change and then had to pray through that change?

Holiday Season

Last Sunday, my family and I had our Thanksgiving with the in-laws as Ben’s parents were going to be out of town on Thanksgiving day. I was a little tired from having to work that morning, but generally, I was pretty excited to spend time with family, and it was also Silas’s first Thanksgiving meal.


Everyone had eaten by the time I got there, but they were all still sitting around the table chatting. Almost immediately, my mother in law shares with me this ornament that she had made with everyone’s name on it, starting with her and my father in law. It was an ornament with all of the children and grandchildren’s names, except for Troy’s name.


My heart sunk.


I had to hold back the urge to just leave. When I handed the ornament back, she stated how she had room for four more grandkids. I know this was said in a joking manner, but at the time, it was just another dagger through the heart. This statement led to my brother in law announcing that they would be having another baby that is due in May.


Troy was supposed to be born in May.


They also mentioned that they waited until the 13-week mark to tell us. Many wait until this time because it is considered the safe zone.


Another dagger.


My message today is to be gentle with everyone this season. Holidays can be a mixture of grief and happiness for some. While I am forever grateful to have Silas, raising a child after loss does come with its own unique challenges. Anything family-related where we have to write names, Ben and I always write Troy’s name, because he mattered.


And please do not be the person that is asking others when they are going to be having children or having more children. This could cause issues with the couple or it could bring a spotlight on what they don’t have.

Friendship after Loss

Do you have that one friend who’s child is continuously misbehaving and puts a whole damper on the mood?

No?, well I have such a friend.

 
Parenting is hard work. The older I get, the more I respect my mother for her sacrifices and not going off on the deep end after raising three girls. And while I have no living children of my own, my first was born stillborn, I had already discussed with my husband the parenting style that we would incorporate.

It is hard sometimes to not express an opinion on a matter that your friend seems to be struggling with. I could go into detail the numerous struggles that my friend is enduring, but I am going to focus this post on their parenting method and how it is ultimately affecting the friendship.

 
You see, this friend feels some guilt for not providing the best home environment for their child in their early life and as a result does not discipline them very well. I will not get into the whole debate about discipline vs. punishment, but I think we can all agree that there need to be boundaries established at a young age so that these mini adults can function well in society.

 
The problem with this friend’s parenting style is that they merely threaten to take the video games away or they threaten to have them sit in their room for a certain length of time, or they threaten to put them in timeout, etc. They simply just threaten but do not follow through with what was promised, and the child knows that. While this bothers me because I saw how flustered and stressed my friend is, I say nothing because ultimately that is her child and she has to live with the attitude.

 
My issue is when that child’s behavior has a direct negative effect on either I or my husband. Now my friend’s child adores my husband because he is silly and he will actually get down and play make believe or assist him with the newest video game. But this child does not respect boundaries, he constantly hits my husband and pulls on him, and will throw a tantrum while out in public. Simply put, it gets old real fast when you are trying to enjoy your meal, and you have a child constantly pulling and hitting you, and the parents do nothing. They say nothing, in fact, you start to feel like an unpaid babysitter because they only talk amongst themselves and leave you to fend off their child.

 
This all came to a head not too long ago when my husband asked if I would sit next to the child at dinner because he had been fasting all day for this large meal and just wanted to enjoy it. When said friends arrived, I tried to switch seats with my husband, which turned out to be a ‘mood killer’ for the rest of the evening. My friend got very offended, took her child to the restroom and I assume they talked for they came back and would not engage us in conversation. I tried to reach out after the dinner to explain that I was not trying to offend nor was I trying to hurt the child’s feelings.

In fact, after reaching out to me, she decided to completely end the friendship because she thought that by me asking her to step in and explain to her child that he should not hit others, I was hateful and a terrible friend.

So, if you are one those parents that have a wild child, please be understanding if your friend spaces out get-togethers or just stops coming by entirely. I get it parenting is hard, I have seen the toll it takes on others, but do not allow a friendship to dissolve because your friend does not want to be your child’s punching bag.

P.s. I am open to any advice you may have.

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