Monday, September 19, 2011

Things That Should Never Be Said

There are some things that should never be said to parents or parents-to-be.  These are just a few of the things I have heard during this pregnancy, mostly by complete strangers or "hello-goodbye" types of aquaintences, many of which were said in complete innocence but still the words hurt, can be disturbing, and do not even follow the patterns laid out in God's Word. 

The Bible states in Colossians 2:8 "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." When we speak, we need to remember to have our words line up with what the Bible says, not what society says is acceptable to say or "normal" to expect.

The Bible also tells us that in Psalm 127:3, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward."  And yet so many people, including believers in Christ, are so quick to point out the negative about chldren and make them out to be little terrors who are just waiting to make their parents' lives miserable.  As Christians, we need to be sure that our line of thinking and speaking matches what God's Word says and not what society thinks or expects from our children.

Things That Should Never Be Said

Sleep while you can because once the baby arrives you won't get any sleep then!  Okay, ladies, especially you first time mothers-to-be out there, even my OB agreed with me on this one.  You will get more sleep after the baby arrives than you do now! (except for maybe that first night home from the hospital when you just sit and watch your little one all night long in case he/she needs something because there is no nurse's button to push for help.)

I have not slept well for the last 2 months.  My little guy likes me to sleep on my left side, but I can only sleep that way for so long before discomfort sets in.  When I want to roll over, I have to wake up partially to throw my belly to the right to roll over, which gets me kicked in the ribs until I roll back over to my left side, at which point I am wide awake.  This is pretty much a nightly occurrance and I spend at least two to three hours in the office in the middle of the night. 

When Ian is born, he, like most babies, will sleep for most of the time.  Thankfully, during that first week, Brian will be home with me taking complete charge of Addie's care so I can rest and focus on Ian, and I will be able to catch up on my missed sleep.  And, yes, babies do need to wake up in the middle of the night to eat, but they are not up all night just for that. 

Oh, how sweet your little boy/girl is!  Just wait until they reach their...... terrible twos, puberty, teenage years!  We were told this by a couple that really seemed to be "flying high" at Busch Gardens on our last visit there.  We had stopped by the restrooms quickly and Addie looked absolutely adorable and was as well behaved as she usually is.  They couldn't get over her cuteness and then came the "...We have a twelve and thirteen year old.  They used to be cute, but now they have mouths like you wouldn't believe.  Just wait till she hits that stage."  I had several thoughts fly through my head, but what was the point of saying anything to these complete strangers who would probably not remember this conversation anyway. 

Your children will grow up to become what you put into them.  We are told in Scripture to train up our children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.  I know many parent/children relationships where the parents spent their time teaching and training their children and their children are still following the Lord as adults.  I also know of parent/children relationships where there was teaching and traing and the children grew to choose the opposite of what they were told, but eventually came back to the Lord.  And there are parent/children relationships where the bare minimum was done in the area of teaching and training and the children are no longer following the Lord.

Every parent should have a goal for themselves as they raise their children.  The Bible says in Psalms 127:4, "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth."  When an archer shoots an arrow, he shoots at a mark, a goal.  Our children are our arrows.  We must have a goal, a mark, a purpose for the training that we are giving them.  It takes careful aim, concentration, and adjustment to what is happening around you to shoot straight, but the time and effort is so worth it when you see your arrow hit the mark you aimed for.

I'm just concerned that your older child will be forgotten when the baby arrives.  This was told to me by an aquaintence on the phone recently.  Can I even begin to tell you how offended I was! I am prettty sure she figured that out by the tone in my voice as I explained to her the values that we hold dear in our home and that Addie would not even feel that way unless people outside of home (aka, she) put ideas like that in her head.  I know for a fact that I am not the first woman on earth to have more than one child, and of all of the "older" children that I know, I can't think of one that has ever been forgotten because a new baby came into the family. 

She went on to say that maybe Addie should not be at the shower so she isn't hurt by all of the gifts that are being brought for Ian, and she hoped that people would think of Addie as well.  I wish (only slightly) that she had been at the shower.  Addie was so excited about the party that we were having for Ian.  She was told by us that she would be helping to open the gifts.  She never asked if something was for her.  AND.... several of our family and friends brought gifts for Addie as well!

As part of Addie's "stay at Lala's house" bag, I have wrapped several little gifts for her to be opened each morning that she is away from us.  Why?  Because she is so loved by Brian and I, and we want her to know that she will never be "forgotten" or tossed to the side because a new baby has come into our home.  We have also read several stories to her on the excitement for an older sibling when a new baby enters a home (thanks, Kristi!). 

Oh, she/he's excited now.  Just wait, in a few years she/he will want to send the baby back!  Honestly, what are people thinking when they make comments like that?  It is the parent's responsibility to foster sibling love in their children.  Left on their own, children will pick up the attitudes and ideas that society pushes on their very impressionable minds.  Brian and I have fostered a love for Ian in Addie since we found out that we were pregnant. 

Addie has been known to come up to my belly and kiss Ian without any prompting forom us.  She talks to him constantly with phrases like, "I love you, Ian!", "Ian, what are you doing?", "What are you up to, tough guy?", or "Ian, you're so silly!" (usually said when he is rolling all over and making my belly contort).  She told us on Wednesday evening that when Ian comes, she is going to be the mommy and take care of Ian herself.  When Brian asked what I would do, she answered, "Mommy will cook." (She has it all figured out!) 

We recently ordered and received a new car seat for our little man which matches the two child stroller we were given (thanks, Kathy!).  When Brian installed it in our vehicle, Addie asked to sit in her car seat.  She then proceeded to show us how she would take care of Ian when he starts to cry when we are driving. 

She is so good!  Just wait!  This one will be the bad one!  You all know where I stand on telling a child that he or she is bad.  But to accuse a child of being bad before they are born or have had a chance to so anything is beyond wrong.  Children are a gift from the Lord and in His word He gives us the guidelines and tools that we need to train them up to serve and love Him with their lives.  When our children have a healthy respect and love for the Lord, it is reflected in their behavior.

I know of families where there are multiple children, and there is not a bad one in the bunch.  I also know of families where every child is a "difficult" child.  Why?  Because the parents are the common factor in each household and the children behave based on the training or lack of training they receive.

In Proverbs we are told that our words, when fittly spoken, can be like apples of gold in settings of silver.  Before we allow words to pass through our lips, let's make sure that we "taste test" them first.  Our words can leave either a sweet taste or bitter flavor in someone's heart. 


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