parenting from the heart

Congratulations! It’s a BOY!

Being pregnant was one of the best experiences of my life, a time that I treasure all of the memories that came along with it. I’ll never forget those moments when I found out I was pregnant with both of our boys, that moment of feeling every emotion under the sun in under a second.  Shock (what, really!), disbelief (surely the doctor wasn’t right!), excitement (is this really happening!), ending in such an amazing feeling of unconditional love. (I really can’t wait to meet you! Hurry up, but don’t come too fast because we need to figure out what we are doing first!)

I was blessed to have two pregnancies that were pretty normal, I felt great, I was able to work right up until the day before my delivery with our first and my recovery times were right on schedule.  What I didn’t know though, was how quickly our lives would change! All in that instant, when the Doctor yelled out…”It’s a boy!”

I was hoping in the next moments she might’ve handed me a manual that said…”HOW TO BE A MOM” but I guess not, I was in it all on my own. She didn’t offer the second time I was there either.

That parenting guide would have come in handy for the late night feedings, how to teach a baby to sleep through the night, how to re-assure them on that first day of pre-school as the tears are dripping off their little chins and later from yours as you have your moment outside the building.  Looking back, I know there are books out there, and I know that I did read some of them…somewhere I have the piece of graph paper where I tracked sleep schedules!! To this day, I’m not sure where it got me, but I do have two boys that now sleep through the night…they are 13 & 11 :). I started to realize quickly that parenting had to come from the heart and that I had to trust my intuition when it came to making decisions on behalf of my kids.

What they can’t tell you in any book though, is how you feel as you parent your children.  Each experience you have with them is different than any other parent/child relationship.  Because it’s your own, and it’s so very special, even if every day isn’t the perfect day.  What we learn from each other is one of the biggest blessings I have in my life.  It shows me areas every day where I’m strong and where I can grow as a parent.  We don’t like to make mistakes in parenting, but inevitably they happen so we can continue to show our kids that it’s ok to make mistakes. How we deal with those mistakes is how we build character in ourselves and then teaches them how to build their own.

One of the biggest things I didn’t understand was how many phases they would go through as babies, toddlers, little boys, kids, pre-teens, teens…and…you get the idea! What I really didn’t understand though, was how many phases and transition periods that we go through as parents.

Not only do we deal with all of these transitions in our parenting life but how about our own adult lives as well.  We go through all of those phases our kids go through but now we add on working, the kids leaving home and our own retirement (eventually). It seems as though every moment in life is a transition moment with time moving so incredibly fast that we wonder where it all went.

Learning to deal with those transitions has been tough on me as a stay-at-home mom. When my boys were young, I didn’t have a lot of time to pursue any interests outside of being a Mom.  As they started to grow and became more independent, I did feel a sense of loss at how big they were becoming.  As “freedom” started appearing in my life, I wasn’t quite sure how to fill my time.  I have sought out and tried a bunch of different things from sewing quilts, to photography, to painting, all creative type outlets.  In that time I have been fortunate enough to become a yoga instructor…but the best part about that time, is all of the volunteering I have been able to spend at the schools with my boys.  Getting to know the teachers and their friends has been absolutely amazing!

These transition periods in life happen to all of us, and supporting the causes and the people that are near and dear to our hearts really do make our lives more meaningful. Taking moments to sit back and remember what makes our hearts pump a little faster will guide you in the right direction. Some will be hits and some will be misses, I know I’ve had my fair share of misses! Reaching out to family, friends, and our community does make parenting easier, I know I’m very thankful for all of the programs that are run in our City for young families. We have met so many great people through these programs, and even though my boys don’t remember going, they still have friends from those baby days.

A very wise lady always said to me, “it’s just a phase, before you know it, they’ll be on to the next thing”…and she was right! I have applied this same philosophy to my life as I move through my own phases, learning and growing as I go along, just like my kids do.

It really does take a village to raise a child and we feel that this community has played a role in helping us to raise our children. There are so many wonderful programs for families in Lloydminster, here are some of the ones we have enjoyed over the years:

  • Lloydminster Public Health – Mother’s Breastfeeding Group
  • Midwest Family Connections – Indoor Playground
  • Lloydminster Learning Council – Books for Babies
  • Music for Young Children
  • City of Lloydminster Youth Programs
    • Servus Sports Centre
    • Lloydminster Cultural & Science Centre – Youth Camps
    • Bioclean Aquatic Centre & Outdoor Pool – Swimming Lessons
  • Lloydminster Public Library – Pre-school Programs
  • Lloydminster Speed Skating Club
  • Lloydminster Minor Hockey
  • Lloydminster Minor Ball
  • Lloydminster Disctrict Soccer Association
  • Lloydminster Ball Hockey League

**I wrote this article for the new neighbourhood magazine in Lloydminster, Neighbours of the Southwest. It appears in the November 2016 edition…this is the extended version 🙂  Thanks goes out to Tanya, who welcomed my addition to the magazine!  Thanks for reading! Christy