We have all been around children before we had children of our own. As you watch those children throw fits and the parents give in, you find yourself thinking that your children will never behave like that and that you will never be that kind of parent. You judge the parents for handing out sugary treats to quiet their children, being permissive enough to give in to a child’s every whim. Then you have children and all of those theories go out the window.
You Do Whatever You Can to Get By
My theories dictated that I was not going to be the parent who gave in to a crying child. I would not have children who would be out in public places and be disruptive and loud. I couldn’t imagine sitting in the back seat to quiet my child; I would be up front with their dad. In my dreams, my children were always clean and my house a beautiful and orderly place. When we decide to become parents, those are the things we tell ourselves – that our children will be different.
And then I had children, six of them to be exact, and I quickly learned that even a loving, yet firm parent can be caught in a moment where you just do whatever you can to get by.
I Have Those Moments
Trust me, I have those moments. Sometimes when we are doing a big shopping trip at the grocery store, I am the mom that opens a bag of goldfish to quiet my crying toddler. There were many car trips that I spent in the back seat distracting the little ones while their dad drove. My children sometimes have dirt on their faces and my house is in no way the organized Architectural Digest home I imagined. I have flowers in my kitchen, but they are wilted and not what I would have imagined 20 years ago as a beautiful centerpiece. But to me they are beautiful; they are a gift from my son and daughter’s backyard adventure. The best part of that muddy adventure was that while they came back dirty, they thought of me and brought me back a flower – in one of my favorite, expensive crystal vases that they filled with dirt. I can not imagine it holding anything more precious and beautiful.
Focusing On the Parent I Am
A part of me is that parent I was so sure I would never be. My theories on raising children are very different now. They revolve around never letting a day go by when I haven’t told my children how much I love them, holding them tight, and being there for them as they venture out into the world. I hope that while they are young, I will show them unconditional love and the beauty that life holds for them. My theories will continue to change as the years go by, but instead of deciding now what kind of parent I will be to these ever-changing children, I am going to focus on the parent I am today with the children that bless my life.
About the Author
Blythe Newsome is a radio show host, columnist, motivational speaker, and single mother of six children ages 5,7,9, 11, 13,and 15 While a morning radio show host, her family was featured on an episode of the Supernanny in 2008. The reality of this single mom who over an 18 month period faced divorce, death, losing a home, and starting a new career touched the hearts of many. Her story and letting America see what hides underneath her couch cushions made her family one of “America’s Most Memorable Families” from the show. In March 2010, producers from the ABC show invited the family to film the 100th episode and let people see how far this family had come.
When not at the radio station or playing the role of nurse, teacher, chef, referee, taxi driver, coach, or housekeeper, she writes a column called Flirting with Forty. Her story is the journey of how she takes her life back.