Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Before and After

It is amazing how things change when a little child enters your life.  It makes you realize how selfish you were before with your time and money.  But now we run into being selfish still with our time and money, but in a familial kind of way.  I think that our idea of family is different than anyone we have ever met.  We were not raised the way we view family, it just sort of happened.  Some people who don't know us (and some who do) think of our actions as selfish, and I think the rest of our friends just know that we are passionate about the home unit.  Let me try to put this into a more specific detail.

We do not make plans as an individual without checking with each other first.  If I want to spend some time with a friend of mine then I will make sure that I have not been neglecting my wife and child with my school, housework, yardwork, etc... to where this will further alienate me from them.  I have a responsibility to my wife and kid(s) to be a husband and a father before I have a responsibility to be a friend to someone else.  I do believe in the importance of friendship outside of my spouse, however, my best friend needs to be my spouse and maintaining the health of that friendship is tantamount above all other relationships.  If more people thought along these lines then you might see a drop in the divorce rate in our country, but that is not a guarantee considering how many factors go into a decision to separate from covenant vows.

Another example is with our daughter.  We do not put her in nurseries or any sort of childcare.  I am not going to let a family friend watch her, and barely will we let our own families watch her.  People keep telling us, and I believe behind our backs at that, that we need to learn to let others watch her so we can have "us" time or so they can get time with our daughter.  That is our call to make.  First off, I only know a handful of people intimately to where I know if they are a pedophile or not.  Sorry family, but if we don't talk about your vices in advance and only talk about the weather and safe subjects then you are not on the list of approved people.  Honesty and transparency are key to watching our daughter.  Moreover, I want our daughter to see her mommy and daddy in love and creating a healthy marriage.  I want her to learn how to worship, understand the sermon, and fellowship at church (a book that has helped us find support for keeping our kid in service is called Parenting in the Pew).  Thankfully we are not the only ones doing this one as is evident by how many others we see keeping their kids of all ages in church with them.  If our daughter does not want to come to you then DO NOT pry her from her mother's arms.  Somebody will end up with a bloody nose before this over with because my wife's patience is about shot on this one.  So if you were thinking about doing this then stop yourself now.  We don't want nor need any encouragement for our daughter to get comfortable being away from mommy and daddy.  In short, mind your business and let us parent how we want to parent.  If something we do is detrimental to our daughter's health and well-being in your mind then talk to one of us about it.  That doesn't mean we will agree with you, but I will definitely give you an attentive ear. 

On a positive note, I am very pleased with how well both sets of immediate family have allowed us our freedom in parenting.  You guys vocalize here and there, but overall you let our wishes for raising our kid be what goes and not what you think is best.  I am seriously grateful for this.  It makes in-law relations on both sides easier.  The only thing I ask is that if you feel like you have to tiptoe on eggshells around us then we need to talk because that is not healthy.

Thanks for reading!

Keith, a.k.a. Daddy Moose

1 comment:

  1. We get weird looks/comments all the time because people think we are too protective of our kids. Some examples being; we don't let them go to just anyone's house, up until here lately they weren't allowed to play outside w/o one of us and even now they are only allowed in the backyard, they aren't allowed to ride their bikes around the neighborhood unless we are with them, when we go to a store they stay right with us normally with their hands on the cart if it is just one parent with them and the biggie that people have a problem with is the fact that we don't have them involved in ten million sport activities. They do Upwards and that is it. The kids have never asked to be on any other sport team and I see no need in putting my kid on a team if they don't want to be. We feel like our kids can learn just as much about being a team player within our family unit. In fact, that should be where they learn it first. When they want to be in more activities and I'm sure they will at some point there will be rules about how many things they can be in because I refuse to be running all over town doing sporting events and then neglecting our family unit. At my house growing up none of us were sports oriented but we did join some of the clubs in high school. We were allowed to join one club a year and we were expected to be committed to that club. All of us became officers in the clubs we chose.
    People always seemed offended when ours were babies and we didn't put them in nursery for church. It was like they thought I should want a break from the babies but I had no intention of just sticking my kid in a nursery. I sat in the Sunday School class with the kids until they started the K-1 class and I had grown up in that church. Neither of our kids would go to just anyone and I think we made it very clear that it wasn't ok for someone to just take them from us -- stand your ground! Our church here does children church every week so we have to figure out what we want to do about that. The kids enjoy it but we will probably let them go every other week and set in service the other weeks.
    Now we hear that we expect too much out of our kids and that we should let them go more places without us but I don't care. We are raising them the way we think is right. We love the fact that we sit down for dinner as a family at the table at least 6 times a week. Well, to be fair with Jeremy's new job we now may have to have our family meal as breakfast or lunch but we fit it in however we can. We love having family game time on a regular basis. We love exploring our community as a family. We love doing new things with just us and the kids. If we don't get this base of family and what it means ingrained in the kids now while they are young then they aren't going to care about what we have to say when they hit the teenage years and beyond.
    Our kids understand that our job as their parents is to raise them to be God loving, responsible, compassionate, self-sufficient adults and that every decision we make is based on that end goal not on what makes them happy today.
    Okay, time to end the novel I feel like I am writing. It is just that I am passionate about raising my kids the way Jeremy and I feel is right. I learned from watching my parents to not let other people dictate how you parent your kids. I clearly remember during my teenage years many times when my parents got opposition about how they were raising us from people at church but their saying was always "your raise your kids and we will raise ours" and they refused to change their beliefs and I never heard them judge other parents for their choices. So, do what you think is best for your family and that is all that matters.



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