Destiny Herndon-DeLaRosa

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

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In Uncategorized on February 3, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Moose

He’s always touching me when we’re together. It’s one of my favorite things. His older brother does this too, so even though we’re not suppose to draw such distinctions in 2016, I wonder if it might be a “boy” thing.

My daughter’s cuddle me with reckless abandon. For them, sitting on the couch and watching TV is a full contact sport. I often joke that like those monkeys that die in captivity from lack of touch, I’m going to be the first human case of death from far too much. I’m their pillow, jungle gym, and personal futon all rolled into one. I adore them and their affection, but it can feel a bit overwhelming when they’re both literally laying on my body.

My boys are different though. My oldest will sit on the other end of the couch but his foot will always be touching my foot. There’s a connection there even if it’s not obvious to everyone else because I mean, c’mon, he’s 15 and way too cool to actually love me and stuff. But still, he’ll walk by and throw his arm over my shoulder or play with my hair, if only for a few seconds. Likewise, Max doesn’t need to smother me like his sisters but he does need contact… a lifeline.

Maybe it’s a boy thing, or perhaps my boys are just more in tune with my preferences for affection. Either way, I know how hashtag blessed I am to have eight little hands twirling my hair or fiddling with my necklace and eight feet kicking me out of my own bed most nights. Some day those touches will be gone and then I’ll know how the monkeys felt…

Thunderstorms

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 5.14.27 PMBefore Eddie went to sleep tonight she folded a blanket and put it next to her bed. As I was tucking her in she whispered in my ear that if it started to rain I should wake her up and we could sit in the garage and watch it together wrapped up in that blanket.

I told her we’d see, but I’d probably be asleep by then too, so it was doubtful.

Then I waited.

And I waited.

There’s been so much lightening but still NO RAIN.

I set up chairs, taunting it to come. There was a loud boom. I put hot chocolate on the stove thinking that would do the trick. A crackle ripped across the sky.

For the last three hours it’s sounded like a freakin’ Pandora thunderstorm station, but still not a drop. Not one.

I need sleep y’all. But Eddie needs memories of cuddling in rainstorms with her mama more, so I’ll stay awake.

Pray for rain. Do a little dance if ya got one. Turn a hose on my house, whatever it takes! All efforts towards us sitting in my cluttered old garage, listening to the pitter patter of rain drops while sipping hot chocolate in the middle of the night will be greatly appreciated.

For now, I’ll sit and wait though… while Eddie sleeps.

The Circus

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2015 at 7:08 pm

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It’s 5am, and Eddie just peed the bed. Which wouldn’t be that big of a deal except she was sleeping in Eiffel’s bed when this happened, like always. She has her own bed, and heck, her own room for that matter, but she refuses to sleep in there because, really, what fun would it be if you could only pee all over yourself in the wee hours of the morning?

Plus, there’s evidently something about Eiffel’s bed. I’d just changed the sheets a little over 24 hours ago when Eunitas chose it as the perfect barfing spot. Again, has his own bed- barfs in sister’s. Rotten, curled milk puke too… there’s nothing like it. So for the second time in as many days Abrahm and I resume our parental defunkifying duties; I strip the sheets, he scrubs the mattress with this weird carpet cleaning broom-brush monstrosity, that at first glance seems like overkill, until your nostrils remind you it’s not. At which point the baby, the barfing one with the fever who’s been glued to my side like a little broken radiator all night, notices 90% of his skin is no longer melded to mine through sweat and heat so now he’s also in Eiffel’s room, doing what else but trying on his sister’s shoes. I tell myself this is just an odd behavior brought on by his fever induced delirium (but that doesn’t explain why he did it last week too).

I pile them all in the bathtub, and I can’t help but think back to a few days ago when a friend mentioned how kids from big families end up a lot more screwed up than the rest of us. At first I was inclined to argue that, but as I sit here looking at this picture of my little cross-dresser I can only think, “yeah, therapy.” Even still, I’m so jealous of this childhood they’re getting to live. They love each other fiercely, and won’t be one bit shocked by the volume and chaos of the real world one day… because while most kids just get to go to the circus, mine get to live it.

Heaven

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2014 at 5:15 pm

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I go to tuck Eddie into bed tonight and as I brush my hand across her cheek I realize it’s covered in tears.

“What’s wrong, baby girl?” I ask.

“I wish that that guy never ate the apple,” she blubbers out between gasps. Sensing my confusion she goes on… “I just don’t want to grow up if you’re going to die and I’m not going to know you anymore. I hate you being dead.”

My heart breaks for her because I can absolutely relate. The thought of living a day without Eddie is excruciating. And yet I remember saying the exact same thing to my mom when I was little… searching for some kind of comforting reassurance that I needn’t worry. My mom always found just the right words, and when she said them it was the truth. Being on the other side of things, however, I know it’s a guess at best.

But I say it anyway. I say all the things I think a good mom would. I tell her how heaven is so beautiful our human brains can’t even comprehend it, and how I should be the one crying for her because she has to stay here in this broken world, but of course there are no tears allowed in heaven so I won’t be able to cry. I assure her that even though we might be apart at some point, in the end we will spend eternity together.

She chokes back that final cluster of sadness, and takes a few deep cleansing breaths. This answer seems to suffice, but only long enough for the wheels to start turning again…

“Mom, are killers kind of bad but kind of good too, because they kill you… but it means you get to go to heaven?”

Maybe it’s time to put Dallas Theological Seminary on speed dial…

Mom Shaming

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm

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I have been a stay-at-home-mom for the last seven years. Seven years of diapers, spit up, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every. single. day, boo-boo kisses, seemingly endless pushes on the swing, laughter, hugs, and milestones I wouldn’t have missed for the world. And laundry. Always laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. For seven years full time parenting has been my number one job. My number two job was cleaning up other people’s number twos, and my number three job was running a feminist organization.

 I’d be lying if I said it was easy for me when young professionals would straightening their sharp, black, little Ann Talyory blazers, extend their business card clad hands and ask, “So what do you do?” Why did that question always catch me off guard? “Uh, um… I guess… basically… I’m JUST, like, a stay-at-home-mom… yeah…” And I always immediately hated myself the second that came out of my mouth, as though I had to excuse my lowly human molding profession. And I, better than anyone, knew what complete bull that was and how harmful the “oh you JUST stay home and raise the future of the world” mentality is. I hated that mentality. Yet here I was playing right into it… feeling not enough.

To be fair though, domesticity has never come naturally to me. Not that I’m above it. I’m actually below it. Very far below it. I lack so many of the basic skills needed to be a decent wife and mother. I did not grow up in a family that cooked. My husband did. I was raised by a single mother who worked outside of the home. To this day she is my hero, so I do not necessarily think it’s the world polluting my view of womanhood as much as me growing up into what I know. I know working long hours at an office, and I know mac and cheese. To me mac and cheese is love. To my husband it’s a cop out. Not because of some weird gender role indoctrination, but because of our individual upbringings. His mother worked outside of the home as well, but her mother cooked and that gift was passed down to all subsequent generations. Packets of powered cheese were passed down in my family.

 If we’re being honest I’ve always felt like my husband would be better as the “stay-at-home-parent.” And if we’re being super… intensely… I might need to convert to Catholicism after an epic confession like this… I was always sorta afraid I’d lose respect for him in that role. It’s in no way acceptable, but monetarily compensation is so deeply ingrained in us, whether we want to believe it or not. That’s why every year there’s a new story about how much the stay-at-home parent is “worth,” with graphs and diagrams showing just how much a maid, laundry service, and daycare would cost the working parent. It becomes this pissing contest of who’s time and effort is more valuable. And therein lies the problem. What the stay-at-home parent does is not monetarily quantifiable. At all. So you’re comparing apples and oranges. As I said above, we. are. raising. the. future. So why the shame in my game? Why such a strong urge to validate our “worth?” Why not wear the SAHM title as a badge of honor?

Well, I’m sure some of you do, but I didn’t. Even though I knew better.

It took a lot of soul searching, and finally, ultimately, getting a job last week to help me understand why. I’m not ashamed of being a stay-at-home-mom because of some societal stigma. I’m ashamed of it because I suck at it. hard. It took the contrast of a job I was able to master in a week to show me that I had super failed at a profession I’d spent SEVEN years trying to master.

My husband in his first week on the job took our kids the freakin’ zoo, yall. That’s hot. How on earth did I think watching a man, my man, spend time with our children day in and day out would cause me to lose respect for him?! No, just the opposite. First of all I know just how insanely hard it is. Second, he is enjoying his life, bonding with our children, and using his inherent strengths for the first time in seven years. Yeah, he can manage people and function in corporate America on the daily, but he’s outside of his comfort zone most of the time (just like I was). Which is what we’re always hammering into people right? Get outside of your comfort zone, that’s a good, positive thing. But what if it’s not? What if maybe, just maybe, it keeps us all miserable and only achieving our personal status quo? What if we’re just working at bringing a weakness of ours, on a scale of 1-10, up from a 3 to a 5, when we could be operating in a vocation we love, are already natural inclined to, and take that from an 8 up to a 10? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my children raised by a 10… and I don’t just mean that because he’s kinda fine.

This won’t work for everyone, but right now, this is what works for us. Both of us are feeling good at what we do, for once, which is so underestimated in our “just get a paycheck” culture. But the shame is still there. The shame now comes in the form of well intentioned friends asking, “So…you’re working outside of the home now?”

Yeah, I am. And I don’t love my kids any less or suck as a mom any more… than I always have. (insert smiley emoticon here) Because when I see my kids at the end of the day, and my slightly frazzled husband (which yes,  I’m not gonna lie, is kinda validating) I love them more than enough to make up for the time I was gone. I’m also so much more patient than my burnt-out self used to be. My new schedule embodies the definition of quality time vs. quantity time. I loved my kids enough to give them what’s best for them, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Their father is just much more gifted in that role. Like I said, a lot has to do with our upbringings. He was raised by teachers… gourmet cooking, patience having, teachers who don’t believe laundry is the bane of their existence, and so neither does he. He was made for this. And I was made for working outside of the home. Because I just can’t hack it as a stay-at-home-mom. And there’s no shame in that statement. At least, I’m trying hard for there not to be…